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INQ Chat 3G - INQ Chat 3G

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


INQ makes a point of noting how you can sync music and videos organised through iTunes and Windows Media Player with the Chat 3G via some included software, which is a fairly useful feature. However, we're more of the drag and drop persuasion so would rather remove our microSD card, which sits under the back cover, and put whatever files we want on it rather than use yet more software, even if said software does convert files on the fly. MicroSD cards up to 16GB are supported but you get nothing in the box.

More to the point though, this phone is useless as a media player. While the music and video players are perfectly easy to use, the lack of a proper headphone jack and use of a single-piece headset means you're stuck with the low-grade bundled earphones for music listening. Meanwhile, video playback is essentially non-existent and certainly too poor to be watchable. This is mainly due to the abysmal framerate but the lack of compatible formats and supported resolutions doesn't help either.

All told, this isn't a multimedia phone and should only be considered for its messaging capabilities, which are, it must be said, quite impressive. Apps for Facebook, Twitter, Skype (which is free to use on 3's network), and MSN messenger all come pre-installed and completely integrated into the OS. So, a single contact can be used to message someone through all these different services while a single messages folder keeps you up to date with any goings on at a glance. Push email is also freely supported for Gmail accounts.

This sort of integration is becoming more and more common place and soon enough it will be an expected feature of many smartphones but for such a cheap device to have it is mighty impressive. It really is effortless to flip back and forth between updating your Facebook status, checking out Stephen Fry's latest Twitterings, and reading your work emails. The only hindrance is the aforementioned screen and the general slowness of the operating system that, while not appalling, is certainly nothing compared to the likes of a BlackBerry.

Elsewhere, the INQ also features some basic Java games including Sims 3 and a brain training one that could be fun for a while. The Deal Or No Deal game should never be opened, though, just on principle as I think the show is awful. On top of this you also get a calculator, calendar, memo app, unit converter, and voice recorder app and the INQ Hub gets you access to more apps and games for download. Though there was a reasonable choice of nearly 3,500 apps, finding them was a rather slow and frustrating affair, and all those that we tried were pretty slow in operation too. But again, for such a cheap phone, it's at least nice to have some choice.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


January 11, 2010, 5:06 am

Weird maze game at the back of the back panel?!


January 11, 2010, 5:18 am

I think your review was worded overly harshly, this costs 90 quid! An iPhone 3GS 16GB costs FIVE times as much.

Clearly a phone for a casual user, if you needed a second phone this would be a fairly good choice in my opinion..


January 11, 2010, 2:13 pm

3 have the Nokia E63 at £100 PAYG at present, which strikes me as a better all round bet at this kind of price point.


January 11, 2010, 3:01 pm

@xenos: I think your review was worded overly harshly,

Didn't seem harsh to me,.. And also gets a value of 9.

Ed said > it fits its remit of a cheap messaging device perfectly. The integrated social networking apps are all easy to use, the browser is decent, the keyboard is impressive, and the price is definitely right.


January 11, 2010, 5:36 pm

Don't forget each time you top up, for the next 3 months you get 150mb internet and 600 free texts to use. Of course everyone should know by now Skype is free forever on 3.


January 11, 2010, 5:51 pm

I'm interested in finding out how good the Twitter client is, compared to say, Gravity, on S60?

The review was ok, although I can't see why two days usage is "not great". It strikes me as "about average these days". Surely then the 3GS's half-a-day is "abysmal"?

Oh, any shots of the packaging it comes in? :)


January 11, 2010, 9:51 pm

I'm not sure what there is to say about it. It shows your feed and has a box for status updates. It's quite clear and easy to navigate. Seems little different to Gravity which seems little different to twitterific, etc. It's free and advert free which does appeal.

What's wrong with saying it's not great? Average isn't great. The 3GS gets two days easily when used the same amount.

Yes. Added.


January 11, 2010, 9:55 pm

Oops, sorry, thought we did have a photo of the box. I'll try and get one sorted tomorrow.


January 11, 2010, 10:56 pm

Doesn't the INQ Chat have GPS? 3's literature says it has so why was it not reviewed?


January 11, 2010, 11:11 pm

It does indeed, as noted in the feature table. There's not much to say, it's there, it works with GoogleMaps and various novelty apps available through the INQ hub. It's nothing special.


January 12, 2010, 12:30 am

The INQ / 3 combination just doesn't do it for me.

The software is buggy and slow. The hardware is cheap and nasty and 3's reception is pretty rubbish in most places I go. I'm being polite.

I had the INQ1 but this has gone into the bin. I have tried many different phones over the years, but INQ just takes the biscuit. Now, they don't exist for me (yes, they really are that bad).

I would either recommend a cheap nokia (or similar) handset if you want cheap, or save up your money and buy the real thing.


January 12, 2010, 3:41 pm

@Ed: Ta, I always like their box art :).

I suppose I've never really used a 3GS for everyday "general use" so can't speak from personal experience. I can't seem to find anyone who doesn't charge theirs daily though :P.


January 12, 2010, 6:49 pm

3 mobile is the only network that doesn't drive me up the wall with their utter lies of use for data you pay for 1Gb you get 1Gb for any data use you want to use FULL STOP not you pay for some data but you cant use it for email you cant use it for youtube ect.


November 5, 2010, 3:48 pm

I bought my twin girls this phone for their birthday - 2 months later we have just changed them for the 3rd time!!!!!! they keep freezing and switching off! of the last 2 which I got on Sunday one of them won't even switch on! As an aside 3 store are being VERY UNHELPFUL both in store and on the phone. Any advice please


January 31, 2011, 12:29 am

After using this phone for 10 month the data socket stoped working and i cant recharge it or use a hand free set.


February 29, 2012, 3:21 am

I love my INQ 3g here in Canada I got it from telus on as a prepaid phone I bought it for 49.95 and inside it had a 25.00 prepaid card so I got the phone for like 24.95 and I love this phone I have had no problems with speed I have found this phone very adequate online and texting and the fact that the charging cable also acts as a data cable and installing and charging it on the computer is great you can easily transfer ringtones, music and games every time you plug it into your computer to charge it you can do a full backup of the phone text messages, calender and phone numbers all backed up daily in case something happens you can restore all your data.The calender alarm is great the phone will actually wake it self up when an appointment nears so if your phone is charged and turned off and an appointment comes up the phone turns itself on and lets you now about your appointment it easily synchronizes with outlook and outlook express. I added an 8 gig sd card and I know have over 300 mp3's and many games for times when your waiting around it came with headphones that you can use to listen to music and even has a mic in it so you can answer the phone while listening to music it also came with an extra back cover in case of accidents.When compared with other phones in it's price range this phone gets a 10 out of 10.

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