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Orange Bringing Toshiba TG01 Smartphone To UK

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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Orange has confirmed it will be the exclusive UK provider of Toshiba’s iPhone-rival, the TG01 smartphone featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor

In time for the weekend, Orange will be “ranging” the Toshiba TG01 across its UK retail channels, the carrier stated, stealing a march on US ones.

The TG01 features a 4.1-inch WVGA screen that Orange calls “the largest widescreen handset yet”. It has been intended for movie and video watching, and adjusts between portrait and landscape viewing modes.

The TG01 is also the first handset to feature Qualcomm’s 1GZ Snapdragon processor, which Orange says will contribute to faster Internet browsing and a richer multimedia experience.

Qualcomm has estimated that Snapdragon offers 30 percent higher performance and provides a 30 percent power reduction and a standby power use of less than 10 milliwatts, and says it has enhancements to both two and 3D graphics.

The TG01 weighs 4.5 ounces, measures 2.7 by 5.11 by 0.39 inches and runs the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system, which can be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5 once it becomes available.

The browser is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Mobile, GPS and A-GPS are built in, and the smartphone works across 850/1800/1900 for GSM/GPRS/EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) and 2100 for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)/HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)/HSUPA networks.

Media players, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), IM (instant messaging), email and Microsoft Direct Push email are all included, as is Bluetooth v2.0, a 3.2-megapixel camera with auto-focus and an 8GB Micro SD card. The SD slot can support up to 32GB, and internal memory is 512MB of ROM and 256MB of RAM.

The TG01 will be free to Orange UK customers who take out a new two-year monthly service plan that includes 1,200 minutes and unlimited texts. The phone is already available to Orange customers in France, and will be coming soo to Switzerland and Romania, though there has yet been no word yet on US availability.

Toshiba first introduced the TG01 at Mobile World Congress in February, with hopes that it could be an iPhone competitor.