When it comes to these ultra budget Java mobiles the one thing that you usually expect is for the design to be a copy of some handset manufactured by the bigger players. While Zen’s Z77 was not very unique in its design the Orbit Z90 is however as unique as they come. Take a closer look.

Form Factor
What looks quite a bit like a lady’s compact, the Z90 is actually a mobile handset that employs both a standard alphanumeric keypad and a 2.4-inch touchscreen. The rotating display design may have been tried by many other manufacturers but there’s something about the price tag on the Z90 that makes it very appealing in comparison. The swivel system is smooth but will take a bit of getting used to if you want to pop it open in style. The keypad is really large and very well designed for one-handed use. The navigation keys are a minor issue though. While it would have made more sense going with a five way nav-pad, Zen has gone with individual keys and access buttons located on either side of the wide keypad. This takes some getting used to.

The touchscreen is quite finger-friendly, not that you’d need to use it very frequently. It requires a stylus which is apparently not included. You won’t really miss it though. A set of volume keys with an open key (can be assigned to specific functions from the settings) are located on one side. Zen has chosen to go with a universal all-in-one micro USB port which was not a good idea. A microSD hot swap slot can be found under the rear panel.

It’s a novel concept and on the whole, quite well designed. I don’t see men using it though but it seems like it’s perfectly styled for the ladies as it won’t really occupy too much space in those teeny tiny bags they sometimes carry.

Features and Performance

Zen has customized the otherwise ‘blah’ Java OS with a funky and very user friendly UI. The navigation set up is essentially the same, but having it touch-sensitive, even a mild one at that, makes it a little easier to get around. The onscreen keypads are redundant as they’re too small to use without a stylus. The touchscreen system is also ineffective if the handset is closed. The UI on the whole is quite fluid and the animated transitions show no lagging of any kind and work out seamlessly. Dual SIM access and functionality are no different than you would find in any handset in the Z90’s UI category.

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