Last week I covered the basics of the INQ1 now I am going to be looking in depth at the applications in particular the social networking ones.
Let’s be honest, this is probably the reason why you bought this phone. When you first start the phone you are asked to pop in your Facebook log in details, it then asks you if you want to sync your contacts with Facebook. It then pretty quickly pulled my 500+ friends from Facebook, including their last status update and Facebook profile picture. What it does not do sadly, (which I think is restricted to the Facebook API) is pull down mobile numbers from their profile. I will be talking about the Social Phonebook in more detail later. Like Jonathan I found it was behind my browser version, and I found the application was constantly updating. This I found to be a constant pain, I really hope they implement options so the user can choose options ie update every 30 minutes. I really did not understand the need for the constant updating and I am sure this had an effect on battery life as well. Will this bring Facebook do your normobs? Yes it will in a big way, no pointing to the mobile Facebook URL etc just there one simply quick from your dock or the menu. The integration for new messages again I found this good something another manufacturer has never done before, any new messages, pokes or requests appear as a new alert in the messaging tab. I again found this to be slow, and behind the web version, which meant on occasions it said I had a new Facebook message when I had already read it. I think the issue is that none of the pokes, messages are stored on the device so if you cannot get online you cannot read your inbox. I think this is again possibly due to Facebook API restrictions.
Windows Live Messenger
Quite possibly the best application on the phone, it allows you to minimise and you can receive IM alerts in the back ground. Three have always had a good relationship in WLM and in the INQ 1 this really shows. Top Marks to the INQ 1 this application brings WLM to your mobile, anyone who has used messenger on their computer will be able to use this application.
Email on 3
Three have done it again with this application, 4 clicks and you have email set up. This has got all the standard email services set up Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and a whole range of ISP emails. If you have one of the pre defined email services as your provider you are laughing.
Please read my opinion on Skype here. I do not use Skype; I don’t see the point in it. I never used the application so I could not tell you my thoughts on it.
This is a very small add on however it integrates with the music player, on a Nokia you would need to download an add on such as Mobbler to allow your track to be scrobbled, however the INQ chaps have got this in built all you need to do is put your username and password in.
The phone has a 3.2 mega pixel camera which is acceptable there is no flash, which is a real shame however you can shoot video as well. There are also options to send your pictures by MMS, Bluetooth, email and Facebook. It was a little bit sad to see that Flickr was not an option; however it was nice to see some ShoZu-like elements had been integrated into the handset.
Internet Modem Capability
This was a feature that we saw on the Skype Phone 2, where all you need to is plug in your INQ and it has all the drivers on bored to install a modem. This allows you to browse the web on your laptop in a matter of two minutes; the process is very quick and simple.
The Social Phonebook
If there is one feature in my opinion that the INQ1 will be remembered by it is this feature. All of the social networks allow you to download your contacts to your handset. The handset then allows you to merge all the contacts together, and then when scrolling the phonebook you can see in real time if that person is available on Skype, WLM or Facebook. An example is if Ewan is one of my contacts I have him on my WLM and Facebook. If I went down to his entry, I can choose to send him an Instant Message, Call, SMS, MMS, Email, Facebook Message or Facebook Poke. The other really clever feature is that for example if I did not have his number I can click straight through to his Facebook Profile and call him straight from there (providing he has his number made visible). When Ewan calls me, his current Facebook Profile Picture does pops up; some of you may say well you can do that on any handset which is true. However it is not as simple as putting your Facebook details in when you get the phone.
So what are my final thoughts on this handset? I feel that INQ have rushed this device, and there are some issues that I have highlighted over the past two weeks that have annoyed me. The main one being the constant refreshing of the Facebook Application, this is extremely frustrating and a battery killer. I am really looking forward to INQ bringing out some new handsets this year, there are rumours of a keyboard (a possible G1 or N97 rival) variant and hopefully a touch screen version as well. If INQ make social networking this easy, I believe we will see a massive increase in the amount of social networking done from a mobile in the future especially as some of the networks (here in the UK at least) have some good value data packages!
INQ is definitely a manufacturer we will be watching here at Mobile Industry Review I have a feeling they have some impressive handsets ahead.