Smartphones are an intensely personal thing, with one person's priorities being another's trivial tasks. The TG01 has something of a chequered reputation earned, in part to it being released with Windows Mobile 6.1 due to Microsoft's delay in releasing 6.5. This review will examine how the device stands up now that Toshiba is able to ship it with the operating system it was originally designed for.
Taking a look at the hardware first and what's inside. Power comes from a Snapdragon processor running at 1Ghz, sports 256MB of ram and 512MB of flash for storage. Expansion comes in the form of a micro SD slot. Exceptionally Toshiba has included USB host facilities on the TG01 meaning that you can plug in USB mass storage devices including some external hard drives which draw low power or have a seperate facility for power. Keyboards also work out of the box, drivers are available to support a number of other devices including mice and game pads.
That micro USB connector will be kept busy as it serves triple duty as the power input for charging and sound output (via an adapter) for your headphones as well as the host capability. The connector is covered to keep dirt out and when closed there are no openings to disrupt the Toshiba's clean lines. The micro usb connector is joined on the right hand side of the phone by the camera button whilst the left hand side sports the power button and volume controls. The top and bottom edges are clean with no controls. On the back are the 3.2 mega pixel camera and the speaker.
Which brings us to the business end of the TG01. The front is dominated by the 4 .1" WVGA screen which is bright, clear and resistive - a point that will become important when we look at usability later in part two of this review. Above the screen are an LED for notifications and the phone speaker. The LED is orange for charging, blue when bluetooth is enabled and flashing green for sleep mode. Some people find that annoying so Toshiba allow it to be turned off in the control panel.
Below the screen sit the physical controls, touch sensitive home and back buttons; and a zoom bar which allows web pages and images to be easily resized.
Inside, under the back cover, are the SIM card and micro SD slots and the battery which measures 1000mAh - small by modern standards.
There's a reason for that though, the TG01's incredibly slim form factor. At just 9.9mm at its thickest point the TG01 is 25% thinner than the iPhone or HTC HD2. That and its height make it the supermodel of smartphones - think Elle Macpherson to the iPhone's Rene Zellwegger... That slim body is wrapped in a soft touch black plastic which doesn't pick up fingerprints. The screen is also remarkably fingerprint resistant so you won't need to carry around a cloth to keep it looking its best.
Its a pretty good looking device the TG01, professional enough for business use, able to hold its own in more casual company. The slim body means that it fits comfortably into a shirt pocket or a suit without causing an unsightly bulge. Its also comfortable to carry in a pocket of your trousers or jeans, with the proviso that if you are into figure hugging hipsters you may need to exercise some care when sitting down!
So to sum up the TG01 packs a mighty punch, wrapped up in a sleek body which is a pleasure to carry and use. Its a tall device and quite wide too, however the size and clarity of the screen more than adequately compensate for this.
That just about wraps up the hardware in part two I'll look at the software and usability.