By Stephen Schenck | June 3, 2011 3:27 AM
When T-Mobile wanted to revive the Sidekick lineup of messaging phones as a proper Android-powered smartphone, the carrier turned to Samsung for the hardware, resulting in the Sidekick 4G we know now. A newly-uncovered image shows a Sharp-manufactured Android QWERTY phone with some similarities, but is it to be the next in the Sidekick line?
Before the original series of Sidekicks was canceled, Sharp made the majority of its phones. This mystery model certainly hits on some of the look that’s what we’ve come to expect from a Sidekick, with its recessed QWERTY keyboard and raised keys. Like the Sidekick 4G, this model appears to have a slide-open screen instead of the flip-open design seen on some of Sharp’s old Sidekicks, though from this picture the screen doesn’t appear to pop up at an angle like the Samsung phone. This handset also gets some hardware Android buttons, a nice touch at a time when so many smartphones go the capacitive route.
On the other hand, there’s reason to think this Sharp might not be the next Sidekick. It’s odd to see Sharp branding with no mention of T-Mobile, and the timing doesn’t seem right for a new Sidekick so soon after the 4G was released in April, even if this one would still be several months off. Despite the keys themselves looking at home on a Sidekick, the layout looks all wrong, with no number keys and the presence of directional arrows. Also note that the screen itself only appears to slide halfway out, while Sidekick screens traditionally open farther up.
The source behind the image says this Sharp Android has a 3.2-inch HVGA display, features a GSM/WCDMA radio, and is on its way to North America. That very well may be, but we’re not ready to call this the next Sidekick without a little more convincing.
Source: Unwired View