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3 INQ1 is the best handset for 2009, GSMA awards announced

3 UK's INQ1 is top of the list of winners of the 14th Global Mobile Awards basking in their glory. Last night at the National Palace in Barcelona the vote of a wide panel of judges from within the world of mobile technology, decided the winners in 7 categories.

The one we're most interested in - the Best Mobile Handset or Device - produced a quite surprising winner. The Amoi-made INQ1 for 3 UK emerged triumphant over LG KS360, T-Mobile G1, BlackBerry Storm 9500 and Nokia E71. Winning stuff was social networking - the INQ1 is tightly integrated with Facebook and, and comes with support for popular messengers like Skype and Windows Live Messenger.

3's INQ1 official photos

T-Mobile and Nokia are the two runners-up so to say, splitting the Highly Commended award in this category. The G1 was praised by the judges and T-Mobile should share credit with HTC, who actually manufactured it. The Android Platform got its share of appreciation and, with several new handsets coming in 2009, the way ahead is wide open.

The other competitors

Nokia got a firm handshake too on behalf of their E71 - the business minded QWERTY all-in-one.

Nokia also snatched the Best Mobile Internet Service award with the Nokia Sports Tracker. The application uses GPS to keep track of your workouts - jogging, running or cycling. Putting due emphasis on networking again, that workout data can be shared on the relevant website including route, speed and even pictures taken along the way.

The Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough award went to the SurePress screen of the BlackBerry Storm. The SurePress screen actually 'clicks' like a hardware button allowing the user to both hover over an item and get physical feedback from virtual buttons, a feature that has been a major challenge for touchscreens.

There were many rumors of trouble for the Storm but if anything, this award is confirms that touchscreen is the way the future's shaping and tactile feedback will play an important role in user experience.

Next year's awards promise to be even more interesting with the Mobile Innovation Grand Prix. It will focus on smaller players with pioneering products and services seeking bigger market deployment