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InQ Cloud Touch Facebook Phone Launched

InQ mobile, the British mobile designer owned by Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa and sister company to 3 UK, has unveiled its first Android-based smartphone, one which focuses on Facebook exclusively.

The phone, which will be publicly demoed at the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, blends the main features of Facebook and also integrates a Spotify-powered Music (ed : Li Ka-ching, the owner of HW, is an investor in both companies).

The phone is based on a Qualcomm MSM7227 chip running at 600MHz with 512MB RAM and a five megapixel camera but no AF or flash. Onboard storage is limited to 300MB although there's a microSD card reader.

It has a bright plastic back cover with a number of colour options available although its screen, a HVGA 3.5-inch capacitive model, is not in the same league as the Orange San Francisco (AKA ZTE Blade) which costs less.

The Inq Cloud Touch runs on Android 2.2 with a proprietary skin. An Android 2.3 version is expected to come fairly soon.

The main selling point of the Cloud Touch will be its tight Facebook integration which includes automatic Facebook contact management, birthdays and events synced to Google Calendar, loads of notifications on the home screen and quick access to top friends.

Expect the phone to launch in the UK in May 2011 with 3 UK likely to offer it for as little as £20 per month on a two year contract.