I've never been convinced by the ‘yoofy' IM-generation oriented Sidekick. Too big, too clunky, too mid-range in specs, I always thought.
Early in 2007 the Sidekick 3 didn't bowl me over, but then I hadn't been very impressed by earlier versions of the device, either. But T-Mobile clearly is smitten, and now brings the latest version, renamed the Sidekick Slide, over from the US.
In both software and hardware terms the Sidekick Slide is similar to its predecessors, A key selling point of the Sidekick Slide is the ‘Web portal'.
Basically everything you store on the Slide is automatically backed up to a password protected Web site. You can get to this information from any computer, and make edits or changes, which are themselves transferred back down to your Slide.
This means not only can you make diary changes and suchlike without fiddling with the Sidekick Slide itself, but you have a backup if your device gets lost - and one which can be downloaded to a replacement Slide.
T-Mobile may be crowing about the Slide being the smallest, slimmest Sidekick yet, but the device is still big for a mobile phone at 60 x 110mm, 17mm thick and a hefty 150g.
Motorola has taken over the design from Sharp, and this has had a huge effect on look and feel. A black and blue livery replaces the black and silver of the Sidekick 3. Unfortunately, the plastic used for the casing is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.
In the reworking of the Sidekick's looks it has lost a real wow feature. All previous Sidekicks have had a ‘flip and swivel' screen. You pushed at the screen's top right edge with a finger and it rather boisterously swivelled round 180 degrees to reveal a QWERTY keyboard.
This mechanism was one of the things that made the Sidekick what it was. But it is gone, and the new Sidekick Slide has a much more sedate way of getting to its keyboard. You simply slide the screen section upwards. Hence the name, I guess.
However, Motorola has retained many of the other features that made the Sidekick unique. It still has a sideways on orientation, which makes it feel more like a games console than a mobile, and means you have to hold it in both hands to use the mini keyboard.