After Mukesh Ambani announced the Jio feature phone for an effectively free price, many other telecom operators also announced their affordable and cheap feature phones. However, most of these phones come with bundled offers which provide exclusive benefits to the users. For example, Karbonn has joined hands with Airtel for its A40 Indian 4G-VoLTE smartphone while Vodafone collaborated with Micromax for Bharat 2 Ultra 4G VoLTE smartphone. But, unlike Jio phone which only supports a Reliance Jio SIM card, Karbonn A40 Indian and Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra might be unlocked and other SIM cards can be used with them.
Despite that, it won’t be a great idea to do so as you will not get your cash back – it is one of the conditions. To buy Karbonn A40 Indian which is priced effectively at Rs 1,399, users will have to pay Rs 2,899 upfront to buy the device but will get Rs 1500 cashback within a period of 36 months. Interestingly, this money will only be deposited back if the recharge is done with one of Airtel’s recharge vouchers. Karbonn is giving users an option to recharge with Airtel’s Rs 169 plan every month for three years or worth at least Rs 6,000 in 36 months (worth Rs 3,000 in the first 18 months and with the same amount within the next 18 months).
On the other hand, to buy Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra the users will have to pay Rs 2,899 upfront but the effective cost of the phone is only Rs 999. So, the users will get Rs 1,900 back after a period of three years if they do buy a Vodafone recharge of Rs 150 or more per month for 36 months. In both the cases, you will get the refund only if you recharge with the partner SIM cards. So, if you are using these phones with a different service provider, you won’t get the money back.
Coming to Jio Phone, it is priced effectively at Rs 0. The users have to pay a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500 upfront. This amount will be refunded after three years if the users return the JioPhone in a working condition. Apart from this, the users will also have to recharge the phone with at least Rs 1500 annually for the period of three years.