I've been an avid sidekick supporter since I got my Sidekick 2 back on 04. I upgraded to a Sidekick 3 in 06, and I bought my wife a sidekick slide earlier this year... but now, I'm switching.
Why? The Sidekick is just moving way, way too slow. For every new release, Sidekick users were anticipating changes that kept up with the rest of the mobile phone industry, but Danger kept failing to impress. It was always something like, "With this version, you get bluetooth! and... it's shinier!" It was dumb. The sidekick LX was a pretty decent jump though. That screen is super nice... but still, the phone is so locked down.
You could get around the locked downedness and install normal apps by getting a developer license. But most people can't get that, and really... there's not that much of a gain to make it worth it. You can basically just get some free utility apps like weather and twitter.
So, when I started using macs more, that's when I really started to pull away from the sidekick. I could no longer sync my shit. No more calendar. It killed me.
I got tired of it. So I quit. I needed my google apps, wifi, an open OS, a better browser, ringtones... and I wanted to stay with T-Mobile because their customer service and coverage rules.
So I bought the Blackberry Curve and I love it.
I will say that the OS is a little complicated and a tiny bit slow. It's much less user friendly than the sidekick, and there are almost too many options for everything. The sound profile settings alone are overwhelming. Plus, when I show people my new phone, I often find them holding it wondering wtf to do or how to make it work. That says something about the OS. The sidekick was much more intuitive. But... once you learn the Blackberry OS (which I still am), there's so much freedom.
The worst part of the switch was probably copying my 200 contacts over... but, a lot of times that's the price you pay when you get a new phone. Especially coming from a sidekick.
The parts that rule (and are better than the sidekick)
- Wifi - I never knew phone data could be this fast.
- Google Apps - The gmail client is amazing, having google talk rules, maps has already gotten me unlost, and being able to sync to my google calendars - hell yes. These things alone make the phone worth it.
- Social Communities - The facebook app is amazing and flickr and myspace widgets are available through Yahoo Go!
- Weather - There are some good (and free) weather app options available.
- Web - Like I said, wifi makes this so much nicer. But also, the browser options rule. The native browser isn't awesome, but it's alright. But Opera Mini with the right options rules. It's no iphone safari, but it's damn close.
- Alarm - I never understood why the sidekick didn't have a native alarm. But the blackberry does, so I can finally wake up without having my wife call me every day at 7:30, haha. ...which I'll secretly miss.
- Ringtones - Being able to make your own ringtones and download them for free is a huge bonus. My first 2 ringtones were Dimmu Borgir - Puritania and a remix of Yelle - A Cause Des Gar�ons. Both from myxertones.com (an awesome site for ringtone making)
- Camera - Way, way better than the sidekick camera.
- MMS - Finally. I know that the newer sidekicks have it, but my SK3 didn't.
The parts that aren't so awesome
- No wrist band - That wristband/tassle/strap thing has saved my sidekick so many times. I mean, a lot of you have seen my sidekick and it's straight beat up. Imagine what it'd look like without it! So I'm a little disappointed that the blackberry doesn't really fave a spot for one. However, they do have some fancy gel cases, which should help me out.
- Keyboard - It's a little small and takes some getting used to. And I really, really miss my numbers being on the top row with the appropriate symbols mapped to them. It's pretty annoying to have to press alt and a letter to get numbers into texts... however, I do like that I can finally text with 1 hand if I need to.
- Sound Profiles - I haven't found a good way to switch sound profiles. With the sidekick you could just use a key combo and the trackball to switch the sound profiles. With the blackberry you actually have to go into an app in the OS to change it.
- Hot/Combo Keys - Man, I miss my sidekick hotkeys. I was so fast on that freaking phone by hitting combinations of the menu/home key and a letter. I can't figure out any hotkeys on the blackberry.
Must have apps
- Opera Mini - It takes a little configuration on your phone, but it's way worth it.
- Google Calendar Sync - Syncs all your google calendars with the native bb calendar.
- Google Maps - Great for directions, etc. It can even triangulate your approximate location.
- Twitterberry - Pretty decent twitter client. Could be a little better though.
- Yahoo Go! - Has lots of nice widgets for it. MySpace, Flickr, Weather, News, Sports, etc.
- Jiveslide - A decent flickr browser that takes some ghetto configuring.
- Weathereye - A decent weather app alternative to Yahoo Go!s weather widget.
- Myxertones - Not really an app, but it's a good service for getting ringtones.
And I'm still looking for a good SSH client. Midpssh looks nice, but I can't get it to download/install on my phone, yet.
So if you're trying to decide between a sidekick and a Blackberry Curve - hopefully this helps a bit. It's just too bad the Blackberry Bold got announced today, haha. If you can, hold out til late summer for that thing. Looks awesome. If not, the BB Curve is pretty awesome too.