The Toshiba TG01 boasts one of the biggest touchscreens we’ve seen on a mobile (4.1-inch). According to Toshiba, the TG01 has been optimised to run multiple applications while conserving battery power — a welcome feature for business users.
What we like
The TG01 is massive, in a good way. The high-res 4.1-inch screen is really impressive and dwarfs the iPhone 3GS’s display. It’s fitting that Toshiba, a TV manufacturer, would make a mobile phone that looks like a miniature flatscreen TV. You almost want to buy a wall mount and hook it up to your Sky+ box.
The large screen really comes to life when you’re using the Web browser, displaying sites in full and allowing you to scroll around pages with relative ease. It’s also fantastic when you’re using it as a sat-nav (some models will come pre-installed with sat-nav software). The large screen makes seeing directions on a map very straightforward.
Considering how thin it is, the TG01’s battery life impressed us. We put the TG01 on charge for just over an hour before tuning it on and it lasted for over a day of testing.
What we don’t like
At times the TG01’s interface is slower than a rhinoceros mired in treacle. The TG01 might have a next-gen Qualcomm chip running under the hood, but it also runs Windows Mobile 6.1 — the equivalent of installing a jet engine in a Nissan Micra. We wish Toshiba had installed Android instead.
The ‘blinds’ menu system that Toshiba has put on top of Windows Mobile is supposed to make things easier but we weren’t fans. We had to poke the screen several times in order to do something and even then we found certain options confusing.
Operating system issues aside and you’re still faced with a screen that requires a stylus. Two years ago having to use a stylus may have been acceptable but we’re over it now. If you’re going to offer a screen as large as this on a phone then it must be incredibly responsive so that users can get the most out of it.
The Toshiba TG01 has the potential to be a great phone, but it is hobbled by Windows Mobile and the sluggish interface. All the right ingredients are there – large touchscreen, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and GPS – but something’s wrong. Hopefully Microsoft develops a better interface soon or Toshiba uses Android, either way, something has to change.