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Review: Samsung Sidekick 4G

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The Sidekick 4G has a 3.5-inch touch display, with 480 x 800 pixels. Disappointingly, it is an LCD, and not one of Samsung's Super AMOLED displays. Even so, it looks really good. It is bright, sharp, and icons, text and graphics look clean. The out-of-the-box themes are pretty dark. I had to adjust them to get the best performance outdoors in sunlight.


The Sidekick 4G could not consistently hold onto T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. It bounced back and forth between HSPA+ (shown with a 4G icon in the status bar) and, of all things, EDGE. I have solid T-Mobile 3G coverage where I live, and other T-Mobile devices I had on hand connected just fine to 3G, if not 4G. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. It would be on 4G one moment and then EDGE the next. The Sidekick 4G never completely lost T-Mobile's network, though, and always managed to eke out even the most tenuous connection. It never dropped any calls. Data sessions were, understandably, inconsistent. Sometimes they were blazing fast, but when on EDGE, they were horridly slow.


Despite the 4G/EDGE signal weirdness I saw, the Sidekick 4G exhibited solid call quality. The earpiece is plenty loud when set to the maximum volume, and doesn't distort. Calls were crystal clear, some of the best I've heard in recent memory. The speakerphone was capable of extremely loud volumes without distorting, and that makes me happy. Quality of calls through the speakerphone was also good. Ringtones and other alert tones were more than adequate. The vibrate alert also good.

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The Sidekick 4G's battery did very well. It easily lasted through an entire day of heavy use with plenty of power to spare for the following morning. You're probably going to have to charge it every night, but if you forget, you'll at least make it to lunch before you need to find some juice.


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