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Back in July of this year we took our first look at the TG01 from Toshiba. While for the most part its colossal dimensions, use of Windows Mobile 6.1, and generally cumbersome nature left us wanting, the sheer size of its screen and the fact it packed in most of the features we'd want from such a phone meant we could see some merit in it. Now, several months later, Toshiba has sent us a new version of the TG01 with the latest Windows Mobile 6.5/Phone loaded onto it so we're going to take a second look to see if things have improved. With the HTC HD2 having shown what can be done with a phone of this size, it's going to be a tough test though.
As it's identical to the previous version of the TG01, we won't dwell on the hardware features too much but we will give a brief overview.
Those colossal dimensions are specifically 129 x 71 x 9mm, so at least its thickness is an impressively small figure considering that smaller rivals rarely break into single figures. As for the other dimensions, you'll still need fairly deep pockets to accommodate it. Weight, however, isn't too much of an issue at just 128g.
In terms of design, the TG01 is very much a plain Jane with soft-touch black plastic back and sides and a few chrome highlights here and there. Most notably, it has a slightly top-heavy look due to a wider space above the screen than below it.
The left edge is home to the power button and volume rocker while the right has the camera button and a flap that covers the micro-USB data and charging socket. Meanwhile on the front below the screen, are a home button, zoom bar, and back button - call answer and end buttons are confined to software only. For the most part, all the buttons fall within easy reach when holding the phone one-handed, though like the HD2, reaching the full expanse of the screen is impossible when holding the phone one-handed without constantly adjusting your grip.
The lack of a proper headphone jack is a major downside and instead you must make do with a micro-USB headset adapter, which is at least included in the box. Along with this you get an 8GB microSD card, a stylus, and a USB to micro-USB adapter, which is a considerably more comprehensive set of extras than you'll get with many phones.
Of course, with a phone like this, its main feature is its screen and on this front the TG01 has undoubtedly been surpassed. At 4.1in, it now comes second place in sheer size to that of the HD2 and it lacks the HD2's gorgeous glass finish and capacitive touch sensing. Instead the TG01 uses resistive sensing and a soft, flexible, scratch-prone screen surface. Being resistive, it also requires you to press the screen, rather than just touch it, as on capacitive ones, which makes working your way round such a big screen one-handed even more difficult. All told, the TG01's novelty large screen appeal that it had when we first looked at it has simply vanished over night.