» Sidekick LX 2009. Potential MID?

Updated on 29 January 2009 by

This is an unconfirmed rumor but if it’s true, we might have another smartphone ‘MID’ on our hands here. 3G, 854×480 screen, GPS, Qwerty keyboard, slick design. No info on processor at the moment. I’ve never tried a sidekick as they’ve always looked like toys to me but I know some people that swear by them and rate the keyboard very highly indeed.

The 3.2inch screen would be difficult to read at standard text sizes but if the zoom is smooth and quick it might not be a problem.

More information and an image at the link below…

» Sidekick LX 2009 – Sidekick 2008 / Sidekick LX / Sidekick Slide / Sidekick 3 / Hiptop 3.

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36 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Cane says:

    Wow. That’s something. I wonder what they mean by blog publishing tools? That’s big thinking, to include that!

    Sidekicks are very popular among the young in NYC. I see more of them than Crackberries, Treos, Centros. Nearly a tie with iPhone maybe (which has become hard to tell because unless they’re talking on it, it’s hard to distinguish an iPhone from an iPod Touch at a glance).

    I’ve never been tempted by Sidekick — is there even any third-party software for it? I never bothered to investigate.

    My heart belongs to the Palm Pre now.

  2. EC says:

    January 29th, 2009 at 2:06 am
    You’re kidding I didn’t notice this quickly enough to be the first to reply?
    The 3rd party software is available on a DOWNLOAD CATALOG:

    In fact from what I understand there were some ppl that had developed this that were hired by Apple to work on THEIR (iPhone) APP store.
    While the SK’s are very limited in certain aspects they have fantastic features such as great keyboard, great battery time for a constantly online (AIM, YAHOO, MSN messengers) device, I have yet to find one that can beat or even match it.
    Then there is the ALL APPS constantly on no problem ever having to close or restart any apps separately, they all start when the device starts up (aside from camera obviously) so you always have, your INSTANT MESSAGING, EMAIL, PHONE, SMS, ADDRESS BOOK, BROWSER, ORGANIZER, CAMERA (viewing pics), MEDIA PLAYER, 3rd party APPS all “ready to go” when you go there. This is one of the features I like.
    One downside is there is no tabs on the browser and such..

  3. EC says:

    download cat screenshot (from older SK ID)
    http://www.i711.com/img/wireless/07-30-07/1%20DownloadCatalogSKiD.jpg

    SK ID was the only model NOT made in Japan by Sharp. It was made by Motorola, and was a flop, lets hope MS doesn’t kill the SK!

  4. EC says:

    You’re kidding I didn’t notice this quickly enough to be the first to reply? :)

    The 3rd party software is available on a DOWNLOAD CATALOG:
    http://www.i711.com/img/wireless/07-30-07/1%20DownloadCatalogSKiD.jpg

    In fact from what I understand there were some ppl that had developed this that were hired by Apple to work on THEIR (iPhone) APP store.

    While the SK’s are very limited in certain aspects they have fantastic features such as great keyboard, great battery time for a constantly online (AIM, YAHOO, MSN messengers) device, I have yet to find one that can beat or even match it.

    Then there is the ALL APPS constantly on no problem ever having to close or restart any apps separately, they all start when the device starts up (aside from camera obviously) so you always have, your INSTANT MESSAGING, EMAIL, PHONE, SMS, ADDRESS BOOK, BROWSER, ORGANIZER, CAMERA (viewing pics), MEDIA PLAYER, 3rd party APPS all “ready to go” when you go there. This is one of the features I like.

    One downside is there is no tabs on the browser and such..

  5. EC says:

    “The 3.2inch screen would be difficult to read at standard text sizes but if the zoom is smooth and quick it might not be a problem.”

    Sidekicks really were not used to use a zoom feature however it was added on later models, I will get back to that but first let me explain. The browser runs through Danger Inc’s server adding some delay to the pulling up of a page, but here I just took screen shots with my own SK LX:

    (since this blog tends to think I’m a bad person :) if I post link(s) in the same post I will post them separately )

  6. EC says:

    http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/710/screenshothy0.jpg

  7. EC says:

    http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/826/screenshotuo1.jpg

  8. EC says:

    There will always be some compromise when you want to squeeze the info we typically look at on what 7-30″ screens onto a 3-5″ screen be it then resolution or some type of zooming?

    The above screenshots are what SK owners have gotten used to seeing on a site like this one, the stuff you see on the side or top would be at available when you scroll, so what say an iPhone identifies as a “box” to zoom separately the SK’s would put all below each other.

    Btw a side note, since there is no cursor or touchscreen the dark blue box around the ADMIN shows that this is where your “cursor” is now.

    Now starting with the LX (AFAIK?) you can indeed click on MENU W and get a FULL SCREEN rendering, yes on your tiny screen, at times it comes in handy but not all too often here you can see why (that btw can be zoomed at certain intervals):

  9. EC says:

    http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/4200/screenshotmk7.jpg

  10. EC says:

    And the ZOOM of that full screen:

  11. EC says:

    http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/8284/screenshotdx6.jpg

    Note the scroll buttons in the button and right of the screen.

    P.S. Btw I am using the FULL SCREEN mode which removes top and bottom bars, thats an option too :)

    “know some people that swear by them and rate the keyboard very highly indeed.”

    You’re kidding!? Who would swear by a device like this!?!?!?! :) :)

  12. EC says:

    http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/8284/screenshotdx6.jpg

  13. EC says:

    Note the scroll buttons in the button and right of the screen.

    P.S. Btw I am using the FULL SCREEN mode which removes top and bottom bars, thats an option too

    “know some people that swear by them and rate the keyboard very highly indeed.”
    You’re kidding!? Who would swear by a device like this!?!?!?! :)

  14. EC says:

    Engadget – UMPCportal – Sidekick LX :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33606573@N06/3185920249/

  15. Mithinco says:

    It’s not a MID if there’s no wifi in the specs.

  16. admin says:

    Debateable, but yes, you’re probably right.
    However, if this one has a fast processor and good quality browser s/w, i’d probably put it in the database. I’d also say that devices that don’t have 3G aren’t really MIDs myself so in the comms dept., this one would be better as a MID than, say, the ClarionMind I have here which doesn’t have 3G.

    Steve.

  17. EC says:

    Having tried to wrap my brain more around what an MID is and what not, I guess it should be a device that can handle any type of content on the web including video without it being some mobile special watered down edition, like the YouTube on the iPhone, while it’s nice it’s a compromise.

    I believe the MID are intended, similar to Netbooks, to enable you to do everything you can online including interact with others. But not necessary have the capability to use all (if any) 3rd party SW out there.

    Now on the flip side of this I personally feel that while at least 3G is needed to have a decent interaction with the very multimedia loaded web, if 3G shortens my ability to be mobile with a specific device, as an earlier topic covered, I just feel that the M in MID is seriously compromised.

    So while YouTube over EDGE/EGPRS is not something very enjoyable, the iPhone for instance has proven that it’s fully possible, my first generation iPhone doesn’t have 3G period, and I watch YouTube and even Flickr videos on the go quite often over EGPRS.

    So with todays battery limitations I’d rather give up speed in exchange for a hours of fully wireless internet interaction.

    I guess I personally somehow split these devices up based on what they are built around. The Sidekicks if anything is a mobile communicating device, built around a mobile phone, with a browser and some other features.

    So with my needs, expectations, and realistic view with devices available right now, I don’t see an MID having to have Wifi nor 3G. But at the same time I do not consider the Sidekick a n MID just because it’s too much a phone with great extended communication capabilities.

    The fact that the deaf community has embraced the Sidekicks from day one and that one of the apps available in all editions of the SKs for free is a relay application for the deaf also indicates that it is foremost a communication device.

  18. EC says:

    Despite me being one of the ones who “swears by it” I’ve never thought of it as an MID, though it most definately fills that role for me.

    I’m not sure if a MOBILE INTERNET DEVICE “must” have Wifi? WWAN for sure though.

    I’m quite sure the SKs won’t have Wifi and frankly that’s just as well, I’ve never lacked it so far on my SKs.

    Ironcially I’m replying to this on my LX (just as most of my replies on here).

  19. animatio says:

    i personally woul insist on wifi & bluetoth these days. safes you at times a lot of money (for connections) and gives the opportunity to link to local networks as wel, if needed.

  20. EC says:

    I would like to point out that from the begining the Sidekicks have been marketed and sold only with one data package and that’s an unlimited one. The only option you’ve had is $19.99/mo on top of a voice plan or as a data only device. AFAIK there’s never been any Sidekick with any “pay per data” plan. So from that aspect Wifi wouldn’t change anything, you pay what you pay regardless. Given is that Wifi is faster of course.

    The two previous Sidekicks (SK LX and the SK 08) both have bluetooth including stereo capability so that’s not missing as such.

    While I enjoy having Wifi ,especially one that’s able to switch between WWAN and Wifi as smoothly as the iPhone is, I wouldn’t make it a priority on something I want to use as an MID. Why? Because to me the MOBILITY, that is not being “tied down” in any way at any time is priority #1. If that means no 3G or Wifi so be it.

    Again though, since the Sidekicks can not for instance handle any online video content (they can now play from a local source) its NOT an MID in my book.

    I actually was very suprised to see the Sidekick topic pop up here on UMPCportal. I don’t know why the SK would be any more an MID than any of your smart phones. We already established that an MID doesn’t need a keyboard for some, so the great Sidekick keyboard shouldn’t give it any plus points in to push it into an MID category.

    By the way animatio, a question popped into my head, would you consider an iPod Touch an MID then? It has Wifi and much more capable of doing browsing and video content than any Sidekick! Just curious. :)

  21. Sidekick User says:

    i been using the sidekick since it came out. i had every version that came out since the 1st one in 03 to the LX and 2008 version. they have always made 1 or 2 steps up in improvements in each new version, this new one coming out looks like 3 to 4 steps in improvements. as long as the Sidekick is around i will buy the new version. most people who use them are in the teens to 20s, i am 55 yrs old and i use all of the APPs thats built in the sidekick to the MAX. also i don’t use the phone much, mostly the data portion.

  22. EC says:

    How about that another person who “swears by it”(?) here on UMPCportal!

    I never had the B&W edition of the SK1, other than that I too have had each model, well technically I never had the SK08 but both my son and wife love their SK08’s. Actually our son had the iPhone since it first came out but wanted to go back to the SK (he’d had the SK1 before) due to having a need to IM/chat with various individuals around the world constantly.

    SKuser, do you use it more for business or pleasure? What do you like the most about the device? What do you miss? Have you had other smart phones?

  23. Sidekick User says:

    yeah i use it for business. i do my calender on it for work. what i like about the Sidekicks is the Web, it was the 1st device in 03 to have a real web almost like a desktop, i have a huge My Yahoo page i built in 1999. and it was the only device i could access my Yahoo page.
    also the IMs and emails, also it uses a VM to handle multi tasking. I can download a web page while writing a email without the browser stopping. or doing IMs while waiting for a web page to finish downloading a page. Most devices can’t do that multitasking today and the Sidekicks were doing it then. The Keyboard was the best keyboard i have ever used on a device. the best thing about the Sidekick was the client server. I can have all data from the SK stored on the server and if my device is lost or stolen the data is still on the server and i can get a new SK and put my PIM in and all data is retrieved and sent to the new SK. My 1st Smartphone was the kyocera 7135 Palm 4.0, then Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700, Treo 755p, and now Treo centro. if and when Palm pre comes on Verizon i will get that 2. i always had 2 smartphones i have no home phone. so 2 smartphones are great. =)

  24. EC says:

    I use it mainly for business too, obviously I keep in touch with family and friends too.
    Back in 2003 I was using the Nokia 9290 and frankly from a browser point of view I don’t know if there was a big difference.

    But I was getting a need to process many hundred emails every 24hours, and having done so previously over an EMAIL->SMS->EMAIL (on an unlimited setup) I was in need of something different without paying through the nose so to speak. Ran accross the SK and had never been appealed by the design, just as Chippy put it I looked at them with European eyes too and though “what a toy” but what sold me was the $19.99/mo unlimited email, sms, web etc. that was a great deal then, and still is. Then really grew to love them, despite their limitations at times. They do what they do fantastically.

    Yeah the multitasking (albeit slow download) is something that’s invaluable you can’t even do that with the fancy iPhone, meaning you can’t initiate a page download and jump over to email and expect the page to continue to download. A small but great feature that shows that it’s designed to use just so is the “alarm” you can set (it’s on by default I believe) of a little tone or/and vibration when the page is fully loaded, it’s invaluable when on the go. You can tell it to go to a link and stick it back into your pocket if you know it will take a while and you’ll know when it’s loaded!

    Yeah the keyboards have always been outstanding, but I wore out the SK1 edition ones in a couple of weeks or so :) the text on them that is.

    About having all the data stored on the server, I’d like to alter the wording on that, it’s not “I can” but it would be more like “it is” I don’t think there is anyway to disable it, the only exception on newer models now is what you have on your memory card, that’s not backed up. But yes all your settings, address book, notes, emails (doesn’t matter if IMAP or POP3), bookmarks, everything it’s literally like you would CLONE the new SK to be your old one, literally. That’s something I’ve been preaching ALL phones should have, if SK’s have been able to do so for 5 years and counting why couldn’t all phones??

    I’m getting a bit uneasy now :) two smart phones and no home phone aaah yeah that matches :) do have a SkypeIN/SkypeOut deal and Philips cordless Skype phone but yeah no landline :) As for first smartphone I don’t know if the Nokia 7110 was that “smart” but I used it us such along with my HP Jornada 680 of the day, then the Nokia 9290, I can’t list all the ones I’ve owned to try out since then, but basically it was Nokia 9290 -> Sidekick 1 color and that was it for me after that the Sidekicks filled that QWERTY PHONE role :)

  25. EC says:

    Though not my picture this is exactly what I had too in my pockets back in 2005:

    http://flickr.com/photos/eichin/65770887/

  26. Veri Tas says:

    Beat Ya!

    I’m 67 and run this e-commerce site with Sidekick II when mobile and in the office. It’s all about the Keyboard, Unlimited Data, Instant CRM for customer inquires, and battery life that matter most. I’ll probably have my cold fingers pried off my SK II in favor of the Android sync with gmail now that MS is poised to ruin the SK. Combining gmail with mobility and e-commerce would be a nightmare by comparison with Exchange/Outlook BS. So glad I don’t need a network and BB. Google is becoming all the network one needs when operating solo. I’d pay double/triple for a Sidekick PRO that has wifi and natively syncs with gmail. That would be the perfect storm of communications simplicity, but alas, not likely … unless the Apple graduates (Rubin, et al) who started Danger get the Keyboard right on a future Android beast … not unlikely now that I think of it.

  27. EC says:

    I am very pleased to see there are other “non-teenagers” out there who has “found” the very practical and useful features of the SKs beneficial!

    I can’t help but notice that you mention you use a SK2, is there some specific reason for not having tried the SK3 and/or SKLX? While the SK3 offered some improvements it did have a tad “hard” keys for some of the SK2 owners, however the SKLX has done a compromise on the keyboard making it a SK2&SK3 hybrid so to speak. Not to mention the added size and resolution of the screen on the SKLX, etc etc.

  28. Harvey Clinger says:

    I been using Sidekicks for years. i have Sidekick LX and Sidekick 2008 and asus eee pc 700 and 901a for me thats all i need. Sidekick LX is my back up device in case i loose it or get stollen, eee pc 700 i carry with me 24/7 and the 901a is my home laptop.

  29. EC says:

    So you have the SK08 as primary and LX as backup or?

    I never did understand how the 901A differs from the 901?

    Personally I sold my 701 long time ago have a 900 and a 900A, later which I plan to mod with Runcore SSD larger battery and maybe 3G.

  30. Harvey Clinger says:

    LX is the backup now and SK08 is my regular. i was thinking of doing a MOD on both. or just wait till new ones come out. i like the Idea of a better SSD like you have fo faster speed. =)

  31. EC says:

    You’re NOT talking about the LX and SK08 when you say “MOD on both” right? :)

  32. Harvey Clinger says:

    No, I was talking about the EEE PCs i have (700 & 901A) =)

  33. EC says:

    Ok thought so I’m waiting for my 6 cell 900A battery then we will see what I can make out of my 900A I want most of the 901 “plusses” without the added 901 size. :)

  34. EC says:

    Interesting new twist!
    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/sidekick-lx-2009-blade-will-run-netbsd/

  35. Smiley says:

    Yeah, saw this today too. This is interesting since NetBSD only runs on CPU with a MMU. The Danger employee post on the NetBSD mailing list seems to indicate they’re going for an ARM11 platform, i.e. not a Cortex, which is slightly disappointing, though…

  36. EC says:

    Pics of the Sidekick 2009 in the wild:

    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/the-sidekick-2009-in-the-wild/

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