Not very long-ago, Reliance Jio announced their 4G VoLTE compatible feature phone (named the JioPhone) and Airtel followed the pursuit to offer their own 4G phone in partnership with Karbonn (the Karbonn A40 Indian). Now, after Reliance Jio and Airtel, the Government run telecom company BSNL has jumped into the race to offer an inexpensive 4G phone for India. India has a fair share of economically backward people who find it difficult to afford expensive phones and Reliance Jio, Airtel Karbonn A40 and now the BSNL Micromax Bharat 1 target this section of people. While the Reliance Jio phone and the BSNL Bharat 1 are both 4G enabled feature phones, the Airtel Karbonn A40 is a smartphone. The newly announced BSNL Micromax Bharat 1 is said to hit the markets soon at Rs. 2,200.
The JioPhone comes with a buyback scheme that lets you return the device after active usage for a full refund given you qualify the terms and conditions, the Airtel Karbonn A40 validates you for extra data benefits on the mobile and if all these offerings tend to confuse you then here is a detailed description of the offerings by each of the telecom operators in terms of price, recharge options and device specifications.
The BSNL Bharat 1 has been announced for a price of Rs. 2,200 and this is the company’s first 4G VoLTE enabled 4G phone and it has been launched in partnership with Micromax while the Reliance Jio Phone has been launched for a price of Rs 1500 and you can give the device back under the buyback scheme that the company offers which brings the device to an effective price of Rs. 0.
To buy the Reliance Jio phone you should pay a booking amount of Rs. 500 and the rest Rs. 1000 while taking the delivery for your phone, this device can be returned to the company after 3 years for a full refund given you remain an active user for the 3 years usage period. The Airtel Karbonn A40, on the other hand, comes at a price of Rs. 2899 but if you use the device actively for a 3-year period and meet the recharge specifications specified by Airtel then you will be refunded Rs. 1500 as a cashback over the 3 years. The difference between the two is that you need not return the device as in the case of Reliance Jio to be eligible for the refund.
The newly announced BSNL Micromax Bharat 1 will be available in the market from October 20nd while Reliance Jio has already completed one round of bookings and the deliveries have started across the nation. The company has not yet revealed when it plans to start the second round of bookings and delivery but the reports suggest that it might start as soon as the next few weeks. Coming to the Airtel Karbonn A40, the smartphone from Airtel is available in most of the retail stores across the country and you can directly walk to buy yourself one.
Also read: JioPhone vs Airtel Karbonn Phone
Recharge option and benefits comparison
By buying the BSNL Micromax Bharat 1 phone you can recharge for just Rs 97 which will give you unlimited voice calling and data benefits. The interesting fact is that the device is not locked and you can use SIM cards from other operators too which is an important note considering the fact that BSNL does not have a 4G network throughout the country.
Coming to the Reliance Jio phone, the company offers an exclusive Rs. 153 plan which gives the users a data benefit of 500MB per day and also offers unlimited calling and SMS. You also have data sachets for Rs. 54 and Rs. 24 in case you run out of data limit for the day. The Airtel Karbonn A40 users have the Rs. 169 plan available for them and Airtel provides 500MB data to its users for this price. This device is compatible with other sim-cards too but you will have to use the Airtel network actively to be eligible for the Rs. 1500 cashback through the 3 years.
The recently announced BSNL Bharat 1 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and is paired with 512MB of RAM, the device has a 2.4-inch display and the device is powered by a 2000mAh battery. The storage on this device is 4GB which can be expanded via MicroSD card. The device also comes with a 2-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera, the device also comes with native support for 22 different India languages. The Bharat 1 also comes preloaded with BHIM mobile app for fast and easy money transfer via UPI.
The Airtel Karbonn A40 is a 4G smartphone and has Dual SIM support, the device comes loaded with Airtel’s suite of applications including the MyAirtel, AirtelTV and Wynk apps. The device is powered by a 1.3GHz processor and is backed by 1GB RAM, the internal memory on this device is 8GB which can be expanded to up to 32GB via MicroSD card slot. This device also has a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP VGA front camera and the whole device is kept alive by a 1400mAH battery.
Coming to the JioPhone, the device features a 2.4-inch display and has a dual-core processor by either Spreadtrum or Qualcomm Snapdragon. The device has 512MB RAM and 4GB onboard storage which can be expanded to up to 128GB via microSD slot. The Jio Phone has a 2MP rear camera and a VGA front camera for video calling and the device is powered by a 2000mAh battery. The device supports most of the Jio apps including Jio TV, Jio Music and even has support for Jio Money NFC tap to pay.
BSNL is open to any network, while Jio is not! I hope Jio changes its terms and conditions!