Now BSNL and Micromax launch a Rs 2,200 JioPhone rival

CIOL Writers
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Reliance Jio's 'free' 4G mobile phone has given a new lease of life to feature phones in this age of smartphones with more and more companies launching new 4G VoLTE feature phone to tap into the growing market.


The latest one to join the bandwagon is Micromax that has launched a new feature phone- Bharat 1 in partnership with state-sponsored telco BSNL. Priced at Rs 2,200, the phone will be available in the market from October 20. Referred to as the “pataka phone” by Micromax, the Bharat 1 is all geared up to compete against the Reliance JioPhone with its offerings. The feature phone comes bundled with a Rs 97 BSNL Unlimited Plan, in which users get unlimited calling hours, unlimited data, free roaming and free SMS, with one-month validity.

The device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset with 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM and provision for 4G VoLTE. On the back is a 2-megapixel camera, and a VGA shooter in front. It is powered by a 2000mAh battery. The dual-SIM handset supports 22 local languages and provides buyers access to 100 live TV channels.

“Connecting the last mile– to the Internet and relevant information – is an important part of the strategy for both BSNL and Micromax. We are confident that Bharat 1 will help millions of users experience the data and calling experience like never before,” said Anupam Srivastava, CMD, BSNL.


Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma said the Bharat-1 phone will cost customers less than Jio Phone down the line. The "effective cost" of using the Micromax Bharat-1 will be Rs 3,364 in the first year, compared to Rs 3,336 that a user of Jio Phone would spend on the device, Sharma said. But if a customer uses the respective devices for two years, the Reliance Jio's Jio Phone would end up costing them Rs 5,172, whereas the Bharat-1 would cost them Rs 4,528. Three years down the line, the Bharat-1 will cost customers Rs 5,692, while the Jio Phone cost them Rs 6,008 during the same period.

Bharat 1 also comes bundled with the BHIM app, and has support for net banking, and access to the BSNL app. Additionally, it has Live TV, music, movies and videos bundled with it.

Most importantly, Bharat 1 will not be restricted to BSNL’s network. The phone could be used on any network, which will surely put it in an advanrageous position compared to JioPhone that supports only Jio SIM.

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