Thursday, December 18, 2008

INQy fingers

Before we begin, let me just say: kudos to the first person who calls me a media whore in the comments section.

Right, remember last month when I was invited to a mysterious party in East London which turned out to be the launch of a new mobile phone with social networking features? Well, it seems that schmoozing at a launch party and nabbing some freebies wasn't quite the end of the story. A few days back I got an email asking if I'd like to take part in a trial of the INQ1 phone. In no way inspired by the horrific-looking new Jim Carrey film Yes Man (the Danny Wallace book is much better - I have no qualms about saying that without having seen the movie), I said "yes."

Then I looked a bit guiltily at my iPhone and promised that I wasn't cheating.

So yesterday, having finished work for Christmas at midday and being footloose and fancy-free not only for the rest of the day, but until the beginning of January, I rocked up-town to pick up the phone. An hour and-a-bit later and I was strolling down the Goldhawk Road with a brand new INQ1 box in my grubby little mits, increasingly conscious of the fact that I was walking down the Goldhawk Road with a brand new INQ1 box in my grubby little mits.

An aside:

There was some proper exciting action in Tesco Metro on the Goldhawk Road the other day. Seems some big hulking dude was trying to shoplift something and the security guard - who, if we're thinking of the classic late 80s comedy Twins, is more Danny DeVito than Arnold Schwarzenegger - totally took him out. According to a witness, he *BAM!* clocked the dude right in the face and sent him flying into the 2-for-1 display of twiglets by the door. By the time the Police arrived - with a TV film crew! - the suspect was out cold on the floor.

This was all very exciting, but it did mean I couldn't get into Tesco to buy any milk.

Anyway, I eventually got home, where I unboxed the INQ1 for a proper gander.

Unlike a lot of mobiles, the INQ1 comes in a pretty funky box with some girl in a boob tube on the top. Good times.

Inside it's all a bit - dare I say it? - iPhone-like, with the phone resting in a transparent plastic tray. Unlike the iPhone packaging, though, the inside of the INQ1's box is waaaay more colourful. This is not a plus or minus. It is just different. 

Here's all the gubbins. It was like Christmas come early. Notice how I tastefully arranged everything on my laminate flooring classic real-wood flooring.

First impressions of the INQ1 are actually pretty good. I don't know why I just wrote 'actually.' It makes it sound like I expected it to be rubbish or something. I didn't; in fact, I didn't have any real preconceived notions of what it would be like. But yeah, having had it for a few hours by this point it's OK. It feels nice in the hand - not too heavy, but suitably sturdy. I'm pretty sure it would survive me accidently sitting on it or something. I have found it a bit weird going back to a phone that uses - as I've taken to calling them over the last few months - an antiquated push-button interface, though. I did actually poke the screen when I first started playing around with it, automatically thinking that it would have a touchscreen when I knew it didn't. I'm glad I realised quickly, though, as I think in a face off between my finger and the screen my finger would've snapped first. 

Either I've got a massive hand or the INQ1 is quite diddy.

Here it is slid open; the increased length of the phone makes my hand look more in proportion here than in the last pic.

The back. Nice etchings. Heh.

Pros so far?

• Nice casing. I particularly like the engraved INQ1 and 3 Mobile logos on the back.
• I've not properly tested it yet, but it's got a 3.2 megapixel camera which would seem to knock iPhone's 2 megapixel one into a cocked hat. I might do a proper comparison at some point…
• The scroll button on the right-hand side of the case provides an easy way of scrolling though the widgets without having to slide the phone open.

And cons?
• The camera also has a button on the right hand side so you don't need to slide the phone open to use it, but it's way too low down for my liking, meaning that I'll likely end up with a shedload of photos of close-up fingers and thumbs, or a chronic case of crip-hand. This might not be a problem for a nimble-fingered teenager, but it is for me.
• My attempts to play PacMan, the exciting-sounding Epicbrain, and log-on to Facebook have all been thwarted by a lack of 3G coverage. Apparently Sparky Towers is some kind of heavily-shielded bunker.
• The web interface is noticeably clunkier than the iPhone's; a smaller screen, no multi-touch … it's a bit like taking a step back in time, and goes to show just how effective and revolutionary Apple's mobile Safari browser really is.

And in that last point lies the kicker: I've been an iPhone user for almost a year now, and it is, quite honestly, the single best device I have ever used in my life. EVAH. So the INQ1 is going up against some pretty lofty competition. And as the guys that gave me it to me asked me to be completely honest in my opinions of it, I fully intend to compare the INQ1 to the mighty Jeebus phone, for better or worse. And yes, there are a couple of things that the iPhone isn't perfect at (hello lack of MMS and video camera functionality, I'm talking about you), so it'll be an interesting comparison, albeit one that will probably leave me mightily confused as I keep trying to slide the iPhone and use a touchscreen on the INQ1.

So, how will I come to a conclusion at the end of my month-long trial? Well, I'll be using a complex points-based system to determine the pros and cons of each phone messing around with both my iPhone and the INQ1 to see how they both cope with the stresses and strains of my hectic lifestyle, which over the next couple of weeks will most likely consist of me watching a vast amounts of telly and shoveling lots of unhealthy food into my cake-hole.

An aside:

Talking of which, I had a Goodfellas pizza for dinner. The cooking instructions said 'cook from frozen. Before cooking, evenly distribute toppings over pizza.' WTF?! HOW?! How the hell am I supposed to distribute toppings that are frozen to the surface of the pizza across the surface of the pizza? What am I supposed to do - use my heat vision to laser them off?! Not only that, but it suggests there's a very devil may care attitude at the Goodfellas factory to the preparation of their pizzas prior to freezing. Why not just sell the toppings separately and I'll do the whole lot myself. Lazy bastards.

To top it off, it was disgusting.

And of course, based on my recent homemade milkshake obsession, the ultimate question will be: does the INQ1, like the iPhone, blend?

Heh heh. Just kiddin'. 

Right - I'm off to phone Willowc using the INQ1. I know she's gone to the cinema and she's notorious for leaving her phone on during films. And the bonus is that she won't know it's me calling.

Let battle commence!


CyberPete said...

Media whore! (totally jealous by the way even though I've got my iPhone 3G, it's the idea of free quality stuff)

It does look nice, a little Sony-Ericsson'ish. The slide thing is not always a good thing, a colleague of mine has one (not an INQ1) and the slide thing has broken twice in the last 6 months.

I assume you won't have to send it back once the trial is over.

WillowC said...

I answered as well. Bastard, I'll get you back yet!

T-Bird said...

You WHORE! Oh, right. Media whore, that is...

Hehe. Hands. Big. He he. Snigger.

watch*paint*dry said...

Willow probably thought you were one of her mystery victims of her Slutty-in-the-City exploits. And she would be half right you diiirrtyyy whore you!

That is a big box too.


Inexplicable DeVice said...

You know my views on phones and technology in general, so I'll just say this: OMG! SP totally brought home a Goodfellas pizza last night, too. And I thought exactly the same as you did after reading the 'spread the topping' instructions*. Spooky, eh? We're meant to be together!

* Except that our pizza was a margarita one, so there were no toppings.

CyberPete said...

Goodfellas pizzas are so bad though.

SP should be spanked for bringing home such crap. Shouldn't he?


Tim said...

Cyberpete - It's all good so far … been using it to access Facebook and it's certainly useable. It's not an iPhone, but I'd say it's the next best thing if you're on a tight budget.

And no, I have to give it back!

Willowc - Tee hee!

T-Bird - You're dirtier than I am…

Watch*Paint*Dry - Actually it's quite a small box - I can hold it in one hand. Although as T-Bird just noticed, I do have big hands.

Inexplicable Device - And you and SP ARE together! Isn't that wonderful!?

Cyberpete - Spanked with a frozen pizza?

T-Bird said...

I'll take that compliment and run with it.

It was a compliment, wasn't it?

I'm making fresh pizza right now, PS. Maybe I'll take some photos and show you Brits how it's really done.

That's a spicey meataball!

CyberPete said...

Absolutely spanked with a frozen pizza!

What are they going to use the pre-owned (as it's called these days) phones for? I'd certainly never buy a pre-owned phone.

Tim said...

T-Bird - Oh god yes, of course it was! I bequeath my filthy crown to you.

Cooking with T-Bird? Do it!

Cyberpete - Frozen toppings up, or frozen toppings down? Either way: ouch.

I don't know what they'll use pre-owned phones for…

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Hmmph! You know what I meant. You could be my SP on weekends?

Tim said...

No, I don't, and no I won't. Dirty boi!

CyberPete said...

Maybe frozen toppings on top? You shouldn't arrange them before though - for maximum pain.

Tim said...


watch*paint*dry said...

*mental note to check out hands*

WV: redming

Is that like Fire Crotch?

Tim said...

Ha ha! Yeah, I think so!! You should probably get a cream for it or something!

T-Bird said...

I'm kneeding the dough with a firm hand.


Actually, that was a while ago. It was good pizza, but I didn't get any photos. Maybe I should do a cooking with T-Bird photo essay though.

Tim said...

You should. Definitely. I'm going to show everyone how to make vile milkshakes, there must be a whole cookery thing in the air!