While Blackberry is ‘fighting’ to retain their security base in the country it’s still a service that not everyone needs or wants, but there’s always something to be said about their handset designs. We’ve seen clones and then some and here’s just one more hoping to make beat out the scores of others – Micromax’s Q7. Take a closer look.

Form Factor
It’s a pretty squared off handset with no curves or subtle protrusions of any kind making it neat, simplistic, lightweight (100g) and easy to manage… to an extent. The Q7 is equipped with a ‘Pear’, well a trackball at least. Thankfully it glows white just like a BlackBerry and not like some of the loud/gaudier models out there. The keypad while comfortable for typing is difficult to view when lit and in direct light; backlighting should have been brighter or the keys themselves darker. If it’s dark or the keypad backlight could be shut off during the day you’ll have no issues. Unfortunately it can’t be shut off.

Thankfully the 2.2-inch display doesn’t have the same uncomfortable viewing angle as the Q5 did. It’s brighter and much clearer.  A hot swap microSD card slot is located at one side on the bottom just under the rear panel. The handset also features a 3.5mm handsfree socket at the top on the same side as the card slot. A micro USB port for the charger/USB to PC cable is located on the other side and is very neatly hidden under a plastic flap.

The Q7 is a neat and professional looking handset for those who don’t want to invest in the BlackBerrys of the world but still want something that looks stylish and business-like.

Features and Performance

The Java based OS runs very smoothly and there’s no lag whatsoever when it comes to navigating the menus, typing or accessing programs. The trackball definitely makes a big difference. Dual SIM management is not unlike any other device with the same functionality, so it’s easy to use. There’s nothing else about the UI that really stands out.

The handsfree kit bundled (in-ear style earphones) is very comfortable and very capable of handling the handsets superb audio quality. Tones are crisp with a very resounding thump in the bass thanks to the EQ settings (includes preset editing/creation with 8 band graphic EQ setting) Bass Enhancement, Reverb Effect or 3D surround options. The decibel level is also high enough to enjoy the audio even in a crowded train. FM radio pick up was also a non issue. The Q7 quickly located and saved all available channels, the only thing missing was a recording option.

When it came to video playback, the Q7 handles 3GP and MPEG4 files very well. The good news is that it even played my AVI and FLV files quite well. Of course the resolution had to be reduced, but the fact that they played so easily and were really comfortable for viewing is a big bonus.

Micromax has also thrown in a Voice Recorder that has a vocal capture radius of about 2 feet. A DIY Studio app lets you take images from the camera or select them form you gallery and offers quite a few editing options for them. You can jazz up your photos a bit with frames, effects or even add text. A couple of games are also

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