T-Mobile Sidekick LX officially announced all over again

Sound familiar? Indeed, this isn't the first time T-Mobile has offered a Sidekick LX -- but much like last year's simply-named Sidekick, the carrier is once again carrying forward branding while totally revamping the hardware. The 2009 edition of the Sidekick LX is thoroughly new and pretty much nails every item on every Sidekick fan's wishlist: GPS, 3G data, an absolutely glorious 3.2-inch full wide VGA display, and super-tight integration with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. You've also got a 3.2 megapixel AF camera with LED flash, microSD expansion (T-Mobile throws a 1GB card in the box), video recording and playback (including YouTube access), stereo Bluetooth, quadband EDGE, and HSDPA 2100 for high-speed coverage when you're galavanting around Europe. The ace up T-Mobile's sleeve, though, might be Exchange ActiveSync support, which will be coming via the on-device software catalog shortly after launch. It's available for pre-sale to current T-Mobile customers starting today -- everyone else will have to wait until May 13 -- but either way, you'll be paying $199.99 after rebate on contract in your choice of "carbon" or "orchid" finishes. Check out all the snazzy photography below -- and follow the break for our quick first impressions of the phone.

We had a chance to sit down with the new model for a few minutes recently, and we'll say it on no uncertain terms: this is by far the best Sidekick that Sharp (or Motorola, if you want to get technical about it) has ever made. It's the first model we've ever come across that actually feels professional and aspirational; it makes every other Sidekick seem like a toy by comparison in terms of physical design, materials, and build quality, and the addition of ActiveSync support makes this an entirely reasonable choice for young, white-collar types who cut their teeth on an older model. T-Mobile couldn't have picked a better time to be launching a device with tight Twitter integration, and it worked like a champ for us. We didn't have a ton of time to play with Microsoft Live Search and its GPS mapping capabilities, but maps loaded reasonably quickly, you've got live traffic data available to you, and naturally, you've got some pretty comprehensive search capabilities in there as well. The phone is physically large, but not impractically so -- owners of the original LX will feel right at home -- and the soft-touch plastic looks and feels great in either color. The 854 x 480 display is one of the best (if not the best) we've ever seen on a mobile device launched in the US, crisp to the point where individual pixels are utterly imperceptible to the naked eye (see the gallery shots to get a sense of what we mean). Put simply, from our brief time with it, we're struggling to come up with bad things to say -- and frankly, we're a little jealous of anyone plunking down the cash.