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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 16, 2009 at 9:00 PM

T-Mobile releases 3G Sidekick, first Danger phone via Microsoft

You can’t call it a big screen, but T-Mobile USA is excited about the relatively big display its using on the 3G Sidekick LX that’s going on sale May 13.

At 3.2 inches and 854×480 resolution, it’s the biggest, brightest screen yet on a T-Mobile phone.

sidekick1.JPG

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The company’s talking the Sharp Aquos-powered screen up in part because the LX is aimed at young social media fans. It comes set to display video on sites such as YouTube and MySpace and preconfigured to work with Twitter and Facebook.

Users can also record and share video or stills – the LX has a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash – and a browser.

More than a million people use current versions of the Sidekick, and 75 percent of them are using the devices to check social media sites at least once a week, according to T-Mobile.

But the device could end up appealing to an older demographic – namely mobile workers – after T-Mobile adds Exchange Active Sync via a download “shortly” after the May 13 launch.

The LX is also the first Danger phone developed entirely since the Palo Alto-based mobile company was acquired by Microsoft in February 2008. The original Sidekick was Danger’s marquee product.

Microsoft isn’t any more prominent on the device than YouTube, although one button on the carousel menu is a Live location search that uses the phone’s GPS radio to show what’s nearby.

I spent a little time trying out a demo unit that Leslie Grandy showed at T-Mobile. The screen looks good – though not as bright as an OLED display – and the device feels solid. I’m especially partial to the keyboard, but I didn’t spend enough time to get the hang of the Sidekick’s controls and shortcuts.

T-Mobile’s selling the LX for $199 after rebate and with a two-year contract. It’s taking pre-orders starting Friday.

Here’s the feature list:

Integrated social networking application bundle includes Facebook, MySpace and Twitter

High-speed Web browsing with 3G support

Built-in GPS support with Live Search

3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and an LED flash

Ability to record, play and share videos

Share recorded videos via e-mail and upload videos to social networking sites

Watch videos on YouTube via the web browser or on MySpace

Carbon or orchid finish

Music player with streaming audio and streaming RTSP video

3.2-inch F-WVGA screen with high-definition LCD technology with 854×480 resolution

Support for personal e-mail, SMS, MMS, instant messaging (IM)

Built-in IM clients include AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger

Iconic swivel design and full QWERTY keyboard (manufactured by Sharp)

Intuitive user interface with Quick Find to search across all applications

Network Address Book

Included 1GB microSD memory card

Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP supports stereo Bluetooth and Bluetooth file transfer to other Bluetooth devices including photo printers

Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches; 5.7 ounces

Quad-band GSM world phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)

Dual-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850/1700/2100 – AWS Bands 1, IV, V)

1250 mAh Lithium Ion battery

Battery: 3G — 3 hours talk time, 6 days standby; 2G — 5.5 hours talk time, 8 days standby

Comments | Topics: Danger, Gadgets & products, Microsoft

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