Even if the lack of VBR and DRM compatiblity doesn’t bother you, the sound quality (or lack of it) certainly will. It’s both light on bass and very thin-sounding, even with tracks encoded at reasonably high bit-rate. This robs the Oasis tracks that came preloaded on the device of drive and depth and made listening for long periods tiring on the ears. Even dumping the supplied headphones for a better set doesn’t improve things.
Sound quality on music videos is even less impressive as hefty compression-levels kick in and, to be honest, I can’t much see the point anyway. If I desperately want to watch a music video I’ll switch on MTV or one of the umpteen other music channels when I get home.
Watching TV on a phone, bizarrely, makes a touch more sense. If you’re out and about and want to catch the football results, a news bulletin, or you just want to catch a snatch of your favourite soap, it’s perfect – as long as you’ve got a strong signal the 3GPP video streaming works a treat. It’s just a shame there aren’t more channels available right now.
Having established that the TS803 doesn’t really have the credentials to be anything more than a distinctly average music player, and that watching music videos on it is about as exciting as being the designated driver at a booze-up in a vineyard, all that’s left to do is assess its capabilities as a Bluetooth-enabled camera phone and it’s not great news for the Tosh here either.
The TS803’s main problem is its size. It’s one of the chunkier 3G phones around, rivalling even the Sony Ericsson V800 in the wearing-a-hole-in-your-pocket stakes. The design isn’t exactly the last word in telecommunications chic either, though I did love the snick the clamshell hinge makes when it’s opened and closed. Strangely the TS803 also lacks a video camera on the inside, which makes video calling (one of 3G’s supposed raîson d’êtres) a bit pointless.