This time it is a Samsung Galaxy S under the hood.
Before the iPhone was released in mid 2007, I had been a Sidekick user for three or four years. I did jump to the iPhone but I never regained my typing and multi-task speed, even with the best Androids/iPhones out there today.
The Sidekick, as you probably know, was a specialized early smartphone that was widely marketed to and purchased by the younger teens/Hip-Hop types. And me, I guess.
That’s a shame for the rest of the world because, before the iPhone came along, the Sidekick could do more than any other device out there and do it incredibly efficiently. It also has an App Store (Catalogue), multi-tasking, Cloud backup of important information — like address books, email, calendar, etc. In that respect, Android and iPhone haven’t yet caught up to the Sidekick.
In short, it was way ahead of its time.
Who built this device? A company called Danger run by a Mr. Andy Rubin. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the head of Android development at Google (GOOG) now. He left Danger as Microsoft (msft) purchased the company and basically ran it into the ground. T-Mobile is turning off the last of the old sidekick accounts now. But those users will have something to replace their old Danger Sidekicks with now….and, yes ol’ Andy Rubin has a hand in it.
T-Mobile today is launching the new Android Sidekick this Spring, which will be built by Samsung on its popular Galaxy S platform. As you can see from the picture above, it has the shell of the older Danger devices, yet Microsoft will have no part in this device.
Like other Galaxy S devices, it will run Android 2.2 on a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor. It has a smaller than usual 3.5 inch WVGA touch screen that doesn’t swivel like the original but does slide up to reveal a mighty familiar looking keyboard. It has front (with Qik video conferencing) and rear cameras, the back being a 3 megapixel CCD.
T-Mobile just posted the new page with a helpful 360-degree navigational viewer.
The specs seem to point to a mid-range type of device, even though there are some high end features. Samsung’s media hub and Last.fm are included as well as texting-while-driving lockout functionality and Sidekick Group Text and Cloud Text.
What really impresses me is the five row keyboard, which looks a lot like the previous Sidekick’s award-winning design. Samsung and T-Mobile have tried to recreate the original Sidekick’s look and feel.
The only question is, after almost five years since my last Sidekick, will I be able to pick this up and be as fast as I was before. I can’t wait to find out.
Press Release follows: