Toshiba TG01 Windows Mobile Smartphone - Toshiba TG01

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Getting back to that all important screen and Toshiba really has created something quite stunning. In terms of clarity, it's use of a resistive touchscreen does mean it suffers from the slight milkiness that troubles all such displays but otherwise it's bright, colourful, and very sharp. Indeed Toshiba has employed some of its TV technologies, including dynamic backlight control, colour matching, and dynamic gamma correction, to enhance video playback. The result is video that has deeper blacks, more vivid colours, and generally a greater sense of depth than on any other device we've seen, bar those that use OLED displays. It really is impressive stuff.

The combination of the screen's sheer size and its resolution of 800 x 480 pixels also brings a whole other level of functionality to the mobile device world. Where something like the HTC Touch Pro 2 has a similar resolution, its screen is too small to use comfortably with your fingers. By contrast the TG01 almost doesn't need all the fancy finger-friendly skins that have been crammed onto other Windows Mobile 6.1 devices of late because icons, menu options, scroll bars and such like are all large enough to comfortably hit with your finger on the TG01.

That said, the interface tweaks that have been made are very welcome. These include the ability to scroll by pressing anywhere on the screen and just dragging the 'page' around like it were a piece of paper rather than having to use scroll bars. There are also custom finger-friendly keyboards for easier touch typing, though these are particularly poor examples.

Toshiba has also implemented a custom home screen but this either needs to be ditched or heavily overhauled as quickly as possible. It uses an array of half a dozen 'blinds' to categorise various shortcuts to settings, applications, media, tools, and such like. The idea is that it shows three of the blinds at any one time and by swiping your finger across the screen you can flip along to the next blind. You can then extend the list of shortcuts on each blind by dragging it up the length of the blind. Now, this is a convoluted and ill-conceived concept right from the get go - essentially it's just an overly complicated application launcher - but it's made utterly rubbish by the fact its slow and difficult to use.

Once you add in the fact that this screen feels unresponsive compared to the capacitive ones of the iPhone, HTC Magic, and Palm Pre and you have a device that pretty much falls flat on its face in terms of usability. Any basic phone task like dialling a number, writing a text message, setting an alarm, and playing some music, is an absolute chore.

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ChaosDefinesOrder

July 28, 2009, 5:28 am

"if you're the type of person that likes to tweak the OS, install custom interfaces, and generally completely revamp and tinker with your phone"





That'd be me then, and why I absolutely love my Touch HD - even the POST boot splash screen is modified!





This review surprised me, I'd seen you guys slating it in comments sections of recent reviews and then the actual thing itself was, in my eyes, more positive than negative. If I didn't have my HD currently, I would have actually considered getting one of these based off your review...





ho hum, bit of a WiMo fan (as you probably already know) and yet to be won over by the iPhone's OS apart from occasional genius applications (the nearest Tube station augmented reality is a great idea!)

adoniteINK

July 28, 2009, 6:24 am

I always thought that interface was hideous but this phone had so much potential to be a great multimedia smartphone. I mean it comes packaged with core codec(CC) mobile media player which is pretty much the best on the planet for watching videos. It would have been excellent if it launched with windows mobile 6.5. I am dying to get a brand new smartphone but nothing in the market appeals to me.


- OmniaHD has very poor product support from samsung and its just as big as the TG01 if not thicker.


- Omnia 2(II) is brought down by windows mobile 6.1 and new product bugs/crashes.


- Iphone3GS is good but with complains about battery life and its basic 3meg camera not to talk of the outrageous price plans from O2 just make my apples sour. Plus the no.1 app that interests me is ver2 of CC's media player which isnt out yet.


- Sony ericcson likes to wait until the market passes them by. So many press releases on their satio and aino but release date?! no comment. They should release the goddamn Rachel(android phone) this year.(please!)


- Was going to hold out for a Hero(HTC) but that shape! who changed the water dispenser in the design dept to alcohol.


- Palm Pre is now $99 in the states but come christmas(Q4), i bet O2 will f*** the plans up with that one as well.


- All HTC products...tell microsoft to release 6.5. I am not interested in experimenting with Beta ROMs.


- Nokia...what the hell is wrong with you..you better get your s**t together.





Ahem! so this is my personal vendetta with the mobile market.

Gordon394

July 28, 2009, 7:39 am

@@ChaosDefinesOrder - it's down to individual takes. It's a fabulous piece of hardware but there are numerous software issues. If you like to customise that until the cows come home then maybe you'll love the TG01 but for me no handset should be such a mess out of the box.

Runadumb

July 28, 2009, 1:30 pm

wow was i surprised when i seen the high score having briefly played with this device. glad to see you noted the awful UI can be changed for many better ones as its a WM device. I know lots of people would dismiss this as lets face it a phone shouldn't be this bad out of the box.


i played with it in the shop and found texting to be amazingly slow. i take it you had no such problems?


for me its just far to big to even consider. please HTC dont go bigger than the Touch HD

chris10230

July 28, 2009, 7:55 pm

@Runadumb too late on that one the HTC Leo is supposed to have a 4.1" screen...

Oliver Levett

July 28, 2009, 8:51 pm

@chris10230: some of the Leo rumours are utter rubbish. Don't believe everything you hear...





I'm quite surprised at this review, since compared to the WM drivers for most other devices, the ones on this are crap. 3D acceleration on snapdragon should be god like, and yet performance isn't much better than on MSM720X based devices.

ChaosDefinesOrder

July 28, 2009, 9:12 pm

@Oliver: maybe Qualcomm did their annoying thing of licensing the chipset but witholding the hardware graphics drivers asking for a stupidly large amount for them. Maybe the anti-trust legal proceedings in the far east will slap them in the face about how bad that practise is. Their current practise is akid to selling an iPod Touch, and then charging twice the unit price to play videos on it.

Runadumb

July 28, 2009, 11:09 pm

@ Chris - Yeah as Oliver guessed I know of the Leo and the Thoth but im hoping, HOPING that the Touch HD's replacement isnt a 4 inch monster. I should have been more specific

Ironduke

July 28, 2009, 11:53 pm

smells like another apple victory.





when are these phonemakers going to step upto the plate and take on the power of jobsey?





The iPhone is the Heavyweight champ and has been for the last 2 years

Greg17b

July 29, 2009, 4:34 am

Just put this cpu in a Hero and I'l be happy. For 12 months anyway...

DrDark

July 31, 2009, 4:19 pm

Companies are so lazy. You can see the design brief for this was:


1)ummm... big screen!


2)ummm, what else... ooh, overpowered processor!


That's about it. Software is unimaginative, hardware finish is terrible, camera is an afterthought and there's just no effort in it at all.





Palm's WebOS excites me, but needs better hardware to show it off.





@adoniteINK - I'm happy with my E71 ;).


And after hearing so many colleagues recently whining about their lost apps due to iPhone-iTunes sync issues, I just realised I can't even remember where my Nokia sync cable is, since I've hardly ever used it.

fatriff

March 30, 2010, 1:44 pm

Another victory for apple?? What are you talking about? Iphones are for people who aren't capable of doing anything with a device.. ie sheep or simple people.. the TG01 is in another world.. Have a movie playing while surfing the web and another 5 or more programs open and just switch between them.. completely change the interface to anything you want, run whatever you like even N64 games, full flash on all sites etc etc

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