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.