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INQ Chat 3G Hits 3 as Vodafone Pulls HD2

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Easy come, easy go? Today sees one hotly anticipated smartphone launch and - perhaps more oddly - one hot smartphone prematurely withdrawn from sale.

First up the hotly anticipated INQ Chat 3G has finally launched on 3 more than two months after its little sibling, the Mini 3G. No reason was given for the delay (it's always software, always), but we're big fans of INQ's offerings to date such as the Skypephone S2 and INQ1 so our hopes are high.

As with the Mini 3G, the Chat 3G has a primary focus on social networking with Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live Messaging functionality natively integrated. Skype also makes an appearance too (handy with 3's free Skype initiative) and the handset will happily multi-task unlike some.
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In terms of hardware, the Chat 3G is the most powerful INQ has produced so far with a 2.4in QVGA screen, 3.2MP camera, HSDPA and GPS. The 120MB of onboard memory can also be expanded to 8GB via the microSD slot. Perhaps most exciting, given the Chat 3G's target audience, is the addition of a physical Qwerty keyboard and it might just give entry level BlackBerrys a run for their money. Especially with 3 giving the Chat 3G away for just £99.99 on pre-pay and from free on contracts of just £15pm. Sounds like a steal to me.

Less happy today will be HTC after Vodafone confirmed it is dropping the rather excellent HD2 after just two months on sale. Vodafone hasn't elaborated on its decision, instead just banding around the statement: "There's been a great deal of interest since we made the HTC HD2 available to buy in November and our initial supply quickly sold out," which only serves to make the decision all the more bizarre.

Thankfully Vodafone isn't the only HD2 seller and rumour is it needs to make space in its inventory for the iPhone 3GS in 2010, but that seems a strange argument since you won't find many networks complaining about having too many quality phones. Odd, very odd indeed.

Links:
INQ Chat 3G Product Page
HD2 via Electric Pig

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