Reflections on/frustrations with Hiptop3

by Lee Hopkins on October 29, 2007 · 2 comments

in Uncategorized

When I first got my Hiptop3 it worked really well for me; “It does what it says on the tin” as the Ronseal man says in the UK.

But having lived with it for a few months, I am starting to become disenchanted, no… wrong word… ‘frustrated’ with its limitations.

Let’s look at the things it does well:

  • Unlimited txting and web browsing (under the plan I have with Telstra);
  • Easy to send emails (also free);
  • Interesting set of add-on, downloadable applications (not free, not transferable to another phone);
  • Comprehensive sync with an online client that updates contacts, schedule, photos, etc.;
  • Half-decent mp3 player;
  • Useful note-taking function that you can send off via email once a note is written, if you want.

Now, on to what irks me

  • The ‘intellisync’ intelligent updater is not. Intelligent, that is. It works fine if you have Office2003, but refuses to work with Office2007. There is no way I am going backwards from ’07 to ’03.
  • The ‘help’ files don’t tell you that it won’t work with Office2007. Here’s their text:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Intellisync and how can I download it?

Intellisync is a downloadable application that runs on a personal computer running Microsoft Windows and Outlook. With Intellisync, you can synchronise the contacts, to do items and events on your device with the contacts, to do items and events stored in the Microsoft Outlook client on your PC. All synchronisation takes place over-the-air, using the wireless network. Plus, when you’ve made changes to the same record on your device and PC, Intellisync accurately detects and resolves the conflict automatically or makes changes based on the customised controls you’ve selected.

To download the Intellisync client for your PC for the first time:

  1. From the Desktop Interface Jump page, just to the right of the Settings and Help links is a link called Download Intellisync.
  2. Click this link and follow the on-page download and installation instructions. Note that there is a charge for downloading Intellisync.
  • The ‘Download Intellisync’ link referred to in point 1 doesn’t exist. Here’s evidence from a screen grab taken as I write this:

hiptop3jumppage

  • The camera is truly crap. 1.3megapixels? Really?
  • The display of photos is truly shocking – they look like horribly grainy black and whites with very little contrast
  • You cannot replace any of the themes (screensaver, desktop) with your own photos
  • You cannot replace the installed ringing tones/tunes unless you buy some — thus you cannot create your own
  • Browsing of web pages is not as simple as it might at first appear. If your page has flash on it, forget it (and you can’t download a flash player, nor is there one available in the list of applications you can download). If your page has frames, you can probably forget it

The Telstra plan it comes with is brilliant for data (txt, web, email, etc.) but horrendous for calls. I racked up nearly $300 of calls in a month without realising. Yes, caveat emptor. Serves me right for not reading the fine print and doing the sums.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I bought it on a two-year contract and it does the job I originally wanted it for — to twitter and facebook and txt and browse various websites.

But I am seriously thinking of picking up a cheap pre-paid phone with a half-decent camera to make outgoing calls and grab those images you see in daily life that you’d take a picture of “if only I had my camera on me”.

My much-loved (but broken-screen) Nokia 3230 did all that I asked for as a PDA-replacement, but it didn’t have web browsing and it didn’t come with a great data plan. But there is no denying the usefulness of the Hiptop3′s keyboard. It really feels nice.

Swings and roundabouts, I know, but it does make me look even more enviously at the Nokia e90 Communicator [sigh].

If you are thinking of approaching a Telstra Shop to ask them to get in a Hiptop3 for you, just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

In the meantime I am stuck with a great tool for twittering and txting, but a lousy PDA because I have to still tout my lovely Dell Axim PDA around (and it has a MUCH nicer screen and nicer mp3 player, too!). If I could just get the two to ‘bluetooth’ together nicely and use the Hiptop3 as my ‘online modem’ I could use my Dell as my online tool and get far more satisfaction from my web browsing.

If anyone from either Telstra or Danger Inc (the makers of the software underpinning the Hiptop3 — aka ‘Sidekick3′ in the US) can help me with the Intellisync/Outlook2007 issue I would be exceptionally grateful!

And if Nokia want someone to road test the e90 Communicator when it arrives, I know just the person…

—–

Currently listening to: Joni Mitchell – Mingus – God Must Be a Boogie Man

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    I’ve just gone and bought a Nokia 6085 on a pre-paid plan so that I can make calls via my bluetooth headset at a rate considerably cheaper than the Hiptop plan. I’ll check out what the camera is like once the battery is charged.

    It just seems ludicrous to have to carry so many gadgets around…

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee Hopkins

    I’ve just gone and bought a Nokia 6085 on a pre-paid plan so that I can make calls via my bluetooth headset at a rate considerably cheaper than the Hiptop plan. I’ll check out what the camera is like once the battery is charged.

    It just seems ludicrous to have to carry so many gadgets around…

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