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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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I Love My Sidekick 3

Comments (18)

My partner Greg Galanos led the first round investment in Danger, the company that makes the T-Mobile Sidekick.  I’ve loved it since the day the Sidekick 1 came out and – over the past five years – have tried pretty much every other mobile / data device and always come back to my Sidekick.

I got my Sidekick 3 a few days before heading to Alaska.  I didn’t expect it to work up here (my Sidekick 2 didn’t work last summer – T-Mobile’s service wasn’t strong enough.)  Imagine my surprise when I showed up and it worked perfectly.  I’ve had two weeks of it now and it is a simply awesome product.

Greg pointed me to a great review of the Sidekick 3 on the hiptop.com site.  The author totally nails why this is such a great product.  The brilliance of the company has been that they’ve known their demographic and stuck to it (hint – I’m not in the demographic.)  Amazingly, with each interation, the product adds more distance from the alternatives.

After several years of trying to explain to people the difference between a Sidekick and a Blackberry, I finally settled on a straightforward analogy.  Sidekick: Blackberry = Mac:Windows.  That kind of says it all.

  • http://www.limited-exposure.org Christian J. Koch

    I just couldnt grasp the sidekick..I gave it a shot, and the formfactor wasnt agreeing with me, the phone is a little too big, the screen was flimsy when i remember trying it, and all in all, it just seems like a “kiddy toy phone”.

    I dont see any features of it that can compare against treos, or pocket pc devices, even blackberries.

    Its good to know theres someone over the age of 21 getting good use out of it though! ;)

  • http://tachophobia.com Rick

    How well does it do email, when compared to the BBerry?

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    That’s one of the things I love about it – the email client and keyboard are superb. I can literally use it as my only email device if I don’t feel like lugging my laptop with me on a trip. The keyboard is unique – I’ve never found a better data entry device.

    It does have sync with Outlook, but via a desktop client (that syncs to the web and then over the air to the device.) I’ve configured it so that it works fine, but “my demographic” typically wants Exchange-based sync, which is the biggest complaint. I’ve gotten used to it and don’t notice it anymore – but that is a limitation that other potential business users view as a shortfall.

    Of course, Danger’s target market thinks “Exchange” is something that occurs between two people.

  • Ian Hayse

    I’ve been a loyal SideKick user from day one. The SK1 was by far the worst electronic device I have ever purchased in my life. To sum it up, I had ten different SK1s before I upgraded to the SK2 (all ten were replaced under warranty). The SK2 was and still is a strong product that is really only lacking an mp3 player. On July 3rd I received my SK3, as of today I

  • http://blog.andrewng.com Andrew Ng

    Do you have another device with a different carrier for voice service and use the SK3 as a data-only device?

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    I use the SK3 for both data and phone. Now that the SK3 supports Bluetooth, it’s especially sweet for voice.

  • Tim Stephens

    I have had the SK1 since introduction and the SK2 as soon as the SK1 screen went black unexpectedly. Great improvement from 1 to 2, but can’t justify the expense of 2 to 3 with the “minimal” technical improvements. Danger is a great company as far as I can tell, but I wish there were more applications developed for the SK*.

  • Ed

    Sidekick 3 has been a huge disappointment. In terms of pure practicality, it’s not good. I’ve gone through 3 SK3′s already because the signal is vastly weaker than the SK2′s. I live in an area that is a little tough on T-Mobile signals (my friends with Sprint, Cingular, and Verizon walk around my house talking on their cells with no problems).
    With my 2, I could get a ‘G’ and 2 bars, do all my texting, IM’ing, and e-mailing with no problem. My first SK3 just flashed ‘X’ at me. The next two gave me, maybe, 1 bar and a phone silhouette(meaning it can do nothing, include make a phonecall-it is essentially a paperweight). Plus, because the phone is looking for a signal, I now have a battery life less than 8 hours on STANDBY.
    It is sad that a few bells an whistles were added but funtionality was not. The phone has the best interface out there and can do mail, texts, IM’s, and calls so seamlessly. It kills me, but I’m done with Sidekicks until they actually improve the service. EDGE isn’t that fast, either.
    Even my business partner and his wife who live in an area with perfect recpetion are still hauling their chargers around with them, despite not using the phone very much. The 2 had far superior battery life, which isn’t saying all that much.
    If you’re considering a 3, take a pass.

  • Mark Stuart

    I am considering purchasing the new sidekick from the US (i am from the UK) so if it works i will purchase. However i was certain on getting it due to the looks of it however am now unsure after seeing the specs. Spec wise it compares pretty much same to my current Ericsson k700i so would it be a worthwhile change?
    Also if anyone knows, is it possible to be on pay as you go with this phone?
    Is this phone really worth it? What’s really good about it compared to more advanced similar phones on the market? I am 18 and will use phone mainly for texting.
    Many Thanks
    Mark

  • alyssa

    how is it for talking? im thinking of getting one but I need to talk on it some too

  • Maria Hoskinson

    My son’s sidekick 3 will not charge properly. We have to sit the phone and charger in such a way that the metal charging pin and charger meeet at the perfect angle. We sent it in for a replacement and T-mobile returned the phone saying that the phone had been daamaged by water. (B.S. the water detection marker is perfectly white.) T-mobile is crap. We have 5 phones, spend $5.000.00 per year with T-mobile and get treated like garbage. When we call for help we get someone from India. The dealer now plays possum…T-mobile should be avoided if possible.

  • Jessica

    I think I have every problem possible with my sidekick 3. I had the charging problem and sent it in, got it back and it’s ok. I put a bigger memory card in and now, every other day it basicly hangs up in the middle of phone calls and I get the phone icon thing and the thing is useless. Has anyone else
    had a memory card issue? I really love the phone, I barely touch my laptop. The only reason I put the bigger memory card in was for music, and I took it out to test my theory. Any ideas?

  • Laura

    i live in the dominican republic, but right now in miami for vacations, im dyinnng to get a sidekick. but i was told the internet conection and text messaging couldn’t be used were i live…:S plus i would have to pay to unlock it once i get to the D.R…
    does anyone know about this…!
    S.O.S
    Help Please!!!

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