Sidekick LX 2009 is Disappointing

I’ve been a user and fan of T-Mobile’s Sidekick mobile phones since the original Sidekick because of several features – specifically the complete 5-line keyboard (numbers along the top instead of via a function key like on Blackberry phones) and the ability to use a secure terminal application (SSH) to manage my servers remotely.

Newer models over the years have become smaller, added additional communications bands (quad band now), better camera capabilities, and occasionally better connectivity.

The Sidekick is developed by a company called Danger, and manufactured by Sharp. However, Danger was acquired by Microsoft in the last year. I don’t know if this is the cause for the complaints I have with the latest Sidekick, the LX 2009, which shipped last month, but it’s possible.

In comparison to last year’s Sidekick LX, the new Sidekick LX 2009 adds 3G data services (which don’t appear appreciably faster than the prior 2.5G EDGE support), a higher resolution camera (which is definitely an improvement), GPS (also a nice feature), and proclaims to have Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace support built in. However, at least for Facebook and Twitter, which I have recently started using, the support is pretty poor. I only follow a few people on Twitter, but consistently get error messages about memory overflows on the Sidekick LX 2009. For Facebook, the content is rarely up to date relative to what I find through a web browser, and notifications almost never match those that are on-line waiting for me.

And perhaps even more annoying is that none of the applications I had relied on in the previous version of the Sidekick have been made available on the Sidekick LX 2009, including the terminal program I need for server management. And accessories for the phone, like belt holsters, are non-existent (the ones for last year’s model have been discontinued).

All in all, the Sidekick LX 2009 has great potential, but I am under the impression that the phone has been released well before the software was truly ready. Maybe in a few months, but it’s not ready for prime time at this point.

On The Richter Scale the Sidekick LX 2009 gets a 5.0 out of a possible 10.0.