Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:52:28 PM
The G910 has a unique hardware design, VGA screen and a good keyboard.
It felt a bit of a slow runner, and the clam needs to be opened to make full use of what is on offer.
Toshiba's re-entry into the smartphone market, after a gap of several years, has been made with two devices. We have reviewed the Windows Mobile Standard toting Portégé G710 separately, and now we take a look at the Portégé G910, which runs on Windows Mobile 6 Professional
Most unusually for a Windows Mobile device, the Portégé 910 takes a clamshell format. It looks like a rather weird device on the outside, as there is a tiny screen, round navigation button and Call and End keys in surroundings reminiscent of an old fashioned cigarette case.
You can dial calls, but only by pressing the Call key and then using the navi-wheel to go through the numbers one by one, selecting what you want individually. Frankly we suggest you just open the clam.
Inside you'll find a landscape screen and a keyboard with an embedded number pad. You can also access the Windows Mobile applications - your contacts for example - for dialling calls and composing MMS messages.
The screen inside the clamshell is fairly large at three inches across the diagonal. But it runs the risk of looking a bit lost in its wide frame. Toshiba successfully deals with this by providing eight touch-sensitive buttons; four on the left and right of the screen. They not only take up space that would otherwise look unused, they also provide a useful function. The keyboard keys are quite large, and there is no problem using two thumbs, as the Portégé G910 is held in both hands.
If you are looking for an all-round smartphone, the Portégé G910 fits into that category. It has Wi-Fi and a GPS antenna built in, and it supports 3G connections with HSDPA. The screen is VGA resolution, which means it is clearer to read than usual, and Toshiba has very thoughtfully pre-installed the Opera browser. This is, in our view, better than Internet Explorer for web browsing.
There are other extra applications too, such as the Picsel file viewer, and a scanner utility, which uses the built-in camera to turn either business cards or text from a written source into editable text. When tested, it coped fairly well but not superbly with newspaper text.
The Portégé G910 was not always the speediest at responding to our screen and keyboard presses. We also felt that this is a pretty large device and while the outer shell design is different from the norm, it didn't really appeal to us.
One of the key things about a smartphone is that it has to be easy to use. With few features accessible until you open the clam, we wonder if the Portégé meets that requirement.
We did like the high-resolution screen, though, and the touch-buttons that trim it on the left and right. There is no denying that the features are crammed in too.