By August 19, 2009

Toshiba TG01 review

The Toshiba TG01 is by far one of the largest mobiles I have seen in a long while and Toshiba will be hoping it can manage to live up to its large reputation in more ways than just its size.

The Toshiba TG01

The Toshiba TG01

 

What’s in the box?
  • Toshiba TG01 – Black
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • Headset

Check out Matt’s Toshiba TG01 unboxing video for more details.

 

Toshiba TG01 specification:

  • Size:  70mm x129mm x 9.9mm
  • Weight: 129g
  • Display:  Wide-VGA (800 x 480), 4.1”
  • Camera:  3.2 mega-pixel, autofocus
  • Memory:  512MB ROM / 256MB RAM, micro SDHC slot up to 32GB
  • Interface: Bluetooth v2.0, USB v2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Battery: 1,000mAh, Standby: up to 11 Days, Talktime: up to 5 hours (GSM)
  • Band:  850/900/1800/1900 for GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • 2100 for UMTS/HSDPA (7.2Mbps)/HSUPA (2Mbps)
  • Navigation:  Built-in GPS & A-GPS
  • Video service: Windows Media Player, CoreCodec’s CorePlayer Mobile
  • Browser:  Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile
  • Messaging:  SMS, MMS, E-mail, Microsoft Direct Push Technology, Windows Live Messenger
  • Sound:  MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, WAV
  • Video:  H.263, H.264, MPEG4, WMV
  • Java:  MIDP 2.0
  • Processor:  Qualcomm QSD8250 (1GHz) Snapdragon chipset
  • OS:  Windows Mobile  6.1 Professional
  • Others:  Toshiba Touch UI

 

General

As I mentioned the TG01 is an extremely large device however despite its height and width it is a very slim device which slips into the average jeans pocket with a surprising amount of ease. The phone doesn’t break in rules styling wise when it comes to touch screen devices with the screen taking the spotlight as it should with touch screen mobiles with limited physical keys keeping the phone relatively clutter free.

 

It would be hard for a mobile phone to house a 4.1” screen without it simply dominating the device and as you would expect the TG01 is no exception to this, the screen looks great with 3 simple brushed silver touch sensitive command completing the styling of the front of the device.

Toshiba TG01 front view

Toshiba TG01 front view

 

Given the slim nature of the TG01 the sides of the device are relatively free from buttons apart from those seen as ultimately necessary and somewhat obligatory by Toshiba, the left houses the standby button and the volume rocker.

tg01_left

Toshiba TG01 left side

 

The right continues the theme of simplicity again featuring just the one button, this being the dedicated camera shutter button and also home to the mini USB input for charging the phone and connecting headphones.

Toshiba TG01 right side

Toshiba TG01 right side

 

The Back of the device is fairly non de script apart from the obvious Toshiba branding the back features a 3.2 MP camera however I was disappointed the TG01 does not feature a flash of any description.

Toshiba TG01 back view

Toshiba TG01 back view

 

Both the top and the bottom of the handset are free of any buttons or controls.

Toshiba TG01 top view Toshiba TG01 bottom view

Toshiba TG01 top and bottom views

 

Overall the phone cannot hide from its size but what Toshiba have done is manage to use this as an advantage, so instead of carrying around a comparatively large phone you are now carrying around a fantastic 4.1” video multi media device.

 

Highlights and Lowlights
+Large high Quality display
+Great Connectivity
– No auto focus or flash
– Unreliable accelerometer

 

Review
The first you are likely to think when you lay eyes on the TG01 from Toshiba is WOW look at the size of that mobile phone however what Toshiba will be hoping to be the second words out of your mouth are WOW look at the size of that screen! Despite its large size, as I mentioned earlier in the review the TG01 is not a hassle to carry around it slips nicely into the pocket and feels substantial in the hand. It is not quite rounded enough to really fit perfectly in the hand and it does feel a little on the chunky side when talking a call, however when resting the device in your hand for daily usage it feels more at home. The device comes with a considerably large price tag and for that you would expect some top quality craftsmanship however the TG01 does disappoint in this department. Yes it does feel sturdy and well built however the plastic back feels flimsy and fragile which is not something you would expect on a phone of this price, but overall it is a solid phone which feels light in comparison to its size and fairly well built.

As I am sure you are aware at this point that the TG01 uses the traditional windows mobile platform and as a result makes navigation a familiar task to anyone with previous experience with windows mobile devices. You have the choice of several main menus of which I found very well done and it made browsing between simple applications such as the organiser and messaging a joy. The TG01 is noted by Toshiba for its speed however on several occasions I discovered considerable amounts of lag between menus and also had the device crash on me on more than one occasion which I feel is more due to the windows mobile OS than the TG01 itself. Another time the slow reaction time was obvious is during screen rotation the built in accelerometer was often slow to react meaning menus would often switch to landscape without prompt and vise versa. But these occasions were more of an occasional problem rather than a continuous one and the word to describe them would be unpredictable and when it does behave it performs extremely well but I would have liked to see a little more consistency to this performance.

The Windows mobile platform has its advantages though, it comes jam packed with a shear delight of applications and features waiting at your finger tips familiar programs from the desktop market such as windows office mobile as well as windows media player and internet explorer. Along with these familiar programs there are of course some which may not instantly fill you with that great feeling of familiarity of which the majority are mobile operator specific for example orange maps which although may not be familiar certainly does not lack the ease of use as the bundles windows programs. The TH01 is much closer to a desktop experience of windows than I have discovered with other mobile platforms and this is I believe largely due to the size of the screen & clarity sharpness of colour.

tg01_angled

It would seem wrong to ignore the elephant in the room on the TG01 and that is of course the 4.1” screen so does it deliver as promised and is bigger really better? Well in the case of the TG01 at least the answer is yes bigger is definitely better, Toshiba’s experience in the electronics market is clear to see from the effort they have made to give the user the most enjoyable video and media experience possible on a modern mobile platform. Watching videos in the TG01 is an absolute pleasure and the nifty video enhancement options Toshiba have managed really add that extra kick to the screens performance. Sound quality however does lack behind its visual brother and the two do not seem to meet with regards to expectation, it is not that there is anything wrong with the sound per say however when compared to clarity and visual joy gained from the screens performance the audio can often seem second rate often proving difficult to hear if any background noise was present however given that the majority of users are likely to use the device with headphones this problem seems less important and therefore has a much smaller impact on users enjoyment of multimedia functions.

Other multimedia features obviously include music and photo playback which provided headphone are used I have no complaints about as for photo viewing it is perfect for viewing high quality images however the TG01 is not itself capable of producing them, the camera is 3.2 megapixels which is certainly not bad however when you consider the price it seems like an after though from Toshiba rather than a selling point and combine this with the lack of auto focus and a flash and it does not make for fantastic quality which is why for photos at least I feel the 4.1” screen is wasted. The camera is simple to use with a dedicated shutter button however as I mentioned earlier the problems with lag return for the camera and more specifically shutter lag is very much a present part of the TG01’s performance. Another disappointment camera wise is very surprisingly the TG01 does not feature a forward facing camera for video calls which on a business orientated smart phone such as this is simply inexcusable. The TG01 can hold up to 16GB via microSD card however as with a number of recent devices the micro SD card is located below the battery meaning easy access becomes an ever inaccurate description of the process.

Internet browsing is a joy with the TG01 aided as with many other applications by the large screen with limited need for unnecessary scrolling and with 3G capabilities and the very highly regarded dragon snap chip set speed is certainly not an issue with mobile web browsing on the Toshiba and with WI-FI included browsing can be low cost simply adding to the enjoyment. All the organisational tools you have come to expect from a business like device are present with a comprehensive calendar and alarms system perfect for reminders of those important engagements. The TG01 features a fairly large QWERTY touch screen keypad which makes composing email and text massaging a breeze and despite the problems mentioned earlier the TG01 has a very responsive touch screen which as long as it is not suffering from LAG or frozen is simple to use.

The phone included a stylus but unlike other devices there is no space to house the stylus on the device and although it can be connected in a phone charm style it is a little inconvenient and if you find yourself without your trusty stylus you may struggle to use your finger as the screen becomes instantly less responsive. The phones sound quality problems does not seem to translate to using it as a phone and I experienced no muffling or drop in sound while taking a call. The battery is surprisingly small considering the size of the TG01 however battery power is not a massive problem quoted at 276 hours stand by and 5 hours talk time. I found myself confident in using the phone for moderate to heavy usage without constantly fretting that a trip to the plug was imminent.

tg01_angled_left

Conclusion

Overall the TG01 from Toshiba is a solid offering however yet again falls short of the unbelievably high standard of the iPhone and it unfortunately will fall into the category of failed iPhone contender which is a shame because the TG01 does offer a number of great feature and applications which would give certain elements of the iPhone a real run for its money however the overall experience falls short and the phone does come with a high price tag and high expectations both of which I feel are slightly unjustified. The phones speed may not be such a problem is it did not come with the high expectations bought about the dragon snap chip set. That said I would recommend the TG01 to the young professional looking for an all round device with some great features without falling into the category of sheep which is becoming more and more the standard label for iPhone users, the TG01 is sure to draw lots of attention with its sleek design and large build but will do its up most to separate you from the pack.

 

Review by: Nick

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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