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3 INQ1 review




  • Recommended by TR

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3 INQ1
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Our Score:


For most of the time, 3 follows the crowd and takes on handsets produced by the major names, but it sometimes does its own thing and this is one of those times. INQ is a new hardware manufacturer. Backed by 3's parent Hutchison Whampoa the relationship between manufacturer and operator is, well, cosy.

Moreover the INQ1 is available on PAYG or on a range of pre-pay tariffs including two special INQ tariffs at £15 and £20 which offer unlimited mobile Internet, texting and 3 to 3 calls. They include 75 and 200 cross network talk minutes respectively.

I liked the Skypephone S2 enough to give it a Recommended Award - something I rarely give to any mobile phone. The S2 was 3's second Skype-focussed handset and was a vast improvement on the original Skypephone.

The INQ1 includes the Skype stuff and takes things a step further by putting Facebook at its heart. So is it a first-time hit or a phone that might be better in its second generation?

Actually that question is a bit redundant, because there is a very real sense in which the INQ1 is a build on the Skypephones rather than a new concept. I say this because the Skype software and Skypephones' user interface are very much a key part of the INQ1.

I logged into my Skype account in just a couple of seconds and had access to all my Skype contacts in just a few seconds more. With an option for automatic login, you can be Skyping away very easily, both making voice calls and using Skype chat. The charging regime for Skype calling is made clear in 3's Terms and Conditions. I won't repeat it all here, but it is worth pointing out that PAYG customers must keep their phone topped up to use Skype.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


January 16, 2009, 3:08 pm

I agree that the hardware lets this phone down, it's pretty slow sometimes when loading photos or opening media items, but the review I felt scratched the surface. It's integrated so well with facebook. From the contacts pictures appearing. To it automatically importing all your contacts from their respective programs and allowing you to merge windows live id, skype name and facebook account under one name is extremely useful and will mean it's hard to migrate from this phone unless other manufacturers start designing similar software. I've owned Sony Ericssons before, and despite them having advanced hardware (for their time) I can't remember as good an experience as this, where I wasn't underwhelmed by the features after using a phone for 2 weeks. I'm still finding little features in the software that make the experience great.


January 16, 2009, 4:09 pm

Yes, this really is quite a neat phone in many ways. My main device is an O2 BlackBerry Bold, but I like to have a small 'spare' phone with me when travelling. Much as I dislike 3's 'customer experience' - I am happy with this phone on a simple PAYG tariff - topping up 㾶 every 3 months. I use it for its Skype functionality, and when in Hong Kong and other 3 'Home' countries I get effectively free roaming and full Skype functionality. In this sense it supplements the BB. I like the handset; it is really well made for a cheap handset and the interface is refreshing to use after years of Nokia, SE and BB. I just got a Facebook account, and while my BB handles that too, it is useful to have pushed Facebook messages. I don't use this device to its fullest, integrated social networking limits, but it really serves my second handset purposes well. Call quality etc is very good. Battery life disappointing, but that comes with being 3G I guess. Fortunately it uses the same charger as my BB so only need to take one on travels.


January 16, 2009, 5:42 pm

Best camera in a PAG phone under 㿼? I don't think there is anything to beat it.


January 16, 2009, 5:49 pm

How much is the data allowance /price?


January 16, 2009, 7:58 pm

@Williamn - full contract plan details and my take on this brilliant handset here:



January 16, 2009, 8:40 pm

Looks great! Looking forward to see what INQ come out with for the INQ2, touchscreen perhaps? Amazon mp3 marketplace purchases over 3g? A flash on the camera? All would be very welcome..


January 19, 2009, 12:46 pm

It's a nice phone and I am perfectly happy with mine. But just to be clear, the Last.fm integration does not mean you can stream music from Last.fm over the phone, you can just access your profile. And the phone does crash sometimes but does reboot itself quickly.

IanB 1

January 20, 2009, 6:05 pm

Despite what the other review says there is no Twitter client for this phone and it's almost impossible to download anything else which is a bit of a pain in an otherwise excellent phone. I used to use Shozu (www.shozu.com) all the time to upload pictures to various sites like Picasa, Flickr and Twitpic and the Shozu client is not available for the INQ1 and according to Shozu support there is unlikely to be one. Trying to attach photos to emails in the buit-in email client is not possible and MMS resizes the photos to something tiny and then forwards it as an online link to the 3 photo site!

The missing Twitter client is a HUGE hole IMHO for something that bills itself as "The social networking" phone. With one added it would be unbeatable.

It is a great phone...just wish


January 20, 2009, 6:12 pm

@IanB - I understand a Twitter client is being worked on, but has taken longer than expected. Most app updates should eventually come over the air.

Update on the INQ1 just posted: http://www.trustedreviews.c...


January 24, 2009, 5:27 am

the problem with 3 is that with updates over the air, often the updates do not happen automatically. So unless you are following an issue (such as with the Skype client upgrade on the skypephone that enabled you to call landlines abroad) you won't ever know of the update. So we can wait and keep checking the app store. All that seems to exist there is something called "machblueclient" whatever that is... I want the twitter client. How can it be so easy for them to create an amazing facebook application, and stumble on a service that works like text messaging?


May 12, 2009, 3:55 am

Hello ... You can twitter on it.

I put this one it http://www.getjar.com/produ...

There is a few Jave apps that work on it Wikipedia Mobile http://www.getjar.com/produ... Discovery net work You tube applications etc

Chris Hill

May 28, 2009, 6:40 pm

Hi dbdb

Just checked on the website listed on your post regarding the Twitter app & I don't see a INQ1 device listed. Which did you use?



October 9, 2009, 3:51 pm

After owning one of these phones (PAYG from 3) for nearly 6 month I feel qualified to comment on it. This phone is not fit for purpose, it may integrate with Facebook, Skype etc. really well but I wouldn't know - if you don't live under a mobile mast, forget it because you won't get a signal so can't even make a call or send texts.

My phone has been 'repaired' at a 3 repair centre and it is no different, still no signal. And if you're thinking I'm saying this because I live in the boonies and no phone gets a signal you'd be wrong, my wifes phone is the original Skype phone (contract with 3) - it works just fine and always has at least 2 bars of 3G signal.

I will be trying to return my INQ this weekend and if (as I expect) they won't accept it it's going on eBay.

As an aside, due to all this I've spent a lot of time on talking to the 3 support people in Mumbai testing the phone and booking it in for 'repair', if you bear in mind the cultural differences it was mostly a pleasant experience and I have no complaints (with them). The UK repair centre and Customer Services (India again, I think) weren't so good (I'd possibly go so far to say useless) when I rang them to report that the phone they'd returned was 1. in worse condition than the one I sent them and 2. still not fixed.

bob 16

November 22, 2009, 8:35 pm

I feel you should not get this phone, i have had it for 9 month now, the computer software doesnt even work so i cannot connect it to my computer, and already the buttons are going faulty and that happend after the first month.

zeb uddi

December 30, 2009, 12:19 am

I also feel no one should buy this mobile. the support site is poor, manual also but then again you need a computer to access the manual which is on the cd, :) if anyone is thinking of buying this mobile as a on the move mobile modem as i did :( PLEASE NOTE the software drivers are only XP compatible WILL NOT WORK with any MODERN LAPTOP as none are bundled with WINDOWS XP NO SUPPORT for VISTA OR WINDOWS 7 this company needs to get its head out of the clouds "silly intro cards indeed" software that works! there is no mention in any of the documents as to this or on there web site as this is promoted with this use in mind.

I also will be returning this mobile, appauling and false advertising in my opinion !!!

Janet Gyford

January 11, 2010, 7:08 pm

It looks as if none of you so far have been using your phones long enough to come across the real killer - the full memory. Whatever bit it is that is full (you aren't told) it is outgoing text messages that suddenly fail. Imagine the pain - whatever playthings you got your phone for, what you really wanted was to be able to get in touch with people from wherever you are. You start up to send a text - perhaps you are late, or ill, or whatever, and really need to tell someone, but no - 'full memory' -even though you have virtually emptied out all your precious texts. You can see other people's complaints on the INQ website, starting with one 5 months ago where INQ said they would have a software solution in a week or two. See http://www.getsatisfaction.... ........ No, don't buy this.


March 17, 2010, 3:12 pm

This is the single worst phone I have ever owned. It started crashing as soon as I got it, sending error codes on a blue screen. So I got it replaces and unbeleiveably the new phone was just as bad. I had to fight and fight to get it replaced the second time after tehy sent it for repairs and it still came back as bad. Even if it worked it was NOT user friendly, it took 4 button presses to just get to a text writing screen. DO NOT BUY!


April 23, 2010, 3:34 pm

DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE. I signed up for an 18 month contract with 3 on the basis that this phone won an award when released (Global Mobile Awards 2009 - best handset). I can only assume that the judging panel made a mistake and were actually looking at a different phone, as this is just terrible.

My phone randomly decides to turn itself off, which is not great of you're expecting a call. Each button press takes around 4 attempts, battery life is terrible, it's infuriatingly slow to process anything, and it's hardly user-friendly.

After spending around 5 hours to various 3 customer service staff, arranging for team manager call-backs that never materialise, and visits to my local 3 shop I've now given up. Aside from perhaps Sky, 3 are hands down the most incompetent company i've ever had the misfortune to deal with. Surely there should be some kind of release clause from mobile phone contracts if the service they supply is basically unusable?

£20 per month for 300 minutes or text is hardly great value these days....only another 9 months to go.

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