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 PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- OnePlus 5 rumors: Everything we know about the upcoming budget flagship
- Google makes the best Android apps easier to find with Android Excellence
- Motorola's Z2 Play comes with a smaller battery, a higher price tag, and new Moto Mods
- Sony outs launch details for its Xperia XZ Premium flagship and futuristic Touch projector
- Andy Rubin's Essential Phone is finally here and it's weird
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSoftware Licensing and Contract AnalystOther
- CCReporting Data Analyst - TelcoVIC
- FTMicrosoft Azure Cloud EngineerOther
- FTSales Lead / Sales Executive - Enterprise IT Healthcare Perm - North RydeNSW
- FTJunior Java developer. Work Location - CanberraACT
- FTSenior Analyst - Security / DevOpsOther
- FTHealthcare Integration Support/ Junior DBA - Brisbane BasedQLD
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- FTWindows 10 Project EngineerOther
- FTFinance and PeopleSoft Project ManagerOther
- FTRelocate to Perth for Technology OpportunitiesQLD
- CCSenior Teradata Developer/Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCSecurity TesterNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- FTIT Support officer- Service Desk AP3 & APS4ACT
- FTNetwork ArchitectACT
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- FTSenior PHP Developer/Team LeaderNSW
- CCJava Developer with Guidewire ExperienceQLD
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- FTUX UI DesignerACT
- FTHelpdesk AnalystOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - RetailOther
- TPBI ConsultantNSW