Thursday, October 3, 2002

T-Mobile Sidekick

A picture named sidekick.jpgI held a Sidekick last night – happened to pass by a T-Mobile (aka “The cellular company formerly known as Voicestream but now we’ve hired Catherine Zeta-Jones and got rid of Jamie Lee Curtis”) stall at a mall and checked it out.

Initial reaction: great form factor, nice big screen, very functional design. The construction seems very solid, and it definitely has the “wow” factor. It’s a GSM phone – which means I could take it to London with me and keep the number. The screen rotates to cover the keyboard, so when you’re using it as a phone it appears to be a more standard “brick” phone. When using it as a PDA, the screen rotates out, revealing the keyboard. Two menu buttons on the left and a jog dial on the right control menuing functions and assist with navigation.

Initially they have just one calling plan for the device: $40/month gets you 200 minutes, 1000 off-peak minutes, and unlimited Internet access. That’s ideal for the casual user, but they’re going to need to do something for someone like me – I’ll easily do 500+ minutes peak time per month. And I want better international pricing ($.99/minute isn’t bad, but it’s not ideal – I’d gladly up my monthly fee). Regardless, I like that they’re not charging for the browsing functionality.

If you buy now, there’s a $50 mail-in rebate – you can buy the phone for $200 and they’ll throw in the camera adapter so you can take pictures with the phone. It synchs e-mail, has wireless web browsing, and T-Mobile has the only nationwide GPRS system (so you have always on e-mail).

I think I’m in love. Great price point for the device, and seemingly more functional than some of the other multi- function devices. I’ll need to find out more about battery life before making the plunge.

(For those who are wondering, the Sidekick is the device built by formerly super-stealth company Danger, who calls it the Hiptop.)

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