Still, one of the things that the TG01 was most revered for when it launched was its debut of the Snapdragon processor that lay at its heart. This ultra fast chip was supposed to be the next big thing in mobile phones and other computing devices of this calibre and largely it has lived up to expectations. Certainly the devices we've seen that use it, including this one, zip along very nicely and cope with multimedia-heavy tasks better than smaller smartphones. However, though not surpassed by it this time, the HD2 does use the same processor as well.
Looking now at the software side of things, with the original TG01, Toshiba mistakenly attempted to reskin Windows Mobile with its own more finger-friendly, but awful, interface. For this version, though, they've thankfully kept changes to a minimum. The homescreen, main menus, and various standard features like the picture viewer, music player and contacts list all remain as they would in a clean Windows Phone install. However, Toshiba has added its own keyboard, which gives you a choice of either a numpad-style or QWERTY keyboard layout.
Both are sized and laid out to be finger-friendly but frankly they aren't; indeed they are downright awful. This is partly because of the screen's lack of multitouch support, but mainly because there's no predictive text. Further problems such as the screen just randomly starting to scroll and the keyboard simply disappearing, put the final nail in the coffin. It really is abysmal.
This phone really is a stark reminder of just how much HTC has done with its TouchFLo and SenseMe interfaces that now largely cover up the gaping holes in usability that exist in Windows Phone. It also highlights just how much of a stop gap Windows Mobile 6.5/Phone really is.
OK. The addition of a neat slide-to-unlock gesture, a pretty, finger-sized list of functions on the homescreen, and an easier to navigate programs menu are all well and good, but when playing music presents you with the horror that is the inbuilt media player, or when clicking on the time gives a list of tiny little tick boxes to adjust it with, any sense that Windows Phone is a competitive mobile phone operating system in this day and age go right out the window. Powerful, stable, and backwards compatible it may be, but unless you absolutely have to use it, we very strongly suggest you steer clear of it, especially on the TG01.
Toshiba has attempted to give the original TG01 a new lease of life by replacing its Windows Mobile 6.1 installation with Windows Phone. However, on no front has this resulted in a successful phone. Its large screen and fast processor could be useful if you want your phone to be a true mobile workhorse, but then if you want that you should get the HTC HD2. Were it cheaper than the HTC HD2, we could perhaps see merit in the latest TG01, but it's actually demanding the same price and as such there are many better alternatives.