Innostream Inno 90 Mobile Phone Review


A few months ago I reviewed the
Samsung E700
and thought at that time, that this was the ultimate gadget phone. However, this
is no longer true, as I bought the Inno 90 from the 2nd largest mobile phone
manufacturer in Korea called Innostream. The Inno 90 is on sale in North America
through online stores and T-Mobile. As a
GSM-Triband phone it works in most networks. I have tried to include many photos
in the review. Some are take in macro mode. That means, that the pictures of the
screen sometimes look not very clear. This is not the case in reality.

Here is an overview about the phones most interesting specs:

– GSM Tri-Band
– Dimensions: 46x87x26 mm
– Weight: 88.5grams (with standard bat.)
– Stand by time: More than 100 hrs
– Talk time: 5 ~ 6 hrs
– Main LCD: TFT 260,000 Color (128 x 160 pixels)
– Sub LCD: STN 65,000 Color (96 x 64 pixels)
– Supporting colors image: Max 262,144 colors
– 7 colors Optic Fiber Illuminating Deco
– 3 colors keypad back lighting
– Various Graphics and Animation
– Idle Screen of Various Photos or images and Digital clock
– Menu Using Big Graphic Animation Icons
– High quality CCM type digital camera (640×480 Pixel)
– Camcorder for video recording (up to 20 seconds for each video)
– 3.2 MB dynamic storage
– Earphone jack
– Navigation key
– Real Time Clock, World Time, Alarm, Scheduler, Games, Calculator, Biorhythm,
Stopwatch, Calendar and Melody Converter
– Silence mode
– User Selectable/Editable Audio profiles
– Security: Phone Lock, Phonebook Lock, SIM Lock, and MEP (Network Option) etc.
– User Selectable Display Color Theme Mode
– User Selectable idle photo or images
– Melody Composer
– Voice Memo
– Camera and Album
– 500 names in the phone memory (+ SIM card memory)
– 300 emails in the phone memory
– Group Type: 6Fixed, 3 Editable
– Selectable Group Ring Melody
– Photo Personalization in Phonebook
– 20 Recent Dialed/Received/Missed Calls
– Caller name, Call Time, Call Duration, Call Cost
– 64poly melody ring
– Real Music Bell (Support Transforming MP3 file to ring tone)
– Hands-free call with Ear microphone
– Auto Redialing, Any Key answer, Connect Tone, Minute Tone, Escalating tone
– Vibrator Alerting
– Concatenated SMS (Maximum 1064 Alphanumeric Characters, Maximum 462 Chinese
– E-Mail (Pop3, Imap)
– Quick keys for 10 speed dialing, recent calls, WAP, SMS inbox, Game,
Biorhythm, Calendar and Silence Mode
– Notification of the missed call, the arriving of new SMS and the arriving of
PUSH message
– Built-in Data modem (CSD or GPRS) (no cable available yet)
– Change loudness of speaker during call
– Different key tone types (like voice or water drop)
– Color and Dynamic Games (including Enhanced Game Engine)
– Supported Audio File Format: SMAF, WAV, Standard MIDI format, I-Melody

As you can see from this impressive list the Inno 90 offers some outstanding
features like quality of ring tones and displays plus a video recording feature
that sets it apart from most other phones. Furthermore it offers many ways to
personalize the phone. However it lacks most forms of connectivity. While the
phone is strong in communication features (you get SMS, MMS and an
E-Mail-Client), you need a data cable to connect the phone to your computer (PC
only). This is available separately. It allows you to exchange pictures, ring
tones, images and offers MP3 conversion but this is it. There is no infrared
port or Bluetooth. If you need a phone with business features, Outlook
synchronization or hands free communication, you do not need to read further.
All Gadgeteers that look for a really cool fun phone that cannot be seen around
a lot may continue.

What is in the box?

As usual with phones from Asia, the Inno 90 comes with a lot of accessories. The
box includes:

• Inno 90 mobile phone (silver or white)
• 2 batteries (standard and slim)
• Headset
• Manual (English & Spanish)
• Desktop charger (for batteries, not phone)
• Cable for charger
• Hand strap
• Power adapter (depending on distributor)

Design & quality

The phone itself is made of very high quality, comparable to phones from
Samsung. It does not crack at all. It is very easy to open the phone with one
hand, although the click is missing that you usually hear when a folder phone is
opened completely. This might be irritating at first. As the phone is rather
thick, at least with the standard battery, it does not fit shirt pockets very
well. However it lies perfectly in the palm of your hand.

On the outside of the phone you find a small color display showing up to 65.000
colors. Compared to other phones the display is of rather high quality. You can
assign images and pictures taken by the phone’s camera to appear on the screen.
If a contact includes a picture taken with the camera in 96×64 Pixel it appears
on the outer screen if the contact calls. Surrounding the display is a ring that
can show up to 7 different colors in a row. This happens when you close the
phone or when somebody calls (depending on the profile settings). You either
love or hate this feature. I have not made up my mind yet, but you can turn off
the light if you like.

As mentioned before, there is no infrared port. At the bottom of the phone there
is the connector for the charging and data cables. On the left site you find the
port for the headset, which is very easy to open and close. Also on the left are
two buttons. If the phone is closed you can deactivate the sound by pressing the
upper button for a few seconds. If the phone is in idle mode, the camera sound
is turned off too, which is not the case with most other phones!

Pressing the other button quickly turns on the outer display that shows the date
and time plus several icons for signal strength, alarm clock, battery status
etc. If you press the button for a few second the display serves as a viewfinder
for the camera. The quality of the picture you see is rather high and much
better if compared to Samsung E700. Please note that you have to turn the phone
around if you want to make a self-portrait. When the phone is open and you press
one of the two buttons, the date and time are shown at the bottom of the inner
display. While making a call you can adjust the speaker volume with by pressing
the keys. You can also reject an incoming call when the phone is closed.

The phone has a slightly bulky external aerial. However I think it looks rather
pretty and gives the phone a nice look. This is certainly a matter of personal

Opening the phone you see in the upper part a crisp and clear TFT-display with
128×160 Pixel. The display is capable of showing up to 262.000 colors. The
display is slightly bigger that the display of the E700. I find it a bit clearer
with better color saturation too. But in the end the difference is not that big.
I would say the quality of the display ranges between Samsung E700 and Sharp GX
20/30, which is certainly of much better quality thanks to its higher

The keypad is – in my humble opinion – simply excellent. While all the keys are
spaced directly next to each other, they are rather big and have excellent
tactical feedback. You can assign three different backlighting colors (blue,
pink, red), which I think is pretty cool. The backlighting is strong and the
keypad is lit pretty equally. In the upper part of the keypad you find the
navigation key. When you are not in the menu and press the center Wap button,
you can connect to the Internet. But when you are surfing the phone’s menu the
key acts as an OK button, which is what Samsung has not managed to do so far.
This makes using the phone so much easier I think. You can also press the 4
little icons that surround the Wap button. They have the following functions:

Navigation key up: My menu allows you to set the 8 features you use
most as favourites
Navigation key right: Games
Navigation key bottom: SMS Inbox
Navigation key left: Camera
Navigation key center: Internet (after confirmation)

Above the navigation key are two buttons. There functions correspond with what
is mentioned above them on the display. For instance pressing the left key
brings up the menu, pressing the right one the phone book. Next to the
navigation pad are two more keys. The right one is (red) for ending a call, the
left one (green) for accepting a call.

Menu and features

Phonebook: You can save up to 500 numbers in the phones memory, plus the SIM-card
memory. For each contact you can save up to three numbers (displayed with
attractive icons for home, office, fax etc.), an E-Mail address and a picture.
You can assign a group to each contact and different ring tones for each group.
The pictures need to be taken with the phone’s camera in the lowest resolution
of 96×64 pixel so it is shown on the external display.

The menu is very well organized. 9 attractive icons are displayed. These are the
different options:

1. Message:
• E-mail
• Voicemail
• Broadcasts

What it lacks in connectivity the Inno 90 makes up when it comes to
communication services. You can write long SMS with up to 1064 characters and
send and receive MMS (Text, pictures and tone). You can either use multi tap or
a rather powerful T9 (set as default). Typing is rather fast and the T9 works
very well. T9 uses capital letters at the beginning of each sentence. However
you cannot add words to the dictionary, which is a pity. You can store up to 100
SMS in the phones plus your SIM-card memory. There is a basic mail client as
well that allows you to send and receive mail for up to 8 different accounts!

2. Call Records:
• Dialed calls
• Received calls
• Missed calls
• Delete Records
• Cost & Duration
• Data Counter

Nothing special here!

3. Phone Setting:
• Own Numbers
• Language
• Sound Setting
• Display Setting
• Clock Setting
• Call Setting
• Connection Profile
• Security Setting
• My Menu Setting

As mentioned before, the display quality is excellent. You can set pictures
and images as wallpaper for the two displays. You can also choose one of the
preloaded videos as wallpaper. What I really like is the possibility to change
the color of the menu. There are four different color themes to choose from.

The Inno 90 allows you to set up to 7 different sound profiles, which leads me
to the most important and outstanding feature of the phone, the 64-polyphony
ring tones. There are already 50 tones installed in the phones memory. From
classic ring tones to bird’s singing and pop songs, the list is rather complete
and the sound is amazing. I dare to say that the sound quality is the best you
can find in current phones. This is where phones from Asian manufacturers truly

The Inno 90 cannot play MP3-music, but if you own a data cable, you can convert
MP3 into mmf-files and upload them to your phone. The maximum size of each file
cannot exceed 200 KB, which is about 25 seconds of music. The sound is
incredible. You can now have your favorite melodies as ring tones.

In My Menu you can choose your 8 favorite applications that are then easy
accessible by pressing the upper navigation button.

4. Camera & Media:
• Camera
• Camcorder
• Image File
• Audio File
• MFlash Folder
• VIDEO Folder
• File Manager
• Memory Status

The camera is of decent quality, comparable to the Samsung E700, though in low
lightning conditions, the E700 offers better quality thanks to the night modus
feature. You can shoot pictures in the following resolutions: 96×64 (for
external display and picture phonebook), 128×160, 160×120, 320×240 and 640×480.
In the set up menu you can change brightness, contrast, digital zoom,
self-timer, different camera sounds (the sound can only be turned off by turning
off all sounds by pressing the upper key on the left side of the phone when it
is closed). The pictures look really good on the phone’s internal screen.

640 x 480 pic

320 x 240 pic

The camcorder allows you to record short (up to 20 seconds) video clips in
three different qualities. The quality of the video, displayed on the internal
screen, is rather good. However, you cannot record sound. You can send pictures
and videos via MMS and E-Mail. You can upload pictures to your PC with a data
cable but not the videos. I am not sure if other phones can play the videos.

All files can be found in the File Manager.

5. Organizer:
• Calendar
• View Today Report
• Alarm
• Memo

You can save up to 100 events and assign them to 6 seven groups. You can also
set alarms and display all events on one day by choosing “View Today Report”.
The alarm feature offers two different kinds of alarms (morning and regular). By
choosing the appropriate setting, the phone turns on and plays the alarm when it
is turned off. That is pretty cool at night, when you want to make sure nobody
can call you or you want to save battery. The memo feature is very basic. You
can just type in a note with up to 1.000 characters.

6. Network Service:
• Call Divert
• Call Barring
• Call Waiting
• Caller Identity
• Closed User Group
• Network Selection

Nothing special here!

7. Games & Utility:
• Games
• Biorhythm
• Timer
• Calculator
• Voice Memo
• Melody Composer
• Converter

There are 4 preinstalled games that are of high quality and all rather funny. My
favorite game is Space Fighters, in which you have to destroy attacking
spacecrafts. The phone’s software runs pretty smoothly and there are no delays
between pressing a button and corresponding actions taking place. Savanna
Adventure is also a lot of fun. You have to guide your character through a
jungle and avoid the dangerous animals. To play this game you have to turn the
screen horizontal. Classic Rally is a standard racing game and in Trapped you
have to guide your character through various labyrinths.

As the phone does not support Java, you cannot download additional games, but
these four games should keep you busy for a while, and again, they are of very
good quality. The only thing that bothers me is that the phone does not remember
the last game status, so when quitting a game you loose all progress made.

The timer, calculator and voice memo offer basic features but work fine. The
application Biorhythm is mainly for the Asian market I would say. By typing in
your birthday you can check, if this is a good day to fall in love or not. It
also tells you about your health status, if you believe in these kinds of
things. I have not used the other applications yet.

8. Internet:
• Home
• Resume
• Bookmarks
• Push Message
• Settings
• Empty Temp Files
• Go to Address
• Version Info (1.2.1 (

The web browsing experience is a bit of a mixed bag. I found typing in the
necessary parameters rather easy. The phone supports GPRS 10 (4 download, two
upload), which guarantees rather fast browsing. The phone has a nifty “full
screen” feature that allows the browser to use the whole screen to display
information. I have heard that you cannot access the T-Zones with this browser.
Furthermore it shows some sites in color (like, but the
browser is not Wap 2.0 compatible and it cannot display HTML pages, so you will
mainly look at b/w pages. Furthermore, although I can access my providers Wap
portal, check my mail, look at news etc., I can access eBay but not place a bid,
which I could do with the Wap 2.0 browser of the E700. Phones in Asia are very
often built for certain providers that change the software to make it compatible
with their portal (like i-mode). For that you do not Wap 2.0. So even the next
generation of phones from Asia very often has a Wap 1.2.1 browser.

To sum it up, the browser works very well but just does not deliver the totally
colorful browsing experience.

I have to admit, I find myself playing with the phone all the time, more than
with any other phone I have owned so far. I really like the colorful and
well-designed menu. I find typing messages and mails really easy. Some users
complain about instable firmware and problems connecting the phone with the PC.
I have not had any problems so far. My phone’s and the PC software run smoothly.

If you do not need a phone with many business features, the Inno 90 is well
worth considering.

One last word: Innostream is very good in releasing phones that offer different
designs but basically the same features. The Inno 80/89 differ from the Inno
90/99 only in one aspect. The have a 100 k CCD camera, compared to the 300 k
CMOS camera of Inno 90/99. Otherwise all phones are identical apart from the

Price: $380 – $499 (varies)


Great display quality
Very good reception quality
Active flip
Great navigation key and keypad
VGA-camera with many features
Camcorder feature
Amazing ring tones
Attractive and cleverly designed menu
4 preinstalled games of high quality
E-Mail Client
Well build
OK battery life (with standard battery)
Lots of personalization possibilities

Lack of connectivity
Data cable needed for picture and ring tone transfer
No Outlook synchronization
No flashlight
No Java
Videos cannot be downloaded to PC
Cannot add words to phone’s dictionary
Rather bulky
Older firmware rather unstable

15 thoughts on “Innostream Inno 90 Mobile Phone Review”

  1. Great review, thanks– now I want the phone, of course. The review indicates that it’s available from T-Mobile, but neither their website nor Amazon shows any signs of it. What’s up?

  2. I read in different forums that the phone is available from T-Mobile. May be you can check Howardforums and post your question there. There are lots of Inno 90 users from North America who might be able to help!

  3. A bit of further info– apparently some TMobile stores sell the phones, but unofficially and with no support. I guess it’s up to the franchise owners– they can basically buy them on their own and resell them if they want to, but it’s not actually through TMobile. If that’s helpful either way.

  4. Try to get your hands onto a Sony Ericsson P900.

    It’s the ultimate pda-phone IMHO ……
    it kicks a.. to all phones (at least for now it does).


  6. im not sure if u can really access all vodaphone live functions

    but for GPRS protocols, go to a vodaphone shop and ask for insturctions, they’ll give u address and numbers for sms/mms and gprs centers
    u’ll have to do that MANUALLY since inno90 is not sold thru vodaphone

    yes i doubt if u would ever be able to acccess the main vodaphone live screen as many do, e.g. on their T630’s

  7. Just got my own Inno 90 a week ago and I really enjoy using these phone. The audio and display are Excellent. However, just like most Korean phones, it comes short with the connectivity features like Ird and Bluetooth. Anyway, some features made up for this shortcoming though.

    I don’t know if I’m the only one who have this phone here in the Philippines. But should others have, kindly contact me. One more thing, the Melody Composer feature is good. However, I can’t adjust the Tempo of my composition. Can somebody educate me on this? I’d really appreciate.

    Thanks everyone….Enjoy being in this gadget loving world!HUH!

  8. hi i s there any one out there who can help me i am looking for a new main l c d screen for my innostream 90 flip phone i can not find any were to buy one from any help much appreciated thank you.


  9. my innostream 55 battery expired and I dont know where to buy new one is it replaceable. Im in the Philippines can you help me find the shopping center where I could buy a new battery??

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