Danger Hiptop

Danger Hiptop
Color sidekick.jpg
The original Sidekick
ManufacturerDanger Incorporated / Flextronics / Sharp Corporation / Motorola / Samsung
Compatible networksGPRS, EDGE, UMTS, 3G
Availability by region2002–2010 (Sidekick Web Services to 2011)
SuccessorMicrosoft Kin
TypeQWERTY Slide/Flip/Spin Phone
Operating systemDanger OS, NetBSD[1]

The Danger Hiptop, also re-branded as the T-Mobile Sidekick, Mobiflip and Sharp Jump is a GPRS/EDGE/UMTS smartphone that was produced by Danger, Inc. from 2002 to 2010.[2][3]

The Hiptop software was designed by Danger, Inc., which was located in Palo Alto, California and purchased by Microsoft for $500 million in 2008.[4] Danger provided the Hiptop OS software and back-end services for the device. This included a catalog of downloadable software applications, email hosting, instant messaging, web proxies and a cloud service for the entire personal data on the device. The original Hiptop hardware was designed by Danger and manufactured by Flextronics. The Hiptop II, 3, Sidekick iD, Sidekick 2008 and Sidekick LX (2009) are all manufactured by Sharp Corporation in Japan and designed, respectively, by Danger and then Danger in partnership with Sharp. All versions of the Hiptop were developed in close partnership with T-Mobile, although carrier-specific features were either removed or added for each carrier, such as the addition of MMS for SunCom and Telstra Hiptop 2 users, where the feature was not available on T-Mobile USA devices until the Sidekick LX in 2007.

The Hiptop/Sidekick became incredibly popular in the U.S. and has been considered to be iconic in the mobile devices market.[5][6][7]

Hardware and releases

Screens on all Sidekick devices (excluding the Slide and 4G models) swivel 180 degrees to reveal the qwerty keyboard. There are two buttons on the left side of the device ("menu" and "jump") and also two on the right ("back" and "cancel"). On all Hiptops except the original, the left side houses a directional pad and on the right, a track ball (excluding the original Hiptop) The Hiptop 2 and Slide's directional pad contains internal multicolored LEDs used in ringers and notifications, while the 3, 2008, LX, and 2009 track ball contains internal multicolored LEDs that provide the same function. The right side also has two phone buttons: send call (also page-down) and end call (also page-up). The top of the unit has two application-specific shoulder buttons. The bottom has volume controls and a power button. The Hiptop line is designed to be held horizontally with both hands, allowing typing with two thumbs, similar to a Game Boy Advance or a console video game controller.

Hiptop/T-Mobile Sidekick (Danger/Flextronics)

T-Mobile Color Sidekick

Released on October 1, 2002, the original Hiptop was unique compared to all other hardware versions. All the units, from the beginning, have featured "Menu", "Back", "Jump" and other keys accessible even when the unit was closed. The Hiptop also featured a speaker which is used for device sounds but not telephone. Along the top edge of the phone bezel is an infrared transceiver. The headset jack serves a dual purpose, as it is also used for the accessory camera. A later revision of the Hiptop upgraded its screen from a monochrome LCD to a color LCD viewable with or without the backlight on (unique to Hiptop models until the LX). It is slightly bigger than any later Hiptop.

The Hiptop was sold by T-Mobile in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. SunCom and Edge Wireless used to sell the device in some parts of the United States, and Fido was the exclusive Hiptop carrier in Canada until sales were discontinued after Fido was bought by Rogers Communications, at the end of the Hiptop 2's life. The discontinuation was mainly because the Hiptop is a competitor to Rogers' BlackBerry business.

In Germany, the Hiptop service was also offered from 2003 by E-Plus which included a flat rate tariff. The Hiptop was also sold in Singapore by Starhub in 2004.[8]

Hiptop2/T-Mobile Sidekick II (Danger/Sharp)

T-Mobile Sidekick II

Released in 2004, the Hiptop2 was introduced with Danger moving the D-Pad (directional-pad) to the left side of the Hiptop (from the inside where it was previously found), along with top-left and top-right shoulder dials, volume up/down and power on bottom of phone. The Hiptop2 also features a VGA camera, and the addition of page-up/page-down buttons on the top and bottom of its scroll wheel. The line-by-line scrolling feature is notable to the Hiptop brand of products and is not a feature of most other multi-function cell phones. The line-by-line (ability to scroll one line at a time rather than just page by page) scrolling feature is consistent in all applications, as are the "Jump" and all other hardware buttons.

The Hiptop2 has two speakers; the phone speaker built into the D-pad, and a speaker on the back of the unit (near the VGA camera) for sounds, alerts and speaker phone calls. The microphone is located near the end-call button; on right side of the phone there is a power jack, a mini-USB port (usable only by developers, not for the general public) and hands-free headset jack.

Another important feature of the Hiptop2 is the ability to easily view the screen even without a backlight. All units until the LX model had this feature. Most other manufacturers utilized an LCD screen that was not visible without backlight. Hiptop and Palm Treo units (Treo 600 and later) utilized a transflective liquid crystal display that worked with and without the backlight, making the IM, mail, and all other messages readable even in bright sunlight, and without picking the unit up.

The dimensions of the Hiptop2 are 133 mm x 64 mm x 21 mm.

On October 9, 2006, the Australian Hiptop2 was released through Telstra. The Australian version is practically the same as the Sidekick II in the USA but re-constructed for the Australian audience – it has MSN Messenger built-in as the default messenger and Yahoo! Messenger which is downloadable from the catalog (the US version has Yahoo and AOL Instant Messenger).

There are also two limited edition variants of the T-Mobile USA Sidekick II: Juicy Couture Edition (Pink) and Mister Cartoon Edition (Black). These are different case colors with the same hardware and operating systems.

Hiptop3/T-Mobile Sidekick 3 (Danger/Sharp)

T-Mobile Sidekick 3

Released July 10, 2006, the Hiptop3 manufactured by Sharp was smaller than previous versions, measuring 130 mm wide x 59 mm high x 22 mm thick. All features, including the line-by-line scroll feature remained the same. Software remained basically the same, but with the addition of more applications. Detailed reviews are available from PC Magazine and cnet.

The industrial design was changed as well as a new color scheme to a dark gray shell with silver trim and gloss black buttons. The scroll wheel was replaced by a multicolor LED-lit six-direction trackball replacing the D-pad as the indicator light. The keyboard was also changed to a rigid plastic keyboard differing from the rubber keyboard of previous models known to peel away from the unit (although easily replaceable).

New features were introduced including a removable 3.7v 1500 mAh battery, a miniSD slot capable of up to 2 GB of flash memory storage, a 1.3-megapixel camera capable of 1280 x 1024 resolution, an improvement from the sub-megapixel VGA 640 x 480 camera, and a built-in 1/16" audio jack for the newly included MP3 playback software. The MiniUSB functionality was changed from allowing access to the Hiptop's internal communications to only allowing access to the MiniSD card over a USB v1.1 port. The built-in storage allows for end-users to store files for .mp3, .wav, and .aac playback, camera, user customizable themes and other catalog application's uses.

The T-Mobile USA Sidekick 3 was made available in three limited edition models which only differed in cosmetic color changes:

T-Mobile Sidekick iD (Danger/Sharp)

The Sidekick iD is a smaller version of the Sidekick 3. It was released April 13, 2007. The Sidekick iD was aimed at younger, less affluent customers. To reduce the cost of the Sidekick iD, the creators, (Sharp), removed some of the features of the Sidekick 3, including the 1.3-megapixel camera, the Bluetooth capability, and its media player.

Although many of the "fun" features were taken out, Danger and Sharp did keep some of the features previously seen on the Sidekick 1, 2 and 3. This included the Sidekick-patented swivel screen, the hidden keyboard, and the trackball. However, a new feature were removable colored "bumpers", allowing the appearance of the Sidekick to be easily changed.

T-Mobile Sidekick LX (Danger/Sharp)

T-Mobile Sidekick LX – Midnight Blue

The Sidekick LX (PV-250) was released on October 17, 2007 for existing T-Mobile customers via the Internet and five special locations. A week later, on October 24, 2007, the LX was released to new T-Mobile subscribers. The Sidekick LX is available in two different colors, Midnight Blue and Espresso Brown. In addition to the two color selections, the LX includes a wider, higher-resolution screen, blue LED mood lights on all four corners which coordinate to the user's settings, downloadable music and backgrounds, a lighter weight, MMS messaging, and a Micro SD card slot with a 128 MB card included (over the Sidekick 3's 64 MB MiniSD card), and an updated operating system. On July 16, 2008, T-Mobile released a limited edition Tony Hawk Edition Sidekick LX, which includes video recording.[9] Despite production models being made for testing, ultimately the LX was never released in Australia due to a lack of compatibility with Telstra's 3G 850Mhz network, however Telstra went ahead with selling the Slide after the Hiptop3; the Hiptop3 is now phased out. A Midnight Blue Sidekick LX was featured in the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

In late 2010, Mobilicity began selling the Sidekick LX 2009 as the Mobiflip. In early 2011, US regional carrier Cincinnati Bell began selling the Sidekick LX 2009 as the Sharp Jump.

Motorola Q700 (Sidekick Slide) (Danger/Motorola)

Hiptop Slide as sold in Australia

In Australia it is marketed as the Hiptop Slide and in the U.S. as the Sidekick Slide. It was first released on November 5, 2007, through Telstra in Australia. T-Mobile USA release followed two days later, on November 7, 2007.[10] It was later released in the UK and Germany by T-Mobile (as opposed to the Sidekick LX only being released by T-Mobile USA). The Sidekick/Hiptop Slide offers the same features and services as every other Danger device and an update to Danger's latest OS version (4.0). Like the LX, this Sidekick for T-Mobile USA adds the Multimedia Messaging application and provides support for T-Mobile MyFaves plans.

The T-Mobile Sidekick Slide, although less expensive than the LX, provides various hardware upgrades. These upgrades include 128 MB RAM and 225 MHz TI OMAP 850 processor, as opposed to the Sidekick 3 and LX's 64 MB RAM and 200 MHz OMAP 331 processor, and a second speaker which is located on the back of the device, as opposed to the Hiptop 3 and LX's reliance on the D-pad speaker for both calls and music playback.[11]

T-Mobile USA suspended sales of the Sidekick Slide on Friday evening, November 16, 2007, after Motorola confirmed that some devices inadvertently powered off when the slide door on the front side of the phone was opened or closed. Sidekick Slide owners that reported the power issue received a free exchange to a blue Sidekick LX with free express shipping.

On November 21, 2007, Motorola stated the failures were triggered by poor battery contacts; sliding the screen out to type on the keyboard sometimes loosened the contact and forced the device to shut off momentarily.

On December 6, 2007, the Sidekick Slide was once again available for purchase.

On May 16, 2008, a new version of the Sidekick Slide was released, named the Sidekick Slide Scarlet.

The Sidekick Slide was officially discontinued on August 8, 2008. It was available for sale again on December 12, 2008, however, T-Mobile has once again discontinued the Sidekick Slide.

On October 1, 2009, Telstra officially discontinued the Hiptop service plans and phones. All remaining customers who contracts are still under contract are not affected, however the service and phone is no longer available for sale, and will not be offered for sale again.

T-Mobile Sidekick 2008 (Danger/Sharp)

On August 1, 2008 T-Mobile released the Sidekick 2008 right before the Slide was discontinued. This has improved features such as a high resolution 2-megapixel camera and video functionality high quality AIM. It also went back to the swivel Qwerty design, including changeable face/backplates.[12] The Sidekick 2008 is available only in certain T-mobile stores. The Sidekick 2008 features were reviewed by gizmodo, PC Magazine and in a cnet video review.

T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 (Danger/Sharp)

The 2009 edition of the Sidekick LX (PV-300), which was known during the development phase as the "Sidekick Blade" or the "Sidekick 2009", was released on May 13, 2009, after a pre-order period beginning on April 17.[13]

The new handset supports 3G and HSDPA, and makes various changes to the hardware, including a 3.2 inch F-WVGA display with 854×480 resolution and a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. However, most of the known changes involve software and improved functionality for social networking applications. Support for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace is now native to the system, allowing the handset to pass along notifications in the status bar as it does with instant messaging, e-mail and so forth. YouTube streaming playback is also supported on the system through Flash light.

The Sidekick LX 2009 offered synchronization with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange, through a download via the applications catalog. The highest-profile addition to the handset was Bing (then called "Live Search"), was added and integrated with the new GPS functionality; the mapping software previously relied on cell-tower triangulation (a far less accurate process). The application including turn-by-turn navigation

Danger platform discontinuation

T-Mobile announced on July 2, 2010, that the Sidekick LX 09 and Sidekick 2008 would no longer be available through T-Mobile.[2] Danger notified its development community via their Danger Developer Zone forums that it would no longer accept submissions for its application store, called the Download Catalog, on September 21, 2010.[14] The development of applications for the Sidekick platform was also halted on September 21, 2010.[15] This was followed by the closure of the Danger Developer Zone forums and related archives September 30, 2010.[16] However the Canadian company Mobilicity later began selling the Sidekick LX (2009) under the name Mobiflip.

Mobilicity Mobiflip / Sharp Jump / Sharp PV300GR (Sharp)

While the T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009 was no longer sold from July 2, 2010 onwards, modified versions of the device have been available for sale since. In Canada, carrier Mobilicity began selling the device under the name "Mobiflip" and the model number PV300G in late December 2010. In the United States, regional carrier Cincinnati Bell began selling the "Sharp Jump", model number PV300GC, in early 2011. Both devices have a modified version of the Danger OS installed, although any mention of Danger has been removed. This modified OS is independent of any backend service, and the original Danger Web browser, Instant Messaging and Email applications have been removed. The Web browser was replaced with Opera Mini whereas the Instant Messaging clients were replaced with one universal client which also allows the user to connect to an IM service through an XMPP server. There is no email client installed, and there is no Catalog service available.

The Mobiflip can be unlocked for voice service worldwide, but will not work for data due to the lack of an option to change the network APN. The Sharp Jump is different as it is possible to change the network APN, and will work with voice and data anywhere in the world provided the phone is unlocked and a compatible GSM or UMTS network is available.

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G (Android/Samsung)

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G

In April 2011, T-Mobile revived the Sidekick brand for a new 4G HSPA+-compatible Android smartphone developed by Samsung, known as the Sidekick 4G, based on the Galaxy S. It incorporates features from the original series, including the keyboard, 3.2-megapixel camera (minus LED flash), and the four-button layout, and adds a new Android-powered interface incorporating elements from the Hiptop's operating system. It should not be confused for a Danger device, which these have no relation to besides the T-Mobile exclusive "Sidekick" branding.

Other Languages
čeština: Sidekick 4G
Deutsch: Hiptop
français: Hiptop
Bahasa Indonesia: Danger Hiptop