A closer look at INQ Mobile's new colorful handsets

INQ Mobile stopped by PC World's offices last week to show off their new Chat 3G and Mini handsets

INQ Mobile stopped by PC World's offices last week to show off their new Chat 3G and Mini handsets. INQ Mobile is a relatively new mobile company based in the UK and previously only had one phone on their roster, the INQ 1. But this is a company to watch: INQ phones offer smartphone-like features at an inexpensive price point. And, according to Co-Founder Jeff Taylor, the new INQ phones will be available in the US in 2010.

So what makes these phones different from any other low-priced feature phone? Well, for one thing, they're quite nicely designed. I was impressed by their sturdy build and curved ergonomic shape. The Chat 3G's full QWERTY keyboard might be one of the best I've seen on a feature phone. The puffed, oblong keys were comfortable to use and I appreciated the large spacebar and handful of shortcut keys. I might change my mind, of course, after a longer period of use, but I appreciated the amount of thought that went into the keyboard's design.

The headlining features of these phones, however, are their integrated online applications. Both phones have one-click access to Facebook, Twitter, Skype, IM and e-mail clients that are continuously updated over the air. Conveniently, logging into these apps is only required once; they're always on.

Another cool feature is that the new devices can sync with DRM-free music on iTunes or Windows Media player. The software, powered by DoubleTwist, can sync photos and videos as well.

Both phones have a Netfront browser, which isn't as advanced on what you'd find on a smartphone, but still as good as any feature phone I've seen. You can also multitask via a hardware button on the phones' spines to open, close and switch through various apps. You can also sync your address book with Facebook--a trend we've seen on more advanced phones like the iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre.

The Chat 3G has a 2.4-inch screen, built-in GPS, 120MB of memory (expandable to 4GB) and a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus. The Mini has a 2.2-inch display, 100MB of memory (expandable to 4GB) and a 2-megapixel camera.

The $US100 price point for the iPhone 3G from AT&T has set the bar for how inexpensive a smartphone can be. Lately there's been an influx of feature phones with a few advanced capabilities that cost over $US100. Why shell out that much money when you can get something better for less? It is also refreshing to see INQ not go the touchscreen route. With the exception of a few, many of the feature touchscreen phones we've seen just aren't quite up to speed with the iPhone 3GS, G1 and HTC Windows Mobile phones in terms of usability and functionality. If INQ can find a US carrier to offer these phones for under $US100, I can see the company doing quite well here.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags INQ1inqmobile phonessmartphonessocial networking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ginny Mies

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?