Post moved to new thread. Very cool phone with interesting possibilities!
Nifty New Phone: Could it be a CarPC, Too?
One of the reported biggest hits at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was Toshiba's TG01 Windows Mobile touchscreen smartphone. But it isn't scheduled to hit the USA (yet).
Look at the resolution here -- this is a phone screen?
The TG01 has a 4.1-inch, 800 x 480 display. Yes, 800 x 480 -- the same as a lot of carPC screens. It runs a 1GHz processor and adds Wi-Fi, GPS, stereo Bluetooth, HSDPA, and support for DivX video and Adobe Flash. It will run Windows Mobile 6.1 out of the box, and will be able to run Windows Mobile 6.5. The TG01 is expected to ship in Europe in the summer; no word on USA availability.
There's a YouTube video on it. I'm not all that dazzled by the striped interface, but there's some interesting potential in it. I think the iPhone has the interface to beat.
Apple may answer this with an 800 x 480 screen, as well, which means 800 x 480 would become the new benchmark for phone screens.
Now for three important questions about the TG01:
- How much will it cost?
- What ports does it have?
- Could Centrafuse run on Windows Mobile 6.5?
If the answer to the last question is anywhere near "yes", that's a huge step toward a highly mobile carPC. It could mean that building a carPC with this device is three operations:
- Install the docking station and make the proper connections to the vehicle's systems.
- Load the software we want.
- Plug 'er in and drive.
It would all be so easy if automotive manufacturers could agree on a common interface, like OBD-II, or even a more advanced version; we could call it, um, "OBD Plus". Is that far too much to hope for?
Thanks, Bugbyte . . .
More on the Toshiba TG01
Slashgear has a review of the Toshiba TG01 with lots of photos. They report that it has a micro-USB port, and that performance is pretty snappy. They do complain that the touchscreen is resistive rather than capacitive, so it's less sensitive.
Sadly, Slashgear also reports that an exclusivity deal with a European carrier is apparently in the works. We may have to wait a while before theTG01 gets to the US of A.
It's interesting that these aren't coming to the USA, but it's understandable. Our system here is a bit screwy. The carriers subsidize the phones by a couple of hundred dollars (and then we complain when they want us to sign a two-year agreement, as payback).
The trouble with that system is that phone manufacturers have a hard time competing with the subsidized phones unless they make a deal with one of the carriers. Without that deal, the phones don't come to the USA. If Americans would pay retail prices for their phones and skip the subsidies and the contracts, we could choose whatever phones we want to use, and we'd have a better selection That's the system I'd prefer -- let me just pay for the phone and be able to change phone and carrier at will.
We can complain all day long about certain phones not being marketed in the USA, but, until we change our buying system, we're going to lose out on a lot of the cool hardware.
And there's one other factor: until the exclusivity arrangement between AT&T and Apple ends, AT&T -- one of the biggest carriers in the USA -- has little incentive to bring out an iPhone killer. It's up to Verizon or Sprint to come up with one.