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INQ1 "Facebook phone"

 INQ1 Available now
4th December 2008

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If the whole idea of Facebook makes you cringe, then the new INQ1 is definitely not for you. Not only is the popular social networking site at the heart of this handset, but the phone itself comes with an annoyingly silly name which we will refer to as the INQ1 (prounounced "Ink One").

Don't worry if you have never heard of INQ Mobile - this new company was created by Hutchison Whampoa, who own the 3 network, to come up with custom designs that offer a different user experience from mainstream handsets. The INQ1 looks a little like 3's Skypephone S2 in terms of styling, which isn't surprising considering that both the INQ1 and the Skypephone are manufactured by Amoi to Hutchison's own design and specifications.

So, the idea with the INQ1 is that people who love social networking can easily keep up-to-date with their friends. Not only does the INQ1 include Facebook functionality, but you can also use Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Last.fm, eBay, Yahoo! and Google. Of course, there's a standard web browser and email client, and the INQ1 can also access Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Google Mail accounts. You can see more of how this works over at the INQ Mobile site.

 3 INQ1 We know that you can do all this stuff on other phones too, but the key selling point with the INQ1 is that these applications form the heart of the phone.. on other handsets you often have to fiddle around with add-ons. This should mean that the INQ1 is very easy to use. 3 have done this before with the Skypephone with some success. Also, as with the Skypephone, the INQ1 uses Qualcomm's BREW platform for applications which seems to work well.

The hardware is perhaps not all that important compared to the software, but the INQ1 is a pretty reasonable midrange 3G phone with a 2.2" 240 x 320 pixel (QVGA) display, 3.2 megapixel camera, microSD expandable memory (with a 1GB card in the standard sales package), plus USB 2.0 connectivity and support for HSDPA high-speed data. Strangely, there is no mention at all of Bluetooth but the press photos clearly show a Bluetooth icon, so it must be present in some form. One feature that you don't often see in a handset in this class is an auto-rotate function that switches between "wide" and "tall" screen orientations when you turn it. You can also use the INQ1 as a tethered modem via a USB cable.

Another key selling point with the INQ1 is value for money. 3's tariffs are often the cheapest in their respective markets, and in the UK the INQ1 is a pretty reasonable £80 for prepay customers or free on a £15 per month contract.

There's probably not much point in buying the INQ1 unless you are going to use the social networking features, but the INQ Mobile / Hutchison / 3 / Amoi partnership is one to watch. Who knows what will turn up next under the INQ brand name?

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INQ1 at a glance


Q4 2008 / Q1 2009






240 x 320 pixels, 262k colours


3.2 megapixels


Medium slider
97 x 48 x 14mm / 110 grams


Not specified

Memory card:







Not specified



Battery life:

5.5 hours talk / 13 days standby


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