If I challenged you to produce a list of makers of mobile phones I doubt Toshiba would figure too highly. The company does make mobiles, but these days it's probably better known in the UK for its Windows Mobile toting handhelds.
I wonder how much the new G450 will change that. Certainly it challenges perceived wisdom about what a mobile phone should look like. And Toshiba is also really talking the phone's functions up suggesting it is a ‘unique four-in-one innovative mobile device' being a mobile phone, HSDPA USB modem, MP3 player and USB data storage device.
Putting the marketing aside, though, the G450 is certainly an eye-catcher. If you recall my review of the Liscio that mobile phone has a similar shape, but the G450 puts even the Liscio's innovative design to shame.
The tri-band HSDPA G450 is a small, rounded lozenge of a mobile measuring just 98mm tall, 36mm wide and 16mm thick. It is probably the lightest mobile phone I have ever come across at just 57g too.
The front fascia comprises three circles. The middle and bottom ones house the number pad, the upper one the screen. The number pad circles are brilliantly backlit white when the phone is switched on.
Now, this may sound as cool as the coolest thing you've ever seen, or you may be left feeling cold by the design. But whatever you're feeling let me assure you that both screen and numberpad are the devil incarnate to use till you are accustomed to the unusual systems in place.
As far as the numberpad is concerned the two circles separate the number keys in a most unfriendly way. The 1 to 6 keys are in the upper circle, with 7-9, 0 and the * and # keys in the bottom circle. The positioning of the keys meant that it took a while to get used to both number dialling and texting. In fact throughout the review period I never felt fully happy with the idiosyncratic positioning.