The spec list claims that the phone can play back AAC and MP3 files. In my tests the phone couldn’t see a DRM free AAC file and it could only play fixed bit-rate MP3 – it wouldn’t play a VBR track. This is rather limiting, aside from the fact that it would be impractical to use the player for music unless you can charge your phone on the bus. A set of headphones is supplied, with a button to accept incoming calls. The headphones lack bass but quality is fine though a decent pair, which can be plugged into the same cable so you can retain the call answering function.
Vodafone’s usual DRM shenanigans prevented me from using my favourite ’24’ CTU MP3 as a ring tone, though a few minutes Googling got me round that. This time I had to convert to MMF file format using rather than applying DRM but I managed to circumvent the issue all the same.
One thing that surprised me greatly is that while Toshiba has been generous enough to include cables for AV and for audio in the phone it hasn’t supplied a USB cable even though that’s necessary for synchronising your contacts with Outlook. The required software is included on the CD but if it is possible over Bluetooth I couldn’t get it working. At least the Bluetooth worked well with both my Motorola HS850 headset and a Jabra handsfree.
The Toshiba TS 921 is a good phone in many respects but overall it feels like a first effort by 3G newcomer Toshiba. While competitors are shrinking down their 3G phones, Toshiba has gone large. It compensates by making good use of its size with a large screen that’s great to use, but fundamentals such as confusing menu navigation and poor battery life mean that I was more than happy to go back to the comfort of my Sony Ericsson V800. I’d recommend waiting for the follow up from Toshiba.
Score in detail