Danger Hiptop Finally Hits The Streets
October 1, 2002 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Danger Hiptop Finally Hits The Streets T-Mobile released the first Danger hiptop today and as the first person in Austin, Texas to own one, lemme tell you: they rock.
posted by benbrown (51 comments total)

 
Like... what is it? The t-mobile sidekick?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:10 AM on October 1, 2002


That would be it.

Fuck, I just posted a big long review and Metafilter crapped out on me. GOOD JOB, HAUGHEY.

Anyways. The gist of it is: none of the online previews or reviews does this device justice. The engineering is super smooth, the interface is cool, it makes cool noises (new messages are indicated by a blinking light and a sexy robot voice telling me "NEW MESSAGE!"), and you can't really beat unlimited wireless access for $40 a month.

If you are at all interested in this thing, go into a t-mobile store and play with one.
posted by benbrown at 10:13 AM on October 1, 2002


also: I'm the first guy in Austin to own one. teehee.
posted by benbrown at 10:13 AM on October 1, 2002


I thought you had to pay to run ads here?
posted by HTuttle at 10:13 AM on October 1, 2002


Wow. That product looks awesome! What was that? If I get it, I can be as cool as Ben Brown? Is that even possible? What the hell, I'll take 10!
posted by pemulis at 10:18 AM on October 1, 2002


wow, i read it on metafilter, it must be cool, i wanna go buy one . . . (on preview: what HTuttle said, word)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:18 AM on October 1, 2002


"GOOD JOB, HAUGHEY."

what.
the.
fuck.
ben?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:20 AM on October 1, 2002


Backwater Richmond probably won't even see a demo model for a few weeks, so I have to ask one question. Does it suck as a cell phone? I never program anyone's number into memory, so I want to be able to quickly punch in someone's number like a regular phone. Walter Mossberg's review implied otherwise.
posted by machaus at 10:34 AM on October 1, 2002


This has been hyped for a while so it deserves special attention if it lives up to it or not. Glad to hear of a positive review Im seriously considering one.
posted by stbalbach at 10:37 AM on October 1, 2002


You can easily punch in a number with the keyboard thinger.
posted by benbrown at 10:40 AM on October 1, 2002


camera:



worthless.
posted by benbrown at 10:43 AM on October 1, 2002


Benbrown: According to ./, the unlimited data transfer is only for the first year. After that, your alottment is 15 mb a month and $3.50 for every meg after that.

I think somebody is astroturfing... :)
posted by dr_dank at 11:07 AM on October 1, 2002


Yeah, but 15 mb will go a long way when you're downloading compressed pages and whatnot. I'm not too worried about that.
posted by benbrown at 11:19 AM on October 1, 2002


Fuck, I just posted a big long review and Metafilter crapped out on me. GOOD JOB, HAUGHEY. - benbrown


Wait, your viral marketing campaign got interrupted by *gasp* internet problems and suddenly you have the right to shit all over someone who provides you a free service?

Crash is right on this one:

what.
the.
fuck.
ben?
posted by dejah420 at 11:21 AM on October 1, 2002


Dejah....I think Ben was joking.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:28 AM on October 1, 2002


Yeah. Duh. I mean, me and Haughey know each other IN REAL LIFE. OH MY GOD.
posted by benbrown at 11:31 AM on October 1, 2002


er, I am almost positive that Ben is not engaging in viral marketing here. Plenty of us are excited about our gadgets. We are a buncha geeks after all. And if he is marketing, at least he had the sense to casually drop in my username, thereby garnering my undying allegiance.

Plus, I think he and Matt actually know each other, so his "GOOD JOB, HAUGHEY" is probably meant in a "friendly noogies" tone as opposed to a "this site sucks" tone.
posted by whatnot at 11:31 AM on October 1, 2002


The plan it comes with is horrible if you plan to use it as a phone. 200 anytime minutes, I'd use those in 1 week! No other plans available either.

If it had a color screen and longer anytime minutes I'd consider it, but as is I'm going to pass go and keep my $200.
posted by mad at 11:31 AM on October 1, 2002


damn. what ben said.
posted by whatnot at 11:32 AM on October 1, 2002


Sheesh, no one understands internet rockstars these days.
posted by machaus at 11:33 AM on October 1, 2002


"Dejah....I think Ben was joking."

As was I, hence the lower-case letters in what is traditionally an upper-case meme. A clever twist on a tired old cliche can breathe new life into it.

Or not.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:36 AM on October 1, 2002


Ben says metafilter looks ok, but he couldn't login using it. Maybe I need to pick one up and fix things around here.
posted by mathowie at 11:41 AM on October 1, 2002


I stand corrected.
posted by dejah420 at 11:43 AM on October 1, 2002


Hm. Robot voices, noises, blinking lights.

Always good to have a blinking noisy gadget attached to your hip to receive a "Get out of boring meeting free" card.
posted by TuffAustin at 11:43 AM on October 1, 2002


Yes, the future is bright with inboxes stuffed full of drunken weekends and grandkids with cheerios stuck to their cheeks... personally, I can live without a camera built in to my phone and would much prefer to spend $200 on a game boy advance and some games--now, if they made those shaped like a PDA, I'd be in business.
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2002


I hate sites like T-Mobile's that require me to accept a non-session cookie just to look at information.
posted by kerplunk at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2002


I was so looking forward to getting one of these, but if this /. comment is correct about coverage areas, I may be completely SOL here in backwoods Los Angeles.
Customer billing address must be within and offer valid only in the following T-Mobile (VS) markets: Denver, Colorado Springs, Las Cruces, Portland, Boise, Albequerque, Santa Fe, Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and all VS markets in the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Damn, that sucks in a way that can't truly be expressed.
posted by willnot at 12:01 PM on October 1, 2002


Gadget jockeys and MeFites alike might be interested to know about these Hiptop/Sidekick related sites: dangerinfo.com (not affiliated with Danger Inc.), the actual Danger, Inc. website and hiptop.com, a site that's apparently run by Danger and has a blog "coming soon."

I suppose this means they'll be using a blog as a marketing device. Will this blog will be more than just press releases? Anyone got the inside scoop? Are other companies (with product rollouts as big as this) using blogs in this way?
posted by bradlauster at 12:34 PM on October 1, 2002


Hey ben, remember that wireless access is unlimited for the 1st year only. After one year you get charged $3.50 per megabyte for anything over 15MB a month.
posted by PenDevil at 1:22 PM on October 1, 2002


I may be completely SOL here in backwoods Los Angeles.

Willnot: looks like Los Angeles is ready for the Hiptop.

The t-mobile site says the only requirement is to be within a coverage area.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:29 PM on October 1, 2002


i was in the beta test in atlanta.

loved it. miss the thing terribly.

though outside of downtown, it's about as useful as any other noisemaking party-favor.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:36 PM on October 1, 2002


Hey ben, remember that wireless access is unlimited for the 1st year only. After one year you get charged $3.50 per megabyte for anything over 15MB a month.

I don't think i've owned a cell phone for more than 6 months, much less a year.

then again, i'm really efn clumsy.

oh wait: i'm not ben.

posted by fishfucker at 2:12 PM on October 1, 2002


Httuttle: I'm so Hssorry Hyyour Hccat Hddied.
posted by bryanboyer at 2:20 PM on October 1, 2002


This sounds like an updated improved version of the Nokia Communicator, a similar device which has been available in Europe for about six years now.

Better than that, the Nokia Communicator is more Palm like in the way it can run apps. You can have a terminal, and even go on IRC if you want :-)
posted by wackybrit at 2:46 PM on October 1, 2002


darn you, grabbingsand. i wanted in on the beta. no dice. i wanted in on the developer program. also no dice.

i still want to try this puppy out though.
posted by lescour at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2002


Never! Palm OS forever!
posted by ac at 3:27 PM on October 1, 2002


I'm with you on that, ac; my VII's antenna flips to you in salute.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:06 PM on October 1, 2002


I hate sites like T-Mobile's that require me to accept a non-session cookie just to look at information.

I hate sites that assume I am in the US and make me choose a city just to look at information. What would be so hard about adding a "non-US" choice to the mix. Just for that, I'm not going to buy one now, or look at their stupid site. [/jealous ranting]
posted by dg at 5:40 PM on October 1, 2002


i've said it before and i'll say it again, for the price and size i'd suggest an older visor deluxe and a handspring visorphone (i love mine). $100 for the visor deluxe, $0 for the visorphone, same service charges for T-mobile service (good if you stay in urban areas (yeah boston!)) (nationwide, no roaming). Why pay for new tech when two year old tech does the same thing for less.
posted by NGnerd at 7:59 PM on October 1, 2002


i was hoping you could do telnet and other shareware stuff with it. oh well. also, if you don't get the new t-mobile customer discount it's rather expensive. i really like the idea of mobile internet, but i think i'll wait a little longer :\
posted by rhyax at 9:03 PM on October 1, 2002


I (ahem) have a question. In Metatalk.
posted by owillis at 9:10 PM on October 1, 2002


wakybrit: various versions of the communicator have been out for evar. :] The one that you're thinking of is th 9210i (known in the US as the 9290). It's exceedingly cool, colour screen Symbian OS, J2ME. Fully buzzword compliant.

Other madcool Symbian phones include the Nokia 7650, Nokia 3650 and SonyEricsson p800. And yes I'm a marketing tool for the former EPOC OS, I just love it so.
posted by nedrichards at 1:11 AM on October 2, 2002


They might run into problems with this product name. I mean, low-end products are often called "luxe" etc, to seem desireable, but they aren't really. Similarly, really "hip" products rarely yell out that they are, indeed, "hip".

And what's with launching a new wireless product these days without a color screen? I know the US is behind on these things, but come on now...
posted by dagny at 2:25 AM on October 2, 2002


"Mikepop meets hiptop" - a weblog about using the Hiptop updated from a Hiptop.

I've carried one of these around for a day and loved the tight integration between OS/UI & hardware design. Its beautiful to use. While it's not currently an open platform so you can't extend its functionality, for some types of geek ease of use and aesthetics are more important than flexibility. When the designer has complete control of all aspects, and each aspect fits with other aspects it just provokes a positive emotional response - not something I got from the P800, Nokia Communicator or Visor phone.

Here's a fun post (from hardware designer's? weblog) recounting how he came up with the idea for the form factor (no "permalinks" so do a search for "soap" - Aug 8th post).

Unaffiliated user's community site.

Dagny: I did have some reservations about the limited/fixed set of functionality but lack of colour screen was not one of them - the greyscale screen looks great.
posted by atom71 at 3:21 AM on October 2, 2002


I have only one question:

Does the damn thing vibrate? I mean, vibrate?
posted by adampsyche at 6:01 AM on October 2, 2002


Color screens on a portable device serve no purpose except to deplete the batteries faster and inflate the price.
posted by kindall at 8:22 AM on October 2, 2002


NGNerd and Smart Dalek - right on. I've got a Visor Deluxe, had it for two years. Absolutely love it. I just got a Springboard CF adapter from MatchBookProducts; now I can read CompactFlash cards right on my Visor and even run apps on them. I use the same 128MB card for my camera and Visor - it's amazing. I have about 80 games, iSilo w/ 1000s of webpages, books, etc. I was thinking about getting a VisorPhone - what's the quality of the phone like? How fast does it connect?
Oh yeah, the hiptop. Why not just get a PDA? A Treo perhaps, or the new wireless Palm?
posted by ac at 9:56 AM on October 2, 2002


I've seen a few links about this so far, but no one's answered the important question of what does it cost for the device?
posted by endquote at 11:46 AM on October 2, 2002


I think the more important question is: does anybody really need this silly thing?
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 1:29 PM on October 2, 2002


I was thinking about getting a VisorPhone - what's the quality of the phone like? How fast does it connect?

I've got a VisorPhone. You do not want to talk into the phone itself, the sound quality is lousy; you will need an add-on headset. (It comes with an earphone and a mic-on-a-cord, but this is useless too.) I got a Plantronics one from Best Buy for about $30 that works fine. I would rather they just left out the earspeaker entirely from the module and used the extra space to make it fit more reasonably against the back of the Visor.

The Internet connection you get through it is dial-up. It acts as an analog modem which dials up your ISP. I think it goes 9600 bps, never really timed it. Sufficient for checking e-mail and basic Web browsing. You can use PQAs with it if you bogart the required libraries from a Palm VII.
posted by kindall at 4:08 PM on October 2, 2002


Oh, I got an emotional response from the p800. It was joy in a box. The Nokia Communicator is a sysadmin's brick (now with telnet!) but the p800 is form meeting function in a slinky see through plastic kinda way.
posted by nedrichards at 7:23 AM on October 3, 2002


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