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INQ launches Android phones with Facebook at the core

Jonathan Morris
February 10, 2011

INQ Mobile only released two handsets in 2010, so it’s good to see that they’ve not disappeared. The new INQ Cloud Touch and Cloud Q are each built around Android and continue to integrate Facebook heavily, and this time they’ve added Spotify.

The mobile phone company owned by Hutchison Telecom has given us a number of handsets that offered smartphone like services on affordable handsets, combined with exceptional value tariffs from Three (the only network to have ever ranged these handsets, perhaps unsurprisingly given Three is also owned by Hutchison Telecom).

The first handsets like the 3Skypephone made it easy to make free calls in conjunction with Three’s generous offering of Skype calls. Then came INQ Mobile branded models, from the INQ1 to the Mini 3G and Chat 3G. In addition to Skype, these new models offered access to other services, including Twitter, Last.fm.

The other thing INQ offered support for was Facebook. Facebook integration was always one of the key strengths of all INQ handsets, with the ability to pull down content and contacts from Facebook and integrate within the phone itself – a feature that has since been copied by almost everyone else in the industry.

Users could not only access the combined phonebook, but also send and receive messages in a single messaging inbox, or view album pictures from within the gallery.

While INQ may have offered smartphone-like features on a non-smartphone phone before, the latest two models are fully-fledged smartphones running on Android 2.2 (FroYo). Although each phone is designed to be affordable, they may not be as cheap as previous models.

INQ-Cloud-TouchThe INQ Cloud Touch integrates Facebook within the Android ‘Visual Media Feed’ homescreen, and also adds support for Spotify as the default music player (to stream music will require a Spotify premium account at £9.99 per month). Released in Q2, the Cloud Touch has a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, 3.5-inch HVGA resolution capacitive display and a choice of coloured casings, including a Facebook-like blue colour. The rest of the specifications can be found below.

The INQ Cloud Q has a full QWERTY keyboard with a smaller 2.6-inch display, and we will have more details of this later in the year ahead of its Q3 release.

Both models will be sold at The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy, but it is not yet clear which networks will offer them or the exact pricing.

INQ Cloud Touch specifications (provided by INQ Mobile)

Software:

  • Android Froyo 2.2 platform
  • Built with a modular approach making upgrade to Gingerbread easy
  • Instant Messaging for WLM, G-Talk and Facebook Chat
  • Free push email across major domains, including Microsoft Exchange
  • Info Key to quick access to key handset functions
  • Fast unlock for quick access to key functions
  • Backup and sync, plus firmware upgrades to later software releases

Hardware:

  • Processor: Qualcomm 7227 chipset, 600MHz
  • Triband HSPA (7.2/ 5.76Mbps), Quadband GSM, EDGE + WiFi
  • Size: 3.5” inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display with extended 10mm touch strip
  • Memory: 4MB with option to add more
  • 5 MP autofocus camera
  • 1300mAh battery
  • WiFi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, accelerometer, compass, ambient light and proximity sensors
  • MicroUSB charging, 3.5mm audio jack.
  • Accessories included: 4GB microSD Card, Travel Charger & USB Cable, Stereo Headset, Quick Start Guide
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