INQ Mini 3G review: INQ Mini 3G

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The Good Small and light; cute design; great social-networking tools; cheap as chips.

The Bad Feels plasticky; could be easier to use; can be slow.

The Bottom Line You can't expect a perfect phone at this price, but the INQ Mini 3G will appeal to people on the go who need a cheap fix for their social-networking habit

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6.5 Overall

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The INQ Mini 3G is a budget handset aimed at social-networking fiends. Offering apps for Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and Twitter, you can pick it up for free on a £15-per-month contract with 3, or for just £40 on a pay-as-you-go deal.

Cheap and cheerful
The Mini looks like a pretty conventional candybar phone. It's very small and light, measuring a mere 103mm tall and tipping the scales at just 128g. While the plasticky finish feels rather cheap, the handset looks rather cute overall, thanks to its curved edges and attractive red, black and chrome colour scheme. In fact, it looks just as good, if not better, than recent mid-range handsets from big-name brands like Sony Ericsson and Nokia.

The phone's 56mm (2.2-inch) display is bright, with a 240x320-pixel resolution, which is very respectable for a phone in this price bracket. Between the screen and keypad, there's a fairly standard circular direction pad that's used for navigating around the Mini's user interface. Alongside this, INQ has added a dedicated menu button to take you to the main grid-style menu. This menu is decked out in cool icons that look like they've been lifted straight from the pages of a style magazine. The menu layout isn't as straightforward as it could be, though, so it takes some getting used to.

Social skills
The main attraction of this handset is line-up of social-networking apps. These are presented in a carousel-style menu across the bottom of the home screen, and cover Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and Skype. All the apps perform well and, as they're pretty easy to use, they make it a piece of cake to update your Twitter feed or call friends on Skype.

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