One glitch I encountered during use was that the image from all downloaded videos from Vodafone Live would freeze about half way though, while the sound would continue to the end. This forced me to stream video rather than download it. I hope this is due to early firmware on the review sample otherwise Vodafone could be facing many returns.
The menu system on the phone conforms to Vodafone’s standard interface, which means that it’s rather simplistic. Sony Ericsson’s V800 has a much better looking icon interface and the one on the Toshiba certainly didn’t feel special in any way. Despite its basic looks I found it difficult to find things I wanted, such as removing the annoying keypad beeping. At the same time there were numerous frivolous choices for things such as the type of clock. It also took me a while to find content stored on the supplied 32MB memory card. Confusingly, when you go into Pictures, Videos and Sounds, content stored on the card isn’t automatically shown. You first have to manually go into the memory card. Unfortunately this option isn’t clearly listed – you have to press the options key to find the choice, adding unnecessary time to what should be a simple task. The memory card type is full size SD, which runs counter to the current trend for Mini-SD or Memory Stick Duo.
Battery life is not that great. Considering the size I was hoping for a decent staying power but I found myself disappointed. After a full charge the phone remained with full bars for a long time up until the point that I started actually using it. After a few video downloads and calls the bars would plummet quickly. This means I didn’t feel I could rely on the phone to even get me though the day. Ominously the phone would also get quite hot to the touch, something that early 3G phones were susceptible to. Several times it was on full charge in the evening but when I came back to it the next morning, it was completely drained. It seems that if it received an unanswered call or text, and it wasn’t checked, the screen would activate and soon drain the battery.
It’s this sort of thing that gives the camera the feel of a first time attempt as far as Toshiba is concerned. 3G phones are complex compared to standard GSM phones, and it’s as if for the first time round Toshiba concentrated on getting a working product out, rather than on reducing its size.
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