The first T-Mobile Sidekick debuted in 2002. It featured a 240x160-pixel, 4-bit monochrome display and was touted as a BlackBerry for the masses. The handheld provided real-time e-mail and instant messaging but lacked a speakerphone.
The T-Mobile Sidekick II came out in 2004, sporting a slimmer design and a built-in VGA camera. We also finally got a speakerphone but still no sign of corporate e-mail support. The Sidekick II went for $299 and required a $29.99-per-month data plan.
Launching in June 2006, the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 managed to shrink even more and added Bluetooth, EDGE support, and a built-in MP3 player. T-Mobile also offered limited-edition Sidekick 3 models by LRG and Diane von Furstenberg.
Billed as a budget-friendly device, the T-Mobile Sidekick iD launched at $99 in April 2007. The iD also allowed the user to customize the handheld with different color bumpers, but the wallet-friendly price tag also came with some sacrifices, namely the camera, Bluetooth, and MP3 playback.
The T-Mobile Sidekick LX first debuted in October 2007, but we were slightly disappointed by its lackluster feature set. Fortunately, a software update was released in June 2008 that brought video capabilities and stereo Bluetooth support, among other things.
The T-Mobile Sidekick Slide was the first Sidekick model to be manufactured by Motorola instead of Danger/Sharp. It featured a slide-up screen instead of a swiveling screen, but unfortunately, the phone hit a snag when T-Mobile and Moto determined that some units had battery contact issues that caused the device to power off after opening and closing the phone.
The T-Mobile Sidekick 2008 took the customization abilities of the Sidekick iD to the next level. For an extra $10, users could personalize the shell of the phone with their own graphics, images, and designs. The Sidekick 2008 also offered a 2-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities and stereo Bluetooth but lacked Wi-Fi and 3G support.
The Sidekick LX 2009 is the last model to have been released by T-Mobile. On May 31, 2011, Danger's data service for Sidekicks will be shut down as the T-Mobile and Danger/Microsoft transition to new devices and operating systems. The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, which will run on Android, is expected to ship this spring.