Photos: Toshiba TG01 turns its back on greatness, goes with Windows Mobile
We've been in a love/hate relationship with the Toshiba TG01 since Flora was called Andy and we laid eyes on it way back in February at the Mobile World Congress. Now that it's launched exclusively on Orange in the UK, we're still conflicted.
We love that it's the first smart phone to rock Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and we lust after its 104mm (4.1-inch) screen, all packed into a case so slim it gave us body-image issues just looking at it.
It's got Wi-Fi and HSPA for speedy Web surfing, as well as GPS
with Orange's built-in turn-by-turn navigation. And take that, iPhone: there's a microSD card
slot, which comes with an 8GB memory card, expandable up to 32GB.
But we hate that it sports the dated-looking Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, and that gorgeous screen is a resistive one, which means you'll have to apply a little pressure with a fingernail as you try to tap those tiny, 90s-style Windows icons.
In response to our anguished cries of "Why, dear gods, why?" Toshiba told us it chose WinMo because it's easy to develop on, so it could get this innovative phone out the door promptly. Orange said it plans to roll out the next version of the OS, Windows Mobile 6.5, as a free over-the-air download when it's released, which should improve things slightly.
We'll admit Windows Mobile is much-beloved of IT managers because of its business-friendly configuration, security and remote-wiping options, so the TG01 could be the big-screen smart phone for suits who aren't allowed iPhones.
It's not up as of this moment, but Orange says the TG01 will go on sale today from free on a £39.15 per month, two-year contract from its Web site.
Click the image to read more about the TG01's impressive features and depressive user interface.
There are two choices of user interface on the TG01: Orange's or Toshiba's, shown here, which has customisable coloured stripes. Unfortunately, a few lovely stripes can't hide the very dated-looking Windows Mobile 6.1 icons and menus.
The Orange UI features a strip of icons down the left-hand side, which reminded us of the home screen on recent Samsung phones such as the Tocco Lite.
Windows Mobile is packed with interface options, including on-screen keyboards of all types, in portrait and landscape versions, and handwriting recognition.
One of the oddest interface options we've ever seen is the TG01's on-screen direction buttons, which you drag up with the swipe of a finger from the silver stripe underneath the screen.
We were gobsmacked when Toshiba told us we were meant to use the buttons to navigate 'like a mouse', because it seems to go against the whole point of a touchscreen. Why mouse around when we can just poke what we want?
The TG01 squeezes in a 3.2-megapixel camera that also shoots video, but as you can see, it doesn't take advantage of the big screen while filming.
Just looking at the 10mm TG01 in profile made our eyes go a little blurry, it's so beautiful. Now all it needs is a friendly neighbourhood hacker to put Android on it.
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