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T-Mobile has finally launched Danger's Blackberry-for-consumers second-generation Hiptop device in the UK, branding the machine the Sidekick II and bundling it with the carrier's new Web'n'Walk GPRS tariff.

It's taken quite a while for the Hiptop 2 to arrive here - T-Mobile launched it in the US back in August 2004, followed soon after by local carriers SunCom and C&W. T-Mobile released it in Germany in January this year, and in Austria last month.


T-Mobile has finally launched Danger's Blackberry-for-consumers second-generation Hiptop device in the UK, branding the machine the Sidekick II and bundling it with the carrier's new Web'n'Walk GPRS tariff.

It's taken quite a while for the Hiptop 2 to arrive here - T-Mobile launched it in the US back in August 2004, followed soon after by local carriers SunCom and C&W. T-Mobile released it in Germany in January this year, and in Austria last month.

And now it's arrived in the UK, though its specifications are starting to look a little past the times. The integrated camera is a 640 x 480 job in an age of 1mp and 1.3mp image grabbers. The Sidekick II has 32MB of RAM and 16MB of ROM. There's no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, for example.

                    

However, the machine's strength is its highly-integrated software suite - you can dial phone numbers direct from an email, instant message or text, for example - its push email system and the fact that the entire data set is kept in almost constant synchronisation with Danger's servers. Even folk who don't back-up their contacts, calendars, pictures and so on have that information protected automatically. The Hiptop 2's web browser is also rather better at formatting pages for the machine's screen, thanks to a server-side pre-processing step, than many mobile browsers.

The Sidekick II also offers a decent-sized colour screen and, crucially, an email, IM and SMS-friendly QWERTY keyboard.

T-Mobile said the Sidekick II is available immediately through its online store and High Street retail outlets. We understand it will also be coming to Carphone Warehouse and other phone retailers next month.

T-Mobile is charging up to £50 for the Sidekick II, but you'll also have to take out a £30-a-month Web'n'Walk contract. That includes 100 minutes' call time and 40MB of data transfers - more than enough for most consumers, our sources suggest. Further Web'n'Walk packages that bundle 200 minutes and 400 minutes, respectively, of call time, but retain the 40MB data bundle, are also available.


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