The TG01 runs on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS, but as with most modern WinMo handsets, Toshiba has installed its own distinctive user-friendly skin on top. The Toshiba Today page includes eight 'stripes' with room for up to ten widgets in each – phone, settings, applications, internet, messaging, media, files and tools. Three stripes are displayed at any one time and you brush the screen sideways to access the others.
Toshiba's stripy skin user interface
Orange has the TG01 exclusively for now, and offers its own alternative home screen with widgets appearing as a scrolling bar to the left of the screen – you can brush your finger along the screen to scroll through them, or press them directly. Call start and end buttons appear at the bottom of the screen in both modes, along with two programmable soft keys.
So far, so good. There is, however, a clue to the TG01's Achilles heel in the box. Toshiba has included a stylus, despite saying that it won't be needed. While you won't need the stylus for most of the top-line navigation, featuring thumb-friendly widgets, you will need it once you get into the Windows Mobile menus, lying just below the surface.
The resistive touchscreen could also do with being a bit more sensitive, and more than a few times, we abandoned the theory of thumb-touch access in favour of the precision reality of the stylus. It's a shame, but post-iPhone, we expect touch screens to just work, without the need for any cajoling.
The TG01 is blessed with a meaty Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor – the most powerful we've yet seen on a handset, backed by 256MB Ram. Now, a 1GHz processor seems like a pretty impressive statistic on a handset but, to be honest, we didn't really feel the difference.
Just a 3Mp camera but features on-board video editing
True, it didn't lag as badly as some WinMo handsets, the Acer M900 being an especially bad recent offender, but you still don't get the feeling that it zips easily between applications, and each one takes a couple of easy-going seconds to start up. It's not bad, but it's certainly not as big a difference as we were hoping for.
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?