The T-Mobile Sidekick 2008 is the latest addition to T-Mobile's popular line of cool phones for youngsters, released in the US in July 2008.

Unfortunately, along with a lot of the old things we like, many annoying issues linger in the newest Sidekick. The Sidekick's Danger OS remains constrained and sluggish. Maybe we're a little spoiled by the ability to hack Windows Mobile 6.1.

The T-Mobile Sidekick 2008 still can't read Microsoft Word documents - a feature that has been lacking since the first Sidekick hit the scene. (And in the States at least, the T-Mobile EDGE data network crawled along at insufferably slow speeds when we browsed the web.)

Our greatest frustration with the Sidekick is its wasted potential: it could be much more than just a kid's phone. Oh, sure, you can buy Intellisync so that you can move Outlook contacts over to the device, or you can dig up the small handful of productivity apps that hide in the download store. And that store holds some gems, such as Melodeo's Mobilcast for grabbing podcast feeds, but even that app needs to get the kinks worked out (audio hiccups and unfulfilling lists of podcasts). For the most part, though, you're choosing from apps such as "Flirting 101", "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Getting Girls", and a blinged-out digital timepiece for your phone's screen-saver mode.

Together with its customisable removable backplates (gotta love the leopard-print shell!) and the default web bookmarks to places such as PerezHilton.com, everything about this phone screams "teen". That's a far cry from the Sidekick's original billing as a data communicator.

OUR VERDICT

We're not saying that the Sidekick 2008 is a bad phone - not at all. In fact, we wrote this entire review on its perfect little keyboard (in the body of an email message, of course, since the phone doesn't support Word documents). It's just disappointing that after all these generations on the market, the Sidekick has been relegated to fashionista status.