T-Mobile Sidekick 4G details emerge

Posted by Mike Luttrell

The brand new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G looks like a Sidekick and quacks like a Sidekick, but this is not your grandma's Sidekick.

After first announcing it was getting rid of its popular - but outdated - Sidekick brand, T-Mobile decided to bring it back to life with a makeover fit for the 2010s. Instead of running T-Mobile's own Sidekick operating system, the new device runs Android 2.2.

There's a lot of power under the hood, with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 800x480 display, dual cameras, and a large slide-out keyboard.

And, more importantly, it also runs on T-Mobile's new high-speed 4G data network.

If you were just looking at the new phone in a side-by-side group of Sidekicks, though, you probably wouldn't notice the difference. Its form factor, ergonomics, and design are all very reminiscent of the top-selling texting phones back in the day.

And just like back then, the main focus with the Sidekick 4G is messaging. The keyboard is big, with five rows of keys and each button spaced apart from one another to look more like a computer keyboard.

Also, even though it runs Android, it doesn't look like the standard run-of-the-mill Android phone. It has a customized version of the OS developed jointly by T-Mobile and Samsung, the Sidekick 4G's manufacturer. It features group texting, customizable themes, and a focus on contacts and messaging.

The Sidekick 4G is due out this summer, though no official release date or price has been announced.