Now, when it comes to discussing applications, is the time to come clean about who the Sidekick 3 is for, and that is most definitely ‘hip and cool’ youngsters.
In the US, where the Sidekick is also known as the HipTop, it is the domain of celebs and cool types – indeed a lot of the marketing is achieved by putting the device into the hands of the rich and famous who then (hopefully for the marketers) say nice things about it and encourage young wannabes to buy it.
To that end its functions include AOL instant messaging and an email address that is tied to the device. You are able to manage your diary, contacts and to do lists with it, but not to sync these with a PC.
Instead, data you enter into the calendar and to do list gets sent automatically to Web space that you get as part of your T-Mobile contract. This Web space also automatically houses the Sidekick 3 address book, notes, email created on the device and images shot with its camera. You get an email address of the format firstname.lastname@example.org as part of the deal and the Sidekick 3 can cope with three more POP accounts -.
There are a couple of positive sides to this. Data on the Sidekick 3 is backed up somewhere safe automatically, without you having to think about it. You can create and manage data on the web and that is sent to the Sidekick 3 automatically. On the downside, the applets offered there aren’t as sophisticated as something like Outlook is.
I should note that you can import data to the Web application from Outlook in a process involving file export in tab delimited format. From the web the data will get to the Sidekick 3 in its own good time over the air.
The Sidekick has an MP3 player built-in and a stereo headset is supplied. Previous Sidekicks didn’t feture one, so this is a step forward. However, it is not as large as step as it could have been. Tracks play from a miniSD card with the slot located under the battery cover. Sound quality and volume is reasonable, but the connector is 2.5mm so you’ll need an adaptor to 3.5mm to replace the in-ear buds with your own favourite headset. Most annoying of all, the player only handles files in MP3 format, nothing else.