Cashing in on the huge success of the QWERTY keypad on a mobile handset which is designed to speed up texting, coupled with the ever growing trend of Dual SIM technology, Micromax, it seems, is moving in the right direction with their very business like Q3 mobile. But before you get all excited about the prospect of a low priced handset with a QWERTY keypad and snap your wallet out for a quick purchase, here’s a quick peek at how the handset actually functions.

Form Factor
The Q3 is a light weight QWERTY handset with a 2.2-inch TFT LCD sporting a 220 x 176 pixel resolution. Normally that resolution isn’t something to raise an alarm over when you take the handset’s price bracket into consideration; however the Q3’s display itself is a bit of an issue when it comes to viewing. The panel used in the construction makes viewing the display from most angles difficult. Think of it as watching 3D without the glasses but not that bad. It was quite uncomfortable for prolonged viewing. The keypad isn’t as good as you’d expect to find on a branded handset like a BlackBerry or a Nokia E71 or E72 but it’s something that I got quickly used to as hard as the keys were. The keys are well evenly spaced and that goes for the navigation panel.

A 1.3 megapixel camera is located at the rear near the speaker and a mini USB port, universal for all connectivity and charging is located at the bottom. It’s a well designed, light weight handset from a generic point of view but the poor display panel quality is hard to get past.

Features and Performance
The UI is simply and very effective. It’s easy to navigate although access to some screens requires an extra couple of button presses when it could very easily have been cut down. But this is what I’ve come to expect from the budget handsets with similar Java-based interfaces and truth be told it’ll take just a couple of minutes to get used to. It is however, very fluid with no lag at all. The Dual SIM functionality works out very well and seamlessly.


The music player is average best. The settings don’t include any EQ presets so audio quality can’t be adjusted and believe me you’d want to. Tone quality is just a couple of steps below average. There’s a rather shrill ‘sound’ that emanates from the player in the higher frequencies and virtually no bass, well not enough to make it worth mentioning. The FM radio that also supports recording (scheduled) is not too bad, but the bundled handsfree is not too comfortable and so hampers the overall audio output. It also has a voice recorder for those who would find it handy.

The video playback was not comfortable for viewing because of the screen. The handset will read 3GP and standard MPEG4 video formats, but in my experience with the handset I was given for testing, playback was not up to the mark. There was too much lag even though the audio seemed fine. The jerky motions make for very difficult to watch videos. However, I did happen to know someone who had bought a handset and although viewing was still an issue playback was a whole lot smoother. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to get a good piece.

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