sidekick 3 vs mda – make review

sidekick 3 vs mda – make review
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we rarely do cell phone reviews, but a lot of make is fueled by what portable device keeps the make machine running here on the make site so… the sidekick 3 was was purchased and returned in less than 24 hours and exchanged, i was using a sidekick ii which was ok, but was hoping for more with the new sidekick, but it was a bit of a let down.

here’s why i ditched the sidekick 3 after being a sidekick user for years… for a t-mobile mda.

*the sidekick 3 has bluetooth, but only for headsets you can’t transfer files, use it as a modem or sync.
*the sidekick 3 has removable storage and you can put your mp3s on it, but you can’t use them as ringtones.
*i need the terminal app and alarm clock, neither are in the catalog to buy/download.
*the battery life seemed not so good, granted it was 24 hours, but on a full charge it drained quick.
*the trackball is loose and not so good if you move too fast.
*it has usb host, but you can only transfer photos and music, you can’t install your own applications (the developer program seems hard to get into again, some of that is my fault when i wrote an article on installing your own apps)…
*aim takes an extra click, why did they do that?
*can’t usb charge, well, i could make a cable, but it should charge via usb too.
*keyboard is slippery and slower than the last sidekick(s). i need qwerty for long emails / posts.
*the magnet is really strong, don’t put any mag stripes around it (bart cards, credit cards).

i love(d) the way the sidekick stores/stored everything online, the ease of set up and the ui – it’s the best, but it’s crippled, more so now. if a phone has mp3s – those need to be ringtone-able, if it has bluetooth, it should be able to do sync.

granted, the sidekick 3 isn’t a hardcore device and not marketed that way, but it just seemed wrong for a device with such great hardware, server stuff and ui to have these great new features, but disable them in a way different than most phones out there.

i tend to stick with t-mobile since i can pop out my sim and use my other phone, the homemade rotary cell phone… so, what’s the new phone? a monster, the only phone i could find that did everything is a t-mobile mda (same price as the sk 3). here’s what it does, and what’s running on it…

*skype (does im and voice)
*rss (trying out 5 newsreaders, so far newsbreak seems like the best one.
*shoots video (mp4)
*camera is ok 1.3mp
*screen is bigger
*ssh and telnet
*aim/msn – the sk did this too, and better. need to find a better app.
*ppod an ipod clone that apple had c&d’ed, it’s really good.
*pdfs, word… (is there an openoffice reader for winmobile?).
*overclocked, it’s usually 195mhz, mine is running 240mhz – seems stable and battery is ok.
*web browsing is great, might try other wm browsers.
*macromedia, er, adobe flash. the old mobile apps i wrote run on this phone fine.
*mame – it can run old arcade games.
*1 gb of storage with a card (the sk 3 could have have that too).
*bluetooth works as it should and mp3s are ringtones.

it’s windows mobile and it’s slow at times, clunky and you really need to install a bunch of little hack apps to get it to work right (close button, etc) – but at least you can do that. there are roms for it floating around and all sorts of hackery, wifi sniffers, rss readers that can download audio and video – streams live video and audio. it’s mini-laptop like for the same price as the sidekick 3, so for now, at least until the return policy is up.