Toshiba TG01 review

Can the most powerful mobile phone ever built compete with the iPhone?

The Toshiba TG01 - the fastest, thinnest and largest
The Toshiba TG01 - the fastest, thinnest and largest

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As you can gather, the Toshiba TG01 is a phone that has a few problems to say the least. It's not the worst phone of the year, but for it to be even thought of as a front runner, it certainly needs a huge amount of work.

We liked

Once you get past the problems of Windows Mobile 6.1 (and that takes a while) the power of the phone is great. Internet connectivity is fast, the phone runs smoothly in most cases, and the whole thing can re-orientate itself to work in landscape mode.

The 8GB card in the box is a nice present from Orange, and the TG01 is very, very pocket friendly given its size (we constantly had to check we actually still had it with us, which we didn't expect).

It's not the ugliest device we've ever seen either, and for a different phone with business functionality, there are worse.

We disliked

But the problems far outweigh the positives. Speaking to a couple of people playing with the device, they feel the same way - the Windows Mobile 6.1 interface ruins the TG01.

People can talk until they are blue in the face about the power of the OS, but at the end of the day when you have to poke a small tickbox to do something crucial on the phone five times, you're going to want to throw the phone out of the window.

The little things really mount up as well, with elements like having to wait two seconds to start video recording and Internet Explorer Mobile not being able to zoom in enough to read text.

We could go on and on about the things we don't like in the phone, and it's just such a shame as we had such high hopes for the fastest, thinnest and most grandly-screened smartphone on the market. But at the end of the day the decision to use Windows Mobile 6.1 (which CAN be executed well, just ask HTC) has hampered the phone far too much.

TechRadar verdict

As you'll have noted, the OS is the thing that we dislike the most in this phone - and if a 1GHz processor can't iron out the problems, nothing can.

We'll be happy to revisit the Toshiba TG01 in a few months time when it comes with Windows Mobile 6.5, but right now we're just very disappointed with a missed opportunity.

Like we said, you soon learn the tricks to get around the phone where necessary, but there's no excuse for the ridiculously hard to use internet browser, the sheer amount of menus you have to plough through to do the simplest things (such as write a message) or watching a video.

We'd like to believe that the next iteration of WinMo will fix most of the problems with its finger-friendly interface, but in all honesty we're not that hopeful.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.