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Hi everyone,

I don't post much but figured this could be hot for some folks.

There's some info at http://www.dangerinfo.com, but the crux of the deal is as follows:

Sidekick is $200 from T-Mobile or CompUSA after $50 rebate.
There is only 1 service plan to begin with, it is $40/mo for the following:

200 Anytime Minutes
1000 Weekend Minutes
UNLIMITED data on the device - the "real web", NOT WAP.

Data services on the device include web browser, email client (the device has its own email, and can slurp up to 3 POP accounts) and what looks to be a well done AIM client.

I know 200 Anytime minutes is kind of limiting, but there are a couple reports that they're going to bump up the number of Anytime minutes on 10/15. It's pretty cool looking, kind of like a Blackberry on smart drugs.. at a decent price.

-j

I was on the beta team for the Danger. Killer device... questionnable service.

Here's the scoop on the device:

1. Cell phone. Works well (where Voicestream/T-Mobile have decent service) and is loud enough to use it as a speakerphone (even though it REALLY isn't a speaker phone). Although there is a beautiful mono display, it is not touch-sensitive. All dialing takes place either by selecting previously dialed numbers, rolling a thumb-wheel to select the numbers, or selecting from address book. Rating: Average.

2. Web Browser. Works better than most phones... it allows you to go to any web site that doesn't use frames or Java. That doesn't leave much. The text gets reformatted to fit the screen... and is surprisingly easy to navigate with the thumb wheel. Rating: Above average (for phone).

3. AOL Client. Works flawlessly. Able to be connected to the kids at any time, any where. INCREDIBLY nice feature. I know when they get online (since they're in my buddy list it tells me when they are/are not available) and I have instant communications with them at any time. Rating: EXCELLENT.

4. Email. Works well. Able to send/receive email anytime, anywhere. Can set corporate client to pass through so that copies of all sent to me are also sent to Sidekick/Danger. Also allows receipt of attachments (including jpeg PICTURES). Rating: EXCELLENT.

5. PIM (Personal Information Manager). Contains address/phone book, email storage, calendar, etc that syncs (crappily... more later) with Outlook and other corporate systems. Rating: Average.

6. Photos. There is an attachable camera that takes digital photos (jpeg) that can be transmitted via email directly from the Sidekick/Danger. Noticably low quality (VERY)... but beats the hell out of describing it in writing. I didn't have this option in my trial... so I can't tell you much more about it. I believe this is an extra cost item (not bundled with the original unit).

7. Games. Includes games like Asteroids (clone) and others. Decent way to spend taxi-time. Then again, since you have online capabilities from anywhere... why not check on those eBay auctions???

NOTES:

The largest complaint (by far) during the entire testing period is BATTERY LIFE. On average, with moderate use, you will HAVE TO recharge the battery every day. Typically, you can get 6-8 hours of standard usage... heavy users were out after 4. We found that leaving things like the AOL Instant Messenger on were battery draining (constantly polls every X seconds for new messages).

One VERY NEAT feature is that the software is upgradable OTA (Over The Airwaves). In our 3 week test period, we had 4 OTA upgrades (each fixing previous bugs and adding new features). This means that if it's buggy when you get it, you're not stuck with a lemon. Fixes will be coming shortly.

Painful PIM integration - As of the end of the test period, the way you uploaded data to your Sidekick/Danger was to create a data file (outlook PST file, for instance) and send it over the Internet to the Danger site. once there, it would be formatted appropriately, then sent over the airwaves to your Sidekick/Danger unit. I like the uploadability... but there are two major issues in my eyes. Updating information (like changing a phone number) was UGLY because you had to re-load everything. The biggest drawback to me was that this information was sent to a non-secured (insecure?) web site. Ouch. Everybody noted this security concern, and I'm sure that in the final release they would have the issue taken care of. We noted that there is a small serial connector (VERY small) on the device that would be well-suited for future connectivity directly to your PC...

Overall, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this device. Currently I have a 2-way pager, cell phone, and PocketPC that I carry around to keep all my communications/information handy. What was nice was that I could only haul around one single device.

It's nice to be somewhere and somebody says, "Who was the original Spanky from Our Gang?" Within a few seconds, you pull out your Sidekick/Danger, go to Google, Type ORIGINAL OUR GANG and have your answer directly from a web site FROM ANYWHERE.

If you have any specific questions about this device, please PM and I'll be happy to answer you directly.

FragU said:

<< It's nice to be somewhere and somebody says, "Who was the original Spanky from Our Gang?" Within a few seconds, you pull out your Sidekick/Danger, go to Google, Type ORIGINAL OUR GANG and have your answer directly from a web site FROM ANYWHERE.
>>



That is so weird! That happened to me twice yesterday!

But seriously, it sounds very cool. If only the PIM functions were better.

Any information from T-Mobile on the deal yet? I need a new cellphone plan, and this one looks interesting. I need more than 200 anytime minutes though.

Decent deal if you want the web on your phone...but 6 1/2 minutes a day (200 monthly) and then you start to get gouged on airtime? Ouch! If you want the web on your phone it may make better sense just to pay for that and get more anytime minutes with another plan.

All I have to add to FragU's great review is that the Camera attachment will apparantly ship free with the first 40,000 or so units. Examples of the (small, crappy) pictures this takes can be seen at http://www.bedope.com/mike/hiptop

I'm getting one <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

Check out the Handspring Treo too.. It is a great device, and not only can you do all the above but it can also run of thousands of applications. I run Palm VNC and can browse my home desktop from anywhere! [where anywhere I can get a Cingular signal <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>]

The Treo is definitely cool, but I'm guessing you don't get 200/1000 voice minutes and unlimited data for 40 bucks <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

h0trod said:

<< The Treo is definitely cool, but I'm guessing you don't get 200/1000 voice minutes and unlimited data for 40 bucks <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> >>



No but I signed up when they offered the free internet promotion during the Spiderman release. So if I use it off peak it is basically unlimited.

Data minutes draw from your voice minutes, and the Treo has a color screen <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

I was also on the beta team and got the camera attachment. It is a piece of cheap plastic not bigger than your car remote key pod. Picture size is about postage stamp and quality is not very good. Taking picture is a slow process since the preview function screen does not update in real time.

Email and AOL is great. You can setup POP access with email to retrieve POP-enable mail service. All javascripts web sites are not accessible but I was able to use it to access my yahoo mail.

The bad thing about email and AOL is that there might have enough coverage nation-wide. T-mobile used GRPS network. I was down in San Jose, Fremont area and I could not use the web function.

well...i do have a phone like this. well a bit better, cheaper. it has 3D java. you can visit web pages with some java on them. you can play very cool java games. it takes photos and it costs a lot less, about $100US
images
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aaa.thumb.jpg
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aab.thumb.jpg
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aac.thumb.jpg

if you want one...come to japan.
these have been around for a while...

cool!

someone's violating their confidentiality agreement when they discuss the hiptop device here...which will keep company's from continuing with public beta's like this in the future. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>

Ashta said:

<< well...i do have a phone like this. well a bit better, cheaper. it has 3D java. you can visit web pages with some java on them. you can play very cool java games. it takes photos and it costs a lot less, about $100US
images
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aaa.thumb.jpg
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aab.thumb.jpg
http://www.ids.org.au/pav/albums/album06/aac.thumb.jpg

if you want one...come to japan.
these have been around for a while...
>>



Does yours work in the US? If so, which provider? Let me know because I've got a couple friends in Japan, and maybe I'll have them get me one. Or I might go get one myself this winter.

It's not a violation of the confidentiality agreement now that the product is on the market. It's now "common" knowledge to all who have one.

I just got a little head start... Been sitting on this information waiting for it to hit so I can inform you MotherFW'ers.

"MotherFW'ers"

hehe <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

FragU, nice review of the Sidekick. I first heard about this thing about a week ago and have been looking for some objective info ever since. It's appreciated. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

I'm a bad motherfw'er. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif"border=0>

Someone mentioned on /. that the "unlimited data" is only for the first year. Can anyone confirm this?

Here's the bad news:

"* - After 1st year, unlimited becomes 15MB/month, $3.50/additional MB."

http://www.t-mobile.com/plans/sidekick/?blnOverride=False

the japan phone does not work anywhere except the US. its a different system....tho you can buy some multi system ones but they are not as cool. my provider is j-phone. but phones are upgrading all the time. they have vid conferencing ones now. i have no idea how they can get better then that. whats next?

It looks like this sidekick plan is only available for the following markets according to t-mobile's website:
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.

jened said:

<< It looks like this sidekick plan is only available for the following markets according to t-mobile's website:
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.
>>



There's more markets than that, I know because I have one and am using it in an area not listed there.

This looks like a really cool item! Can someone who has this device answer a question or two for me?

Seeing the numbers on the page and having the item in your hands is pretty different... so do you think this item is too big or just the right size?

I want this for my eBay business so I can check if I can resell a product for more right there in the store. (instead of writting it down, running home, checking it on eBay, going back to the store, and finding anything worth it to be gone already) This doesn't have a touchscreen like a pocket pc, so how hard is it to use the web. For example, if I want to search for an item on eBay, how hard is it to place the cursor in the searh box?

Lastly, how is the mobile web on this thing? I'm assuming it can handle any webpage specially programmed for pocket pc capibility?

Thanks!!!

That's good news Nebrie as this phone looks pretty cool and the unlimited data is awesome, but my market wasn't listed.

AUGH! I want to get one of these fab Sidekick devices so badly, but I'm locked in to a contract with AT&T that won't expire for another 14 months.

Oh well.. guess I'll have to ride it out or pay the piper (hefty breaking-contract fee).

<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>

I've had mine for a week and can answer a few questions. I was concerned about the size after seeing the specs, but I think it's the perfect size when using the device. I'm not using the included case, it's a fully-enclosing pleather case that makes the device too bulky on the belt. I've been carrying it in my pants pocket with no problems, it seems less bulky than my tiny Samsung 8500 phone. T-Mobile has a neoprene case with a belt clip for $19.99 that looks to be less bulky and allows you to carry it horizontally on your belt, but I'm hoping that a plastic holster is in the works. As far as web browsing, pages don't have to be designed for PDA or WAP to be accessible by this. The browser actually goes through Danger's proxy, where some reformatting is done before it's sent to the Hiptop. The formatting on some of the pages gets a little odd since this device certainly isn't 640x480, but I've not had any real problems. The browsing is much more useful than any WAP-capable phone I've used, and having instant, easy 2-way access to email is great. I used the device while traveling in Manhattan last weekend, and it was very handy. Be sure to check www.dangerinfo.com for some excellent Hiptop forums.

sony2002 said:

<< This looks like a really cool item! Can someone who has this device answer a question or two for me? >>


It is very cool


<< Seeing the numbers on the page and having the item in your hands is pretty different... so do you think this item is too big or just the right size? >>


I like the size, for use as a phone & a PDA


<< This doesn't have a touchscreen like a pocket pc, so how hard is it to use the web. For example, if I want to search for an item on eBay, how hard is it to place the cursor in the searh box? >>


No touch screen, the naviagtion wheel moves accross links and fields much like TAB in IE.


<< Lastly, how is the mobile web on this thing? I'm assuming it can handle any webpage specially programmed for pocket pc capibility? >>


It does not need special web pages, it parses regular HTML files and renders them on it's display.


<< Thanks!!! >>


You are welcome.
I just went into my T-Mobile store to find out how much for JUST THE PHONE. I don't know how many times I had to repeat that I didn't want a new contract, I just want to use it as a phone on
my current plan. The guy in the store just did not understand that's what I wanted, because that's not how it's supposed to be used.
It's being marketed as an internet PDA that you can make phone calls on, I want to use it as a phone that is a PDA.
Anyway, eventually he said I could have the phone on it's own for $300. Not bad since it's $250 with 12mo plan.

For the guy above who asked about auctions on eBay...

I do a little eBay myself and have had my Sidekick for a week. I have bookmarks for Billpoint, Paypal and other sites, including my current auctions that have ended in the last day so I can relist. The ONLY problem I've had so far is relisting auctions, when I go to the bottom of the page and hit submit (in the old, non- selling 2.0), it gives me an error saying I didn't select a category for the auction,though I have. I can't get past this which is annoying when you want to relist.

I can relist in 2.0 at all because its Java apparently, so the old-school way would work best.

Having said that this thing ROCKS! I got mine at CompUSA for $250 - $50 MIR (on the web) - $100 MIR w/ instore activation per CompUSA as per their ad last week = $100 after rebates. Amazing device with great features. I'd highly recommend this for any quasi-full time ebayers, once I figure out how to relist that is.

Any advice on the relist problem?

Great, thanks again for all the answers! I stopped @ T-mobile yesterday and got a look at the device... you can't exactly stick it in your pocket at the store, lol, but it looked a lot smaller than I expected. (Service is available in the Cleveland area)

Sounds like exactly what I need... the only thing I'm kinda wondering about is using the navigation wheel to surf the web. Seems like it would take forever to scroll through all of the links on even a single eBay page. Wish they had an in-store demo of the sidekick that let you check out all of the features!

Jham - So, did you buy it? I wonder if for the members who need more than 200 minutes/mo, that if they can buy the phone and then get another t-mobile calling plan that includes internet and phone service with more minutes. (even though it's supposed to be sold with only that one plan)

The relist problem does sound annoying... glad there's two ways to relist though

As far as using the scroll wheel to scroll through dozens of links that don't interest you, you can use the space bar to page down to the area you're interested in, then scroll around from there. The browser is really engineered pretty well to be usable given the limitations of screen size etc.



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