INQ Cloud Touch: Android at its core, Facebook in its heart

The INQ Cloud Touch, the Facebook-centric Android phone has now been confirmed, putting to rest a rumour trail as long as Facebook’s reach. Moving its new line of mobile phones over to Google’s Android OS, the INQ Cloud Touch is what all the rumours have been about.

Facebook has been quick to stamp on any “official” Facebook phone rumours, but the Facebook experience on the INQ Cloud Touch is deeply integrated. Facebook isn’t a side app, it’s a thread woven through the whole device. The result is a quirky Android device that is customised in a way that makes it unique.

You’ll find much of the existing Android Facebook connectivity in place, like the option to upload photos to Facebook from the album and contacts integration, but there is a whole lot more besides.

The homepages, which follow the normal Android arrangement of offering you a number of swipeable, customisable pages, come with familiar Facebook icons, giving you direct access to Facebook services offering People, Events, Notifications and Places. Other smaller services can also be directly accessed via smaller icons across the bottom of the screen. It means Facebook is much more immediate and prominent on the handset.

The default music player on the INQ Cloud Touch is Spotify, which is what opens when you press the music button on the side of the device. This doesn’t give you an account for the streaming music player, but offers the media player functions that Spotify has in its app. 

The INQ Cloud Touch uses the INQ Type keyboard from the guys that brought us SwiftKey, an app that we love. It will learn your language and predict your text entry meaning it is really fast to bang out messages -often you only need a couple of letters, sometimes none at all. 

As a mid-level device, the INQ Cloud Touch isn’t aiming to blow the competition out of the water in a spec showdown. It has a Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz processor, so there will be limitations to what the phone can do, but otherwise it is kitted out with the usual sensors and Wi-Fi, GPS, and HSPA connectivity.

The screen is a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 resolution capacitive display, that seemed responsive enough to our prodding. Around the back is a 5-megapixel autofocus camera and it offers VGA video capture.

INQ confirmed to us that Android 2.3 would be coming to the device in 2011, but no precise timeframe was given. The INQ Cloud Touch will be available in red, white and black. Ken Johnstone, co-founder of INQ, told us that they had sought design inspiration from Star Wars Stormtroopers and Eve, Wallee's love interest, to come up with the curvy design.

The INQ Cloud Touch is predicted to come in around £20 a month on contract and will be sold through Carphone Warehouse, hitting stores in April.

For more photos and all our thoughts, check out our INQ Cloud Touch First Look review.