Micromax has joined hands with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to roll out its 4G VoLTE feature phone called Bharat-1.
The device, priced at Rs 2,200, was launched with much fanfare with Manoj Sinha, Minister of Communication, and Aruna Sundarajan, Secretary to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India (MEiTY) doing the honours.
BSNL will offer the Bharat-1 phone with its Rs 97 plan, which supposedly offers unlimited data, voice calls and SMS to consumers. The phone will be available across the country from 20 October, as informed by Micromax.
Bharat-1 goes up against the JioPhone, and interestingly, Micromax Co-founder, Rahul Sharma reiterated that BSNL’s plan will be cost effective in comparison to that of Reliance Jio.
BSNL will resort to its 3G connectivity for now, and then switch to its 4G network, once it becomes publicly available, which as confirmed by Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL is likely to start from January 2018 onwards.
Having said that, experts opine that a Micromax and BSNL partnership augers well for internet penetration in the rural parts of India. This also ensures that besides Jio, consumers will have other brands to look at in the feature phone market.
During Q3 2017, it was the third largest feature phone player with 11% market share, Tarun adds, which he believes, can enable Micromax to differentiate from its existing portfolio of regular feature phones.
BSNL also claims they’ll offer unlimited internet, but that is likely to carry the fair usage policy (FUP), just like how you get 500MB every day with Jio’s Rs 153 plan with the JioPhone.
But it’s worth noting that unlike JioPhone, Micromax Bharat-1 supports dual SIM (essential for rural consumers), and Wi-Fi hotspot is there as well.
Bharat-1: First Impressions
After spending some time with the device, we can safely say that Bharat-1 has all the ingredients to find takers, where Micromax intends to focus on rural India.
The phone’s features are identical to that of the JioPhone, except that the former comes bundled with a cheaper data/voice call plan.
The phone sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display, powered by Qualcomm 205 processor, with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage. We explored inside 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.
Micromax also confirmed that the Bharat-1 will let you access Live TV, watch movies, listen to music, and even access YouTube, which has made its way to the phone in the form of an icon (as seen below).
In terms of other features, the Bharat-1 supports 22 regional languages, torch, and comes with set of applications that are likely to get updated in the coming months.
The phone also offers front and rear cameras, with VGA (or 0.3-megapixel) and 2-megapixel sensors respectively.
You get all this loaded with a 2000mAh removable battery, microUSB port for charging, and 3.5-mm audio jack for FM Radio. But we’d also like to point out that this phone can be used with BSNL’s data plan, or they can even opt for SIM from telcos other than BSNL or Jio.
All in all, it’s is quite evident that Micromax isn’t looking to woo urban audience with the Bharat-1, and understandably so, but for what it offers, and for how much it costs, the device ticks the boxes.
source by: thequint