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Thursday, February 05, 2009

INQ1: Tricky switch

I've had the INQ1 for about 24 hours now. The handset is quite nice. I never had a slider before and it's ok, I guess.

It feels solid-ish, but not like an iPhone or my previous K800i, but that's probably because of the slider mechanism. The brushed aluminium-effect finish is quite nice, and the numeric keypad is quite responsive.

3G is fast, but I work in a basement and get no 3 network reception at all during the day. Product tester FAIL.

I'm really impressed that it can run skype and msn messenger in the background at all times. That's cool- receiving skype calls and msn IMs is just like receiving calls and texts. Actual seamless integration. Makes me look forward to the rumoured background processing update on iPhone.

The widgets are pretty sweet, too (widgets? where'd they get that name from?). They sit on the 'home screen' and you can press the up button to get to them and click on them for online info. I'm using the weather and BBC News RSS widget. Apparently Britain needs more nannys. I wouldn't mind seeing this kind of thing on the iPhone, over your wallpaper before you unlock it or something.

What's not cool is trying to chat on a numeric keypad. This thing should slide the other way and have a qwerty pad underneath, like one of those Sidekick things all the kids on the OC/Laguna Beach, The Real OC/The Hills had before Apple got involved. Yes, at this size the keys would be tiny, but T9 predictive text drives me fucking mental, even though I'm still quite good at it, even after a year on the iPhone. Like riding a slightly dodgy bike you bought from Brick Lane market, or something. On another T9 note, I noticed they changed the default of "2-6-6-5" from 'book' to 'cool' since I last had a numeric keypad phone. That's quite funny.

Facebook is a little pointless on this phone unless you're an addict, as you'd have to be willing to use the crappy interface. It gets you the information you're after, but it looks awful and is 'just a bit shit'.
*UPDATE*: Trevor Bennett blogged about how you can use the facebook app in areas with no reception (like the tube), and all is synced up when you return to reception. You can see status, write messages, post pictures, all of it. That's bloody clever, that is. The interface is still monsieur uglyfaçade.

Oh, and I still can't figure out if I can listen to last.fm on it. I tried, but kept going in circles and not seeing a play button anywhere. It should be seamless like the other social networking things if they're using the logo all over the marketing materials. Anyway, the supplied headphones are SHIT, and you HAVE to use them as there's no 3.5mm jack, just some bloody USB thing. I put them back in the box.

I think I'll try using the phone as a 3G wireless modem with my MacBook at some point soon. That should be fun.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

INQ1 Test. Here we go

So, I was recently asked to do a trial of the INQ1 phone on the 3 network. I should be receiving the phone tomorrow and will probably have to do that thing when you charge it for 16 hours while trying not to play with it.

www.3mobilebuzz.com asked to do the trial as I'm a "social media savvy blogger" which means, I assume, I'm supposed to write about it on here. And that's what I'll do. I'll probably take some pictures of it and put them on flickr, too, where I'll be taking bids for usage rights if they're any good.

As an iPhone user, I'm GUESSING the first week of trying out the phone will be the most frustrating experience of my life since I first tried to send a text with a numeric keypad. I'll probably keep trying to touch the screen and crying. Also, I don't really use last.fm and I'm a mac user so iChat and Skype are the only 'IM' services I'm signed up for. That said, before iPhone firmware 2.0 was released I didn't use twitter and now it's an every day thing.

BUT, I have high hopes for this thing - for the price, it sounds like a great deal for a social media savvy blogger like myself, that is, if I didn't want an iPhone or couldn't afford one...

Come on, it's a free 3G handset with skype and facebook for £20 per month (or £15 if you only communicate by numeric keypad and don't need more than 75 minutes per month).

So, we'll see what happens in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.