Telstra Corporation hiptop Red
A new coat of hiptop paint
- User-friendly interface, excellent design, trackball, IM and e-mail features, relatively inexpensive
- No 3G, lack of video recording/playback, 2.5mm headphone jack, no A2DP Bluetooth, mediocre camera, keyboard may be a tad small for some
The hiptop gets a new coat of paint but no new features. It remains a very user-friendly device with some nice features, but multimedia buffs will be disappointed.
Price$ 679.00 (AUD)
Telstra and Motorola have partnered again to launch another hiptop device, the hiptop Red. Exclusively available on the Telstra network, the hiptop Red is basically the HipTop Slide with a new coat of paint.
The hiptop is a re-branded Sidekick device, an extremely popular smartphone in the US for teenagers and people in their early 20s. Although it appeals to the same demographic here, the hiptop Red suffers from the same issues as its predecessor — the lack of multimedia functions and the minimal feature improvements over the original hiptop device mean that many will give the hiptop Red the slip in favour of newer, more feature-rich smartphones.
The hiptop Red is an extremely well-designed device, featuring a slide-up display and full QWERTY keyboard. The 2.5in screen is crisp and clear, although it's not as rich as some newer smartphones we've reviewed.
The design of the Red is quite compact, despite the inclusion of a keyboard. It also manages to feel like a pretty solid device. The sliding mechanism is smooth and the buttons and controls — with the exception of the two difficult-to-reach function buttons on the top #8212; are easy to use and well placed, particularly the intuitive trackball. Some people may be disappointed with the small keyboard, but we were typing at very reasonable speeds after just a few hours of use, so its learning curve isn't steep.
The menu system and user interface in general is excellent and the trackball makes it easy to use. Menu icons on the main screen are laid out in a semi-circle and are easy to select using either the trackball or the four-way navigational pad. The animated menu screens when switching between applications are a nice touch, as are the button shortcut commands.
The biggest drawback of the hiptop Red is the lack of 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. The included Internet browser works reasonably well, but network speeds on EDGE will leave you frustrated. Also perplexing is the hiptop's lack of multimedia features — although it includes an MP3 player, songs can only be played through a microSD card (not included), the headphone jack is 2.5mm rather than the standard 3.5mm and there is no A2DP Bluetooth profile. There is also no video playback or video recording and the 1.3-megapixel camera doesn't include a flash, self-portrait mirror or autofocus.
The strength of the hiptop is its messaging and e-mail functions. The interface and ease of use is excellent, with both Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger applications installed. The Red can handle up to three POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, in addition to the included hiptop e-mail address. The e-mail application works well, but slow network speeds mean that downloading large messages can take some time. The Red also comes with a MySpace Mobile application — a version of the popular social-networking site for mobile phones. It is quite impressive, with most functions, including uploading photos, available.
Other features of the Red include speed dialling and call forwarding, three-way calling and a hands-free speakerphone; there is no voice dialling. Call quality is a mixed bag: the volume is generally loud, but it can be difficult to hear with heavy background noise. Bluetooth is present and worked well for hands-free calling with a Bluetooth speakerphone, but we had some trouble sending files from our computer.
Telstra offers the hiptop Red on a $30 per month plan that includes unlimited instant messaging, Web browsing, e-mail, SMS and MMS, and $30 wroth of credit for voice calls. Calls on this plan are charged at 30c for every 30 seconds plus a 27c flag fall.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTEnterprise Security ArchitectQLD
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- CCData AnalystNSW
- TPReporting DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTPHP DeveloperWA
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- FTTelecommunications Provisioning LeadQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCManaging Architect - Satellite - TelcoVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Web Developer/Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - ImprovementQLD
- CCDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Ruby on Rails DeveloperNSW
- FTAgile CoachNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW