INQ Mini 3G Review

Exclusive to 3 and its second INQ handset manufactured by Amoi. This is an affordable phone with low production values to keep the price tag down.

Applications are selected using the java-based carousel format familiar to recent 3 phones. INQ’s switcher key allows easy toggling between applications, but the 50MB internal memory needs a microSD card booster (up to 4GB) to keep operation smooth and swift. Active address book gives a slick presentation of all of your integrated Skype, facebook, twitter and WLM connections in one place. Plus it lets you merge individual friends’ details under one heading per contact. Smart.

The basic phone browser is limited but the strategy of combining 3G dongle capability is a strength here. Connect up a laptop via USB and suddenly I'm a fan. Much more utility than a basic dongle. While connected, doubleTwist is a application that gives drag-and-drop synching of iTunes and Windows Media Player files with the Mini 3G.

Unconnected again I have to be honest. The 2.2 inch screen is bright and clear but has a narrow viewing angle. Fiddly SIM and battery removal frustrated, but was easily fixed here. Battery life with lots of 3G use was tight, keep a charger handy. Call quality was clear and I’m swiftly converting to Skype, if only more of my friends did I’d save a fortune (hint hint). The bundled headset worked ok, but plugged in via the mini USB, there’s no other jack.

A step forward in software and utility from the INQ1, a stumble backward in design and feel. You get what you pay for folks and this feels like a toy. It is dirt-cheap though, and much more useful than a plain dongle.

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