No wonder, majority of the handset brands look for India-specific strategies to suit local needs. And in their quest to offer the best pricing combination for customers —a number of smartphone brands are aligning with operators to offer most cost-effective smartphone options.
India is not only the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, it is also the second largest and one of the most price-sensitive markets as well. No wonder, majority of the handset brands look for India-specific strategies to suit local needs. And in their quest to offer the best pricing combination for customers —a number of smartphone brands are aligning with operators to offer most cost-effective smartphone options. We take a look at some of the offerings:
Celkon Star 4G+ (Rs 1,249)
Bharti Airtel and Celkon have teamed up to offer Star 4G+ smartphone to customers at an effective price of just Rs 1,249 under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative. This is the second device from Celkon under the pact and the most affordable in the range offered by Airtel. Celkon Star 4G + (which has a current market price of Rs 2,999) is a 4-inch touch screen 4G smartphone with dual camera, dual SIM slots and FM radio. This Android powered 4G device offers full access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. The handset comes preloaded with MyAirtel App, Wynk Music and Airtel TV to add to the online experience of customers.
Micromax Bharat 1 (Rs 2,200)
BSNL and Micromax have joined hands to launch Bharat-1, a 4G feature phone. Priced at Rs 2,200, Bharat-1 comes with “unlimited” voice calls and “unlimited” high-speed data at Rs 97 tariff from BSNL. Billed as ‘Desh ka 4G phone’, the Micromax Bharat-1 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset with provision for 4G VoLTE. On the back of the device is a 2-megapixel camera, and a VGA shooter in front. The dual-SIM handset supports 22 local languages and provides access to 100 live TV channels. The Bharat-1 feature phone comes pre-loaded with BHIM UPI payments app, as well as BSNL’s wallet app.
Reliance Jio Phone
Termed ‘India ka intelligent phone,’ Reliance Jio Phone is effectively priced at Rs 0, as users can take it by paying a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500 (the same will be refunded after minimum 3 years). It is a 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone with dual-core 1.2 GHz Spreadtrum SPRD 9820A/ QC9805 processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB inbuilt storage with expansion support (up to 128 GB), 2-megapixel rear camera, and VGA front camera. It has a 2000mAh battery (Jio claims talk time of 12 hours), NFC for digital payments (software support to be added later), Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, and USB 2.0 support. While there isn’t a touchscreen, there’s an option to use a 4-way button to navigate the user interface. It also comes with a flashlight, FM radio, headphone jack, Microsoft Exchange email support, and contacts syncing via Google accounts. Jio Phone comes with its custom software called KAI OS. This OS supports its HelloJio voice recognition system that supports 22 Indian languages, as well as proprietary apps such as MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, JioMusic, JioVideoCall, etc.
Karbonn A40 (Rs 1,399)
Airtel has partnered with budget smartphone maker Karbonn to offer a handset that offers full Android experience at Rs 1,399 (effective price). Karbonn A40 has a 4-inch display with 480 x 800 pixels resolution, Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, and a 1.3 GHz processor. The handset has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB inbuilt storage, microSD card expansion (up to 32 GB), 1400mAh battery, 2-megapixel cameras on the front and back, and the standard connectivity features. As for the apps, users will be able to download apps available on the Google Play marketplace.
Askari writes on communications, technology and gadgets at TelecomDrive.com