A First Look at Toshiba's TG01 Multimedia Smart Phone

Toshiba says it will unveil a new TG01 Windows Mobile-based cell phone later this month that will sport the firm's TV technology, a touch screen, and a sleek design. Will it compete with Apple's iPhone? See for yourself.

Introducing the Toshiba TG01

Seems everyone’s working on a “revolutionary” phone of the future these days. Now, Toshiba’s getting in the game with its soon-to-be-unveiled TG01 smartphone. The TG01 is said to pack all of Toshiba’s TV technology into a tiny touchscreen handset, creating the ultimate multimedia experience.

The Toshiba TG01 is expected to be officially introduced at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona later this month. We have a sneak peek now, though, at some of the phone’s most exciting specs and features.

Toshiba clearly hopes the TG01 can compete with the ever-popular iPhone. Take the tour for yourself and see if you think it’ll be able to hold its own next to Apple’s market leader.

Next: When size matters.

Toshiba TG01: Device Profile

The first thing you notice about the Toshiba TG01 is its size -- and, sorry, fellas, but sometimes that does count. The TG01 is a mere 0.39 inches thick, compared to the iPhone’s 0.48 inch depth. (The T-Mobile G1 Android phone , for comparison, measures 0.6 inches in thickness.)

Even with its slimmer profile, the TG01 boasts one big screen. Its VGA touchscreen display is 4.1-inches wide with 800-by-480 resolution. The iPhone’s screen has a resolution of 480-by-320.

Next: The bite of the new Snapdragon chipset.

Toshiba TG01: Under the Hood

Toshiba’s TG01 is the first mobile phone to run on Qualcomm’s 1GHz T- Snapdragon QSD8250 chip set. Qualcomm claims its Snapdragon hardware makes the phone run noticeably faster than any other mobile device around right now. The chip also has something called dynamic speed control, which is designed to more effectively manage power and prolong battery life.

The TG01 comes with limited internal memory (specific amount not yet disclosed), but the phone offers a microSD card for expansions up to 32GB. As far as connections, the TG01 supports GPS, Wi-Fi, and HSDPA 3G connectivity.

Next: The keypad, the G-sensor, and shake-to-answer.

Toshiba TG01: Using the Phone

Toshiba’s TG01 operates with an iPhone-esque keypad. Its rumored to have an optional virtual trackpad on its screen as well as an accelerometer-replacement called a “G-sensor,” believed to create a central axis around which you can tilt the phone.

One of the most interesting features of the TG01 is a shake-to-answer option, said to allow you to simply shake the device to answer or disconnect a call. Shaken, you say? My, oh my. Bond would jump out of his Aston Martin at the thought.

The phone, not surprisingly, contains a camera, though specifics have not yet been announced. The TG01 is also expected to come with a stylus. Next: A modified Windows Mobile with full Flash support.

Toshiba TG01: The Software

The TG01 will run on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1 with a new graphical interface. The “shake” function is expected to have usages spread throughout the system -- in addition to the aforementioned answer and disconnect feature, for example, the TG01 is expected to also allow you to shake to return to the device’s home screen.

Perhaps most notably for Apple, the TG01 will have integrated Flash support -- something the iPhone has consistently taken a beating for excluding. The inclusion of Flash in the TG01 means you’ll be able to navigate to any Flash-based Web site and watch videos that might not be available in a non-Flash interface.

Toshiba’s TG01 will come with built-in access to Google, YouTube, and Facebook. As for applications, Toshiba is supposedly working with developers to create games specific to the device to supplement the Windows Mobile programs already available.

Next: Where, when, and how.

Toshiba TG01: The Timeline

No specific release date has yet been set for the Toshiba TG01; however, the device is expected to become available in some places by this coming summer.

Prices are also not yet confirmed. Rumors place the TG01 within the same ballpark of the iPhone 3G, though we’ll have to wait and see if Toshiba tries to outprice Apple to entice users over.

The other uncertainty: carriers. Expect the usual exclusive deals, but we may not know which networks will get the device until the Mobile World Congress or later.

So is it an iPhone killer? Or just another hotly hyped attempt that will pale next to the thus-far-untouchable god of all smartphones? Certainly, there are still too many unknown factors to make any real predictions. One thing’s for sure, though: The TG01 is definitely catching the market’s eye -- and even if they’re not worried, I suspect the folks at Apple are watching very closely.

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