T-Mobile, Samsung revive Sidekick brand with Android, HSPA+

The Sidekick is not dead.

T-Mobile USA and Samsung, as was expected, will launch the Sidekick 4G, a new version of the carrier's popular messaging phone. T-Mobile first mentioned the new gadget in January.

T-Mobile Sidekick 4g samsungThe new gadget will run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, it will sport a custom UI based on Samsung's TouchWiz, and will access T-Mobile's HSPA+ 21 network. The Sidekick 4G boasts the classic Sidekick's large Qwerty keyboard and focus on messaging, but also includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor and a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing VGA camera on the front for for video chatting. T-Mobile did not mention a price for the new Sidekick, but said it will be out later this spring.

Samsung and T-Mobile are aiming the device at a media-savvy, message-hungry demographic, and have loaded the phone with features to appeal to that group. The new Sidekick features Group Text so that users can reply to a group of people in a conversation, and also has a physical jump key, allowing users to actively switch between applications and screens. The device also has access to Samsung's Media Hub and customers can place charges directly on their T-Mobile bill.

T-Mobile's announcement of the new Sidekick comes two weeks after it said it will discontinue support for Danger's software on its existing Sidekick devices before May 31, and will provide Sidekick customers with several alternative devices to help ensure a smooth transition.

T-Mobile said in June that it would halt sales of new Sidekick devices as it sought a new path forward for the products.

The Danger-powered Sidekick, with its Qwerty keyboard and use of cloud-based services, was a pioneer when it first appeared in 2002, but was eclipsed by newer smartphones. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired Danger in 2008; Danger software powered Microsoft's failed Kin social networking phones.

For more:
- see this release
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this AllThingsD article

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