10 February 2011

Facebook Phone


Facebook may not be launching a branded phone of its own, but INQ has built a phone that is all about Facebook.

INQ has unveiled the INQ Cloud Touch, an Android smartphone deeply integrated with the world’s largest social network. Thanks to the help of some Facebook engineers, this phone has countless custom Android apps, widgets and quick jump links that dive into every aspect of Facebook. It’s not a Facebook-branded phone though, so don’t expect Zuckerberg to be touting it as the iPhone killer in a press conference anytime soon.
Last Friday, INQ CEO Frank Meehan stopped by Mashable‘s office to give us a private demo of the INQ Cloud Touch. The first important thing to note about the phone is that it runs on Android 2.2, so it runs apps, connects to your Google accounts, and does everything else an Android phone is supposed to do.

Facebook has been built as a layer on top of the phone, though. The home screen has been customized with a Facebook Widget that delivers the News Feed. Not only will users see their friends’ status updates when the first unlock their phones, but the phone will also bring up multimedia content like YouTube videos and photos automatically.

The second core part of the INQ Cloud Touch is its bottom scrollbar, which links directly to the Android Facebook App’s many features. Photos, Chat, Contacts, Messages and more are easily accessible on the device.
The device itself isn’t all that powerful, though. It sports Qualcomm 7227 chipset that clocks in at 600MHz, a far cry from the 1GHz Snapdragon devices on the market today. It includes only 4 MB of memory, which is expandable. It does have a decent 5MP camera and a 1300mAh battery, which should suffice for most casual users. It has a 3.5-inch HGVA touch screen and has the Android Home, Menu and Back buttons — the search button has been removed because, as Meehan told me during our demo, “How often do you really use it?”

INQ will be launching the device in Q2 2011 and will be available at The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy. The company is still negotiating with carriers over a U.S. release. The company will follow up the INQ Cloud Touch with the launch of a second phone, the 2.6-inch iNQ Cloud Q, in Q3 2011.

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