The TS608 is a stylish, slim phone that looks great on the outside but suffers from a lack of style on the inside. It's relatively easy to use but it has some annoying flaws -- the contacts list is very slow to respond, it needs more internal memory and the camera isn't great -- but overall this phone is a solid mid-level model that performs as expected without leaving you too disappointed.
The Toshiba TS608 is a slim candybar handset that comes in a brushed-steel-style casing. It measures 47mm by 110mm by 10mm and fits comfortably in a pocket without feeling so thin that you can't hold it properly.
On the front of the TS608 there's a colour screen that displays 262,000 colours and measures 31mm by 39mm. It's bright and easy to see during dialling and texting, but is a little small when viewing Web pages or pictures.
Underneath the screen there's a flat alphanumeric keypad with a four-way navigation rocker at the top. The keys on the keypad are large enough to press, but due to their flatness are sometimes difficult to distinguish clearly. The navigation rocker has a mirrored blue OK button in the middle, and either side are two soft keys and the send and end call keys.
The sides of the phone are minimal aside from the top-left side, which features a mini USB port for charging that doubles up as a USB to PC port. On the back there's a 1.3-megapixel camera and a speaker for playing music and ringtones. At the top are dedicated music keys that let you access the MP3 player with the touch of a button -- due to their position, you can operate the MP3 player easily while it's in your pocket.
Using the TS608 provokes a series of highs and lows. The interface is rather ugly and the icons look as if they were drawn by a child, but the SMS application is good and it's not overly difficult to understand what section does what. It's only dual band though, so it won't work in certain countries, and the contacts search system is among the slowest we have ever tried.
One of the TS608's best features is its easy-to-use MP3 player that can be operated very easily using the dedicated music buttons at the top of the phone. Unfortunately the MP3 player suffers from a lack of memory though, and there's no 3.5mm adaptor included for the headphones. With only 8MB of internal memory there's not much storage space, and while there is an expandable microSD slot, there's no microSD card in the box.
The MP3 player itself isn't particularly impressive and features a very basic track listing system and interface, but it can support songs in AMR, MP3 and AAC+ and you can create playlists. There's also an FM radio which works using the proprietary headphones as an aerial.
The TS608 has a 1.3-megapixel camera, which is acceptable for sending small MMS pictures to another phone, but they don't look great on a large screen or when printed out. The camera also lets you shoot video, but the image quality is equally bad compared to higher res cameras like that on the Nokia N93.
Once you take photos or videos you can send them to friends via Bluetooth, MMS or upload them to your computer via a USB cable. While the connectivity options aren't as vast as the HTC TyTN's, they're not bad for a mid-level handset. Other features include a Web browser, an alarm, a calendar, memo, notes, a countdown clock, a unit converter, Java games and polyphonic ringtones.
The audio quality on calls sounds clear and loud and the MP3 player is acceptable, however we would have preferred it if we could have used our own headphones.
The camera's image quality is definitely not as good as the camera on the Nokia N93 or the Sony Ericsson K800i -- the pictures come out discoloured and pixellated -- but they are acceptable for MMS messages if not printing or viewing on a large screen.
Battery life is quoted at 150 hours of standby time and 150 hours of talk time.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield