Smartphones and the INQ…

The iNQ phone from 3. Via 3bilder. Usual rules apply.

Much like Amelia’s launch of O2’s Cocoon, 3 have decided to help launch their new phone with some thoughts from the general blogging public.

One of those people happened to be me, and i’ve been bloody lax at writing a review at it – real life has a nasty habit of getting in the way at times.

Anyway, here ’tis, with a few caveats:

1) I don’t usually review stuff on this blog. I’m opinionated enough in real life to power several thousand zeppelins, and criticising/appraising extra stuff on the blog isn’t usually what I like to do.

2) I am in the market for a smart phone – hence my reviewing of this little electronic fellow. Before this, I had thought about a Blackberry 8900, as I liked using the email/t’terweb on it. No iphone for me – emailing looks like a chore, despite the apps on it.

3) Obviously, I wasn’t paid for this, and I have to return it.

Right then, onwards…

My usual phone is a Sony Ericsson K800i – a silver one with a good camera on it. It’s replaced Nokia in my eyes as the go to phone for ease of use. How I use it is principally for ringing people, texting and taking photos. I don’t really use the web, as I find it a bit clunky (and also damned expensive).

Crucially, i’m on 3 mobile at the moment. I like their pricing plan, and (despite what other people have told me) really think their customer service is very good – when my phone was nicked, they were able to tell me what to do, and have always been honest when I’ve asked them about billing and what to do to configure my price plan.

So, this phone had the potential to be a bloody useful. And the Guardian’s tech person liked it, so I had a thought that it might be decent.

In a sentence: I won’t be getting it, but I can imagine other people will love it to bits.

First of all – it’s a slide phone. I have the fear about slides, about them fucking up and breaking. I also dislike flip phones for the same reason. On the plus side, it is very very light, and easy to carry around; given the amount of technology powering it, it weighs less than my Sony.

Secondly, and crucially – it’s bloody fiddly. I like blackberries because I can use the web/write emails easily with them. No, it might be a bit of a chore to upload photos from there to facebook, but it’s not really what I use a phone for. Maybe the odd status update, which – for me, even with my bony digits, took a long long time.

The good points:

  • It’s all your social life in one place – it has Facebook, Skype, MSM, a straight to google link. I can see if you have more patience with the keys/typing than me, then you’d really get on with it.
  • It’s bloody good at syncing everything together; you can run multiple apps and it’ll cleverly remember what you’ve been up to. So it can act as a proper electronic diary.
  • The packaging/help – special props must go out to whomever designed the little help cards which come with the phone; they’re great.

But yet – it’s not for me. I want a simple (ish) phone that can write email, access the web, take photos, text and make calls. The web isn’t the most important thing, by any stretch. And I did discover one thing about smart phones – the keyboard needs to be big enough for me to be able to type with my thumbs.

I’d give it a 6.5/10. Or, a 8/8.5 if you use a phone primarily for sociable bits and pieces and require less work functionality. 3’s claim that it’s the world’s first social mobile probably isn’t that far off the mark.

Thanks to the guys at 3 for letting me try it. A little request for you – pleeease get the Blackberry 8900 on your network; I think it’s going to be my next phone.