T-Mobile's Sidekick LX review

The Sidekick LX weighs in at a hefty 162g (5.7oz) and measures 130mm x 60mm x 17.9 mm (5" x 2.4" x 0.7"). It's no secret that this thing is big and heavy, however Sharp has reduced the size over previous models, especially with regards to the Sidekick's thickness. The build quality is solid, however, with no creaks. The main display swivels up with a very satisfying snap, though there is quite a bit of play throughout the opening motion. The Sidekick LX comes in either navy blue or deep brown, and though the front is a very smooth plastic, there are too many buttons for the handset to show fingerprints. The back is textured to look like leather, which I found to be a nice touch, and helpful for gripping.

The Sidekick LX has the most buttons of any phone I've held, not counting the internal QWERTY keyboard. There are a total of ten buttons with varying functions, not including the odd speaker/d-pad combo and trackball. The top edge of the device offers two buttons that appear to be softkeys. Their function seemed to be dedicated to the camera, though in some menus they were assigned new functions. On the bottom of the device is the volume rocker and power button. I found the volume rocker to be poorly placed, as I was constantly pressing it by accident with my thumb. The left end of the Sidekick LX offers the miniUSB port, used for both charging and data transfer, and the 3.5mm audio jack.

To the upper left of the main display is an options button, which drops down a sub-menu in each screen with additional options. At the lower left is the jump key, which is used to get back to the main menu. Between the options button and jump key is the speaker, which doubles as a secondary d-pad. The speaker/d-pad only supports up/down/left/right, and cannot be used to select things. It can also be disabled in the menus. The right side of the screen houses the cancel button, which has an appropriate 'X' symbol on it, and the done button, which sports a checkmark symbol. Between these buttons is the trackball, flanked by the end/send keys. The trackball is incredibly useful and has a very distinct 'click' to select. It is also incredibly functional, as it lights up with various status lights.