Bharat-1 First Impressions: The Jio Phone Rival India Needs?

Bharat-1 First Impressions: The Jio Phone Rival India Needs?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Micromax has launched Bharat-1 feature phone
  • The Bharat-1 supports 4G VoLTE, and ships with BSNL’s bundled offers
  • We spent some time with the Bharat-1, read our first impressions below

After years of manufacturers scrambling for ways to bring affordable and locally relevant smartphones into the hands of millions, it took a Jio Phone to bring feature phones back into focus. So it’s no surprise that telecom operators and phone manufacturers in India are having a deja vu moment, BSNL and Micromax being the latest with the new Bharat-1, a 4G feature phone with high-speed Internet that was unveiled in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 has an unassuming design – more on this shortly – but what it offers out of the box and signifies in the grand scheme of things is perhaps more appealing. Priced at Rs. 2,200 (roughly $34) and going on sale October 20, it is positioned as a solution to the needs of over half a billion people in India.

The need for affordable connectivity

So what are these needs that the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 phone can fulfil? Let’s see. Micromax’s Rahul Sharma thinks that people don’t want to pay for the voice calls they make and also surf countless webpages at no charge. For this, his company has partnered with state-run telecom operator BSNL. At a meagre Rs. 97 monthly tariff plan, Sharma says, customers can avail all of this with the Bharat-1.

But let’s be honest. People also want to listen to music, watch videos, and stream live TV occasionally. What about those needs? Micromax says it has partnered with a range of companies including Zenga to bundle in those entertainment offerings with the phone.

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Which brings us to the only question that matters: does the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 handset live up to the expectations? The short answer is yes. A slightly longer answer is, mostly yes. We spent some time with the handset to figure out what the big deal was.

Does it live up to expectations?

From the looks of it, the Micromax Bharat-1 can be mistaken for a relic of the past. It features the classic numeric keypad and keys make unpleasant noise when you click on them. And you will be clicking them a lot as the tiny (2.4-inch), barely okay-ish display doesn’t support touch input. The plastic body also doesn’t feel premium, though it doesn’t feel cheap either. And that in a nutshell is what the design and other aesthetics of the BSNL Bharat-1 feel like. But everything gets interesting as you long hold and release the * key.

There are several apps that come pre-installed on the new Micromax Bharat-1 handset. For Web browsing, there is a custom build of Opera Mini mobile browser. We typed in a few webpages and they loaded just fine. There is a YouTube app as well, and the display and sound quality are good enough for what a customer would be paying for the device.

The Bharat-1 isn’t running Android, so there is no Google Play app store on the phone. This could be crucial to you if you were planning to download WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in India, or most other popular app that you have been meaning to try on a phone. You will, however, be able to check Wikipedia, update Facebook statuses, read news articles, and do a range of other things using the Opera Mini browser.

There are two camera sensors on the phone as well. The rear camera, a 2-megapixel sensor and a VGA selfie camera on front, take perhaps the best images you can expect from them. Put mildly, you wouldn’t want to take pictures from them unless you don’t have any other phone lying around. The Jio Phone, in comparison, takes better pictures.

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There is an entertainment “Fun” app on the phone as well, which we are told offer a ton of songs, videos, and provides access to over one hundred TV channels. The catalogue felt thin to us, though we admittedly couldn’t browse through all the sections in the limited time we spent with the device. On the plus side, the videos run impressively well on the phone with enough clarity. The BSNL phone also supports Bluetooth, allowing users to quickly share files among themselves.

Bharat-1 supports Wi-Fi, and that’s how the test unit we played with was hooked to the Internet. Combing through the Settings, we also found that this phone is capable of turning into a Wi-Fi hotspot machine. Though, we couldn’t test the feature as there were no SIM cards in the test device. We also couldn’t make any voice calls.

Speaking of which, the BSNL Bharat-1 comes with two SIM card slots. A Micromax representative told Gadgets 360 that users can absolutely swap the BSNL SIM cards with those from other telecom operators. Jio Phone doesn’t let you do that, do note, and has only a single SIM card slot. Those of you who are planning to purchase the Bharat-1, you could want swap in an Airtel or Reliance Jio SIM card into the phone.

Even as Micromax is positioning the device as “India Ka 4G phone”, it’s a little ironic that the launch partner BSNL doesn’t offer 4G just yet. So for the immediate future, if you want to browse the Web at 4G speeds, you would actually need a Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, or Reliance Jio SIM card to avail the facility.

“For us, this is a future acquisition strategy and BSNL has already started 4G tests and currently has a rural network that’s unmatched with any existing operator in the country. Once a feature phone user shifts to 3G and discards his outdated phone, in next few months the migration to 4G becomes easier,” a Micromax spokesperson told Gadgets 360.

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There is a 2000mAh battery in the Jio Phone rival that is a considerably larger from what feature phones typically seem to pack in, and should last you a couple of days of moderate usage on a single charge. We didn’t notice any significant battery drain on the phone even as we hammered the keypad to scan for everything we could find on the phone.

Should you purchase a Bharat-1 phone?

Well, it really depends. If you already own a smartphone, you might not want to purchase one of these Bharat-1 handsets. You will find that it takes worse images, and its display is unlikely to please your eyes. The phone is also very tiny and the keypad might ruin your experience. But that’s alright. Micromax hasn’t necessarily built the phone for you.

The Bharat-1 handset has been designed for the 500 million people in India who cannot afford a smartphone, or the data plans that go along with them to avail much of the services. The phone has been designed for the elderly, kids, and everyone in between who hasn’t had the opportunity to use a smartphone yet. And for those people, the Bharat-1 may just be a great purchase, even on BSNL’s 3G speeds.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a detailed review of the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Micromax Bharat-1

Micromax Bharat-1

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

2.40-inch

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

240×320 pixels

RAM

512MB

Storage

4GB

Rear Camera

2.4-megapixel

Also See
  • Micromax Joy X1850 (Black)
    Rs.784
  • Micromax Joy X1850 (Black)
    Rs.792
  • Micromax X072 (Black)
    Rs.830

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

After Galaxy Note 8, Samsung plans to launch a foldable Galaxy Note phone in 2018: Report

Samsung plans to launch a foldable Galaxy Note next year

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8 – the phablet that succeeds last year’s Note 7 in India on Tuesday at a price tag of Rs 67,990. Soon after the launch of the new flagship device by the South Korean smartphone maker, rumours are that the company has started working on its next Galaxy device. No it not note Note 9, instead the South Koran smartphone maker is gearing up to announce a phone with bendable display. Going by the rumours floating on the internet, Samsung is reportedly planning to launch the foldable phone by mid-next year i.e 2018. This bit of information comes from Samsung mobile chief executive — DJ Koh. Although, Samsung is yet to confirm the making of the phone.

DJ Koh reportedly said that the foldable smartphone that Samsung is planning to bring in 2018 will be launched under its Galaxy Note brand. He further adds that Samsung is targeting 2018 for the launch of a phone with bendable display. But then there are several hurdles, he notes. Koh didn’t explain the hurdles though.

But Koh did say that if the hurdle rises, chances are that the company may push the launch date. The reports claim that Samsung will launch the phone with bendable display – name of which is still unknown by mid next year. It further highlights that the foldable smartphone is expected to enter production during the fourth quarter of 2017. Koh didn’t reveal any further details about the bendable phone as of now.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launched at Rs 67,900: Specs, features and everything to know

Samsung’s aim to launch a bendable phone is nothing new. There have been a lot of rumours circulating on the same for a long time now. Some previously leaked reports suggest that Samsung’s upcoming foldable smartphone will probably be called – Galaxy X. This foldable phone was first spotted in a patent filing last year. The app showed that the phone will boast a sleek design. Some reports also claimed that the foldable phone can be — “folded or unfolded semi automatically.”

Reports are also such that the foldable phone or the Galaxy X is expected to come with artificial intelligence-enabled speaker, which Samsung may announce very soon. This upcoming speaker by Samsung is said to counter Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.

Meanwhile Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Note 8 in India. The phablet succeeds the Note 7 and comes with a stylus — the S Pen. In India, the Galaxy Note 8 will be available for buying starting from September 21 — with pre-orders beginning from today — both online and offline in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colour options. The phablet will be available exclusively via Samsung’s own store and Amazon India. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with 6.3-inch infinity display and dual rear cameras. The phone runs on the Android Nougat OS and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor.

[“Source-indiatoday”]

Jio Phone Bookings Start & Features Revealed, iPhone 8’s 3GB RAM, Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Jio Phone Bookings Start & Features Revealed, iPhone 8's 3GB RAM, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Price, and More: Your 360 Daily

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jio Phone bookings start online and offline, specifications confirmed
  • New Gear VR comes with a bigger slot to fit the Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Google will likely unveil the Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2 on October 5

Jio Phone bookings finally opened today, ending the wait of more than a month for those looking to get their hands on the 4G feature phone. Reliance Jio also released the full specifications of Jio Phone on its website. The single Nano-SIM JioPhone sports a 2.4-inch QWVGA display, and is powered by the 1.2GHz Spreadtrum SPRD 9820A/QC8905 dual-core processor with Mali-400 GPU and 512MB of RAM. It offers 4GB of internal storage, which is further expandable using a microSD card.

There’s a 2-megapixel rear camera at the back and a VGA front camera. The Jio Phone packs a 2000mAh battery that is rated to offer 12 hours of talk time and 15 days of standby time. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi, NFC, FM Radio, GPS, and USB 2.0 support.

However, the Jio Phone online booking process hasn’t gone very smoothly as it seems like the sheer volume of users trying to access the app and the online website, isn’t letting everyone complete their transaction.

 

iPhone 8 to feature 3GB RAM, may not find many takers at $1,000 price tag
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for his accurate Apple leaks, the iPhone 8 will feature 3GB RAM, as will the iPhone 7s Plus. The iPhone 7s, on the other hand, is said to be stuck with 2GB RAM. The extra gig of RAM will help the phones process the upgraded camera and AR features coming soon. However, this – along with other new features – might push up the price of the iPhone 8 to $1,000, which may isolate it from some perspective buyers, says Barclays’ Mark Moskowitz.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 price, comes with new Gear VR headset
As you could tell from yesterday’s launch, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a pretty big smartphone with a huge 6.3-inch Infinity Display. To accommodate that, Samsung has launched a new Gear VR headset, just for it. It is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 8,300), and is already available on the US online store to buy. The Galaxy S8 comes with 6GB of RAM, but a variant with 4GB RAM has been spotted via the Chinese certification agency TENAA. Coming to the price of Galaxy Note 8, be prepared to pay a hefty sum for the device as it has been priced between roughly Rs. 60,000 and Rs. 75,000, depending on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Top 8 Features You Need to Know About

Samsung has also confirmed that it will be launching Gear S3 (Review) smartwatch’s successor at IFAevent in Berlin next week and that it is also working on smart home speakers that might be launched soon. Separately, the company’s rumoured Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch has been tipped to be the first wearable device powered by Tizen 3.0 operating system.

Google lets you check if you’re depressed
Clinical depression is a fairly common condition with almost one in five Americans experiencing an episode, according to NAMI. Now, people in the US will soon have an option to take a screening test on Google to know if they are depressed or not. When users search for ‘clinical depression’ on Google on mobile, they will see a box atop the results, which the search giant calls a Knowledge Panel. The Knowledge Panel contains information on what depression is, what its symptoms are and the possible treatments.

Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2 launch date tipped 
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 out of the way, the next big exciting Android launch is arguably the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 and now, a fresh tip gives us a date to look forward to. Popular tipster Evan Blass tweeted on Thursday that the second generation Pixel smartphones will be unveiled on October 5. The tweet also mentions that the upcoming Pixel handset will pack Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 836 SoCs. This would make the Pixel smartphones to be the first to sport Qualcomm’s latest SoC.

Google Pixel, Nexus users report Bluetooth issues on Android 8.0 Oreo
Google recently unveiled the next iteration of Android, which is Android 8.0 Oreo, which will soon make its way to Pixel and Nexus devices as an OTA. However, users who have already forced this update on their devices are reporting issues with Bluetooth and Google is asking for feedback to address the matter. With any major new OS version , there are bound to be minor bugs and we’re hoping Google irons these out before the public roll out.

Android 8.0 Oreo: Check When Your Phone Will Get the Update

YotaPhone 3 with dual displays launched
Earlier rumoured to be called Yota 3, Yota Devices has launched the YotaPhone 3 in China. The phone runs YotaOS 3.0 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and packs a 5.5-inch full-HD display on the front and a 5.2-inch E-Ink display on the back. It’s been priced at CNY 2,398 (roughly Rs. 23,050) for the 64GB version and CNY 3,098 (roughly Rs. 29,750) for the 128GB version. JD.com will start taking pre-orders for the YotaPhone 3 from September 5 and the phone will then be released on September 18.

Uber, Ola tie-up with AAI make airport cab bookings easier
Ola and Uber are currently two of the most popular choices of transport for air travellers  and now, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has entered into a strategic alliances with them to provide passengers the option to hire these cabs at select aerodromes. As part of this alliance, both Ola and Uber will fulfil commuting demand of passengers at the AAI-run Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow and Bhubaneswar airports, a release said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Uber has also reported 16 percent increase in quarterly bookings and a smaller loss than the previous period as the ride-services company showed signs of inching towards profitability.

Facebook camera now lets you capture 360-degree photos
In order for VR to reach mainstream acceptance, there needs to be an easy (cheap) way to create such content. Facebook hopes to accelerate this by enabling 360-degree photo capture through its own in-app camera. The update has been rolled out in both iOS and Android and includes the abilities to zoom and tag friends. According to a report, these 360-degree images or those from any other sources can be used as “Cover Photos”.

Nikon launches D850 full-frame DSLR
Nikon had confirmed that its next, full-frame flagship DSLR was in development and today, the company has unveiled the D850, the successor to the D810. The new D850 will compete with the likes of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV in the high-end DSLR space. The Nikon D850 will go on sale in September for a retail price of $3,299.95 (roughly Rs. 2,24,300). Highlight features include a weather sealed body, 45.7-megapixel sensor, 7fps burst shooting and 4K video recording capability.

Jet Airways partners with Airbnb
In order to strengthen its range of global hospitality choices, Jet Airways has partnered with Airbnb for a wider selection of accommodations for its guests. The partnership will also give momentum to the growth of Airbnb’s footprint in the Indian market. Airbnb country manager Amanpreet Bajaj said that Indian travellers have become more decisive and are keen to break away from conventional means of travel and accommodation.

Chhattisgarh Government to distribute over 55 lakh smartphones 
In a bit to bridge the digital divide, the Chhattisgarh government is going to distribute over 55 lakh smartphones in the state. It will be distributed in rural areas and to the below poverty line (BPL) families in urban areas and college-going youths in two phases, said Industry Minister Amar Agrawal. Around 50.8 lakh handsets would be distributed in the first phase in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Airtel to launch Rs 1000 4G feature phone to take on Reliance Jio? All you need to know

jio phone, airtel phone, Reliance Jio phone, Airtel 4G feature phone, micromax, intex, Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, Bharti airtel, jio phone booking, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani took the nation by storm when he announced to launch Rs 1500 Jio Phone. But, now a report is doing the rounds that telecom giant Airtel is coming up with a Rs 1000 phone to take on rival Jio. According to a report in Phone Radar, Airtel is coming up with a 4G feature phone to give a competition to Reliance Jio 4G feature phone. Moreover, Phone Radar report claims that Airtel may join hands with Micromax or Intex for the manufacturing of the 4G feature phone. If this happens, it will be a win-win scenario for phone users as the fierce competition between the two telecom giants – Airtel and Jio – will eventually give users a big benefit as there will be no monopoly of any telecom provider. Mukesh Ambani on Friday had announced the launch of Jio Phone, offering life-long free voice calls bundled with 4G data streaming at an effective price of zero.

Jio phone, targeted at 50 crore feature phone users in the country, will be available for pre-booking from August 24 on payment of a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500. The JioPhone will be available for user testing in beta mode from August 15.

This deposit will be refunded after 36 months on return of the phone, Mukesh Ambani had said, adding that the price of the phone will be effective zero.

Reliance Jio, the fourth-generation telecom arm of Reliance Industries, will provide unlimited data on the phone for Rs 153 per month.

Ambani had taken the telecom sector by surprise with free voice calls and data last year. Jio already has 125 million users since its launch in September last year.

Source:-financialexpress