After the popularity gained by Reliance’s JioPhone, Vodafone is looking to apply a similar strategy. The company has partnered with Micromax to release the Bharat 2 Ultra smartphone. Vodafone and Micromax claim the full touchscreen 4G device to bear an effective price of Rs.999, unlike the JioPhone which has an effective price of Rs. 0.
The price isn’t the only factor differentiating the devices as both come with their own unique pricing schemes and overall features on the device. Let’s have a look at how these factors come into play.
The JioPhone has an effective price of Rs. 0. The Bharat 2 Ultra has an effective price of Rs. 999.
Effective being the operative term here, as both phones come with their own set of conditions that need to be met by the user to actually avail full advantage of the effective pricing.
Here’s the breakdown of how that works:
Jio requires the user to initially pay a sum of Rs. 1500 as safety deposit. Following which the company requires the user to top-up the device for at least Rs. 125 per month for 36 months after which Jio will refund the security deposit. At the end of the 3-year period you would end up paying Jio a sum of Rs. 6000.
Rs.1,500 + Rs. (125 x 36) = Rs. 6,000
At the end of the 3-year term, Jio will repay you the security deposit which will bring the net amount you would have spent on the device to Rs. 4500.
However, if you choose to opt out of the JioPhone before the end of the 3 year period, Jio will refund you part of the security refund. Here’s how that works – the company will refund you Rs. 500 if you wish to return the device within the first year, provided you have recharged the device for a sum of Rs. 1500 from the time of purchase to the point you wish to return the device. This brings the effective price of the phone to Rs. 2500 for the first year. Similarly the company will refund Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 at the end of the second and third year respectively.
In the case of the Bharat 2 Ultra things are somehow similar with the company requiring you to pay a sum of Rs. 2,899. Following this, Vodafone requires you to recharge the device for a minimum of Rs. 150 for 36 months, after which Micromax will refund Rs. 1,900 into your m-Pesa account. At the end of the 3-year period, the cost of the device effectively totals to Rs. 999. At the end of the 3-year period you would end up paying Vodafone and Micromax a sum of Rs. 8,299 including the phone recharge value.
Rs. 2,899 + Rs. (150 x 36) = Rs. 8299
Similar to its counterpart, the Bharat 2 Ultra can also be returned early for a part refund. If the phone is returned at the end of the first 18 months from point of issue, Rs. 900 will be refunded and the rest at the end of 36 months.
Device Specifications and Features
The JioPhone is a smart feature phone with some unique capabilities. For starters, the phone will take advantage of 4G VoLTE which provides for better call quality and faster internet. Also, the phone will ship with Jio’s suite of apps. However, since the JioPhone is basically a feature phone, it does not run on Android hence lacking support for applications that are available on the Google Play Store. It will also support some other apps including Facebook and YouTube.
The Bharat 2 Ultra, on the other hand, will offer support for applications available on the Play Store as the device will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Vodafone is yet to roll out VoLTE in all of its circles giving an edge to the JioPhone for now.
In terms of specifications, the Bharat 2 Ultra is powered by a quad-core Spreadtrum SC9832 SoC ticking at 1.3GHz. On the display front, it sports a 4-inch WVGA display and will draw power from a 1,300 mAh battery located under its hood. The phone also packs in a 2-megapixel rear facing camera and a 0.3-megapixel camera on the front for all photography purposes.
On the other hand, the Jio Phone rocks a smaller screen and a larger battery unit at 2.4-inches and 2,000 mAh respectively. This will ensure a longer battery life with the offering from Jio. Underneath its hood, the phone is powered by a dual-core SPRD 9820A/QC8905 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.
Both devices feature 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The storage on the JioPhone can be further expanded up to 128GB through its microSD card reader.
While the specifications on the Jio Phone look inferior to the Bharat 2 Ultra, it is important to understand that it is merely a feature phone turned smart. The JioPhone is likely to last longer than the latter, both of which are expected to stand the test of time, to make good of the ‘effective’ price the companies are marketing the devices for.
What are your views on the two rigorously priced 4G devices? What will be your pick? Do let us know in the comments section below.