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Toshiba TG01 smartphone review

We thought it had potential during our brief first look, but is the Windows mobile-based Toshiba TG01 smartphone really up to the demands of business users?

Applications like Word and Excel are clearly going to be used a lot by business people. But, if you think you can access them quickly from the programs/file explorer menu, or indeed any other shortcut, you'd be wrong.

We could only get to them by using the main Windows start menu and choosing the Office Mobile button. Perhaps we're missing something obvious, but after reading the manual and navigating the phone every which way, we were still none the wiser.

Setting up email, thankfully, was a doddle with support for both POP3 and IMAP4 accounts. Further highlighting the re-orientation inconsistencies, the handset swapped between the two with great speed and ease when we had Hotmail open.

Call quality was quite good, but it did not fair too well when it comes to conference calls. The volume, even when pushed up to its limits, makes it seem like people are whispering and the svelte nature of the handset means you can feel the speaker vibrating which could prove distracting.

Launching Orange Maps was a bit of an issue too. It made the screen freeze while loading, making us think everything had crashed. We then couldn't get it beyond the first menu as we could not move the navigation up, down or around. When it finally worked (it could just be we caught it on an off-day), it was pretty accurate and we're sure this could prove a handy tool for business users looking to get from A to B for a meeting.

Whiling away the hours

The TG01 also has plenty to distract either from work or the quirks of the handset itself users, with a number of other bundled apps.

In addition to addictive games like Solitaire and Bubble Breaker, a demo of Monopoly World and Need for Speed Undercover, there's a choice of media players and access to a world of online multimedia content thanks to Orange.

Watching video on the large screen is a pleasant experience, although we're not sure it's appealing enough to counter the phone's other shortcomings.

The camera is also pretty good quality, even though it lacks flash. You can quickly and easily move through photos using a sweeping gesture, which is a really nice touch. But, be warned, you can only do so when you've got them open through explorer rather than the pictures and videos application. Another Windows Mobile oddity? Perhaps. Annoying? Definitely.

Browsing the web is also that little bit nicer than your average handset. Although, again, while these are obvious merits, they are overshadowed by the bad bits.

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