A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

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  • A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

This is a side-by-side review and comparison of the Sidekick 3, the Treo, and the Cingular 8125. I just came off strenuously testing a Treo 650 and a Cingular 8125. Why? Because I was so discouraged when they finally added Bluetooth to the new Sidekick 3 but crippled it so that all you could use it for was headsets and xfering a vcard.

You see, I use my phone to connect (tether) my laptop to the ‘net. I do it through Bluetooth. So I have been carrying a separate phone, enabled with Bluetooth and Edge, both for those purposes and because I couldn’t use a Bluetooth headset with the SK. (I use a BT headset almost exclusively when I am on the cell phone.)

I use the Sidekick for everything else though. I use it for email, AIM (which I use a lot), and web browsing. And it’s great for those. It’s got a great keyboard (especially the new, improved keyboard on the SK3), and it’s lightning fast. Toggles between programs are instantaneous.

The Sidekick comes with its own email address – email sent to that address goes directly into the SK’s inbox on its own. So I forward a copy of email that comes to my primary accounts on to the Sidekick. This makes it truly push email – I don’t have to poll anything, set anything special up..it just arrives in my inbox (I could use the IMAP or POP functions, but this works so incredibly well that other than playing with them, I’ve ignored them).

I had hoped that with the Bluetooth being added to the Sidekick, I could go down to one device.

 

But when I realized that the Bluetooth on the SK was useless, I decided to see if one of the other devices could take its place, as both an email/AIM/web device and phone (and tether), so that I could carry just one device.

I tested first an 8125, and then a Treo 650. It was easy to do because I was able to just pop my SIM card out of my phone, and pop it into each of the devices.

I got the Cingular 8125 first. The first thing I noticed was that the keyboard, while large, was impossible to type quickly or easily on. It reminded me of the Timex Sinclair keyboard, only smaller, and worse.

I was able to get email set up, and by polling POP or refreshing IMAP frequently, emulate (sort of) the “email just shows up in your inbox” aspect of the Sidekick.

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But I couldn’t (at least obviously, let alone easily) make it so that replies to email addressed to me@example.com came from “me@example.com” and replies to email addressed to myself@example.com came from “myself@example.com”. I rely on that functionality a lot, and it’s dead easy with the Sidekick.

Worse still, it had no macro functions..not even in individual programs (mail, AIM, etc.),let alone system-wide. The Sidekick has system-wide text macros you can set up for yourself. When I type “ty ” anywhere on the Sidekick it automatically expands to “thank you”; when I type “ecr ” it automatically expands to “El Camino”, when I type “yt ” it expands to “You there?”, and etc., etc.. I probably have about 50 of these that I’ve created that I use all the time.

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A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

Switching between AIM and email, which I do constantly, and quickly, was slow and laborious, even after freshly rebooting (and of course having to reboot was ridiculous..I’ve never had to reboot the Sidekick, ever).

Plus, when in AIM on the Sidekick, if I get a new email it tickers the subject along the top of the screen, and vice versa for AIM if I’m reading email. So I know whether it’s something that can wait, or something which requires fairly immediate attention. Coupled with the fact that email comes in in real time, and it’s a really sweet set-up.

And the battery life on the 8125 was horrible.

So I gave up on the 8125 and set my sights on the Treo 650. I really had high hopes for the Treo, as so many people I know love theirs.

Unfortunately, the Treo suffered from the same problems. Plus it has that horribly tiny keyboard. And the battery life on the Treo was even worse than the 8125.

I gave each device a week..figuring that I would need to get used to a new device before I could really give it a fair test. But I was so glad to get back to my Sidekick at the end of those two weeks.

Now granted, I use my mobile internet device as a real time email device, and an always-on AIM device. Most people don’t do that. But I rely on the Sidekick to provide me with the same internet communications functionality that I would have if I were sitting at my desk at my computer (because it’s taking the place of my sitting at my desk at my computer for much of the day on many days). I’m sure that’s why the battery life was so poor for both the 8125 and the Treo..because I had to poll email, frequently, to get near the real time email funcationality that I get with the Sidekick, and was using AIM a lot.

The thing is, I kept trying to make the 8125 and the Treo perform as well as, and exactly like, the Sidekick. I finally realized how stupid it was to try to teach that pig to sing. Why keep trying to make a Treo or 8125 be as good as a Sidekick, when I already have the thing I’m trying to get them to act like – the Sidekick?

So, it was back to my Sidekick, and a separate phone.

And I am soooo happy to be back on my Sidekick.

And check this out – you can get the Sidekick, with service, and a 30-day money back guarantee, from Amazon now! Check it out here!A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

  
No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free? Thank you!

A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

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  • A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125

1 Reply to “A Review and Comparison of the Sidekick versus the Treo v. the Cingular 8125”

  1. I’ve had a T-Mobile MDA since March, and have figured out a few work-arounds for the issues you’ve encountered. First of all, the AIM client that comes installed on these things is completely worthless…each incoming or outgoing message is actually treated as an SMS, so unless you have unlimited SMS on your account (I don’t), I highly recommend a program called Agile Messenger. It’s basically Trillian for Windows Mobile, and allows me to be logged in simultaneously to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk and XMPP. Best of all, it’s FREE, and while it does have a couple of bugs, it’s an outstanding program overall.

    For e-mail, my employer requires that we use Good Mail, and it’s an improvement over the factory setup on the MDA/8125. First of all, there’s no delay between a message arriving at the Exchange server and on my phone. It’s instantaneous, and does not require any sort of Send/Receive activity in order to check for new messages. The current version of Good does not allow me to send attachments with outgoing mail (BIG negative), but they claim that functionality will be included in the next version. Contact management is also integrated very well with the Windows interface. Good also allows you to set the “yt” or “ECR” shortcuts you mention in the article. It comes pre-populated with a long list of text shortcuts that have come in very handy. Good Mail also seems to cut down on battery drain, but I charge the phone every night and haven’t had any real battery issues unless I forget to charge.

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