Reviews of Toshiba's TG01, the first after Orange's announcement that it will launched the Qualcomm-based smartphone, have started to appear and reveal some nasty surprises.
Engadget for example very much liked the construction and the looks of the TG01 as well as the general feel. The phone, they say, is build to last and the 4.1-inch touchscreen is not overwhelming for a phone of this size.
Toshiba has chosen to use a three-stripe user interface - which might remind some of the good old slot machines - which allows icons to be organised. Unfortunately for Toshiba, it looks as if even with a 1GHz processor, the TG01 appears to be less responsive than the competition - especially the iPhone. This is particularly visible when trying to move around the stripes quickly.
The conclusion by Engadget? "The somewhat sluggish and unwieldy UI fails to properly tie together all the capabilities of the underlying hardware and the end product is a smartphone that can be said to amount to less than the sum of its parts."
This is particularly ironic given the fact that the 1GHz chipset that comes with the TG01 is one of the fastest around and is flanked by one of the best mobile graphics subsystems on the market (ed: Windows Mobile 6.1 = VIsta Mobile?). Which leaves us that Toshiba could be developing an Android-based TG01.
ITPro also reviewed the phone and found out that having to remove the battery and/or the bundled microSD card was a difficult task in itself. The reviewer also came to the same conclusion as Engadget, that this is "a very impressive piece of hardware, hamstrung by an OS that isn’t up to the task", adding that the OS comes with no less than three different media applications.
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Part of the problem seems to come from the fact that the TG01 uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.1 which is a minor upgrade to Windows mobile 6.0 which was released back in February 2007 and is therefore roughly 30 months old. It might have been more judicious to wait until Windows Mobile 6.5 to release the phone which is set to come over the next eight weeks.
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