The INQ 1 is available on 3 for free on one of their lower contracts at £15 per month, or for £80 on pay as you go. It has been dubbed the Ã¢â‚¬ËœFacebook phone’ due to its tight integration with online social networks, including Skype, last fm, MSN to name just a few. EBay integration is expected to come soon in the form of software update.
The Facebook element of this phone got me very excited, as a student I live on the website it is a one of my primary methods of communication, and my online calendar of events I am attending.
The phone arrived on the 23rd December and it was like Christmas had come early I was that excited!
I opened up all the packaging and my sim, the contents including the phone some cards explaining the basics and headphones. The phone is well-built for the £80 price bracket; in fact I feel it is much better built then my N95. So I was ready to pop my sim in and this is where I strike my first problem.
How the flip do you get the battery cover off?
I have used and reviewed a lot of phones over the last 7 years and I have never had an issue getting the back cover off.I must have spent ten minutes trying to no success, so I swallowed my male pride and read the cards sent in the box to help. Do they help, nope not a mention anywhere. I even resorted totwitterto see if anyone can help, eventually I manage to get it off.
Now at the time the INQ site was appalling, a very basic flash site with no manuals etc. Since checking back for this review it seems like it is fully updated, kudos to INQ to sorting that out. In the end I figured out the button on top of the phone opens to the battery cover, yes that button on every Nokia that is the on/ off button. For those of you who are thinking what sort of people has Ewan got writing on the site, it was not just me that struggled with this.
Normob Chris White purchased the device for his son, and I will quote him from his email to me;
I had loads fun ‘cracking’ the case puzzle for the first time (20 minutes actually, any jobs going?). It doesn’t help that the catch is exactly where Nokia put the on/off switch. It’s little things like this that turn people against products. This is a cleverly conceived little package, very attractively priced, but the guys who were trusted with handing it over to us were having a laugh, or more likely, a self-indulgent snigger.
I agree with him, why put something where your major competitors put something else? Remember this device is supposed to be a Normob friendly device.
Chris also raises some very interesting issues, again I will quote him:
Particularly, take your expert reviewer hat off for a moment and put yourself in the position of a first time user who hasn’t used a Skype phone or similar device before and see how long it takes you to:
- work out how to correctly insert the MicroSD card – is it supposed to stay sticking out and jammed under the battery like that? Why doesn’t it slide in flat? Am I breaking this?
Unfortunately I did not have Micro SD card, I could not see what this is like. It’s worrying that Chris thought he may be breaking the device though.
Let’s move on.
I fired up the phone. The operating system is BREW and the device is capable of running BREW and java applications. The first thing I would recommend anyone to do is to download Opera Mini, it is so much better than the the supplied browser.
The home screen has the ability to have three widgets, ie Google Search, RSS Feed or World Clock. There is a wide range to choose from and the bottom there is essentially a dock. For those of you who are Mac users, you will be familiar with it. From here you can quick launch many of the phones applications. There is a also a switcher button at the side of the phone which lets you cycle through and launch another application or go to the home screen, the phone allows multiple applications to be minimised and run in the background.
Let’s look to the media and music player; it had no issues with playing my mp3′s and some small video clips I chucked at it. My biggest gripe is the headphone socket. INQ has tried to be clever and use the micro USB to connect to your computer, to charge the phone and as a headphone socket. The problem is this means that you have to use the supplied headphones which are cheap and the sound quality is poor.
Sony Ericsson do this as well — their supplied headphones are brilliant. It needs to be clear to Mobile Phone manufactures that they need to put a normal headphone socket on their phones: Stop forcing people to use your cheap and nasty headphones.
Check back on Wednesday when, the next and final part of my review will be published. I will be covering all the social networking applications and the camera. In the mean time check out Jonathan Jensen’s mini review and normob feedback on the INQ 1.