Micromax have established themselves as makers of reasonably priced, feature-rich mobile phones that one would actually consider over a lower priced Nokia or Samsung. We were quite impressed with the Van Gogh X450 as it offers tremendous bang-for-buck given the features and the bundled Bluetooth headset. Today, we have the successor to their popular Q75 smartphone, the Q80. Let’s see if it manages to surpass its predecessor.
Micromax Q80 caught on video
Design and Build
Micromax has completely redesigned the phone from the ground up and is not merely a minor face lift. The upper half of the phone has a glossy black bezel, which covers the LCD screen. The size has remained the same at 2.4 inches with a 320x240 pixel resolution. The Q80 now supports 3G, so there is a front facing VGA camera for video calls. The trackball on the Q75 was quite annoying, which is why Micromax have replaced it with a optical trackpad. The sensitivity is good and you can adjust that in the settings.
Looks elegant and is built well
This next bit is what I really don’t like about this phone. All the menu, options, call and other shortcut buttons are placed in the single row and very close to each other with barely any spacing between them. This makes it quite difficult, not to mention confusing when you quickly want to answer a call or enter the menu. There’s so much unused space between the trackpad and the row of buttons which could have easily been used to separate the call keys from the rest of the shortcut buttons. The QWERTY keypad is relatively comfortable, however I’m not too fond of the finish of the keys. The feedback of the keys is good making it fairly easy to type quickly. I really like the brushed aluminium finish that Micromax have used for the lower half of the phone, it makes it looks stylish and presentable.
Keypad is evenly lit
The Q80 isn’t slim by any means and it does feel thicker compared to the Q75. The rear portion has the same matte finish, which doesn't attract finger prints at all. Other than the speaker grill and the camera, there’s nothing on the back. Oddly, even the volume rocker is missing. Micromax have taken a design cue from HTC this time for the battery and SIM card slot. Just like the Mozart, the battery is hidden by a plastic flap.
Place for the SIM and memory card, very similar to the HTC Flyer
The two GSM SIM and memory card slots are placed on the top. The phone only supports up to 8GB external storage and comes with 68 MB onboard. Finally, we have the 3.5mm headphone jack and micro-USB port placed on the top. Overall, the build and finish of the Q80 is very good, which is an improvement over the Q75. I just wish, they would have added a volume rocker and arranged the shortcut keys a bit better.
We are greeted with the same Java-based operating system we’ve seen on all their phones. The interface is quick and snappy and the new optical trackpad is a welcome improvement over the trackball. The response is a lot more accurate letting you quickly browse through the menu. The homescreen has a bar of shortcut icons for the menu, EZMail, Java apps, camera, messages and Wi-Fi.
The shortcut bar makes it easy to launch apps
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to change the shortcuts in the settings. Micromax has included a dedicated ‘Yahoo!’ folder which consists of weblinks for mail, sports, finance, news, search, etc. We also have a file manager, calendar tasks, alarm, world clock and notes. Office applications include calculator, unit converter, currency converter and a text reader.