INQ Mini 3G and Chat 3G: Social butterflies

INQ has launched two new phones focused on social networking and being cheap. A Twitter app, push Gmail, a Qwerty keyboard and tethering are all on the cards

Going for a cheap phone usually means accepting a hefty dose of rubbishness, but INQ managed to wow us last year with its first handset, the INQ 1 . Although very inexpensive, the 1 had an innovative user interface and a bundle of social-media features.

So we're brimming with excitement to learn INQ has two more affordable social-media phones in the pipes -- and one's bringing the Qwerty! The INQ Mini 3G inherits the INQ 1's candybar mantle, while the INQ Chat 3G brings a Qwerty keyboard to the kids.

Both phones have a new Twitter client that INQ says will run in the background so you don't miss a 140-character missive. A Twitter widget will show tweets on the home screen.

The Chat will also support push Gmail, and both phones will sync with doubleTwist , which means you can sync your iTunes music.

They will also have the Facebook, Skype and IM apps we so loved on the INQ 1. Neither handset will have Wi-Fi, but they will have HSDPA for speedy downloads over 3G. And, like the 1, they can be used for tethering -- connect them to your Mac or PC and you can surf over your phone's data connection.

The Qwerty-tastic Chat will have a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, and 120MB of on-board memory, expandable up to 8GB.

The Mini will have a 2.0-megapixel snapper, and 100MB of on-board memory expandable up to 8GB.

If you don't like the fire-engine red colours shown in this press shot, you'll be happy to know there'll be seven coloured backs to choose from. Both phones should hit the shops this winter.

Update: The INQ Mini 3G will be on sale soon on 3, from free on a £15-per-month plan that includes Internet. You'll also be bable to pick it up on pay as you go for £60.

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