Byond is a very new player in the Android space but it has recently launched phones in all the important segments in the entry level Android space-with 5+ plus, 4.5 inch, 4 inch and 3.5 inch display sizes in its armour already.
Byond B51 is the smallest in the range and naturally also the cheapest, available at Rs 3,500 and even though it lacks 3G connectivity, it comes with a dual camera, a 1 GHz processor, and all the sensors that you normally find in an Android phone. The display is also large enough. However, this is not the only phone in this category.
Byond B51 comes in black and white colours, with a single colour both in front and the back and a chrome strip along the sides of the phone. The rear is flat and curves around the edges, the front is flat. The 3 megapixel camera on the top centre is flanked by an LED flash. The speaker grill is at the bottom left corner of the back. The front has a proximity sensor, camera, and light sensor along the earpiece, and is arranged in a very weird way so that it looks bad in white colour, while in black it would not be as visible. However, this is a very small issue and should not bother anyone. Below the display lie three capacitive touch buttons.
The power and lock key are at the top right side and are user friendly (these keys are normally on top). The volume rocker is at the left side.
The only downside of the phone is that it is very slippery, with a shining surface, though it doesn’t attract fingerprints, at least in white colour.
The phone has a 3.5 inch display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, which is not very high, but is sufficient for a small display like this, with very little pixilation. The display is also bright and for this price it is good. Touch also works fine, and there is no lag in that; even the capacitive touch buttons are responsive.
Though it’s a budget phone and not meant for gaming, its performance has been good. The transitions between screens is very smooth. Apps open fairly quickly and work fine too.
The limited 256 RAM, however, is a bit low and given that the phone has a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB ROM would have offered very praise worthy performance. The limited RAM means that you can’t play heavy games, though light graphics games like Dragon Fly and 3D speed moto racing run well.
While the phone doesn’t get 3G connectivity and GPS, 2G connectivity works well and also faster than on most feature phones thanks to Edge support. Other options like WiFi, Bluetooth and FM radio work well too.
The 1500 mAh battery in the phone offers very good battery backup for almost two days. The battery is better than normal also because there is no 3G connectivity or GPS, which drain battery more than 2G does.
Operating system and user interface
While the phone comes with Android 2.3 OS, which is very old now, the reality is that there is no other phone that comes with Android 4.0 in this price range. Byond has made very few changes to the OS, but the rounded look of the Applications tabs looks good, and the drop down notification and control bar (standard features of Android 2.3 now) aid easy operation of the phone.
While Micromax has Smarty range and Karbonn has phones like A1, and Intex, iball and others have a presence in the segment, Byond B51 is better equipped than similarly priced products in the market.
Though it faces one problem, and that is lack of brand power.
The phone offers very good value for money, and also in performance terms it is well worth the money. For people looking at phones in this price segment, Byond is certainly a product to be considered.