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Windows Smartphone Heaven Brought to you by Toshiba Portege

Windows Smartphone Heaven Brought to you by Toshiba Portege

Last year I experienced the spontaneous death of my cellular phone, the total failure of my cellular provider to repair or replace the device and my subsequent adoption and love of Windows Mobile / Smartphones.

Initially I used a loaner from my brother an iMate with Windows 2003 Mobile on. The device was a candybar phone with a jog/ joystick controller. It was robust, stable and exactly what I expected but didn’t quite do everything I wanted.


Subsequent research and investigation based on a wish list of features I made versus price led me to purchase a cellular phone in the UK.

I literally stumbled across a review for the Toshiba Portege G810 and was wowed by the features, design and look and feel/ GUI.

G810The GUI includes a 3rd party Add-on for Windows Mobile 6 by Spb Software House. The Spb Mobile Shell is an extremely flexible and user friendly app that makes the user experience that much richer on Windows Mobile. In the case of the Toshiba Portege G810 this comes bundled with the phone and customized for Toshiba.

The G810 is a touchscreen phone which was a new experience for me but luckily Toshiba anticipated a user demographic like me and on the right of the device is a stylus for the larger fingered amongst us who simply can’t use the virtual keyboard without selecting the fullscreen option (not always a convenient choice).

Anyway I can honestly say I am happy with the phone. Reception and sound quality are good. I can surf the web via Wi-Fi or Cellular Data (GPRS).

The charger / data connection is via mini-USB which in my opinion is one of the great underdeveloped ideas in device connection: The phone has a built-in cellular modem (de facto) if I connect to my laptop why doesn’t Windows on the laptop not detect the modem as a plug and play device and allow me to use the cellular phone to browse / email etc from my laptop browser?

In addition the G810 sports a Mini-SD port. I purchased a 2Gb card and have the onboard camera set to save video and photos to the Mini-SD card by default.

The only major shortfall of the device is that in Windows Mobile 6.1 Microsoft has still not resolved the issue of true termination of applications when the user exits them. The applications remain open until the user runs the Task Manager and closes the apps from there. The novice user can stumble on this design flaw several times where the device needs resetting as the hidden but running apps eat up all the resources freezing the device.

Having bought a phone for use in Israel I have still resisted purchasing 3rd party Hebrew for Windows Mobile which leaves me with several issues to deal with: –

  • SMS – if I receive SMS in Hebrew e.g. from my Cellular provider it appears as a series of cubes; standard for a font not installed in Windows. Luckily the Missus has a phone with Hebrew and is kind enough to let me forward these SMS to her when curiosity gets the better of me.
  • Any websites, emails or documents cannot display Hebrew.
  • In addition to font support the Localization for Israel also allows the user to select the geographical region. Windows Mobile does not include all world regions by default.

Regardless this is an excellent Smartphone, in terms of specs it packs a big punch that can give any of its competitors a good run for their money and pricewise comes in cheaper that most of the others.

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