Decoded: How India’s First-Ever 4G VoLTE Feature Phone Works 

This phone, priced around Rs 3,000, lets you access the internet, stream videos and chat without spending big.

Tech News
3 min read
Decoded: How India’s First-Ever 4G VoLTE Feature Phone Works 

When Lava launched India’s first-ever 4G VoLTE feature this week, I made it my mission to dig up info more info on the phone, and get an answer to how exactly can a feature phone support high-end connectivity standards like 4G VoLTE.

Reliance Jio is the telecom operator offering this technology, and with the Connect M1, Lava is the first mobile brand to come out with a support device. So, what else can we tell you about this ‘smart’ feature phone? Read on...


Specs of Lava 4G Connect M1

  • 2.4-inch display
  • Quad-core processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB storage
  • 4G VoLTE and 2G support (no 3G)
  • Dual SIM
  • 1750 mAh battery
  • Rs 3,333

4G VoLTE on a Feature Phone?

This got us puzzled, and we decided to speak with Lava and see how they’ve managed to do it. Turns out, Lava has opted for the Spreadtrum 9820, which is a low-powered processor and supports 2G as well as 4G VoLTE.

However, you can’t use 3G on this phone. Earlier reports had indicated that Reliance Jio will be using the same processor for its own 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone. So, clearly Lava has taken the lead here. The fact that the Connect M1 is a dual-SIM phone makes it even more appealing to buyers, along with its pocket-friendly pricing.

Who needs a smartphone? (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

With more than 160 million feature phone users in the country, Lava could have a winner on its hands.


The Non-Android Internet Phone

Feature phones can’t run on Android (there’s no support after all), so Lava has opted for a downgraded-version operating system (OS) called Mocordroid.

This OS, according to Lava, supports a majority of Android apps, which means that the Connect M1 is capable of running apps like Facebook Lite and other social messaging apps as well. The phone comes pre-loaded with Facebook Lite, as Lava tells has.

The Mocordroid OS doesn’t support any app store but most Android apps will work seamlessly on this phone. 
There are a lot of people who cannot afford to spend on internet and Rs 5,000 on a quality smartphone. By making this device, we have given them access to internet without having to spend big on a 4G phone. 
Gaurav Nigam, Head (Product), Lava International

It’s hard to fault Lava and Nigam’s effort, as the company claims that you can run all the popular social messaging apps, video streaming platforms and even watch live streaming. Not bad for the price, you’d say?

We can’t vouch for any of this just yet, before taking a shot at what it can do. But if Lava can walk the talk, it could have just charted the map for the growth of internet usage in the country.


Battery That Never Dies?

Now that we know pretty much everything about the Connect M1, can we expect its battery to last really long? To this, Nigam was honest in accepting that on average usage, this phone will last you one full day.

Going by the size of the display, no touch support and use of a low-powered processor, this phone could easily last you the whole day. 
Gaurav Nigam, Head (Product), Lava International

Having said that, the 1750 mAh battery will feel the brunt of 2G and 4G VoLTE connectivity, which will bring the expected battery life down to 18 and 10 hours respectively.

Lava is in talks with app providers for pre-loading more stuff on this phone, and when quizzed about the road map for this series, Nigam revealed that we can expect a better version of this device priced affordably later this year.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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