To us, this mobile phone looks more like an electric razor than anything else. The TS10 from Toshiba, available only as a pay-as-you-talk model from Vodafone, certainly pushes the boundaries in terms of design, if not in any other area.

It's a clamshell model, and there are two screens: one on the front, and one inside for when you open it up. It's slightly longer than your average clamshell phone, so you can actually have the speaker by your ear and the microphone by your mouth – now there's progress for you.

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In terms of mobile phones, though, this is not a cutting-edge model. It's tri-band, so it can be used in the US, but tri-band is virtually industry-standard now. It's not a 3G, or third-generation, phone, and although it does have a camera, it's not an especially good one; the 0.3Mp (megapixels) offered seems measly these days. The TS10's colour screen isn't exactly outstanding, either.

The menu system is logical enough, though you'll struggle to get used to it if you're more familiar with Nokia, Sony Ericsson or just about any other brand. The ringtones on the TS10 are all absolutely horrific – you could really upset your fellow commuters with this phone. Even the tone that bears the most resemblance to a normal ringing phone is so shrill it'll upset any dogs within a two-mile radius.

It's a pay-as-you-go or pay-as-you-talk phone, so there's no line rental charge to pay, although the initial outlay of £72 including VAT seems a bit steep. Thereafter, you pay 5p per minute at evenings and weekends, 30p per minute at standard times, and calls to other mobile networks are 35p at any time.

Text messages are 12p each, picture messages are 36p, and video messages will set you back 60p.

Toshiba TS10: Specs

  • 2.5G phone
  • GSM 900/1800/1900
  • WAP 2.0
  • 65,000-colour, 128x160-pixel 1.8in TFT display
  • 0.3Mp camera with 4x digital zoom
  • Li-ion battery
  • up to 150 hours claimed standby time
  • up to 150 minutes claimed talk time
  • loudspeaker
  • headset
  • 16 polyphonic ringtones
  • 97x46x17mm
  • 95g
  • 2.5G phone
  • GSM 900/1800/1900
  • WAP 2.0
  • 65,000-colour, 128x160-pixel 1.8in TFT display
  • 0.3Mp camera with 4x digital zoom
  • Li-ion battery
  • up to 150 hours claimed standby time
  • up to 150 minutes claimed talk time
  • loudspeaker
  • headset
  • 16 polyphonic ringtones
  • 97x46x17mm
  • 95g

OUR VERDICT

Whether you like the design or not – and it's certainly unusual – the Toshiba TS10 is no more than an average mobile phone. The pricing plan means it's relatively expensive to run, and the cost of buying the unit is too high as well.

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