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Unusually for a Windows Mobile Standard device, the Portégé G710 has a GPS receiver built-in. There's no software utility to take advantage of this out of the box, but you can download and install Google Maps for free, and for under £100 you can add proper turn-by-turn in-car sat-nav.
But that's where the good news ends and the bad stuff begins to surface. And it turns out that G710 is woefully underpowered in virtually every other department. Despite the navigational capabilities, there's no fast mobile data connection. Instead of HSDPA, you're stuck with GPRS, and there's no Wi-Fi connection to ameliorate this situation when in sight of a hotspot. Bluetooth is just 1.2, though it is at least A2DP compatible for wireless music (just as well given that the phone has no standard 2.5mm or 3.5mm audio output). The camera on the phone's rear is just two megapixels and not a particularly good one at that. And neither is the phone generously specified in terms of core components.
Powering the Portégé G710 is a Texas Instruments OMAP processor running at 260MHz and, like a home-built "Ferrari" copy with a Toyota engine in the engine bay, it feels horribly sluggish as a result. It has just 64MB of RAM for running programs, which in the world of Windows Mobile memory management means it's going to run out pretty quickly and leave you having to manually shut applications down with the Task Manager. Meanwhile, storage for extra stuff isn't entirely generous either at a mere 128MB.
What hammers the final nail in the G710's attractive black coffin, however, is its battery life. You might have thought that the combination of a slow processor and lack of fast mobile data would have the side benefit of extending this out to a maximum of three or maybe four days, but the G710 gave an underwhelming two days of use with the absolute lightest of use. Worse still is that the battery indicator behaves like a dodgy fuel gauge; with a good 25 per cent remaining I went to bed, but by morning the phone had given up the ghost - a mere six hours later.
So despite a decent software complement - not every Windows Smartphone can boast Office Mobile (though it is the version that bizarrely doesn't allow you to create new files from scratch) - the Toshiba Portégé G710 is a bit of a disappointment. It really wants to match the big boys from the major marques and does a pretty good job with the most difficult part - the keyboard and navigation controls are excellent.
But when it comes to internal specifications, Toshiba has got it all wrong. The phone might cater for the few that are willing to sacrifice battery life and performance for GPS at the right price - at £225 the G710 is relatively cheap for a GPS smartphone - but for everyone else who wants it all in a mobile device, the compromises will simply be too much.
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