I’ve had an INQ1 phone on trial from 3 Mobile since the middle of December. My main impression is that it’s CHEAP, PIONEERING and A BIT SHODDY. It’s not an iPhone, but it’s not £35 a month. Stand out items for me (good or bad) are:
Consolidated Inbox and Phonebook: having all messages and chats, from any application, brought together in one place makes things a lot easier. You would have thought that this would apply to the phonebook, which does similar, but the fact that you have to manually merge contacts make this far too much trouble to be of positive value.
Battery Life: as my commenter noted, battery life really isn’t very long when you have all the applications turned on. I managed between one and two days on average.
3G Dongle: it’s great that the phone works like a USB 3G Dongle, with the software you need on the phone rather than on a disc somewhere. Unfortunately, the software is a bit shit and keeps crashing or failing to give decent performance. I regularly saw download speeds of a few Kbps, but this could be something to do with 3′s poor coverage than a feature of the phone.
The Facebook Application: for something sold as the core application of the phone, the built-in Facebook app is dreadful. Supposedly refreshing reguarly in the background, I found that if I didn’t manually refresh I scarcely saw a single update. The updates themselves seem incomplete, with things like friend notifications and messages failing to appear at all. I have heard before that the release of the INQ1 was rushed for Christmas and with bizarre behaviour like this (not to mention the foibles covered above), I can well believe it.
In summary, this is a cheap phone and having Skype installed is cool and keeps it cheap. However, whilst the integrated messaging and contacts, and the idea of your web connection being always-on are both forward-looking and exciting, their implementation is far from rock-solid. Save your pennies and buy an INQ2.
[Prices and specs on the 3 Store]