Like the numberpad the screen is similarly odd. Its OLED display offers 96 x 39 pixels which makes it small by anybody’s standards. There are only three lines for display, and the top one is taken up with status information. This leaves just two for things like incoming SMS messages, so the phone isn’t exactly brimming with information delivery potential. In fact, you’ll need to scroll to read any SMS message of more than about five or six words.
And getting round applications and menus is a bit of a challenge too. You have to use the two side rockers, one on the left side of the phone and one on the right. These have a wide range of functions depending on where you are in the phone at the time. For example, the right rocker doubles to offer Call and End functions and turns the handset on and off.
The left is used as a volume rocker and profile changer as well as a shortcut to SMS creation and the music player, depending on where you press it and where you are in the phone. I’d choose dedicated buttons any day over having to remember all the various roles a single button can have. These buttons flank the screen, and I never did find an easy way of accessing both at once.
I tried holding the phone in my right hand and using my thumb for the right rocker and index finger for the left rocker, but that was uncomfortable. I tried holding the phone in both hands and using forefinger and thumb combinations, but that felt squished and was difficult when standing up on the bus! I tried laying the phone on my desk and prodding at the buttons. It worked OK, but is, obviously enough, only possible some of the time.
Despite Toshiba’s enumeration of what this phone can do – to recap; HSDPA USB modem, USB data storage and music playback – the G450 is also notable for what it can’t do.
There is no camera, which might come as a surprise to those looking at its £150 SIM-free price, and no mobile email either. The lack of the latter is probably a blessing in disguise given the small screen, but with mobile email pretty much supported by all phones above mid-range its absence is a surprise.