Airtel partners with Karbonn for the A40 Indian, a 4G VoLTE smartphone at an effective price of Rs 1,399|
“Airtel is taking on the Reliance JioPhone by offering a VoLTE smartphone for a cheaper price”
In a bid to steal the thunder from Reliance’s affordable-yet-smart 4G VoLTE-capable feature phone, the JioPhone (first impressions), leading telecom operator Airtel has just launched its own ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative to offer 4G smartphones by partnering with phone makers. 91mobiles broke the exclusive news last month that the device will be priced below Rs 2,000, and rightly so, as the first device that the telco is offering in partnership with Karbonn will cost you Rs 1,399, albeit with a catch. Similar to the JioPhone, users will need to make continuous monthly recharges for the next three years to get a cash refund worth Rs 1,500. This means that the consumer will need to pay an upfront cost of Rs 2,899 to acquire the Karbonn A40 Indian.
The minimum monthly recharge for the smartphone is set at Rs 169, which offers unlimited calling and 500MB 4G data per day. However, unlike the JioPhone, Airtel is giving users flexibility with the recharge options. The user needs to recharge their number for a minimum of Rs 3,000 in the first 18 months to claim the first refund of Rs 500, and to get the second refund amount of Rs 1,000, he / she will need to spend another Rs 3,000 (or more) on recharges. But unlike the JioPhone, users will retain ownership of the smartphone and won’t need to return it to Airtel or Karbonn.
Airtel is also aiming to offer an open ecosystem via this partnership, which means that the dual-SIM slots on the Karbonn A40 Indian aren’t locked to its network. One can even insert SIM cards from other telcos on both the slots, though they would need to forgo the refund benefit in this case. Connectivity-wise, the smartphone not only offers 4G VoLTE support, but it’s backward compatible with 2G and 3G networks as well. It also supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS, which is yet another advantage over the JioPhone.
Unlike just a smart feature phone, the Karbonn A40 Indian is a smartphone that runs Android 7.0 Nougat. This means that you can download any apps from the Play Store, including WhatsApp and Facebook, which are yet to arriveon the JioPhone. The device will also come pre-loaded with apps from Airtel, namely MyAirtel, Airtel TV, and Wynk Music. The phone also supports 22 Indian languages.
Coming to the specifications, the partnership aims to defy the price-vs-specs ratio as the A40 Indian is built around a 4-inch display, which bears a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Under the hood, it draws power from a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, which is paired with a gigabyte of RAM. The storage stands at 8GB, which can be extended further up to 32GB with the use of a microSD card. Fuelling up the phone is a 1,400mAh battery. Similar to the JioPhone, the device offers cameras at the back as well as at the front. While the rear shooter is rated at 2-megapixels, the VGA snapper at the fascia takes care of video calling needs.
Airtel also suggests that this smartphone is first of many partnerships, and it will join hands with other smartphone manufacturers as well to offer smartphones at the price of a feature phone. The Karbonn A40 Indian is available to buy from retail stores across India.