Toshiba Portege G500 Review
Toshiba G500 is a standard Windows Mobile 5 and its software is identical to other phones using this OS. We won’t review the software itself, and if you are you not familiar with it, please read the review of the i-mate Smartflip or the Pantech PN-820. It is strange that the WM5 is used and not version 6, which has only positive changes. Probably a later upgrade will fix this. We will show only the unique things of the software, not the common features.
The G500 doesn’t support voice commands, but has a fingerprint sensor that can be set to perform an action, based on the finger one uses. This way you can attach shortcuts to your fingers, making up to 10 shortcuts in total. The sensor is located on the back of the upper slider in a concave area in order to easily feel where to put and slide your finger.
Due to the way this sensor works, there is no way to enter “wrong command”. If you slide your (for example) right thumb, it will either perform the command attached to it or do nothing. There is no way the sensor will perform the command for the middle finger for example. If the phone doesn’t react to the sliding finger, then you probably do not do it as you should. We often experienced this, which also is a reason for turning the phone around, to touch the sensor more accurately.
The biggest drawback of the whole finger-controlling mechanism is that the application with the “commands” must be started, before you use the sensor – otherwise the phone won’t detect the touch and will not perform the action.
The system can also be used to lock your phone, as this is a pretty secure method without the need to remember pass codes or phrases.
While we are not really sure the fingerprint-shortcut system is convenient and would save time, there is one thing the sensor could be used for which will help – it is a scroll. Open a menu or anything that has a scroll in it and when you slide your finger through the sensor it will act as a scroll.
As almost all other phones on the market nowadays, the Portege G500 comes with built-in digital camera. The lens is located on the back in a circular window, where also the flash is hidden. Due to this location, the camera can be used with both opened and closed slider. It starts for whole 5 seconds after the (shortcut) button is pressed which is very slow, and shows interface in either portrait or landscape orientation. It can be rotated according to your taste, but in both cases the text menu coming through the right soft key will be oriented for portrait usage. The options allow you to choose the white balance (environment) setting or apply color effects. There are 3 levels of compression (quality) and 5 resolutions (sizes) for the pictures, with the biggest being 1600x1200 pixels or total of 2 Megapixels.
3 seconds are needed to save a picture of the highest possible quality which is way better result than the start. The quality of the images is what is expected from that type of camera – the detail is average, the colors are correctly reproduced and the exposure is correct most of the time, but if the light is too bright, some parts of the image will be burned. Indoors the quality decreases and best results will be obtained in bright room. The phone has a flash, but like almost all LED flashes is completely useless.
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Toshiba Portege G500 Review - Interface and Software