INQ unveils Facebook-focused Android phones

The new Cloud Touch and Cloud Q offer heavy Facebook integration with home screen feeds, links to friends and messages, and a single sign-on to the popular social network.

INQ Mobile today took the wraps off two new Android smartphones, headed first for the U.K. market, that are designed for people who depend on Facebook.

The INQ Cloud Touch INQ

The INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q both heavily integrate the popular social network into their overall operation. Working closely with people at Facebook, INQ has outfitted the home screen with a visual feed that lets users quickly access updates, pictures, videos, and other Facebook content. The phones also provide quick links to various Facebook features, including chats, messages, wall postings, and notifications, according to London-based INQ.

Facebook Places is accessible directly from the homescreen, giving people the ability to use the feature to check in at stores, restaurants, clubs, and other spots. Facebook's Events feature is also available to let people schedule events and sync them with Google Calendar. And instead of requiring users to log onto each feature separately, the phones offer a single sign-on to access all of the Facebook features available, INQ said.

For entertainment, both phones provide the Spotify music player with all of its features available to subscribers.

"The INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q bring Facebook to people with a single touch while they are mobile and demonstrate the power of socially aware devices," Henri Moissinac, head of mobile business for Facebook, said in a statement. "INQ has built an innovative and easy to use set of features that enable people to use common Facebook interactions such as viewing photos and videos, chat, message, and check-in to their favorite businesses all from the home screen."

Few specs were available on the Cloud Q, with INQ saying only that it runs Android Froyo 2.2 and offers a 2.6-inch touchscreen. But the company provided an array of details on the Cloud Touch.

Like its sibling, the Touch runs Android 2.2, but ING says it's easily upgradable to Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread. Beyond Facebook Chat, the phone includes Windows Live Messenger and Google Talk for instant messaging.

Hardware-wise, the Cloud Touch is powered by a Qualcomm 600MHz 7227 chipset and offers a 3.5-inch HGVA touch screen, 4MB of memory with an option to add more, and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera. Also built into the phone are Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM radio, an accelerometer, and a compass.

The company didn't reveal the cost of the new phones, saying only that they would sell at "affordable prices for the mass market." But speculation says that as a midlevel phone geared toward teens, the Cloud Touch could sell for as low as $50 when bought with a contract.

The Cloud Touch will reach consumers during the second quarter, specifically reaching users in the U.K. in April, while the Cloud Q will show up sometime in the third quarter. Both phones will sell only at Best Buy and the U.K-based Carphone Warehouse, according to INQ.

 

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