Great hardware, screen and design, but it's expensive and let down by Windows Mobile's dated interface.
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, 4.1in 480×800 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 480×800 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.
|Main display size
|CCD effective megapixels
|Video recording format
|Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
|Memory card support
|Memory card included
|GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 2100
|GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
|Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
|Microsoft Office compatibility
|Word/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
|Audio format support
|MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, eAAC+, MIDI, SP-MIDI
|Video playback formats
|H.263, H.264, MPEG4, WMV
|Pocket IE 6
|headset, USB data cable, mains adapter, stylus, USB adaptor
|Tested battery life (MP3 playback)
|Price on contract
|£49 on £29-per-month, 18-month contract