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Toshiba TG01 review by Dogmann

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#1
Dogmann55

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Hi all,

Well i got this devcie on Tuesday and have to say that i really am very impressed by it as the build quality is excellent most of the devcie is made up of the screen on the front with just two touch sensitive buttons on the bottom either side of the zoom bar. At the top of the phone above the screen is the notification light and that's all so the look is very smart and uncluttered. On the back of the device at centre top is the 3.2 Mega Pixel camera and just below this is Toshiba in silver. About an inch above the bottom of the device is the speaker and the Orange logo in a small square and next to that the model identification of TG01.

On the outside of the right hand side of the devcie a couple of inches down is the flap that covers the Micro USB port that is used for charging and syncing the devcie and also used for connecting the Hands free unit to the supplied ear phones or your own as it houses a 3.5mm socket. About the same distance from the bottom on the same side is the Camera key and although it is quite small it is very tactile and easy to use. On the left hand side of the devcie again a couple of inches up from the bottom is the Volume control key and again whilst it is quite small it is also very tactile and easy to use. Another couple of inches above this is the small power on key that can also be used to wake the device up with a short press. Now although it's quite a large devcie due to the 4.1" screen it is very thin at just 9.9mm and is not heavy at just 129gms.

It comes with a good range of accessories in the box the first and most noticeable is a 8GB Toshiba Micro SDHC card along with a Micro to full size SD card converter no one can accuse Toshiba of being stingy here. The other accessories are a nice wall to Micro USB charger, USB to Micro USB data cable, USB to Micro USB adapter, Micro USB to 3.5mm hands free kit, Ear phones, a stylus with attachment cable and loop. Under all of this once you take the main part of the box out is the Toshiba quick start guide and two Cd's ones the user guide and the other is the Active Sync or Mobile Device Centre software.

Here are a few pictures of the box the devcie and some of the contents.


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So after unpacking it and installing and lugging it in to charge i left it for a couple of hours so the Li-Ion battery fully charged whilst it was doing this i installed the Mobile Device Centre software on my Vista laptop. Once it was fully charged i turned on the TGO1 it took quite a while for the first boot and then went to an Auto install of some Cabs after which it re started itself as it was meant to. So the first thing i did after this was to set up the date and time and the adjust the brightness to full for both on battery or external power this is something i do on all my devcies as just don't care about battery life over have the best screen possible. I also set my preferences for the screen time outs now at this point i was blown away but just how bright and clear and crisp the screen was it's truly stunning and as good as the Samsung AMOLED screen on the Ii8910HD from what i can remember.

I then set up my WiFi connection which really was very quick and easy it only required selecting my Router from ones available and entering my Wireless Key. I then explored the two options of Home Screen UI's that are on the TGO1 the first is the Orange Home Screen with icons all down the left side of the device which is very similar to the Touchwiz interface that is found on the i8910HD. Well i didn't like it on that devcie and i don't like on this one either the second option is the Toshiba Stripes UI and whilst it is very responsive and has plenty of customisation options as to the order of the what the Stripes access along with the possibility to enhance and add things to the Stripes i didn't like the size of the icons on the stripes. As i knew my TG01 was coming i had alreday searched and found the apps i thought i might want or need on it, the first and to me the most important one was SPB Mobile Shell so i installed the trial version to see if it is worth the $29.99 or not. It only took a couple of minutes for me to release it was indeed worth every cent IMO and it really transforms the device into to being finger user friendly. It also manages to keep you away from having to interact with the normal WM6.1 interface and it's worth the money for that alone as it just makes the devcie so easy to navigate access and use.

Once this was installed i had a little explore of it's options and at this point realised just how fast the TG01 is there is no lag or stutters anywhere and the screen really is incredibly responsive. As long as you remember it's not a capacitive screen but resistive so requires a light press and then swipe as opposed to just swiping the surface it works incredibly well. Comparing it to the two touch screen devcies I've used recently the Samsung i8910HD with Capacitive screen and the Nokia N97 with resistive it's just in a different class. As far as both the screen and the Os being responsive i then decided to check out the new MIE6 and have to say i really wasn't very impressed so installed the trial version of Opera Mobile instead after trying this out for a short while i was very impressed at both the download speed and the ease of navigation and the way it displays yet another must have IMO. After this i continued to install the apps i had found below is the list of all the apps i have installed so far.

SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 trial version but am purchasing it as a must have.
Opera Mobile trial same as above.
Seven Push E-Mail Free Beta.
Screen Capture Freeware.
PocketTwit Freeware a Twitter app.
MyPlayer and BBC iPlayer and ITV Player Freeware
Alarm Master v2.0 Trial and again am going to buy it.

Now i know there are free alternatives or certain places i could get all of these for free but that's just not my way even for some freeware if the developer has a donation option and i like and use the app i donate. As IMO that is how we encourage and keep these guys delivering great apps for what ever OS we are using, otherwise why should they bother?

The next thing i did was transfer some Albums to the memory card whilst still in the TG01 and the some of my US TV shows that are DivX encoded Avi's. Having alreday checked out the CorePlayer site i then proceed to set up CorePlayer as my default player and set it to search my memory card for Music, Video and Pictures. Listening to Music via CorePlayer using my Shure EC2g ear phones and the hands free adapter and 3.5mm point is very good indeed my music sounds bright crisp and clear with great sound stage. Watching videos in full screen are just stunning the colours are bright and clear and there are no motion artefact's at all. I know Toshiba have claimed that they have employed the same technology as used in thier Regaza flat panel TV's but the results they ahve achieved truly are stunning. I know a normal TFT screen even if it is 800 x 480 shouldn't be able to get near to a AMLOED screen but fro what i can remember there really can't be much in it. In fact I'm going to have to go to an Orange shop to compare them myself to be sure my memory's not playing tricks on me.

After this and with all my apps installed it was time to set up SPB Shell you get a Professional layout screen as seen here

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and then a Lifestyle layout Screen this is the first screen that i customised with the apps i wanted and where i wanted them and so far have ended up with this set up for now.

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I then have a second screen where i have set up the other things i want quick and easy access to as you can see i can get to and use anything i want or need without the need to go down to the boring and non finger friendly WM UI. Although this page isn't even close to being full i also have a third page which is currently blank.

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Now as if that isn't enough i also get a Carousel of 12 mini view pages from SPB Shell that gives me one tap access to full page views and these include.

Professional Home
Lifestyle Home
Launcher
SPM Menu
Call Log
Favourite Contacts with Pictures
SPB Contacts
Contacts Carousel
Weather Five day View
Agenda
Time
Edit Profile


I'm really not sure just how much i would of liked the TG01 without SPB Mobile Shell as IMO it really is a tremendous product that just makes the TG01 just so usable. Obviously the processor and Ram help it all run fast and smooth and with the aid of CorePlayer pre installed it just makes for a compelling experience and IMO a devcie currently without equal well at least not for what i want and need it to do.

Really all I've got left for now is a few more screen shots of just what access SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 gives you and how it looks. Really i suggest if your interested visit there site to see just what a powerful and great looking application it is.

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IMO it's far better then what i have seen of Touch Flo 3D and in conjunction with the processor and Ram found in the TG01 it turns it into a truly stunning and easy to use device. If two weeks ago someone told me I'd be using WM6.1 and loving it i would of thought they were crazy but it just goes to show you never say never and always have an open mind and be prepared to try something. You never know you may get a surprise and like it as has happened to me, i could of sworn i was getting the HTC Hero?

Well that's all for now and my initial impressions in a few days time i will have more to say about the Web browsing experience using Opera Mobile and how i am finding the device in day to day use and of course just how I'm finding battery life to be. But all i can say so far is that in the couple of days I've had it it's definitely a keeper for me and is is one of if not the best devcie I've owned and used.

Marc

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#2
oalex

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Thanks for the short review mate. Happy that some are liking it, I was about giving up up it till your review.
Have not been impressed by of the feedback so far. I think Toshiba made a big mistake putting/developing the stupid strips UI. All reviewers are basing their opinion with using that as main (i don't blame them), and obviously no one is impressed, as it sucks big time.

Yes, and please keep the updates coming, battery life and co.

Cheers.

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#3
1Mack

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Good info man. It will be this or the omnia II for me

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#4
Dogmann55

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Hi all,

It's been pointed out to me by a friend that really it's a bit like an SPB Shell review as much as the device itself and to be honest I'm not sure I'd like it as much or even keep it if it wasn't for SPB Shell. There is no denying the screen is excellent and IMO it really is a very fast and smooth user experience thanks to the Snapdragon processor and all the Ram, so i will try and use it not using SPB Shell and take some screen shots to show just what the difference is and how it effects the user experience. But i agree with what oalex said and think that Toshiba would of been better of just licensing SPB Mobile Shell and putting it on the TG01 for their users rather then developing the Stripes UI.

Marc

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