Toshiba lays the smackdown with Snapdragon-powered TG01 smartphone

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Who cares about MWC 09 around the corner when when Toshiba goes and blows us all away with an announcement like they did not one hour ago? The Toshiba TG01 is the smartphone that’s going to be on everyone’s lips, hands, ears, mouths and just about every other fleshy part you can stick it.

Why? Well, because it’s essentially taken a look at the iPhone, filled all of the gaps and added a few Tosh twists all of it’s own. The lowdown starts here…

First up is the obvious one and that’s the 4.1-inch WVGA LCD that just happens to use the same technology as the high end Toshiba Regza TVs. We’re talking dynamic gamma correction for smoother colours and an intelligent backlighting system which will lower the levels to conserve battery power when necessary, but ramp it up when more contrast is needed for crystal clear on-screen images. I’ve seen it in action and it looks good.

It’s got a 3.2-megapixel shooter, it does take video footage and, yes, it fully supports Flash for your full browsing experience. The sad part is that browsing is going to be done on Internet Explorer Mobile 6, largely because the TG01 runs on Windows Mobile 6.1. Bit of a shame that it’s not Android with their juicy Market Place but I must say, from what I saw, Win Mob did look ok.

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Naturally, it supports all the 3G and Wi-Fi standards you’re after as well as toting Bluetooth. No mention of the onboard storage but you can jam it full of microSD, so no problems there. The GT01 also supplies direct access to Facebook, YouTube and Google and will play DivX too. See what I mean? Everything.

Perhaps most interestingly of all is that that this latest Tosh tech is the first device to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset complete with 1GHz processor – pretty much double everything out there at the moment in the smartphone world. (For those not in the know, Snapdragon essentially gives you tonnes of bark for very little battery bite.)

The handset itself is only 9.9mm thick making it pretty much the thinnest smartphone out there but, sadly, still includes the odd gimmick such as gesture control. Yes, you’ve got an accelerometer but I don’t need the “shake to answer” feature to let me know. I wonder how many calls will be picked up and dropped accidentally and pray god you can switch it off?

The battery is designed to last you one full day of heavy use which includes the A-GPS functionality as well as all the video fun.

The only questions remain over whether the thing will actually work or not. It’s all in the UI after all and two of my worries are set off by the seeming lack of haptic feedback and the Windows OS which will require some stylus work for the more fiddly functions.

Otherwise, though, I think we’re looking at a real winner here. It all depends what comes out to trump it at MWC. It’s not going to be the only phone with Snapdragon for very long – a matter of weeks, I should think – but with it hitting the market in the summer, it might not need to be.

Expect an announcement on the exclusive carrier soon. Video preview and more images to follow shortly.

Toshiba

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Daniel Sung