INQ launches Mini and Chat handsets

INQ has announced the launch of two new handsets to its range - the INQ Mini and the INQ Chat. Both have been labelled by the company as "affordable social mobiles".

The INQ Chat has a Blackberry-style "bloke-proof" QWERTY keyboard, which the company says was much-requested by consumers and operators. It has an email client with free push Gmail, along with access to Facebook, Skype, IM and Twitter. It has a GPS chip and a 3.2-megapixel camera, along with a 2.4-inch TFT display.

The INQ Mini, on the other hand, has a more 'slimline' design, but still packs in Twitter, Facebook, Skype, IM and access to IMAP or web-based email services. It has a 2.2-inch display and 2-megapixel camera. The company has labelled this as their "entry-level" handset, but it won't replace the INQ1 which will still be sold.

Both phones come bundled with plug-and-play HSDPA modems, 3G web access, and a selection of coloured backs for owners to pick from. Will this mark a return to the glory days of removable fascias on mobile phones?

INQ can also sync your music from iTunes and WLM, as well as videos and photos, to your mobile, and its applications can be updated over the air. INQ's co-founder and marketing director, Jeff Taylor, told Pocket-lint that his company sees the phone as a "pocket internet agent", rather than just a standard mobile phone.

Unfortunately the Last.fm application from the INQ1 handset has been stripped out in these new devices, with the company's official line being that it "wasn't popular". INQ is hoping that its syncing service can replace the functionality adequately.

The company won't give us any prices, because it says they're set by the networks, but the handsets will be available in Q4, with the Mini arriving first. When we have more firm release dates, and some pricing, we'll let you know.