Airtel planning to launch Rs 2,500 4G enabled smartphone to take on JioPhone

By Shubham Sharma | Published on 11 Sep 2017

The budget smartphone is expected to sport a 4-Inch display and offer lucrative data and calling plans to rival JioPhone. The smartphone could run on Android Go, unlike the Jio feature phone.

Airtel planning to launch Rs 2,500 4G enabled smartphone to take on JioPhone

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One of India's largest telecom operators in terms of subscriber base, Bharti Airtel, is reportedly planning its own low cost 4G smartphone to take on its competitor, Jio. Gadgets 360 reported that the telecom operator is in talks with multiple smartphone makers such as Lava and Karbonn to launch a low cost affordable 4G VoLTE enabled smartphone. The device is expected to be priced around Rs 2,500 and will offer large amounts of bundled data and voice calling minutes. 

The new 4G smartphone is expected to debut around diwali, said a Gadgets 360 source. The source further revealed that the smartphone will sport a 4-Inch display and 1GB of RAM. The phone is also expected to get a front and rear camera, VoLTE calling and a decent battery life. There is, however, no information on the booking dates for the smartphone.

Reliance Jio had announced its JioPhone at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July and booking started for it on August 24. The JioPhone is available at a one-time refundable cost of Rs 1,500 which and offers unlimited data (capped at 500MB per day), free calls and unlimited free access to Jio apps at Rs 153 per month. 

Demonstrated at AGM, the JioPhone sported some advanced voice control features which enable users to place calls, surf the web, use Jio apps and much more. The JioPhone is a VoLTE enabled and sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display, and an alphanumeric keypad with 4-way navigation toggle keys. The phone is preloaded with the company’s apps including Jio TV, Jio Music, Jio Cinema and also supports a microSD card. It also contains a torch and FM Radio. Users also have an option of streaming media directly from their JioPhone to any TV using a JioPhone media cable at a slightly higher recharge option of Rs 309 per month. The JioPhone was expected to start shipping starting from September 10, but due to some delays, the delivery dates were reportedly pushed back further.

Instead of going with a feature phone as Jio, Airtel is offering a 4G smartphone with possibly a larger 4-Inch display and a better camera. The handset could run on Android Go, a lightweight version of Android designed specifically for budget smartphones with 1GB RAM or less.

Shubham Sharma

Interested in tech, gaming, cyber-security, anime, and more


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