New Sidekick LX brings welcomed improvements

Updated on 20 April 2009 by

sidekick lx I love competition. A company drops a device like the iPhone 3G integrating some great hardware, and quite soon after, all the other players realize that they need to update their own hardware to catch up. Welcome the new Sidekick LX into the competitor’s corner. The Sidekick has been exclusively on T-Mobile since its creation, and the LX is no different. While the overall form factor of the Sidekick LX has not changed much from past iterations, the LX adds some nice new hardware:

  • 3.2 inch high res 854×480 screen
  • 3G connectivity
  • GPS
  • 3.2MP camera with autofocus and LED flash

Additionally the Sidekick’s software has been updated to be a bit more social. Twitter, Facebook and Myspace integration has been built into the interface so you can get notifications from your favorite social network on the go.

Adrian Covert from Gizmodo got a short hands-on with the device saying that the external design of the device is not much different but it “feels and looks pretty solid as far as Sidekicks go inch. And that the keyboard “feels nice and clicky, and the screen is gorgeous inch. Sounds like a nice upgrade from previous models. Swing over to the Gizmodo article to see some images of the Sidekick LX.

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58 Comments For This Post

  1. Ben Lang says:

    New article: New Sidekick LX brings welcomed improvements http://cli.gs/7YsTue

  2. Dodan says:

    like most phones, its still a toy…

  3. EC says:

    Mine is ordered :)

    @Dodan,

    It is true that (smart)phones can be looked at as toys next to MIDs and UMPCs however they do have their own great benefits like long battery times, constant/instant on/ready etc etc.

    What are you looking to do with a/your mobile device?

  4. iPhoneRamble says:

    New Sidekick LX brings welcomed improvements http://tinyurl.com/c4jgk6

  5. focus says:

    When it comes about iphone and competion everyone talks about hardware,very wrong!
    Its all about os,they have mac os,others don’t,and it always be like that.

  6. EC says:

    @focus The iPhone does indeed use a version of the OS X OS, however I wouldn’t call it “mac OS” as that’s technically what it is NOT, since “Mac” is the Apple computers, and they have the FULL OS X. It’s not just about OS as such but how stable the OS is, how user friendly it is and how much support from 3rd party SW there is. On the UI and stable part Danger OS is very nice, the 3rd party SW is still lacking, that is however not really a fault of the OS.

    P.S. I carry a Sidekick in my left pocket and iPhone in my right :)

  7. harvey clinger says:

    I been using the Sidekick since the sidekick l. i just ordered teh new sidekick. I use a Sidekick 2008 & a palm centro. both Palm and Sidekick devices serve most of my needs.

  8. EC says:

    Hey fellow UMPCportal & Sidekick fan :)

  9. harvey clinger says:

    as long as the Sidekick is still around i think i will be with them for ever. =)

  10. EC says:

    @harvey

    I completely agree, I plan on sticking with it to, with a slight reservation as to what MS might do to the platform if they do any radical OS or/and UI changes.

    P.S. One thing I haven’t been able to do on here with my SK is use the “reply” feature on comments. Typing this on my SK.

  11. harvey clinger says:

    yeah i tried that to and it didn’t work. i was glad MS bought Danger out. the back end server was always slow. it works alot better now. not so much slow web anymore. at the time when i got my sidekick 1 it was the only device that i could do multi task doing emails while downloading a HTML web page that was back in 2003 which none of my PDA phones still can’t do. people think of it as a toy but if you see the video that Joe Brit did on youtube which was filmed at Stanford it sure don’t seem like a toy. alot of science and technology went into the Sidekick. i still have some isues with the Sidekick but it is getting better. i can live with that. =)

  12. EC says:

    One of those little things that makes me carry the (1st gen) iPhone in my right pocket :) also on Tmo. Together they compliment each other quite well. I kind of look at my SK as my keyboard and the iPhone as my screen :) not to say the SK doesn’t have a decent screen, but def the iPhone has a better one for many things, most def for any movie type of things.

  13. harvey clinger says:

    Iphone does have its good points, to bad Danger never had the money to put into the Sidekick to give it a real powerful device. the new SK LX 2009 screen at 854 by 480 should look great. =)

  14. EC says:

    Oh don’t get me wrong, my SK is my main device, the iPhone comes along but it’s always on silent :)

    Hopefully the 09 can handle the live maps app a little better, it’s obviously not designed for the current LX, not really up to it.

  15. harvey clinger says:

    yeah i hear you loud and clear. this new Sidekick makes a much bigger jump in improvements then the past sidekicks. =)

  16. EC says:

    I personally felt SK3->SKLX was a nice and decent step too, but yeah things like streaming audio capability, YouTube and GPS and the twitter app on my “keyboard device” are some things I personally am looking forward to indeed, not to mention the larger res screen.

  17. harvey clinger says:

    i agree with you 100% same here. =)

  18. Chippy says:

    Anyone know if the CPU was given a bump up in this new model?

    Anyone of you that have ordered it interested in reviewing it (objectively) for publication in UMPCPortal?

    Steve

  19. EC says:

    OS: Danger OS
    CPU: QUALCOMM MSM7200A (MSM7201A)
    Memory: 128MB SDRAM / 256MB NAND Flash
    Input: QWERTY keyboard
    RF: UMTS/HSDPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
    Camera: 2M AF or 3M AF or 3M
    I/F: µSD card slot x 1, microphone, speaker, Stereo headset port, USB port, A-GPS, Bluetooth
    RF: UMTS/HSDPA Band I, Band IV, Band V GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900

    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/more-sidekick-2009-fcc-docs-leaked/

    So with this info: http://www.pdadb.net/index.php?m=cpu&id=a7200a

    It would appear as the LX 09 would be 528 MHz while the LX so far seems to be “Processor 200 MHz OMAP 331” from everything I can locate, correct me if I am wrong.

  20. harvey clinger says:

    your probably correct, the only thing i would add is that it is using a ARM11 architecture vs the ARM 9 and ARM7 on the older models. as far as the speed is concern when i read the reviews about the Qualcomm processor it seems to be 400 up to 624mhz i guess depending on what company tweeks it. but it sure beats that 200 OMAP Texas Intruments chip. BIG improvement. =)

  21. Chippy says:

    Could be a reasonable improvement then. A definate competitor to the Nokia N810.
    Hows the developer ecosystem for these devices?

    Steve

  22. EC says:

    Developer site:
    http://developer.danger.com/

  23. EC says:

    First video overview of the new Sidekick LX:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi5z7VmQQ8Y

  24. Chippy says:

    Good video. The next iteration of this is going to be very interesting but for the time being, I think I should but it into the database so we can track it.

    Steve

  25. Harvey Clinger says:

    Appletech always gets the SKs before they are released. The screen is really sharp the speakers are really loud like the SK2. The web is still a bit slow for 3G but still pretty good. Hardware looks durable. The Video recording looks pretty smooth and the 3.2mp camera looks sharp, running java scripts on the web really slows down the SK, i rarely use java scripts on the web unless its necessary, over all that VID was good. It will be worth every penny that i paid for. great video. =)

  26. EC says:

    Some new screenshot pics:
    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/new-batch-of-sidekick-lx-2009-screenshots/

    Though the live maps is available for free for the Sk09 and SKLX (current model) also, obviously without GPS support on these.

    Harvey, did you get ANY type of order confirmation email in any form or fashion? I have not from what I can see, nor can I find any information on mytmobile. I did get this SMS today though:

    ” Free T-Mobile Msg:Thanks for upgrading T-Mobile number ……….. The total amount of your order was $299.32. Please dial 611 if you did not place this order.”

    Pretty smooth how advertising works in North America isn’t it? The $199.99 in reality is $299.32 when you take that $50 of it is mail in rebate and then upgrade fee and taxes this way and that way (on the total PRE mail in rebate price) Pretty sneaky tricks really, and NO that way of marketing has nothing to do with Tmo really, it’s everywhere in NA!

  27. harvey clinger says:

    i got the same SMS message you did i got the SMS on friday the 17th around 8 or 9am.i paid with all the fees was $249. yeah they are sneaky with those mail in rebates. if my 2 contract wasn’t up i would have paid full price for it. =)

  28. EC says:

    How did you get it down to $249? Is that minus rebate? Did your SMS say $249??
    I believe I got the message today but I deleted it already.

    I’ve been joggling the contract lately, my number has my wife’s SK etc, just because typically the SK’s come out more often than 2 years and well I’m mainly the one who updates them :) but my wife and son did get the SK08’s I was even able to get my son on a $19.99 package retroactively after he had his iPhone (on Tmo) for a year or so, so not the $34.99 or whatever it is now?

  29. Harvey Clinger says:

    I deleted mine as well, i think it was $249 before mail in rebate of $50, $18 for upgrade fee, shipping i think was $5.99. i think thats what it was. because i didn’t care much about the price so i didn’t look at it that closly. those different prices for the SKs can get confusing. i saw those and some sound pretty good. i was offered a SK loyalty thing offering $49 for unlimited phone calls fro SK users who have been with the SKs fro many years. i pay 1500 min for $39.99 weekends and nights free. for extra $10 i can get unlimited.=)

  30. EC says:

    You sure about the $249? I just don’t understand what it would be different, 2yr contract = 2yr contract I’d assume!?

    $39.99? Oh that’s that new offer right? But for me w/two others sharing the minutes and total of 3 added (4 total lines) it wouldn’t be worth it due to the “add a line” prices.

  31. Harvey Clinger says:

    i am pretty sure, $249 if you renew your contract for 2 more years. but there is a 50 dollar mail in rebate from the $249 s it ends up $199.00. the 39.99 for 1500 min was what i took back in 2003 when i first got my Sidekick I. they don’t have that minute Plan anymore when you first sign up for a sidekick for the first time. now its $39.99 fro 1000 min, 1500 min is $59.99. and that special for SK users they call the Sidekick loyalty plan for long time SK users unlimited minutes for $49.99. sometimes it gets confusing all these plans.

  32. EC says:

    Well yes and no, it never “ends up as $199.99” cause you pay SALES TAX on top of the $249.99 so in reality its around $223 *after* mail in rebate, then on top of that the upgrade fee, shipping fee and which ever other fee/tax, thereof the just under $300 in reality. So in reality you really can’t “get away” with less than some $250 *AFTER* MIR!

  33. EC says:

    A few (5 to be exact) more new HQ videos of the New LX

    http://www.youtube.com/user/eddivinity

  34. EC says:

    The one that shows the device the most:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdDi84AnAMw

  35. Harvey Clinger says:

    yeah your correct. i think that was my final fee $223 or so plus a $18 fee for the renewal. =)

  36. EC says:

    And that’s not “up front” of course but after you do the mail in rebate, which now I think comes as a prepaid debit card from Tmo, just got one, and not sure how to use a debit card that doesn’t have a pin code, have to check the papers if it does.

  37. EC says:

    You haven’t got any hints that yours would be in transit yet have you?

  38. Harvey Clinger says:

    No, i didn’t get anything. i am just waiting to get my device. The info i got was, i will get it before may 12th. So just waiting and hoping it will come way before that. =)

  39. EC says:

    I called Tmo the other day, and they couldn’t tell me ANYTHING, somewhere on the danger forums I think I read May 3rd or 4th but who knows.

    Now this is VERY SCARY in my opinion!

    “What does the battery look like?
    -It’s small in size. The capacity seems to be lower than the LX (The 09 is 1250mAh and my LX is 1540mAh) What the battery life is yet, I’m not sure.”

    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/sidekick-lx-2009-questions-answered/

    They’ve added 3G, GPS and larger screen and cut the battery by almost 300mAh!?!? I guess to save on weight? Same article (linked above) states “It’s much lighter than the LX was”.

    I am just wondering!!? :(

  40. EC says:

    Pics galore
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/travis_l/

  41. Harvey Clinger says:

    My Text i got from TMO was it would be here before the 12th so i am expecting on the 12th. As far as battery is concern. The old LX had a 1540Mah, using the ARM9 Architecture on a OMAP Texas Intrument chip. Those older chips didn’t have the battery saving power as the Chips that are built on the ARM11 Architecture. so a 1250Mah using Qualcomm’s chip running at 400-600MHZ would run as long or almost as long as a 1540Mah or almost as long. so they can make the battery smaller with less Amp Hours. This is one of the many things you can do with ARM Limited’s technology. That is why it is being used in future Netbooks. Future ARM technology will allow more Cores in the future like Itel’s & AMDs Chip Core. There new Cortex 8 and 9 are better improvements of their ARM9 & ARM11. But Texas Intruments also has made improvements on lowering power consumption and increasing the power output. =)

  42. EC says:

    Regardless of processors there isn’t a single smartphone out there with real acceptable battery time when using 3G constantly, and the way the SK is setup, if it does indeed use 3G (and not just GPRS/EGPRS as I’ve been saying devices should until you “need”3G) then it won’t have any good battery time.

    I highly doubt Danger/Sharp would do something with such an end result though, based on the decent track history (on battery times).

  43. EC says:

    I highly doubt they altered the VOLTAGE though that COULD be a “trick” they would’ve done?

  44. Harvey Clinger says:

    Extended Batteries or Extra Battery is probably the only choice to get longer use on a smartphone so your probably right on that. what ARM Limited does is help with power leakage when making a Architecture design to building chips as well as reducing the amount of instructions (RISC) a chip has to make. Arm Limited can only do so much with what they have to work with as far as Amp Hours on a battery. Sidekick’s battery has never been outstanding. there isn’t a huge power difference between 1250 and 1550 Amp hour. Battery companies need to build smaller batteries with more Amps. By todays smartphones you would need a battery of 2200 Mah to get long lasting battery to give you a real 5 to 6 hours of talk time without any tricks (lowering the brightness of screen or turn off BT for example) I guess that is why i carry a universal battery (Xantrex) that is 4amps to keep my SK LX and Palm centro powered. The good thing is they both power up fast from 1 bar to 4 bars. =)

  45. EC says:

    “Sidekick’s battery has never been outstanding.”

    I dare to differ, now if you are talking about when using it as a phone, I can’t comment as I really never use(d) it much as a phone. Now if we are talking about it as a MID or data device only, please show me another device of this size that you can have live AIM,MSN & Yahoo messengers running all day with chats all day and push emails coming through all day in the hundreds, and have a battery that lasts at least a full working day, for me at least the time I am awake a day. I’ve tried most smart phones and OS’ and I haven’t found another one that can do that.

  46. Harvey Clinger says:

    I was basing it on over all use Phone & Data, my Definition of outstanding may differ from yours, for Phone & Data it doesn’t meet what i need to the fullest, but it does do a pretty good job in battery, just not outstanding in my meaning of outstanding. Most PDA Phones are 1.2 to 1.5AMPs and there is only so much you can do with 1.5 AMP hour Battery no matter how well your OS is or how good ARM Limited is used by Danger, Palm, HTC, Blackberry ect. not enough power to go around. 1.2 to 1.5 AMP will probably be pretty good for Data only. I am not knocking Sidekick’s 1.25AMP hr battery, it gets a pretty good in my usage. It isn’t outstanding in my meaning. On a 1 to 5 scale 5 would be outstanding and pretty good would be 3.5. For me outstanding would have to be a 2.0 amp hr battery. I had the Seido 3.6 amp battery and it last 3 days of DATA and Phone use and still had 1/3 of its power. Of course it was a bit bulky but i needed that much power. NOw i just carry either my Xantrex Universal 4AMP battery or my Energizer 4AMP Universal battery. I guess i am a real Battery HOG. =)

  47. EC says:

    I guess there is two sides to me :) the wishful thinking and hoping to see the ideal device, and the realist. When I indicate that the SK is more towards outstanding I am by no mean indicating that it is where it should be. My comment is based on what is out there now, and what the SK is able to do. So out of the options out there NOW, the SK actually has some outstanding things to offer including battery performance.

    On the amps, well to be very picky it’s not really about amps but about watt hours, why you see more and more those terms used on here and on JKKs site. Volts and Amps equals WATTS or the REAL POWER, you can have a lot of amps and still hardly any power :)

  48. Harvey Clinger says:

    We are probably on the same thinking but not explaining it to each other to the best of our typing communication. Sidekick battery is good, can be better and in the future will be better. =)

  49. EC says:

    Harvey, when did you order yours? I order mine early morning (yes just after midnight!) when it was released, I do feel a bit disappointed then that some are saying this now:

    http://www.poweredbydanger.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112712&s=def3466441e09d88082c3018f31f6baf&

  50. Harvey Clinger says:

    Pretty much the same time you did. Text message said it would be here before the 12th of may so i am expecting it by the 12th. The review on Gizmodo.com was good and the camera looked like it took pretty good pics. i like the bigger size of the SK and bigger screen.

  51. EC says:

    Another review

    http://gizmodo.com/5236235/sidekick-lx-2009-review

  52. EC says:

    Harvey,
    (On the SK so can’t do the reply thing)

    Called Tmo and they confirm they had the order on the 17th and that my order is on BO now without any ETA, the no communication from their end about this to me and the fact that others had theirs already yesterday if not even earlier, and the advertised $199.99 which as always isn’t “possible” by my definition (if I can’t “get away” with a price “out the door” its not the real price). Oh and did I say its raining? :)

    Yeah either way not at all happy with the way TMo is handeling this now, seems like they have had some resources cut? Though I feel emails shouldn’t be an expensive resource? What do I know?

    Oh on the screen size, well I’m eager to see a webpage on this new nicer resolution, but as for screen size? Well actually take closer look at the pics of LX and LX09 next to each other (there’s several such shots now) the actual edge to edge of the LCD (not the flip up screen part) seems to be next into identical to current LX in size, no?

  53. Harvey Clinger says:

    I just called TMO, TMO Rep told me that when mine is shipped they will send a Text or email when it is shipped and give me a tracking number. He said they started shipping out today and said it should be here before the 13th of May. The 13th of May is the national release of the SK LX 2009.

  54. Harvey Clinger says:

    Well if yours is on back order i am sure mine is as well. You might be right that the LX 2009 is the same size screen. And as far as the new SK being more sturdy is a plus. the only SK version i thought was not that sturdy was the 1st sidekick 2003.

  55. EC says:

    You know I’ve heard of “overnight delivery” but where it would delivered a day (the 30th) BEFORE the shipping started as the rep told you :) did you look at the thread on the poweredbydanger forums? Plenty of ppl got theirs today/yesterday, and I’m sure their being shipped ground!

    I wouldn’t mind too much as I had expeted it to be like a day or two before the 13th only when I’d see it, but the fact that ppl have theirs already is a little disturbing.

  56. Harvey Clinger says:

    Yeah i read some of those. This is the 1st time i ordered online. I normally call and order it and it always came in about 3 to 5 days from when i ordered it by phone. They said it was going to be shipped UPS and they will send me a text to let me know its been shipped.

  57. EC says:

    Well it seems Tmo is having some issues indeed:
    http://www.hiptop3.com/archives/sidekick-lx-2009-price-drop/

    Btw on the screen:
    LX: 3″
    http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=1327

    LX 09: 3.2″
    http://www.sidekick.com/sidekick-features.aspx

    Resolution 400 x 240 pixels -> 854×480 pixel
    That’s MORE than double!

    However I feel talk time has some indication of battery time:

    LX: Talk: 6.8 hours max.
    LX 09: Talk time of 5.5 hours

    (talk time from same links as above)

    I am pretty sure battery time will not be better!

  58. EC says:

    Yeah I know, you can also go to the UPS site and track by reference in the format xxx-xxx-xxxx this being your phone number or the number of the account it was ugraded to.

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