Micromax Bharat 1 Review

Micromax Bharat 1 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Bharat 1 runs on a custom version of Android
  • It comes preloaded with WhatsApp and Facebook Lite
  • It is a dual-SIM device and can be used with any network provider

A few months ago, the Jio Phone grabbed everyone’s attention for delivering smartphone-like capabilities at a feature-phone price. It triggered manufacturers to push down the prices of VoLTE-enabled devices.

One such product is the Bharat 1, which was launched by the Indian device maker Micromax in partnership with BSNL to take on the Jio Phone. Can it offer a competitive balance of cost and features? Read on, we have the answers.

 

Micromax Bharat 1 design

The Micromax Bharat 1 sports a 2.4-inch display and has a numeric keypad at the front. The display has a resolution of 240×320 pixels. Viewing angles aren’t good and colours appear washed out. There are two function buttons, a D-pad with a centre button, call and disconnect buttons, and the number pad. The buttons are made of plastic and have blue backlighting. The keys are hard to the touch but have a reassuring click. The earpiece doubles up as a loudspeaker. The phone also has a VGA selfie camera on the front and a 2-megapixel primary camera on the back.

The rear cover pops off to reveal a removable 2000mAh battery. Under that are two Micro-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot. The Bharat 1 has a Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack next to it. Like many other feature phones, it also has an LED torch on the top, which you toggle by pressing down on the D-pad’s centre button.

Micromax Bharat 1 Ports NDTV Micromax Bharat 1 Review

Micromax ships the Bharat 1 along with a hedaset and a charger with an attached Micro-USB cable. The charger is rated at 3.5W and takes over three hours to fully charge the phone’s battery. A detachable Micro-USB cable would have been helpful for transferring files to and from a computer.

Micromax Bharat 1 specifications and software

The specifications of the Bharat 1 look rather good for a Rs. 2,200 phone. It is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor and has 512MB of RAM. There is 4GB of internal storage, out of which you get around 2.13GB to use. Storage is expandable using the microSD slot, and cards of up to 128GB are supported. When connected to a computer the phone goes to storage mode by default, allowing you to transfer files easily.

Unlike the Jio Phone (Review) which has only one SIM slot, the Bharat 1 is a dual-SIM device. There is support for 4G and VoLTE but only on the first SIM. The SIM in the second slot is restricted to 2G/3G networks and there is no way to determine what speeds you are getting at any point. We found that the phone isn’t locked to any carrier and worked fine when we tested it with multiple SIM cards.

There is support for Wi-Fi, which can be used to access the internet without using mobile data. There is also support for Wi-Fi hotspot functionality and USB tethering. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to exchange files with other devices. There is no NFC. Surprisingly, you do get GPS, but there is no app to use it with.Micromax Bharat 1 Screenshots NDTV Micromax Bharat 1

Micromax told Gadgets 360 that the Bharat 1 runs on a customised version of Android. The company didn’t provide specific details and it isn’t stated clearly anywhere, but we saw a few hints that at least some apps, services and UI elements were designed for Android 4.4 KitKat, which is now several years old. There is a tiled menu instead of an app drawer. and everything is accessed using the D-pad to navigate and the centre button to select. Navigating through the menu is easy, and the function keys flanking the D-pad work as ‘option’ and ‘back’ buttons. Sadly, the four buttons of the D-pad itself aren’t mapped as shortcuts, which could have helped to launch apps quickly.

The Bharat 1 has preloaded icons for WhatsApp and Facebook Lite but these need to be downloaded before you can use them. T9 predictive input is enabled on the keyboard by default but you can switch between different input methods. The D-pad can be used to move a cursor around in several apps but it’s clunky. For example, WhatsApp doesn’t feel fully optimised for such phones. On the other hand we tried video calling on WhatsApp and we could carry on a conversation without any issues.

Micromax also offers a link to the YouTube website, a Web browser, music and video players, a file manager, and FM radio in terms of apps in the menu. There is a Fun app powered by Zenga TV that gives you access to live TV, videos and movies, but the content on offer is far less than what you get through Jio’s apps. Also, the screen isn’t suitable for watching content because of its size and poor viewing angles.

Considering that this phone runs Android, we did try to sideload a few apps but Micromax seems to have disabled app installations. There is no way to enable this, which means you can’t take full advantage of the Android operating system. Also, unlike the Jio Phone, there is no voice assistant and you do not have the option to connect to a TV to watch content.

Micromax Bharat 1 performance, cameras, and battery life

The Bharat 1’s hardware is extremely basic, and the underlying software isn’t as functional as Android on a smartphone, so we didn’t have very high expectations. The performance of the phone is average and we did see lag when doing things like dialing numbers and typing. Even at a normal pace, the dialer would fail to register a few digits at the beginning of a phone number. The pre-installed video player does not support all formats, but it could play an HD video file that we tested it with.

Micromax Bharat 1 Battery NDTV Micromax Bharat 1 Review

If you have used Android on a touchscreen, using it with a keypad might feel a little weird at first. However, first-time users of a smart feature phone like this should adapt to it fairly quickly.

The battery life on the Micromax Bharat 1 is quite good. With light use limited to a few calls and a few WhatsApp messages we could go on for over two days with some juice still left. Since there is no way of installing more apps, you can expect similar battery life. However, if you use the phone as a hotspot, especially with multiple devices, the battery does drain quite quickly. You can also use USB tethering to charge the device while sharing data.

Tap to see full-sized Micromax Bharat 1 photo samples

The Bharat 1’s rear camera does not have autofocus which is acceptable considering its price. We found the viewfinder to be laggy even during the day, and nearly unusable in low light. The app is basic, with the D-pad allowing you to switch modes and zoom. The app also lets you change white balance, and set the exposure level and a timer if required. There is location tagging which uses the GPS chip on the device.

The setting to switch between the rear and the selfie cameras is buried in the settings list; a quick toggle would’ve been more user-friendly. These cameras are barely functional and the output looks good only when viewed on the Bharat 1’s tiny display. Photos lack detail and most will end up blurry if you don’t stand perfectly still after clicking the shutter. We also saw chroma noise in most photos taken indoors. Both the front and rear cameras can record video at VGA (640×480) resolution but the output is sub-standard.

Verdict

If you want a low-cost phone for basic calling, Facebook and WhatsApp, then the Micromax Bharat 1 fits the bill. You will have to shell out Rs 2,200 for the Bharat 1 and you can use it with any network provider of your choice. The advantage of using BSNL is that you can use a special Rs 97 recharge pack which gives you unlimited calls and data only for the Bharat 1.

The Wi-Fi hotspot and USB tethering capabilities, and the fact that this phone has two SIM slots and isn’t locked to a single carrier, give it a slight edge over the Jio Phone. On the other hand, you don’t get as much entertainment content. However, Micromax seems to have limited the usability of Android by restricting the sideloading of apps. Since there is no Google Play store and no way of installing more apps, you have to live with what you get. If you are looking for your first smart feature phone or at a secondary backup device, the Bharat 1 should be able to keep you happy.

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Micromax Bharat 1

Micromax Bharat 1

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • WhatsApp and Facebook support
  • 4G and VoLTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bad
  • Low-quality screen
  • Below average cameras
Also See
  • Micromax Bharat 2 (Champagne, 4GB)
    Rs.3,180
  • Micromax Bharat 2 (Gold, 4GB) – OFFER
    Rs.3,499
  • Micromax Bharat 2 Plus (Champagne, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.3,949

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Bharat Bill Payments System to Roll Out Shortly: Rajan

Bharat Bill Payments System to Roll Out Shortly: Rajan

Reserve Bank of India Governor Ragharam Rajan Monday said the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) is expected to roll out later this fiscal while the Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS) will be launched shortly.

“Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS) has been put in place to address the needs of the large bill payments market, to provide convenience of anytime, anywhere, any bill payment facility to the users. It is expected to roll out shortly,” Rajan said while addressing an awards function organised by Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technologies.

“Another significant area of development has been the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) which ought to be a game-changer for meeting the financing needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment.

“MSMEs get squeezed all the time by their large buyers, who pay after long delays. All would be better off if the MSME could sell its claim on the large buyer in the market. The MSME would get its money quickly, while the market would get a claim on the better rated large buyer instead of holding a claim on the MSME. All this will happen as the three Trade-Receivables Discounting Systems (TReDS) which the RBI has licensed, start later this financial year,” he said.

The RBI chief also said the key is to reduce transaction costs by automating almost every aspect of the transaction so that even the smallest MSMEs can benefit.

Speaking about the recent development in payment systems in the banking industry, the Governor said, “the RBI would like payment mechanisms to be cheap and scalable, so that they are suited to India’s economy where ticket sizes are small but transaction volumes huge”.

“An additional desirable element would be for the different payment systems to be interoperable – or at least be able to talk to each other,” he further said adding that the country needs systems that offer security even to the unsophisticated user, and do not place a huge burden of care on them.

According to Rajan, the “Two Step Authentication” in electronic payments may have become cumbersome but it will also give enough confidence to consumers.

“Merchants who complain about ‘dropped’ transactions as we require additional factors of authentication should also recognise the additional traffic as customers feel safer using their cards. At the same time, we are open to innovative ideas on how to ease transaction costs while preserving security,” he added.

According to him, as the information technology “brings down” the possible space to avoid or evade tax, merchants may push more for electronic payments.

He also opined that some tax benefits to be given to those merchants who show increases in digital transactions.

Tags: Apps, BBPS, Bharat Bill Payments System, India, Internet, Raghuram Rajan, RBI, Reserve Bank of India
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Far from being eternal, Bharat Mata is only a little more than 100 years old

At a time when India is being projected as eternal, when the chanting of Bharat Mata ki jai has become a testimony to patriotism and refusal to do so invites the wrath of Hindutva outfits and political parties, it is pertinent to look at the history of the country known as Bharat whose antiquity cannot be pushed too far back in time.

The earliest references

The geographical horizon of the Aryans was limited to the north western part of the Indian subcontinent known as Saptasindhava. The Vedic texts do not mention the word Bharata in the sense of a country though they refer to the tribe of Bharatas at several places in different contexts. In Panini’s Ashtadhyayi (500 BC) we find a reference toPrachya Bharata in the sense of a territory (janapada) which lay between udichya (north) and prachya (east). It must have been a small region occupied by the Bharata tribe and cannot be equated with the Akhanda ­Bharata or Bharata of the Hindutva brigade.

The earliest reference to Bharatavarsha (Prakrit Bharadhavasa) is found in the inscription of the Orissan king Kharavela (first century BC), who lists it among the territories he invaded: but it did not include Magadha, which is mentioned sepa­rately in the record. The word here may therefore refer in a general way to northern India, its precise territorial connotation remaining vague. A much larger geographical region is visualised by the use of the word in the Mahabharata (200 BC to AD 300), which provides a good deal of geographical information about the subcontinent, but a large part of the Deccan and the far south does not find any place in it. Banabhatta’s Kadambari (seventh century), at one place describes Bharatavarsha as being ruled by Tarapida, who “set his seal on the four oceans”. But since it is referred to as excluding Ujjaini from it, the location and boundaries of Bharat are far from clear.

Bharatavarsha figures prominently in the Puranas, but they describe its shape variously. In some passages it is likened to a half-moon, in others it is said to resemble a triangle; in yet others it appears as a rhomboid or an unequal quadrilateral or a drawn bow. TheMarkandeya Purana compares the shape of the country with that of a tortoise floating on water and facing east. Most of the Puranas describe Bharatavarsha as being divided into nine dvipas or khandas, separated by seas and mutually inac­cessible.

The Puranic conception of Bharatavarsha has similarity with the ideas of ancient Indian astronomers like Varahamihira (sixth century AD) and Bhaskaracharya (11th century), though in their perception it does not seem to have included southern India. Although a 14th-century record mentions Bharata as extending from the Himalayas to the southern sea, by and large, the available textual and epigraphic references to it do not indicate that the term stood for India as we know it today.

A part of Jambudvipa

In many texts Bharata is said to have been a part of Jambudvipa, which itself had an uncertain geographical connotation. The Vedic texts do not mention it; nor does Panini, though he refers to the jambu (rose apple) tree. The early Buddhist canonical works provide the earliest reference to the continent called Jambudvipa (Pali, Jambudipa), its name being derived from the jambu tree which grew there. Juxtaposed with Sihaladipa (Sans. Simhaladvipa=Sri Lanka), of the inscriptions of Ashoka, Jambudipa stands for the whole of his empire, which covered nearly the entire Indian subcontinent excluding its far southern part. He unified the major part of the Indian subcontinent and called it Jambudipa. But he did not use the word Bharat to denote this vast land mass.

Despite the use of the word Jambudipa for the whole of his empire, the ambiguity about its territorial connotation is borne out by both epigraphic and literary sources during the subsequent centuries. In a sixth-century inscription of Toramana, for instance, Jambudvipa occurs without any precise territorial connotation, and in the Puranic cosmological schema, it appears more as a mythical region than as a geographical entity. According to the Puranas the world consists of “seven concentric dvipas or islands, each of which is encircled by a sea, the central island called Jambu­dvipa…”. This is similar to the cosmological imaginings of the Jains who, however, placed Jambudvipa at the centre of the central land (madhyaloka) of the three-tiered structure of the universe. According to another Puranic conception, which has much in common with the Buddhist cosmological ideas, the earth is divided into four mahadvipas, Jambudvipa being larger than the others. In both these conceptions of the world, Bharatavarsha is at some places said to be a part of Jambudvipa but at others the two are treated as identical. The geographical conception of both Bharat and Jambudvipa are thus factitious and of questionable value.

Abanindranath Tagore/ ‘Banga Mata’ water colour that he later decided to title 'Bharat Mata'.  1905.
Abanindranath Tagore/ ‘Banga Mata’ water colour that he later decided to title ‘Bharat Mata’. 1905.

Bharat as Mother

It was only from the late 19th century that Bharatvarsha in the sense of the whole subcontinent, and Bharat as Mother found their way into the popular vocabulary. The anonymous work Unabimsapurana (1866), KC Bandyopadhyaya’s play called Bharat Mata (1873) and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya’s Anandmath (1880) were among the earliest works to popularise the notion of Bharatmata. Its visual evocation came perhaps not earlier than 1905 in a painting by Abanindranath Tagore, who conceived of the image as one of Bangamata but later, “almost as an act of generosity towards the larger cause of Indian nationalism, decided to title it ‘Bharatmata’”.

Far from being eternal, Bharat mata is thus little more than a 100 years old. Insistence on her inhabitants forming a nation in ancient times is sophistry. It legitimatises the Hindutva perception of Indian national identity as located in remote antiquity, accords centrality to the supposed primordiality of Hinduism and spawns Hindu cultu­ral nationalism which prompts the saffron brigade to bully the Indian people into chanting of Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

DN Jha is former Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Delhi

[“source-Scroll”]

Swachh Bharat: New App Helps Locate Public Toilets in Delhi

Swachh Bharat: New App Helps Locate Public Toilets in Delhi

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung Tuesday launched an app, Find x Toilet, that helps locate a toilet nearest to one’s current location as well as allows users to rate the quality and upkeep of public toilets in Delhi.

The application, launched by Ishan Anand as part of Swachh Bharat Initiative, will prove to be very useful in locating the nearest toilet, especially a clean one.

Appreciating Anand’s efforts, Jung asked all the three municipal corporations and the DDA to make use of the app to upgrade the existing conditions and services of public toilets and also help in up-dating locations of all the public toilets which do not figure at present.

“The app gives location and information on 1,000 toilets in Delhi, which is about 80 percent of the total toilets in the national capital. I will soon cover all the toilets. Besides people can also add toilets through the app,” Anand told PTI.

The mobile app uses GPS to find nearby publicly accessible toilets. Once the nearest toilet is located/selected then the app will provide the shortest route to exact location of the selected toilet, Anand added.

Anybody can also write a review on existing facilities available at the toilets. This will provide users with convenience of locating clean toilets nearby, he said.

Users of this app can also add toilets that are not already listed, for the benefit of others, he added.

“This app’s crowd sourced element is another important benefit because it enables users to help others, as well as themselves all for free,” Anand said.

After all the toilets in Delhi are included in the app, Anand said he will try to cover public toilets in other metro cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.

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Tags: Apps, Delhi, Find x Toilet, India, Swachh Bharat
[“source-Gadgets”]