Toshiba TG01 smartphone
A load of Tosh?
Review It seems like it's been a long time coming, but the TG01 is finally here. Toshiba's latest venture into the smart phone market is a Windows Mobile device but, in terms of size, looks unlike anything we've ever seen.
It’s bigger, thinner and, according to Toshiba, faster any other phone out there, thanks to its 1GHz processor. The TG01 also has HSDPA 3G (7.2Mbps), Wi-Fi, A-GPS and a 3.2Mp camera, which ought to put it in the front running with the best of the latest rash of high-end smart phones. It ought to, but appearances can be deceiving.
Yes indeed, the Toshiba TG01 is certainly bigger than the rest, and thinner too, at 130x70x9.9mm, just a whisker under the magic 1cm line. It's no heavyweight either at 129g, which makes it surprisingly pocketable. Admittedly, it's a bit awkward for a jeans pocket perhaps, but its slimness means that it will fit very nicely into the inside breast pocket of a suit.
The LCD touchscreen is, frankly, huge at 4.1in and dominates the front of the device. This 800 x 480 pixel WVGA display doesn't even extend to the edges, as there’s an extensive border around it. Above it are the loudspeaker and an LED with three warning colours: red for low battery or charging, blue for call or message waiting and green for sleep mode.
Below the screen are touch-sensitive home and back keys, plus a zoom bar for use while browsing. If you flick your finger onto the screen from the zoom bar you'll also bring up an additional onscreen navpad, with direction arrows and hot keys – very nice, but we couldn't see much use for it on a touchscreen phone.
Certainly thin, but too wide for a comfy fit in most pockets
The whole unit is wrapped in a pleasantly tactile and sturdy rubberised plastic case. A chrome-look strip runs all the way round the sides, highlighting a power button and volume rocker, camera shutter button and a covered micro USB slot. On the back is the lens for the 3.2Mp camera, crammed up at one end, and there's a little slot, which is possibly for there for ventilation, but it does mean that your phone's innards are exposed to stray bits of dust and fluff.
Yet another me-too winmobile phone with improbably minor differences from all the others.
For glod's sake, surely a company as big as Tosh can have an original idea occasionally?
Paris, 'cos she always likes what she's already had.
Well, will be giving this a miss
70% - that's appalling on the scale of reviews - i.e., all devices usually fall within 75% to 95%.
The device is last year's technology (resistive touchscreen, WinMo) running on a fast CPU and high-resolution display, with low storage (8GB), an appalling UI (even the launcher UI, not just the underlying WinMo), etc.
And WinMo can't recover without a total reinvention, a la Palm.
iPhone vs WinMo
I recently did a presentation at my workplace which included a comparison between WinMo and the iPhone OS and hardware.
Once more, M$ have proven that no matter how much processor power you throw into the device, it still feels/behaves sluggish, and so my 'argument' was proven correct once more!
Its a real shame, I had high hopes, because some WinMo devices come in really nice form factors, eg HTC touch diamond & diamond 2, its just a real shame about the OS.
Throwing a 1Ghz processor at a dead dog of an OS (same goes for Windows Vista & most Intel CPUs for instance) just doesn't fix the original problems with the OS. And M$ cant blame it on Tosh/HTC/Sony Ericsson etc for plonking a groovy looking UI on top of it all either.
The ONLY way MS can fix this is to ditch everything above the OS kernel, improve the driver model to allow MUCH better hardware accelerated graphics support from the get go, allow other handset makers to replace the shell (WinMo Explorer?) in its entirity with their own developments.
I've no idea how ingrained the Windows mobile Shell is into the OS, but it needs to be ripped out, stamped on and burned alive!
At the moment, HTC have dug pretty deep, but nowhere near as deep as need be to make it worthwhile - remember the arguments HTC had a few years back with the development community, when they totally failed to leverage the already in-built 2D / 3D acceleration hardware back in the TyTn?
I keep seeing smartphone after smartphone being released onto the market and apart from the iPhone & Blackberry they are all universal FAILS.
Some of them even look like they could be pretty good but they still end up being just one big bag of fail.
The one common denominator that they all have is WinMobile which is a horrible, horrible PoS, so much so that even the non-evangelical types will avoid it at any cost.
Why do manufacturers keep crippling their devices with this abomination of an OS? They clearly think that if maybe they were to make that plastic case just that little bit shinier then the next model will surely be da bomb!
Well, I won't be holding my breath, I assure you.
... I quite liked the look of this phone- until I saw it in the flesh. It's absolutely huge.
I mean, think how large it could reasonably be, and then add on a bit more, and you'll still be a bit too small.
It's really surprising that Tosh took trhe risk on making it that big- corporate culture tends to weed out a phone the size of a phonebook (particularly after 20 years of miniaturisation in the phone market).
And as for WinMo- yes, it is a dogs dinner, but the basic (without touchscreen) version is pretty usable- better than Symbian, anyhow, and worth a shake for good email interaction and exchange calendar support. I'll never buy another WinMo touchscreen phone again.
I wonder why no android?