T-Mobile Sidekick 4G First-Look

Sunday, April 17, 2011

While it may bear the same name as the old "Sidekick" phones built by Danger Inc. before that company was bought out by Microsoft a few years ago, the new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G has little in common with it's ancestors. Besides having a new manufacturer -- this model is being built by Samsung -- the new Sidekick also has a massive set of internal upgrades, taking it into the realm of a true smartphone.

After a brief time with this smartphone, I'm ready to share my first impressions, and a full review will be available when I've had time for complete testing.


The Sidekick 4G is built along fairly common lines: a large central screen which slides out to reveal a thumb keyboard, allowing you to switch between a traditional phone shape and a large keyboard suitable for messaging and data entry.

The biggest difference between this and similarly built models is that the Sidekick, being a primarily messaging-oriented device, is more explicitly designed for comfort when in landscape mode. The screen is exactly mid-way along the device to make the keyboard comfortable for both thumbs to reach; buttons are on either side of it for ease of access while positioned this way. The corners are also rounded to better fit against the hand.

The button placement does make it a little harder to use in portrait mode, since then, you have needed buttons on either end of the screen.

The build quality is what we've come to expect out of Samsung's smartphones over the last few years: it looks good, it feels good, and it's highly usable. At first glance, I worried about the keyboard, because the buttons seemed rather flat. As it turns out, I was worried about nothing--the keyboard is not just usable, but extremely good, with great key feedback. In fact, it's among the most usable thumb keyboards I've come across.


Let's start with the basic hardware. The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is based on a "Hummingbird" chipset: a 1GHz Samsung processor, coupled with a PowerVR SGX540 graphical processor. This is the same setup which drives much higher-end devices such as Samsung's Galaxy S, and it boasts some of the fastest graphics performance on any modern smartphone.

And it shows. The Sidekick's performance in everything I've yet asked of it has been glassy smooth, ranging from streaming video to light gaming. I haven't put it through any more strenuous testing yet, but that will come later.

While the Sidekick runs on Android OS 2.2 (Froyo), it also has a customized user interface, and a couple of added navigation features. In other words, if you're familiar with how existing Android devices work, you'll still have a little bit of a learning curve getting used to this thing. Fortunately, it's not that large. The differences are entirely cosmetic, so you don't need to worry about existing Android software not working.

One thing that has been a mystery up until now is the amount of memory that the Sidekick 4G comes with -- not only is this not listed in the online spec sheets, it isn't found anywhere on the box or in T-Mobile's official press material. I had to dig into the device's settings to determine that it comes with a little under 500 MB of available memory out of the box. While not impressive compared to the multi-gigabyte figures boasted by higher end devices, this is still a lot more than most low-end Android phones come with. In comparison, the LG Vortex ships with less than 200 MB of internal memory available.

The Sidekick does also come bundled with a 2 GB microSD card -- not a lot of memory, but enough to provide lots of space for apps and a certain amount of music. If you want more, you can also get yourself a much higher capacity card, up to 32 GB.

As you might imagine for a messaging-oriented phone, the Sidekick has some special features in that regard. The most obvious is that the keyboard actually includes shortcut keys for common emoticons, like the ":-)" smiley and "<3" heart.

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Image GalleryMuch more substantial though are the two T-Mobile specialty apps. "Group texting" lets you host a conversation by text messaging between multiple people, even on different carriers, all of whom are able to read and respond. "Cloud texting" is an extension of your T-Mobile account that lets you send and receive text messages through their website from other devices, such as a desktop or laptop, even if you don't happen to have your phone with you at the moment. I haven't extensively tested these features yet, and as of this writing, the "Cloud texting" website isn't online yet, but I'll have comments for that in the full review.


My first day with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G could be summarized as "generally pleased." It has satisfying hardware both on the internal specs and external design. It's well thought out, and has the potential to stand out from the pack.

Over the next few days, I'll be giving it a more complete and intensive examination, including battery life testing, in depth feature explorations, and a full roundup of all the positives and negatives.

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How to Make Windows 7 Fast

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This method is similar to previous versions of windows
One of the operating systems that a lot of users prefer to use worldwide is often the Windows OS from the Microsoft Corporation. Besides practical to use, Windows also sports an interesting GUI. In fact, with some high end VGA cards, the GUI can spoil users' eyes even more. However, the bad news is that most Windows versions - including Windows 7 - often have a common problem over time. They become slow and annoying to use. But fortunately, there are ways users can approach to make their Windows 7 faster. These approaches also apply to other versions of Windows.

First of all, users need to check how much space is left free on their hard drive. If they do not seem to have enough free space, it is time to remove some installed programs. This can be done by clicking Start - Control Panel - Uninstall a program. Another option is to click Start and type appwiz.cpl.

Cleaning up the hard drive is also a good thing to do. To carry it out, users simply need to click on the Start button and then navigate to All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and click Disk Cleanup. This will bring out a small window that checks for any possible files to delete and it will then display all the files in a list.

Making changes to what services or programs Windows runs during startup is also another good idea to make Windows 7 faster. The System Configuration utility is what users will need in this case. They can launch it by clicking Start followed by typing msconfig. Here, users will first have to check the Startup section to see any programs that may turn out unnecessary to run during startup meaning they are safe to be deactivated. Then, users will also have to take a look at the Services section to find out what services they can deactivate without damaging their system.

Last but not least, another effective method to make PC run faster is by cleaning the Windows registry. To do this, users can take advantage of a third party registry cleaner. Fortunately, users have loads of options to choose from when it comes to registry cleaners these days and most of them are often quite handy in cleaning the registry. The reason why users should clean the registry to make their system faster is because the registry gets messed up over time due to installation and removal of applications. Sometimes, removing applications does not remove the entries they have made in the registry. As a result, there are more items in it Windows has to check and this slows down the system.

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RIMM Disappoints On Revs, Guidance

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM: 64.0875 +1.9675 +3.17%) beat its fiscal 4Q EPS estimates by 2 cents per share, but missed slightly on quarterly revenues and offered guidance well below the current consensus. This has sent RIMM shares down nearly 10% in after-market trading.

Research In Motion posted earnings of $1.78 per share in the quarter, topping the $1.76 estimate. But its $5.6 billion in revenues missed expectations for $5.64 billion. Far more damaging, however, was the company’s reported guidance for 1st quarter earnings. It posted an expected range of $1.47-1.55 per share, below the $1.65 consensus.

Shares had been enjoying a moderate upsurge of 3.17% ahead of its earnings report after the bell Thursday, as regular trading on the Nasdaq in general was positive. And analysts had been exceedingly more upbeat about RIMM’s results in the past month — 5 upward revisions had been made in the past 30 days alone, 2 in the past week.

And profit at Research In Motion grew an impressive 32% on strong BlackBerry sales. However, the average sale price dipped to $304 per device — down from $317 a quarter ago and $310 as of the 4th quarter 2010. Strong competition from other smartphone companies and uncertainties regarding Japan’s consumption and component supply due to its earthquake and Tsunami remain major concerns.

Analysts will assess at what point RIMM stock may be oversold during the days to come. Currently, Research In Motion has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) and a corresponding longer-term Neutral recommendation.

source :http://www.dailymarkets.com/stock/2011/03/24/rimm-disappoints-on-revs-guidance/

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