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INQ Cloud Touch review

The Facebook phone, the Spotify phone - all for under £200

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INQ Cloud Touch review: Verdict

INQ cloud touch review

We're a little stuck on our feelings for the INQ Cloud Touch - when we first picked it up, we thought it was a stunning piece of kit, and had really high hopes for the price point too.

At £18 a month and £200 on PAYG, it's starting to stack up compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Ace, LG Optimus One or the Orange San Francisco.

We liked

The sheer depth of Facebook functionality embedded in the phone is excellent - the main widget is a joy to use and really works well with the handset. The People tab, which should be a mainstay for all Facebook-capable handsets, is great too, as it really helps you feel more connected to the people you care about.

The style is cute and fun, and positioning it at the lower end of the budget scale is never something to be sniffed at.

Video recording capabilities aren't bad either, as while the sound can be a little off the VGA recording surpasses what you'd expect from such a device.

Call quality was clear enough (without being spectacular) and if you use the Spotify application all the time, a one touch button to access it is brilliant.

Home screen gestures are similarly ace, as well as being able to customise the amount of screens too. The INQ keyboard is a novel idea, and we love the thought of being more efficient with keystrokes.

We disliked

We first reviewed the INQ Cloud Touch it was full of bugs - the software often crashed, the camera was a little poor quality and the battery life was all over the place.

A lot of these foibles have now been fixed thanks to an instant software upgrade, meaning that most of the issues we found are gone.

The battery life is still a little suspect at times despite the tuning, although it's not a million miles away from most of today's smartphones.

The chunky chassis will be a little off-putting for some users too, as will the over-styled buttons on the bottom - but equally, it will be a real winner for some people, so isn't necessarily a negative.

The Facebook News Feed widget isn't as good as it could be, and the camera is still only so-so, although pretty much in line for a phone of this price.

Verdict

We were initially quite worried about the INQ Cloud Touch as it was littered with bugs and foibles, but thankfully a large percentage of these have been worked out and we're left with a pretty well-rounded phone indeed.

The agressive sub-£20 a month price is a really nice idea, as it moves it from the 'budget' category in many consumers' minds to 'super-budget'.

The Facebook integration is nice, but mostly just being split across a number of icons rather than in one application - and the People tab still takes far, far too long to update in our opinion.

We were hoping for a better battery life too, although it's not terrible on the Cloud Touch, and the Spotify player is only really any good if you're a habitual Spotify PC user or have a Premium account.

However, those looking for one of those new and fandangled 'Facebook Phones' should definitely take a good, hard look at the Cloud Touch - while technically it's nowhere near as gifted as some of the competition, the overlay and thought process gone into INQ's customisation is something we're already big fans of, and it's only going to get better.