on October 17 launched Bharat-1, a 4G LTE-enabled feature phone with multimedia playback capabilities, in partnership with BSNL. With Bharat-1, the home-grown electronics company targets 500 million feature phone users in India who do not have access to internet or are restricted to slow 2G speeds.
Priced at Rs 2,200, the Bharat-1 feature phone
costs a tad higher than Reliance JioPhone, but the effective ownership cost of the phone after 3 years of use is lower than that of JioPhone.
Bundled with a BSNL connection, the Bharat-1 offers unlimited internet access, calling and SMS, along with free roaming, for a monthly recharge of Rs 97. According to Micromax, the effective cost of ownership will be Rs 3,364 after a year, against Rs 3,336 for Reliance Jio's 4G feature phone.
After two years, the cost of ownership for BSNL will be Rs 4,528, compared with Rs 5,172 for JioPhone. And after three years, as the claim goes, BSNL's ownership cost will be Rs 5,692 if kept by the user, against JioPhone's Rs 6,008.
Also, unlike JioPhone, the Bharat-1 does not come with a long list of terms and conditions of use or return clauses. The phone supports most network bands for 2G, 3G or 4G LTE connectivity, so it can be used with any network. Whereas, the Reliance JioPhone has in-build Jio connection and cannot be used with any other telecom operator.
The Bharat-1 phone also supports VoLTE which allows it to be used on Reliance Jio
network as well.
As for specifications and features, the Bharat-1 phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor, coupled with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. There is a 2.4-inch QVGA screen, which comes handy while playing multimedia content like live TV, movies and music. The image department is taken care of by a 2 megapixel primary camera and a VGA selfie camera. The device supports 22 of India’s regional languages and comes bundled with entertainment suite from Micromax.
Powering the device is a 2,000 mAh battery that keeps the show running.
On the other hand, the Reliance JioPhone features
alphanumeric keypad and a four-way navigation key for easy operability. The feature phone also sports 2.4-inch QVGA screen, torch light, FM Radio, microSD card slot and camera on the front as well as back. For security, the JioPhone comes with a distress call feature that can be activated by long-pressing numeric key 5. The long-press activates the distress message and sends it to select contacts.