INQ launches two affordable social network phones

INQ's rumoured Twitter handset has finally landed, and what's more there's two of them.


Both the Chat 3G and Mini 3G are affordable internet phones that offer free push Gmail and integrated Facebook, Skype, instant messenger and Twitter applications. Your address book won't just hold phone contacts, but will sync with contacts from your social networks, and show live status of each.


The Chat 3G is a big step for low-cost phone-ville - it's a phone with a QWERTY keyboard, and one that looks mighty decent for the price too. The Mini 3G is a lower cost slimline mobile aimed at the prepay market. Both have plug and play HSDPA modems for high speed wireless broadband on PCs and Macs, and you'll be able to update apps over the air; INQ also says they'll be aggregating Java apps into an app store of sorts .


It's the software that'll win you over though. Like the Facebook app in the company's award winning Facebook phone, the INQ1, INQ's Twitter app integrates deeply with the handset, and you'll be able to send tweets over the internet, rather than SMS (free versus pay, whee!). The INQ Chat widget pushes Twitter updates straight to home screen.


As well, media sync allows uses to sync files between their INQ phone and home PC/Mac. Nor is INQ pulling an Apple and changing all your file formats; instead, the software syncs music from iTunes and Windows Media Player  straight to phone, along with video and photos. However, don't expect to go all massive media hound, the phones come with miserly onboard storage and (sigh) no 3.5mm audio jacks. 


Specs-wise, the Chat 3G weighs in at 114.5x61x12.8mm, with a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT display, 3.2-meg auto-focus camera, GPS, a microSD slot, plus support for downloading, playing and streaming music and video.


The Mini 3G is a smaller 102.9x45.8x12.8mm, with a 2.2-inchd QVGA TFT landscape display, two-megapixel snapper, microSD slot, and support for downloading, playing and streaming audio and video.


Available in Q4.

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