Last night at the midtown Manhattan club Arena, T-Mobile hosted members of the tech press, socialites and other sparkling members of NYC's digerati to an ear-shattering launch party for its newest handset. The Teddybears and Twista were in da house. Oh, and so was the Nokia 5300.In order to fulfill my news-providing obligation, I can tell you that the 5300 is a nifty little slider phone that has a mediocre 1.3 megapixel camera, but some really good music features. It has a large-ish screen and does a good job of organizing your tunes and making it easy to listen to them while you are on the go. The messaging features are very typical and, when the mood strikes you, it also lets you make phone calls. It's available today for $99 with a 2-year commitment.
Now back to the party.
Arena is a Rome-themed former church about half a block from Bryant Park. T-Mobile actually made us journalists line-up and wait outside like we were itching to get into some super trendy nightspot that we normally don't have a chance in hell of getting in to. (Wait a minute, I suppose that's what we were actually doing...) Eventually they let us in and it was quickly apparent that the tech press were the least of the attendees. I have to be honest here and say that I know literally nothing about R&B and hip hop, but it was obvious that a sizable portion of the large crowd at Arena last night was excited about something other than T-Mobile's newest handset.
There were a handful of women dressed in faux-Roman garb, complete with Centurion-like helmets, walking around with the 5300 and providing demonstrations and letting the crowd get some hands-on time with the phone. Not that you could hear anything over the music. Most people were shouting at one another to be heard.
The night started off with some loud DJ tunes. Swedish alt rockers The Teddybears, complete with...wait for it...bear heads on their noggins kicked off the live music. After about 45 minutes, they retired and Twista eventually came on stage, to the delight of the crowd. Most of the techies I knew at the party were out of there long before Twista came on, as were many of the Nokia staffers at the event. One Nokia spokesperson admitted, "This is T-Mobile's party, we're just here to have fun."
I guess a little fun isn't a bad thing.