The Q99 is an average performer although the mediocre keypad ergonomics ruins usability and ultimately everything. However, it is rare to find such a feature set on such a cheap phone, As there are very few dual SIM QWERTY smartphones in the sub-Rs. 3,500 category.
- Dual SIM and dual memory slots
- QWERTY keypad
- 2GB bundled memory card
- Poor keypad ergonomics
- Mediocre loudspeaker clarity
- Shoddy trackpad
Byond Q99 360 degree view
The Byond Q99 is a dual SIM, dual-memory QWERTY smartphone, which borrows the classic design aesthetics of a Blackberry business phone. It is one of the first QWERTY business phones released from the stables of Byond and inherits the body design from its elder sibling the BY 880. The only major difference is that the BY 880 comes with a track ball, while the Q99 ships with an optical trackpad. The glossy black finish on the front and back panels of the Q99 also gives it a bit more appeal.
The Q99 body is well built with harder than normal plastic and it still does not feel too heavy, weighing just under 90 grams. TheQWERTY keypad incorporates a bevelled key structure to enhance its usability and comfort to some extent. However, the function modifier key (Fn) is faulty and fails to register the user input with 7,8 and 9 number keys while keeping the Fn-key pressed. So, one has to enter the input individually for each of these keys by pressing and releasing the Fn-key after each input. Even though the keypad build quality is quite satisfactory, this technical flaw takes a major hit on the keypad ergonomics by affecting the overall usability and comfort. The optical trackpad is quite sluggish and lacks precision while navigating the menu interface. We found it irritable at times, as it was not registering the input correctly or erred in directions while selecting the intended icons on the screen. The lack of usability and comfort with the trackpad once again takes a hit for the overall ergonomics.
We came across another tricky situation with the SIM two slot. Inserting and removing the SIM two card is a difficult task, as there is no proper latch mechanism for smooth operation. The only way to insert the SIM two card is to bend it a little at a certain angle & slide it inside. Similarly, while removing the SIM two card, we need to follow the same trick; but, slide it out instead.
The menu interface is simple and well-organised. The home screen incorporates six customisable quick launch icons, also known as the toolbar icons: phonebook, SMS, Facebook, FM radio, audio player and camera. The user has the option to enable or disable the toolbar icons on the home screen. In addition, the display properties enable the user to choose either an analog clock or the regular digital clock for the home screen.
Display: 2-inch, Screen resolution: 176 x 220;
Memory: microSD expandable up to 8GB;
Battery: 1000mAh, Talk-time: up to 4 hours, Standby-time: up to 500 hours;
Weight: 90 grams;
Price: Rs. 3,500