Will Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian offer competition against popular Reliance JioPhone?

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Airtel Karbonn A40 first impression: A smartphone for the price of a feature phone?

It is evident that Airtel and Karbonn have come together to bring a new cheap smartphone called Karbonn A40 Indian to basically counter Reliance's JioPhone. While Jio has created a huge impact on the telecom space, it has set out to disrupt the mobile market as well. Thus other telecom operators, as well as local brands, are retaliating.

Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian or JioPhone: An indepth comparison

The first ones are Airtel and Karbonn and they are bringing an affordable 4G smartphone to the market, effectively at the price of a feature phone. And with this new budget smartphone, they are aiming to closely compete with Reliance Jio's JioPhone which is a 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone.

Karbonn A40 Indian also comes bundled with Airtel offers and decent features and specs compared to JioPhone. But in totality how does Karbonn A40 Indian stand up against Reliance JioPhone?

To answer that we will have a close look at what the two phones and well as the companies have to offer.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Cost to Customer

Karbonn A40 will be retailing at an effective price of Rs. 1,399. However, a 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 1000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs. 1,500. And there's no need to return the phone after three years to get cash back.

In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, she/he has the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements. However, to claim the cash refund benefit recharges worth Rs. 3,000 must be done within the first 18 months (to claim the first refund installment of Rs. 500) and another Rs. 3,000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund installment of Rs. 1,000).

As for JioPhone, the effective cost is Rs 0. Customers will need to pay Rs. 1,000 at the time of booking and Rs. 500 at the time of delivery. However, the total amount is refundable. But in this case, users will have to return the device after using it for three years to claim the refundable amount of Rs. 1,500. Further, if customers are planning to get a full refund then the JioPhone must be in a working condition and should be returned within three months of completion of three years.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Specifications

Karbonn A40 Indian comes with a 4-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The handset is powered by a 1.3Ghz processor coupled with 1GB RAM. The device offers 8GB of internal storage which is further expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card. The dual SIM smartphone features a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera.

Karbonn A40 Indian is backed by a 1400mAh battery and it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphone is available in four color options - Blue, Coffee Brown, Black and Champagne. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, and a micro USB port. It supports 4G connectivity, GPRS, and EDGE. It measures 122.95 x 64.3 x 10.5mm and weighs 118 grams.

Meanwhile, JioPhone comes with a 2.4inch QVGA TFT screen with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. The feature phone is powered by 1GHz dual-core processor which is paired with 512MB RAM. The handset offers 4GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 128GB via a microSD card.

The single SIM phone sports a 2MP rear camera and at the front there is a 0.3MP camera. JioPhone packs a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery and it runs on Kai OS, which is another version of the Firefox OS. In terms of connectivity, JioPhone supports Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE, GPS, a USB 2.0 port, and NFC. It is available in a Black color variant.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Apps and other features

Karbonn A40 Indian comes with pre-loaded apps from Airtel like MyAirtel, Airtel TV, and Wynk Music. Additionally, the smartphone offers complete access to all apps on the Google Play Store including YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

Whereas JioPhone comes pre-loaded with Jio's suite of apps like MyJio, JioMusic, JioTV, JioCinema, JioXpressNews etc. Users can download other apps from JioStore app. Currently, JioPhone doesn't support social media apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. However, JioPhone does feature the company's voice-assistant Hello Jio. This can be used to carry out specific tasks such as compose SMS, open app, etc using voice commands. Moreover, JioPhone can be connected to Smart TV using JioMediaCable (needs to be bought separately) to watch movies.

Notably, the most important thing to keep in mind is that JioPhone only works with a Reliance Jio SIM card whereas Karbonn A40 Indian can function with any SIM card from any telecom operator. As for similarities, both the smartphones support a total of 22 Indian languages which includes Hindi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Assamese, Bengali, and more.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Recharge offers

With Karbonn A40 Indian, Airtel is offering Rs 169 plan which offers unlimited local and STD calls along with 0.5 GB data per day. The validity of the plan is 28 days. However, Airtel will be charging Rs. 1 per SMS for local and Rs. 1.5p per SMS for STD messages. Additionally, Voroaming charge for voice includes 80p for local and 1.15p for STD calls. Roaming SMS charge includes 0.25p for local messages and 0.38p for STD.

Coming to JioPhone, Reliance Jio has listed a couple of data plans for JioPhone users, which includes a monthly Rs. 153 recharge plan as well as sachet packs worth Rs. 24 and Rs. 54. Jio's Rs 153 plan offers 500MB data per day for 28 days (prepaid users), and until bill cycle for postpaid users. Unlimited voice calls and SMS is bundled and there is no roaming charge as well.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Availability

Karbonn A40 Indian smartphone is available via major retail stores across India. As for JioPhone users have to order it via the company website. Currently, as per the company, JioPhone is being delivered to over six million consumers. So pre-orders should open after the deliveries are complete. Consumers might have to wait for some more time to get the device. The company intends to complete the delivery process by Diwali, which is on October 19.

Karbonn A40 Indian vs Reliance Jio: Conclusion

Both the smartphones have been launched to cater to a large set of consumers in all parts of India. While people have different needs these smartphones with their interesting features and offers (not to forget the cheap price) will entice many consumers in the market as well as deliver the required user experience.

All in all both the smartphones since they are budget smartphones we can't expect much but they seem to fill in each other's flaws and shortcomings quite fittingly.

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