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3's INQ1: Facebook to go

Prepare to fail the HSC: 3's INQ1 social networking phone will keep you in touch with your friends on Facebook all the time.

3's INQ1 in the hands of our friends in the UK.
(Credit: CNET UK)

Love or loathe it, Facebook is huge. And while the INQ1 won't be the first mobile phone with a Facebook client, it will be the first to integrate your Facebook contacts, as well as Skype and Windows Live contacts, into your phone book — and do it all for much cheaper than the competition.

Manufactured by INQ Mobile, a new handset arm of Hutchison Whampoa — which also owns 3 Mobile — the INQ1 is the company's first outing and hopes to do for Facebook on your phone what the 3 Skypephone did for Skype-to-Skype calling from your mobile.

For the very reasonable RRP of AU$179 outright the INQ1 features a nice mix of high and low-end tech. It comes with HSDPA for data transfers, which is excellent for a phone at this price point, but no Wi-Fi. This won't affect the use of the social networking app too greatly as 3 will include 1GB of downloads on a $39-per-month contract.

The INQ1 also sports a 3.2-megapixel camera and will let users upload pics from their phone directly to their blog.

3 expects to launch the INQ1 in Australia, and other regions including the UK, sometime before Christmas. Stay tuned for more specific timing and a review as soon as we get our hands on one.