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Toshiba TG01: Shoulda woulda coulda

Perched on the top of the Centre Point building in London, a small group of Toshiba and Orange executives showed off their latest offering, the Toshiba TG01. The demo began well but soon descended into apologies when the TG01’s Windows Mobile interface started to play up.

Putting aside for a moment how fiddly Windows Mobile is, it’s worth pointing out how far Toshiba has come with its mobile phones. The TG01 is a far cry from the days of the Toshiba G500 and G900 — two truly awful phones. The TG01 is attractive, slim and powerful but it’s not perfect.

We really hoped that Toshiba had cracked the touchscreen code and when we heard that it was using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset, we thought it couldn’t fail. But while we boogied to a set from DJ Yoda and enjoyed the lavish surroundings of the Paramount club, something bothered us and we couldn’t ignore it.

The TG01 looks the part, it feels the part and while the screen could be a lot better, it’s a seemingly solid phone. When you start to use it though, it quickly falls apart. The clunky interface is about as intuitive as finding your way around Monument tube station.

Had the TG01 run Android then we might have been able to say how much we loved this phone, unfortunately it didn’t. It’s great to see Orange and Toshiba having a punt at something new and while this isn’t a gamble we think will pay off, it’s definitely pushing things in the right direction. Click next for more pictures.

Considering it features a 4.1-inch screen, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS, we were impressed at how thin the TG01 is. It’s slips easily into a pocket and doesn’t feel heavy.

One of the most striking things about the TG01 is how wide it is but that’s so it can accommodate its large screen. We hope that Toshiba can use its laptop experience and combine it with what its learnt from the TG01, to create a mobile Internet device that really wows us in the future.

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