By April 5, 2009

INQ INQ1 review

The INQ1 is excusive to 3 and was released in the UK in November of last year. A much more affordable phone, aimed at the younger generation, the INQ1 is being sold as “The Social Mobile” with fast access to Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and free Skype-to-Skype calls.


The INQ INQ1 – exclusive to 3

What’s in the box?

  • INQ1 handset
  • Battery
  • Instruction cards
  • Software CD
  • Warranty and safety booklets
  • USB – mini USB sync cable
  • UK Wall charger (mini USB connection)
  • Stereo Headphones/handsfree (mini USB connection)

Check out Tracy’s unboxing video for more information


  • UMTS 2100
  • Bluetooth
  • microSDHC card support (up to 16GB)
  • 3G, HSDPA
  • USB 2.0
  • 3.0 Megapixel camera
  • 2.2" 240 x 320 pixel LCD screen
  • 47.6 x 14.4 x 97 mm
  • 100 grams
  • SMS, MMS, E-mail, Instant Messaging, IM
  • Integrated Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and email applications



Front – 2.2″ display, right and left soft keys, D Pad, Menu button, clear button, ‘call’ and ‘hang up’ buttons (the phone is powered on/off using the red ‘hang up’ button)


INQ1 front view

Keypad – A good size standard phone keypad (T9 input for text)


INQ1 keypad view

Left side – Mini USB socket for pc connection and charging the phone. The speaker is also located on the left side.


INQ1 left side view


Right side – Right convenience key which is set as default as the camera soft key, Switcher menu selector button, Up/down rocker volume control buttons (also used as zoom with the camera function)


INQ right side view


Bottom – Not much here. just the microphone.INQ1_bottom

INQ bottom view

Back – The back cover encloses the battery, micro SD card, sim card and 3MP camera.


INQ1 back view


  • Easy access to Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and free Skype-to-Skype calls
  • Facebook integration with phonebook
  • Simple to use
  • Carousel quick app menu
  • Widgets
  • compact design
  • lightweight


  • Screen is too small
  • No camera flash
  • No self portrait mirror for camera
  • Difficult to access the micro SD card
  • Position of the speaker – muffled when holding the phone
  • no 3.5mm stereo earphone plug


OK, first impressions of the phone. From the pictures on 3’s website the INQ1 looked pretty cheap and nasty if I’m being honest. But, when I received the handset from Matt I was nicely surprised. Definitely a lot better looking in real life and feels pretty sturdy and well made.

The packaging of the phone definitely suggests the type of market that the INQ1 is aiming for. The bright colours of the box and instruction cards with colourful illustrations on the back of each card tell you that it’s aimed at the younger generation.


There’s nothing out of the ordinary with the INQ1 that would really convince me to buy it. The handset seems quite plain and simple. That’s not necessarily and bad thing. It’s just too plain for me. (I like my gadgets as you might have guessed!) You can probably tell I wasn’t blown away with this handset, but strangely enough, the lowlights I have to share with you aren’t that drastic. Maybe I should just get these over with now.

  • The screen seems a bit to small for the applications the phone offers, such as, Facebook. It’s still readable though, and pictures can be viewed pretty clearly.
  • No flash for the camera. Low light picture taking can be tricky! There is night mode however, but a flash would be of more use.
  • No self portrait mirror. Tracy mentioned this in her unboxing video – and I agree. This is strange as it’s supposed to be a ‘social networking phone’.
  • A 3.5mm stereo headphone plug would have been a good idea but never mind.
  • It’s very fiddly when dealing with the micro SD card. Mainly when trying to take it out. You also have to the the battery out to get at it.
  • and finally, the speaker. This can easily be muffled by your hand because of the location of it.

OK, lowlights over. I’m going to stop being negative about this phone now as it really does have quite a lot to offer.


Because of the simple and plain design of the phone it is very easy to use. The carousel menu on the home screen is controlled buy the dedicated switcher button on the right side of the handset. This is for quick access to your most used applications and you can add applications and websites to the carousel as well.

You can also show widgets on your home screen (up to three at a time). Some examples of the widgets on offer are, Yahoo weather, Google search and RSS feeds.

As mentioned, phone has Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Skype integrated into the workings of the phone in a very mobile friendly format. “Integrated how exactly?” I hear you ask! Well, from the very basic and easy and instant access from the menu (their own shortcut icons) right down to the messages inbox and even the phonebook. Your contacts from these applications can be merged into your phonebook and the options menu has been tailored to include making calls, chatting and even ‘poking’ the selected contact using these applications. It also pulls the data to your phonebook so profile pictures from Facebook show against the contacts on your phone.

Windows Live Messenger is easy to use. A QWERTY keyboard may be what some would have liked on the phone, but as long as you are comfortable with typing with T9 I think that the standard phone keypad still does the trick. If it really bothers you that INQ didn’t put a QWERTY keyboard on the phone just keep your eyes and ears open. apparently INQ have said that a QWERTY keyboard version is on the cards!

You can switch between applications with out logging out which is a nice touch. Means a lot less hassle and navigation through the phone is faster.

The web browser isn’t anything special. Does the job it’s supposed to! Just hindered by the small screen but.. oh, sorry, being negative again!

There’s a dedicated ‘Feeds’ section which comes in handy for keeping up to date with the latest news from your favourite websites.

The music and video players are pretty average. Again, they do what they’re supposed to do so nothing much to say about them. The camera is a 3.2 MP one and takes pretty good pictures in well lit situations. These photos can then be easily uploaded to Facebook of course!

Call quality on the phone is clear. Had a few instances of people not being able to hear me or vice versa, but I think this is to do with 3’s coverage in my area rather than the phone’s performance.

A small addition to the other features is that you can connect it to your laptop using the USB cable and the phone becomes a plug and play USB modem (using its 3G connection).



The concept of the INQ1 is that it is a social networking phone that is integrated with Facebook, Windows Live Messenger and Skype. But, most of all, compared to the smartphones on the market that can access these apps too, the INQ1 is much more affordable.

It’s simple in its design and easy to use. It performs well, is well made and robust for the price.

I think the phone is worth the price that’s being offered and there’s really not too much wrong with this phone. Maybe just a bit to basic for the gadget/smartphone fans out there!


Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews

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