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INQ Cloud Touch review

Barry de la Rosa
18 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
210
inc VAT

A fun, refreshing take on Android, the Cloud Touch will appeal to Facebook addicts and smartphone novices, and includes some novel ideas that we hope to see more widely adopted

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Specifications

Android 2.2, 3.5in 320x480 display

We haven't seen a handset from INQ since the colourful INQ1 launched in March 2009, which is a shame as the company's user-friendly approach to smartphones is a refreshing change. The Cloud Touch takes a similar tack; INQ has taken Android 2.2, added some funky designs and made Facebook the phone's primary focus. The result is a phone aimed squarely at those who don't see their smartphone as a computing device, but as a glorified address book.

Starting up the phone for the first time, we were taken through a slightly longer setup procedure than is normal with Android phones - mainly due to the addition of deep Facebook integration. The main home page is filled with Facebook widgets, including individual icons for each of Facebook's main functions, such as People, Events, Notifications and Places. These functions are also available as apps in the main application tray, so you can jump straight to your Facebook profile, your newsfeed or your messages.

INQ Cloud Touch

There's also a small application tray that sits at the bottom of the screen and holds six icons; it's independent of the home screens, but you can scroll it sideways to access more icons. It contains a shortcut to the main app tray and icons for Contacts, Messaging, Camera, Browser and yet more Facebook shortcuts. Long-pressing these icons lets you move or delete them, and you can drag new icons from a home screen onto this tray. INQ has customised the icons for the standard Android apps, which we'd normally complain about, but in this case the designs are so fun and colourful that they fit in with the rest of the phone's design.

The phone's lock screen is innovative, and reminded us of the lock screen on HTC's Sense 3.0 UI. There's a large lock icon, which you can drag out of its dock to unlock it as if you were pulling it from a pool of tar - and a haptic response provides suitable feedback for this metaphor. Two more apps can be launched in the same way - the camera and INQ Type.

INQ Type is a clever built-in application that, according to the quick start guide, lets you "search, share or save". It might not seem obvious at first, but in practice it saves a lot of time. It opens into a simple search box, with three tabs underneath. If you tap on the Search tab, a drop-down lets you choose where to search - All, Web, Apps or Contacts.

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