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Toshiba TG01 review

Barry de la Rosa
13 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
449
inc VAT SIM-free

Great hardware, screen and design, but it's expensive and let down by Windows Mobile's dated interface.

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Specifications

Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, 4.1in 480x800 display

Toshiba's new TG01 is a large, but slender, Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone.

It's the first to use Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon processor. This makes the TG01 much faster than any Windows Mobile device we've seen. However, application load times still aren't that impressive, and it's not as quick as the iPhone 3G S.

It uses a resistive touchscreen, so you have to tap the screen rather than using your fingertips. There's no multi-touch support, either. Toshiba has plastered on its own 3D user interface, and Orange offers an alternative that's remarkably similar to the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5, which will be offered as a free upgrade. Although both give you an easy way to navigate through the phone's features, at some point you'll have to revert to Windows' small icons, fiddly menus and buried commands.

To do this, you can open an onscreen control panel, with arrows giving you precise control over the cursor. Having to use virtual buttons on a touchscreen to control the cursor highlights Windows Mobile's poor suitability for touchscreen devices. It feels like a desktop operating system that's been shoehorned into a mobile device, rather than designed from the ground up, as Google's Android has.

The screen has a massive resolution of 480x800 pixels, which makes editing large spreadsheets and documents a lot easier. It's also great for watching movies and looking at photos. Web browsing is fine, once you ditch Internet Explorer for the free Opera Mobile browser.

An accelerometer switches the display from portrait to landscape mode, but it's not sensitive enough and can get stuck in the wrong mode. In landscape mode, the keyboard is full QWERTY and we found it easy to type on.

It's hard not to be impressed by the TG01's slenderness, impressive screen and smooth, rounded edges. It's much lighter than you'd expect, too. There's no 3.5mm headphone jack, but there's a headphone adaptor for the micro-USB port, which is also used for charging and data transfer. Battery life was acceptable, at just over 12 hours in our MP3 playback test. There's only 238MB of built-in storage, but the microSD slot can provide up to 32GB of extra storage and Orange bundles a generous 8GB card. The 3.2-megapixel camera takes decent shots for a phone.

Toshiba says using Windows Mobile helped it bring the phone out quickly, but it was a poor choice. Despite the TG01's fast processor, huge screen and slender design, it's let down by its operating system. From our experience with a pre-release version of Windows Mobile 6.5, we don't think this situation will improve significantly in the near future. Because of this, we can't recommend this smart piece of hardware.

Details

Price£449
Rating**

Hardware

Main display size4.1in
Native resolution480x800
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3.2-megapixel
Video recording formatMP4, 3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPSyes
Internal memory283MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included4096MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 2100
Wireless dataGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
Size130x70x10mm
Weight129g

Features

Operating systemWindows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, eAAC+, MIDI, SP-MIDI
Video playback formatsH.263, H.264, MPEG4, WMV
FM Radiono
Web BrowserPocket IE 6
Accessoriesheadset, USB data cable, mains adapter, stylus, USB adaptor
Talk time4 hours
Standby time9.2 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)12h 18m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£449
Price on contract£49 on £29-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplierwww.handtec.co.uk
Contract/prepay supplierwww.orange.co.uk
Detailswww.toshiba-europe.com/mobile/

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