“T-Mobile Sidekick Is Reborn”

This is it Sidekick faithful. It may not be the Sharp handset you switched to T-Mobile for in the first place, but Samsung’s Sidekick 4G has been officially announced.

Coming in with 21Mbps HSPA+, the Sidekick 4G boasts a plethora of innovative features along with some beefy specs to back it up: 3.5-inch “pop-tilt” touchscreen; 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor; Android 2.2; front-facing camera; and of course, that signature best in class Sidekick keyboard.

The new Sidekick will also come with a “jump key” for switching between apps, a communication hub, an entertainment hub, and T-Mobile’s DriveSmart function. The entertainment hub is a neat new feature, adding the ability to view all of your media from one place; be it Internet radio, Samsung Media Hub, YouTube, or T-Mobile TV. T-Mobile’s unreleased DriveSmart is pretty self-explanatory. Aimed at helping you drive smarter, DriveSmart will send out texts to incoming messages when you are driving letting senders know you are unavailable. The new features available in the communication hub, group and cloud text, are by far the most interesting:

Sidekick’s Group Text feature lets customers create, name, manage and participate in reply-all group text conversations, enabling them to lead their network in conversation and social planning. … Cloud Text provides the option to text with friends or groups across platforms, whether from the comfort of their PC’s large screen and keyboard, or from their new Sidekick 4G.

Be on the lookout for the new Sidekick 4G coming this spring.

Press release:

T-Mobile Sidekick Is Reborn

New Sidekick 4G is a Lightning-Fast and Stylish Communication Hub, Delivering Evolved Messaging and Entertainment at 4G Speeds

BELLEVUE, Wash., and DALLAS — March 15, 2011 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.,1 today unveiled the new T-Mobile Sidekick® 4GTM by Samsung. The new AndroidTM-powered smartphone pays tribute to its heritage with its stylish good looks and a killer keyboard while redefining messaging and upgrading to 4G speeds. One of T-Mobile’s fastest smartphones running on America’s Largest 4G NetworkTM, the new Sidekick 4G is capable of delivering theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

The T-Mobile Sidekick has long been known for its innovative and distinctive design, and the Sidekick 4G does not disappoint. The 3.5-inch display marks the first Sidekick to feature a touch screen and its sturdy “pop-tilt” hinge reveals the previously acclaimed, five-row QWERTY keyboard that has long been a Sidekick hallmark and the reason behind its status as an exceptional messaging device.

The new Sidekick 4G leverages its quality keyboard along with Sidekick Group TextTM and Cloud TextTM to redefine messaging. Sidekick’s Group Text feature lets customers create, name, manage and participate in reply-all group text conversations, enabling them to lead their network in conversation and social planning. Group Text breathes new life into one of the most popular forms of messaging allowing Sidekick 4G customers to initiate and share the benefit of the application with SMS-capable devices from flip phones to smartphones. In addition, Cloud Text provides the option to text with friends or groups across platforms, whether from the comfort of their PC’s large screen and keyboard, or from their new Sidekick 4G.

“Backed by the faster speeds on T-Mobile’s 4G network, the new Sidekick 4G offers customers both speed and style,” said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president, product management, T-Mobile USA. “We’ve reinvented the messaging experience that made the Sidekick such an iconic device, and supercharged it with communication and entertainment experiences that take full advantage of our 4G network.”

Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, said, “We are proud that T-Mobile selected Samsung to help create the next-generation Sidekick and carry the iconic Sidekick brand and device to the next level. Samsung redesigned the new Sidekick 4G with our best-in-class hardware, combined with T-Mobile’s 4G network speeds, the Android operating system, and unique messaging and entertainment features, to make this a perfect match for both loyal Sidekick fans and new Sidekick owners.”The new Sidekick 4G also comes preloaded with Facebook® and TwitterTM applications, and provides easy interaction with customers’ social networks by allowing them to update their status from the notification pane and browse their feeds from the home screen. They have the ability to sync their social network contacts to the phone’s address book, which lets them post to their friends’ walls or comment on their status. And multitasking is easier than ever with the Sidekick 4G’s jump key, an easy-to-access physical button that enables customers to quickly switch between active applications, even during a phone call, or assign keyboard shortcuts to their favorite functions or applications.

In addition to a communication hub, the new Sidekick 4G is now an entertainment hub. With speeds as fast as home broadband, enjoying a favorite TV show or surfing the Web on the go is a breeze. Sidekick’s Media Room features one place to enjoy music, videos, movies, YouTube®, T-Mobile TV® and Slacker Radio, and to search for content regardless of the source. The integrated media player, also accessible through the Media Room, spans across all media including music, video and Internet radio. Customers also have the option to rent or purchase their favorite movies and TV programs directly from the Samsung Media Hub, which offers a robust collection of movie and next-day TV show titles from CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Customers now have the option to place Media Hub charges directly to their monthly T-Mobile service bill.

Complementing the messaging communication features, the new Sidekick 4G is equipped with a VGA front-facing camera and pre-installed T-Mobile Video Chat powered by QikTM, to ensure you are always present with your social circle. Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a speedy 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, so consumers can keep up with their favorite blogs while on the move, search for the must-try dinner spots and map the way to their next destination — all at blazing fast speeds. The new smartphone will also offer dynamic media features and integrated GoogleTM services, including GmailTM, Google MapsTM and access to thousands of applications on Android MarketTM.

The new Sidekick 4G also comes equipped with DriveSmartTM from T-Mobile, a first-of-its kind service from a U.S. carrier, that helps prevent distracted driving. When initiated, DriveSmart Basic provides automatic incoming call and message management, sending a customizable note to callers and senders, letting them know that the recipient is driving and will respond when it’s safe. DriveSmart Plus offers the same functionality, with the added capability to automatically activate when the handset is in a moving vehicle, as well as advanced parental controls for enhanced peace of mind when teen drivers are behind the wheel.

Offered exclusively to T-Mobile customers, the new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is expected to be available later this spring in two stylish colors — matte black or pearl magenta. Customers can visit http://sidekick.t-mobile.com/ for more information.

1 No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics Q4 2010 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Report.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network not available everywhere; see coverage details at T-Mobile.com. 4G used in connection with the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G product name refers to the fact that the new Sidekick 4G is designed with HSPA+ 4G technology (“4G”).

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