T-Mobile has launched its third Sidekick device that promises messaging on the go for the "kids". Should you bother, or forget Paris Hilton and grab one sharpish?
While Sharp made the units in the past, Motorola has now taken over the mantel promising a sturdier design, a slide rather than flip out screen and most importantly (well to some anyway) a design that is 25% smaller than version 2.
Gone are the rubber pads around the edge that help the unit bounce when you drop it, in is a Moto logo that according to one T-Mobile spokesman we spoke to at the launch event; "worth having".
Power it on and you are presented with the same danger software interface as before that gives you access to emails, instant messaging via yahoo, AOL, or Windows Live as well as access to games, and the built in digital camera, which is 1.3 megapixel.
Other hardware features include quad-band connectivity, a microSD card slot for external storage up to 4GB (although not hot swappable), and Bluetooth.
Slide up that screen and you get a qwerty keyboard that is probably more spaced out that it needs to be. It does mean you can type on it with your thumbs and its comfortable in the both hands although not really a one handed job.
Beyond the keyboard there are a number of shortcut keys either side of the large screen for jumping around menus, accepting calls, jumping back in a menu and plenty of others.
Those not familiar with the Sidekick, the menu is displayed within a circle on the screen and you can endless scroll through the choices via the jog dial or any of those keys mentioned above.
On registering the device, you can set up an email account with a [username]@sidekick.t-mobile.co.uk address. You can also add up to three personal POP3 email accounts to the device, so you can get your email pushed directly to the Sidekick as they arrive in your other in-boxes.
To complement the email functionality you'll also get a fully fledged web browser and the horizontal rather than verdict screen viewing means you can get more of the site on your screen.
Available on T-Mobile's Web'n'walk tariff you get unlimited data surfing so you can chat to your hearts content with mates on instant messenger rather than being stuck in front of your computer at home.
The T-Mobile Sidekick Slide looks to be a good messaging phone for the "kids". The robust redesign, QWERTY keyboard, large screen and instant messaging features will certainly appeal.
However with only a 1.3 megapixel camera, quad-band connectivity and large design its going to struggle to compete against other offers out there from Apple, RIM, HTC, Sony Ericsson and more.