updated 07:10 am EDT, Tue March 15, 2011
DriveSmart driver distraction tech a first
At the time T-Mobile announced that Danger's servers supporting Sidekick handset cloud services are to be shut down after May 31, it advised users that it would help to make the transition to a new device smooth. It has now officially announced the new Sidekick 4G, and as suspected, the Samsung-made Android slider is now a relatively high end messaging phone. The design has the same 21Mbps 3G as the Galaxy S 4G and is the first Sidekick with a front camera.
Aimed at text-centric Gen Y users, the device is heavy on texting and social networking features, with both Facebook and Twitter apps preloaded from the start. It becomes the first Sidekick to feature a touchscreen and is powered by the same 1GHz Hummingbird chip as in the Galaxy S 4G, although the Sidekick has a unique jump button to bring up the multitasking switcher.
In addition to the social features, the device also comes with a range of entertainment boosts that will take advantage of its 3.5-inch display. In addition to T-Mobile TV, YouTube and Slacker Radio, users will also have the ability to rent or purchase movies and TV shows. Studios such as CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros will be on tap, and any titles can be attached to the phone bill.
The recently unveiled DriveSmart app is onboard, which helps to prevent distracted driving that T-Mobile claims is a first from any mobile carrier. DriveSmart Basic provides automatic incoming call and message management, sending a customizable note to callers and senders, letting them know that the Sidekick's owner is driving and will respond when it's safe. DriveSmart Plus offers the same with the added capability to automatically activate when the GPS detects it's in a moving vehicle, as well as parental controls.
T-Mobile hasn't given out pricing for the Sidekick 4G and so far will only say it's due to arrive in spring in black and magenta colors.