One of the main features of the INQ Mini 3G is the integrated contacts menu, with Facebook, Skype and MSN contacts all included under one name.
This is an idea pioneered in the INQ1, and has since been copied by the likes of Palm and Motorola with the Pre and Dext. One account that isn't included is Twitter, with CEO Frank Meehan telling TechRadar that this was because you're less likely to personally know those you're following on Twitter, making it hard to place them to a specific contact in your phonebook.
It's not a simple process to put all the relevant information in the right place – it requires users to merge contacts by selecting all the information in turn and asking the phone to combine them. Considering most people have north of 200 contacts, and even more Facebook friends, this is a laborious process.
However, once done it works very well to have all the information in one place, giving easy access to the people you want to speak to via a variety of mediums.
The bad news is that the amount of information stored in the contacts menu makes it very, very slow to use at times, requiring users to wait two to three seconds to press one button.
Users can search through contacts by typing in the name, but this just makes things even slower than before, making it feel like the Mini 3G is searching through the entire internet to find the information you're after.
It's not too bad once you find the contact though, as there's a plethora of information available. We're talking your friend's Facebook status updates, and the option to poke, message or see pictures they've uploaded.
The same is true of Skype, allowing you to start a chat or VOIP call right from the contact (providing they're online, of course).
You can also video call a person from your contacts menu, but this feature is completely useless as there's no front facing camera, meaning you have to use the rear. Given the point of video calling is being able to see the person you're talking to, this is a pointless feature, unless you are trying to show somebody something.
Another cool feature is being able to back up all your contacts to a memory card – while the SIM will hold a large amount of numbers, if you're switching between INQ phones or flashing the Mini 3G you don't want to have to re-merge everything again, and backing up contacts onto the memory card just makes sense.
Call quality on the INQ Mini 3G is very good, with sound clear and crisp, and the microphone picking up our voice well.
Picking up and rejecting a call is easy too, with the large rubber keys the easiest thing to hit on the phone.
For a phone that's data centric, the Mini 3G is actually a good telephone, something that much more expensive smartphones fail to manage these days.