Don’t Want JioPhone? Check out These Affordable 4G Phones Instead

Not interested in buying the JioPhone? You could consider Micromax Bharat 1 or Karbonn A40 affordable phones. 

4 min read
Reliance JioPhone has competition now. <i>(Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)</i>

Move over, Reliance Jio!

You may have been the first telecom brand to go public with an affordable 4G phone, but you’ve got company now. Micromax and Karbonn have joined hands with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Airtel respectively, offering phones that are ‘effectively free’, bundled with affordable data plans.

So, how do these devices compare with JioPhone? Are the bundled plans better than what Jio is offering? We will answer these questions for you.


We know pretty much everything about the JioPhone, its features, what operating system the phone is running on, and how anyone can make video calls via this 4G VoLTE feature phone.

This was the breakthrough device this year, which caught everyone’s attention, resulting in devices that more or less work the same way.

Also Read: Reliance JioPhone or Micromax Bharat 1— The 4G VoLTE Phone Battle

JioPhone comes with these features in tow. <i>(Photo: Liju Joseph/<b>The Quint</b>)</i>
JioPhone comes with these features in tow. (Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)
The biggest USP of the JioPhone is the fact that you can connect it to an old CTV and watch content on it using voice command controls. 

This device was offered with data plan of Rs 153, which offers 500MB data usage limit every day, with free voice calls and access to Jio’s bouquet of services.

You should also go through the terms and conditions of returning the JioPhone, and in case of an early return, you must know how much you’ll have to pay the company.

However, it is worth noting that unlike the Micromax Bharat 1, JioPhone is a single-SIM unit that only works on Jio’s 4G network. Reliance Jio is said to be working on Facebook and WhatsApp for the device, but we’re yet to see that come to fruition.


Micromax Bharat 1 With BSNL

Micromax’s first tryst in this segment comes in the form of Bharat 1. The company has rolled out this device with BSNL.

Micromax Bharat-1 supports 4G VoLTE connectivity. <i>(Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)</i>
Micromax Bharat-1 supports 4G VoLTE connectivity. (Photo: The Quint)

Unlike JioPhone, the Micromax Bharat-1 supports dual SIM (essential for rural consumers) and comes with the Wi-Fi hotspot feature. You can even opt to use this device from networks other than BSNL or Jio.

Also Read: Micromax Bharat-1 4G VoLTE Phone With BSNL Offers Unlimited Data

BSNL will offer the Bharat-1 phone with its Rs 97 plan, which supposedly offers unlimited data, voice calls, and SMS to consumers.

However, you should know that BSNL will resort to its 3G connectivity for now, and then switch to its 4G network once it becomes publicly available, and this is likely to happen from January 2018.

The phone sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display and is powered by Qualcomm 205 processor, with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage. We explored the device to see which software has Micromax, but all we got is a kernel firmware that seems to have been picked from the layers that run Android.


Karbonn A40 with Airtel

Karbonn might be offering the device, but the headlining part is that Airtel is rivalling Jio with its affordable 4G VoLTE smartphone.

The Karbonn A40 Indian comes at an effective price of just Rs 1,399 (compared to its current market price of approximately Rs 3,499). The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers data and calling benefit.

But the fact that A40 runs on Android, users will get access to Google’s Play Store, which means WhatsApp and Facebook like apps are available from day 1.

To purchase the phone, customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2,899 for the 4G smartphone and make 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169. The customer will get a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1,000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500.

In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, they have the flexibility of getting recharges for any denomination and validity as per individual requirement.

The company further clarified that the ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.

So, these are the JioPhone alternatives worth looking at right now, with Micromax and Karbonn pitching their voice to consumers with affordable 4G VoLTE devices.


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