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Sidekick 2008 review

7.2/10 AVG.
RATING



7.2/10
Informr score
The Sidekick 2008 currently has an Informr score of 7.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 24 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

One way to view the Sidekick 2008 is that it offers more features for less money than the previous LX model. Another way to view the Sidekick 2008 is that it has an aging OS. One thing is for certain; if you are a heavy texter and you enjoy the prior iterations of the Sidekick, you’ll like this one for sure.

The Sidekick 2008 offers a very large, enhanced keypad that reveals itself with a push of a button, which causes the top of the phone to spin open in the now famous Sidekick manner. In addition to the massive keypad there is a trackball for convenient scrolling.

This is a message-monster, no doubt about it. With the Sidekick 2008 you can instant message, picture message and video message. Instant messaging options include Yahoo, AIM and MSN, but unfortunately Gtalk is not included. And interestingly, the Sidekick 2008 does not provide threaded messaging, a feature that has pretty much become a staple on any cell phone with a focus on messaging.

The Sidekick franchisee has an audience, and if you enjoy the user interface that the Sidekick has become known for, you’ll enjoy this phone. It’s smaller than the previous LX model and just as well made.

The music player works fine but there is a learning curve, due to so many buttons being involved and the conspicuous lack of dedicated music keys. Similarly, the web browser does allow you to surf the web, but don’t expect an Apple Safari experience by any means.

Clearly this is a phone for a certain fan base and one with a definite eye on texting. To that end the Sidekick 2008 accomplishes its goal well, and after a bit of a learning curve newcomers will enjoy the mystique of this phone, too.


Operating system
Danger
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
2.6"
Camera
2+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


MobileBurn

The designers have hit a home run with this new Sidekick design.

- Michael Oryl, MobileBurn
Wired

The latest iteration from Sidekick's got more nicknames than David Ryder (aka Thick McRunfast aka Roll Fizzlebeef aka Big McLargehuge). Dubbed the Gekko, Gecco, Sidekick '08 and even just "Sidekick," the whatever-you-want-to-call-it (for our purposes we're naming it the "2008") has finally arrived a...

- Steven Leckart , Wired


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sharp released the Sidekick 2008 on July 30, 2008.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sidekick 2008 user manual here.


Sharp backs up the Sidekick 2008 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Sidekick 2008 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sharp support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sharp's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
2.6"

The Sidekick 2008's screen size is 2.6 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown

There is a ARM 9 processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
2+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 2+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
64 MB

Internal memory is 64 MB. An external, MicroSD expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1030mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1030 mAh battery. Sharp's performance ratings are 9 days standby time.

Sidekick 2008 Specs

Overview
Release date July 30, 2008
Regions available USA
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Danger Smartphones

Processor ARM 9
Internal Storage 64 MB
RAM No
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.82 W/kg
Body: 1.36 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1030 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Colors Black, black with green shells
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.0 x 5.7 x 1.9 cm (4.7 x 2.2 x 0.7 in)
Weight 136 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 65k
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 2.6 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity 2000
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing No
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP
Video Recording Parameters
QCIF (176 x 144 pixels)
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): T-Mobile Sidekick

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sidekick 2008 Reviews
Where to buy Sidekick 2008
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Critic Reviews


MobileBurn

Smaller and lighter than the prior models

from MobileBurn

The T-Mobile Sidekick 3 was the first Sidekick that could really compete head to head with regular cell phones and smartphones on features. The new model for 2008 takes those same capabilities and puts them into a competitive form factor, one that is smaller and lighter than the prior models, yet still offers the same - if not better - functionality and features.

Fun features like the user designed covers are just going to make the new T-Mobile Sidekick all the more popular. It might not have full smartphone functionality, but it can do most anything that the typical consumer needs. We give it a "Highly Recommended" rating....

More

The T-Mobile Sidekick 3 was the first Sidekick that could really compete head to head with regular cell phones and smartphones on features. The new model for 2008 takes those same capabilities and puts them into a competitive form factor, one that is smaller and lighter than the prior models, yet still offers the same - if not better - functionality and features.

Fun features like the user designed covers are just going to make the new T-Mobile Sidekick all the more popular. It might not have full smartphone functionality, but it can do most anything that the typical consumer needs. We give it a "Highly Recommended" rating.

Read full review

Less

Wired

Radically clear music player, pocket friendly

from Wired

The latest iteration from Sidekick's got more nicknames than David Ryder (aka Thick McRunfast aka Roll Fizzlebeef aka Big McLargehuge). Dubbed the Gekko, Gecco, Sidekick '08 and even just "Sidekick," the whatever-you-want-to-call-it (for our purposes we're naming it the "2008") has finally arrived and it definitely delivers what we've come to expect from Sidekick...

More

The latest iteration from Sidekick's got more nicknames than David Ryder (aka Thick McRunfast aka Roll Fizzlebeef aka Big McLargehuge). Dubbed the Gekko, Gecco, Sidekick '08 and even just "Sidekick," the whatever-you-want-to-call-it (for our purposes we're naming it the "2008") has finally arrived and it definitely delivers what we've come to expect from Sidekick.

The biggest selling point is supposed to be the customizable "skins" you can order to replace the solid-colored ones (we opted for jet black). But apart from flashy aesthetics, the pocket-friendly 2008 is 0.4 inches shorter and 0.9 oz lighter than the pricier LX. It also packs features that were sorely missed with the tragically minimalist iD. Most notably, a 2.0-megapixel camera that can also capture video clips (albeit crappy ones). Though the 2.6-inch WQVGA swivel screen's gotten a slight - and necessary - boost in pixels (400 x 240), the resolution's still not fantastic. And neither is Bluetooth. We found data transfers not only paused the media player (annoying), but afterwards, we had to go back and manually unpause whatever track was playing (doubly annoying). For the price, though the 2008's a solid option compared to the LX - but only if you live and die by instant messaging and you don't mind being seen with Paris Hilton's device of choice in public.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Award Winningly Horrible

I agree with EVERY other post. My 2008 sidekick will also randomly shut off, or the screen will go black forcing me to turn the phone off....aaaand of course when I do that I loose everything on my phone. I actually have all of my telephone contacts written down in a book so that I can re-enter them on...More
I agree with EVERY other post. My 2008 sidekick will also randomly shut off, or the screen will go black forcing me to turn the phone off....aaaand of course when I do that I loose everything on my phone. I actually have all of my telephone contacts written down in a book so that I can re-enter them once a month when my sidekick messes up AGAIN. I guess I'm glad to know I'm not the only one but jesus lord we shouldn't all have to deal with this people. Less
Amazon

GARBAGE and WASTE of MONEY!

from Amazon
Please, do yourself the honest liberty of getting an iPhone if you want true internet freedom, speed, and access. I went wrong by getting this and not the iPhone. T-Mobile's service here in Texas is poor. The internet access and browser capabilities of this phone are TERRIBLE. I cannot express my disgu...More
Please, do yourself the honest liberty of getting an iPhone if you want true internet freedom, speed, and access. I went wrong by getting this and not the iPhone. T-Mobile's service here in Texas is poor. The internet access and browser capabilities of this phone are TERRIBLE. I cannot express my disgust any clearer. TERRIBLE. It is slow and you can barely access mobile websites! Thats the internet fall. If you want a CELLPHONE, Get anything else. ANYTHING BUT THIS. The only security feature it has is about as basic as a 2001 cellphone. Strictly locking all access. There are no blocking features nor restriction features. This is not a cellphone. There are really no easy way of setting Anything up as far as alarms (plural) you can only set One up, I dont even bother to attempt to use the calender; There isnt even a calculator; you need to download it (for free at least) from the download access link. This "phone" also lacks at least 'Quick' access for Maps, which happens to be another program you must download. The only Pro I can give it is that its EXCELLENT for chatting and sending messages. Hands down. But that is it. Period. The second pro/con is it's camera. It has one, but it also performs poorly. The only good thing it does is give you resolution options which range rather high up. Finally, the last pro is the fact that you can listen to music via an sd card. You can also 'ideally' save images there as well. So if you want to pay over $80 a month for a chat gizmo. Then by all means. If you want a real phone, look elsewhere. Sorry. Less
Amazon

Doesn't Deserve the Great Reviews....

from Amazon
This phone is awful!! I just got this phone in January. Six months later, I'm sending it back to T-Mobile in exchange for a different one. Thank God for the warranty.. It was a great phone up until about two months ago. It started just shutting itself off out of nowhere. I then would not be able to tu...More
This phone is awful!! I just got this phone in January. Six months later, I'm sending it back to T-Mobile in exchange for a different one. Thank God for the warranty.. It was a great phone up until about two months ago. It started just shutting itself off out of nowhere. I then would not be able to turn the phone back on unless I removed the battery and put it back. Also, when it did this, it would delete everything I had on my phone! It would delete all of my contacts, all of my text messages, all of my bookmarks.. everything! Only the contacts and bookmarks would all come back about an hour or two later.. but very very annoying anyway. And now, just yesterday, the phone froze and would not respond for about an hour. There was no screen and I was not even able to press any buttons or switch it off... had to remove the battery again. Then it came back on and of course..everything was deleted. And this time it would not pick up any service for another two hours or so. Horrible horrible phone with far too many bugs...bad idea! Less

well darn...i wish i would have read these reviews which are negative before i purchased this phone on ebay :(...
Amazon

this phone model should be recalled.

from Amazon
This is the WORST model phone you could buy - seriously. I wonder why it has not been recalled. I got this phone right when it came out last summer because, at that time, the internet/messaging bundle was cheaper than that for Blackberry. I also really like the keyboard - I still think it's one of the...More
This is the WORST model phone you could buy - seriously. I wonder why it has not been recalled. I got this phone right when it came out last summer because, at that time, the internet/messaging bundle was cheaper than that for Blackberry. I also really like the keyboard - I still think it's one of the best out there. I wanted a phone with similar bells and whistles but didn't necessarily need the business functionality of a Blackberry. All was fine until after about two months the phone would just freeze up and restart itself. This didn't make sense as I'm not one to download many applications or overload a phone with 2657205 text messages and e-mails a day like most kids these days. A moderate amount of use should not have caused this. However, the phone would continue to do this until I removed the battery and sim card. After putting them back in, it would download messages from months ago, but would have deleted the more current ones that I had on previously. I would have to reset my settings, etc. it was a mess. This continued for several months. After many hours spent on the phone with T-mobile to attempt to resolve the issue, in addition to research on the problem online, it became clear that this is a problem with the phone - not the service, or sim card and battery (which were replaced to no avail). I also know it's a phone issue because *this happened with all 4 replacement Sidekicks that were sent to me.* I urge you to look online - just search 'sidekick 2008 restarting' or something along those lines. You'll soon find how common it is. T-mobile has since swapped out the sidekick for a Blackberry at no cost. I find that I am using this phone more often and have more applications and it has not seized up on me at all. In conclusion, the Sidekick might seem cute and convenient but it's definitely not worth it. Less
Amazon

tmobile sidekick is the greatest phone ever

from Amazon
i love this phone i got it for my birthday and i couldn't have asked for anything better it is totally conveniant with a cool desighn the swivel screen is a plus but over all i give it an A++++++++
Phonedog

T-Mobile Sidekick

from Phonedog
Pro: Full Keyboard Great Text Messaging 2.0 Megapixel Camera Video Camera E-mail that uses YOUR accounts AIM, MSN, & Yahoo Instant Messaging Downloads Con: Hard to dial a simple number Voice sound not that great. Kinda heavy. Deinitely not for people with huge fingers. Using experience: 6 months Vo...More
Pro: Full Keyboard Great Text Messaging 2.0 Megapixel Camera Video Camera E-mail that uses YOUR accounts AIM, MSN, & Yahoo Instant Messaging Downloads Con: Hard to dial a simple number Voice sound not that great. Kinda heavy. Deinitely not for people with huge fingers. Using experience: 6 months Voice calls - The sound on this phone isn't great. Usually I just switch to speakerphone and that solves my problem but I have missed a few details in a conversation once or twice and I do ask people to speak up. But I don't talk on the phone that much so it isn't a big deal to me at all. Dialing a number isn't easy. Either you have to flip it open and use the keyboard (which the number and letters are arranged exactly like a computer keyboard) or use the ball to navigate around a number pad provided on the screen (which takes some definite getting used to). Getting to recent and missed calls are pretty accessible. Also the phone book is easily accessed. Text/Picture Messaging - This feature is excellent on this phone. You can send and receive text and picture messages easily. The keyboard lights up so the dark isn't a problem. Whenever you receive a message you have a button at the bottom to "call back" and I like that because if it's important and I would rather speak to them then looking through my phone book isn't something I need to do. All in all it seems like basic texting because after all how fancy can you get with sending a text message? But I really like the keyboard so I really like the texting. E-mail - I honestly didn't think I would use this feature but I came to find I really do love it. With this phone you are able to add your own E-mail account that you use everyday whether it be AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Comcast, BellSouth, Earthlink, etc. and I really like that. Also a Tmail (T-Mobile's own e-mail service) comes installed on the phone. The only problem is addresses. There isn't an e-mail address book. Although you can add people's e-mail address into the phone book and then use that to keep track, I would prefer keeping e-mail addresses and phone number seperate. But hey, nothing is perfect. Web - THe browser on this phone isn't all that amazing. You can type any URL into it but it loads with the whole page as if on a computer so unless you zoom in and navigate around using the ball you can't really do much. You can't stream music or watch videos which is a downer. But I mainly use mine to check facebook, myspace, and craigslist and they're perfectly accessible on this phone. THey have lots of bookmarks installed that range from facebook, to A-Z lyrics, E! Online, google, Mapquest, MSNBC Mobile, Yahoo! Mobile Weather, DHL: Track details, Ebay, ESPN Mobile, and lots more which I thought was pretty cool. And most of those are produced into "mobile" web pages which make it easier to view and navigate around on a mobile phone. So the browser is cool, but not something I would go out and by the phone for. Music player - You can add music or videos too it and the phone comes with a memory card so you can hold lots and lots of media. It's a little tricky to figure out what button does what on the music player but it has good sound and I love that I can plug the audio cable from my car into it. Less
Phonedog

The Gecko

from Phonedog
Pro: the buttons are small but not to small, the screen resolution is good, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2mp camera, light, the shell that you can make on the website, at home, or that are pre-made are actually really durable, the actual phone can take a few drops(dont know from personal experience but i see...More
Pro: the buttons are small but not to small, the screen resolution is good, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2mp camera, light, the shell that you can make on the website, at home, or that are pre-made are actually really durable, the actual phone can take a few drops(dont know from personal experience but i see my friend drop hers a lot) you don't have to take out the battery to take out the micro sd card from it, of course back light board. customizable volumes. and lastly the track ball lights up when in sle Con: have to take off the case to actually get to the micro sd card. no flash Using experience: 2 months overall this phone is amazing! i got it for christmas and its still working like new. i already made two shells and they are high quality. if you put a picture its pretty cool. Less
Amazon

I love my SK08!

from Amazon
Back in the day, I had a Sidekick II, and it was great! I then strayed and moved to sprint and SETTLED for a flip phone for a year or so (What was I thinking!?) Well, my contract ran out, and I switched once again to t-mobile with the new and improved Sidekick 2008. It has every feature (except youtube...More
Back in the day, I had a Sidekick II, and it was great! I then strayed and moved to sprint and SETTLED for a flip phone for a year or so (What was I thinking!?) Well, my contract ran out, and I switched once again to t-mobile with the new and improved Sidekick 2008. It has every feature (except youtube) that I could want in a phone. I'm a text messaging queen (Over 2000 in the first month) and I browse all the time on the internet. I check reviews on Amazon quite often when shopping for stuff in the store. Anyway, overall, a GREAT phone! No problems so far after two months. Less
Amazon

Sidekicks have improved apparently...

from Amazon
i scanned some of the other reviews and there is a lot of product information available on this page, so i will try not to be redundant to what is already been said/listed here. i was a sidekick user for years (sk 2 and sk 3), but displeased with a lot of aspects. so i switched to blackberry. well,...More
i scanned some of the other reviews and there is a lot of product information available on this page, so i will try not to be redundant to what is already been said/listed here. i was a sidekick user for years (sk 2 and sk 3), but displeased with a lot of aspects. so i switched to blackberry. well, having lost my blackberry, for whatever reason, i took a look at the sidekick 08. a lot of my complaints/issues with previous sidekicks have been fixed. the size and thinness (and related to that the ergonomics, at least for me, the way it fits in my hands) is a vast improvement. the browser seems to be improved over past versions, though it is not 3G, it does operate on the same data network that the sk3 did, and i'm not sure if it's the browser or the network that has improved, but the speed and overall quality (pulling up webpages like myspace used to be a nightmare) has improved. (these are just a few of many improvements, i'm trying not to make this into a laundry list.) one nice feature, since this is a smart phone aimed at (but not restricted to) a younger audience that might find this more relevant, is that it is very easily customizable. there are a variety of face plates to change the look/color available, or you can create your own custom one. (in the past customization of a sidekick was a bit more troublesome and/or expensive). that said, while i am quite pleased to be a sidekick user again, some problems remain. (i won't repeat the issues that others have already stated.) there are a lot of smart phone options out there nowadays. my advice is to consider your budget and what you want out of a phone and TRY a variety of smart phones. i personally have a thing for sidekicks, despite switching over for a while to a blackberry. the keyboard for my money is the best full qwerty on any phone (i've tried many) i also find the danger software and OS pretty user-friendly and the layout easy to use for what i want out of a phone. all this said, i can't honestly say that this is the best smart phone out there. it's NOT. but it's a good and "fun" phone, and it works for me. if price were not a factor, even as much as i am sk fan, i am not entirely sure i would have chosen it, but having chosen it i do not at all regret that choice. ***my four star rating is based on my personal opinion of course, but also is meant to keep in mind the average sk user (yes believe it or not i am familiar with sk demographics. no, i do NOT work for t-mobile-- i was part of a sk research panel) and what they will get out of it, and keeping in mind factors like cost versus other phones, etc.*** Less
Amazon

screen

from Amazon
well i have had the sidekick 2008 for about 4 months now and i loved it until about a month and a half ago when the screen cracked. granted i had it in my pocket and i probably bumped into something, but unlike all the other sidekick cell phones which you can easily buy a replacement for this version d...More
well i have had the sidekick 2008 for about 4 months now and i loved it until about a month and a half ago when the screen cracked. granted i had it in my pocket and i probably bumped into something, but unlike all the other sidekick cell phones which you can easily buy a replacement for this version does not have an available replacement. i was dumb and forgot to get insurance so i can't just send it in and get a new one. once again it was a good phone, but if you are prone to accidents then either by a really good case to protect the screen or stay away. Less

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