The T-Mobile Sidekick 3 has garnered its fair share of fans, and we can understand why. The handheld not only makes all messaging--instant, text, e-mail or otherwise--an absolute breeze, but also the various celebrity and athlete endorsements definitely give it some street cred with young hipsters. And now T-Mobile and Danger are hoping to expand the Sidekick's customer base even more by introducing the budget-friendly T-Mobile Sidekick iD.
Priced at $99 (with a two-year contract and after rebates), the iD is certainly affordable, but you sacrifice a number of features for the price. Unlike the Sidekick 3, you don't get a camera, Bluetooth, or MP3 playback. You also lose EDGE support and expandable media. We understand that certain cuts had to be made to save costs, but we think they went a little overboard. Inevitably, these lapses may limit the device's appeal to the truly cash-strapped and tweeners looking for their first taste of the popular messaging device; but if you can swing it, the Sidekick 3 is definitely the better buy. That said, the Sidekick iD still handles messaging like a champ, and the ability to customize the phone with differently colored bumpers is a bonus (to learn how to further customize your iD, check out our Cell phone accessories page). The T-Mobile Sidekick iD will be available in stores and online starting April 25.
The T-Mobile Sidekick iD looks like a cross between the Sidekick 3 and the Sidekick II. It sports the pearly white/gray coloring of the Sidekick II, but features the new navigation controls found on the Sidekick 3. At 5.1 inches long by 2.4 inches wide by 0.8 inch thick it retains the same shape as its predecessors, but at 6.2 ounces, the iD is slightly lighter than the Sidekick 3. The Sidekick iD also manages to add some flair of its own with its interchangeable bumpers. Available in black, yellow, blue, purple, or a glow-in-the-dark scheme, the bumpers (more designs are planned) add some spice to the drab grey color scheme that you get in the box. Just be aware that these accessories cost $19.95 each, which is pricey. Our review unit came with the bright-as-sunshine yellow bumpers, and swapping out the bumpers was a bit labor-intensive. There's a total of four pieces that you need to take on and off, and there's a fair amount of pulling and snapping to get them on correctly.