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.

micromax bharat 1 back 184117 134100 5373 Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1  BSNL Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications  Micromax Bharat 1 Review  M

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.

micromax opera mini 183417 133436 6624 Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1  BSNL Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications  Micromax Bharat 1 Review  M

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.

micromax bharat 2 183417 133437 7231 Micromax  Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications

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

Rs.2,370
Buy
  • 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
BUY AT
  • Micromax Bharat 1
    Rs.2,370

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

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.

micromax bharat 1 back 184117 134100 5373 Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1  BSNL Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications  Micromax Bharat 1 Review  M

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.

micromax opera mini 183417 133436 6624 Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1  BSNL Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications  Micromax Bharat 1 Review  M

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.

micromax bharat 2 183417 133437 7231 Micromax  Micromax Bharat 1  Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications

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”]

Uber to Merge China Operations With Rival Didi Chuxing: Report

Uber to Merge China Operations With Rival Didi Chuxing: Report

Ride-sharing giant Uber is to merge its China operations with local rival Didi Chuxing, reports said Monday, ending a ferocious battle for market share in the world’s second-largest economy.

The deal will give Uber a 20 percent share in the combined firm, Bloomberg News reported, adding it will be valued at $35 billion (roughly Rs. 2,33,551 crores).

Both companies have spent billions of dollars on subsidies for drivers and passengers, as well as trading vitriolic accusations, as they fought for dominance in the potentially lucrative market.

As reported, the structure of the agreement leaves Didi Chuxing in unquestioned control.

By “shedding its massive losses” in the country Uber will help clear its way to a future flotation, Bloomberg said.

The Wall Street Journal said a formal announcement could come as early as Monday.

x

A blog post circulating on Chinese social media purportedly written by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said: “I’ve learned that being successful is about listening to your head as well as following your heart.”

Both firms were “investing billions of dollars in China and both companies have yet to turn a profit there”, he added.

“Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term.”

China-based spokesmen for both Uber China and Didi Chuxing did not immediately respond to requests for comment by AFP.

The reports come days after Chinese authorities announced new rules governing ridesharing, making clear for the first time that they may operate legally in the country.

The new rules also said ridesharing platforms will be forbidden to operate below cost, possibly restricting their scope to offer subsidies.

Didi, which claims almost 90 percent of the China ride-hailing market, said last month that it had recently raised $7.3 billion – $1 billion of which came from Apple – in one of the world’s largest private equity financing rounds.

As part of the latest deal, Didi Chuxing will invest $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,673 crores) in Uber, valuing the US firm at $68 billion (roughly Rs. 4,53,792 crores), Bloomberg reported.

Uber has become one of the world’s most valuable startups as it has expanded to more than 50 countries, but it has faced regulatory hurdles and protests from established taxi operators in most locations where it has launched.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, Didi Chuxing, Didi Kuaidi, Travis Kalanick, Uber, Uber China

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Uber’s Upstart Rival in Pakistan makes use of Rickshaws, Low-Tech telephones

Uber's Upstart Rival in Pakistan Uses Rickshaws, Low-Tech Phones

As taxi hailing large Uber enters Pakistan, a bitacknowledged neighborhood competitor is counting on a mix of new thoughts and antique generation to tap what can be a large bite of the marketplace: low-earnings citizens who travel in rickshaws, not cabs.

referred to as Rixi, the Lahore-based totally carrier hails rickshaws in preference to vehicles. Its platformisn’t smartphones, however older SMS cellphone messaging that permits close by drivers to bid for anyperson‘s commercial enterprise.

Pakistan has extra than a hundred thirty million cellphone subscriptions, however simplest 21 percentagejoin statistics programs, and, whilst the proportion is rising, there are possibilities throughoutemerging economies in Asia to faucet a especially low-tech purchaser base.

In Thailand, Taxi Radio makes use of calls and textual content messages to place cabs and those in contact and is popular with those with out smartphone apps, and HeyKuya!, an SMS-based providerissuer in the Philippines, was recently received by using Indonesia’s YesBoss.

Rixi founder Adnan Khawaja says his enterprise works with extra than 1,000 rickshaw drivers in Lahore, in which many humans depend on small, noisy three-wheelers that are nicely ideal to beating site visitorsin the jap metropolis‘s crowded streets.

Rixi works by means of bypassing bad phone penetration in the low-profits rickshaw marketplace bypolling drivers’ places using cellular phone towers and matching passengers’ messaged places to factorson Google Maps.

if you observe … Uber’s operational model, they’ll be relying on the smartphones,” stated Khawaja. “Ininternational locations like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, that population is […] growing, however it’s stillsmaller in comparison to the vast market.”

Uber declined to touch upon Rixi’s commercial enterprise version, and said that at the same time as it had tested SMS-based totally offerings, there had been no immediately plans to set up this sort ofservice in Pakistan.

“We preserve to discover products that might stimulate demand … and higher carrier the city, whetherthat may be a bike, whether that could be a rickshaw, whether that is a chopper,” said Zohair Yousafi, Uber’s head of enlargement in Pakistan.

To entrepreneurs like Shehmir Shaikh, who currently launched errand start-up Scooty Bhejo in Lahore, Uber is missing a trick over Pakistan’s virtual divide and its huge, low-earnings shipping market.

overseas, Uber has made waves due to the readily available era that human beings are the use of, like iPhones of their hands,” he stated. “We don’t have that right here. (And) the primary form of transport is not vehicles.”

Roadblocks to achievement
Adam Ghaznavi, a generation entrepreneur who has studied the rickshaw market, thinks Pakistan will no longer necessarily be a huge market for taxi journey hailing apps like Uber, however it can be verybeneficial for an equivalent app for rickshaws.

“If someone can determine that out, the potential is large,” he said.

so far, Rixi says it has registered approximately one hundred,000 rides because it launched in past due2013, and is averaging approximately 100 rides a day. that is only a fraction of the roughly two hundred,000 journeys that rickshaws in Lahore take every day, in step with the Awami Rickshaw Union.

“Rickshaw drivers do now not understand whatever approximately those (on line apps),” said Majeed Ghauri, head of the union, which represents the drivers of 60,000 of Lahore’s roughly eighty,000 registered rickshaws. “They genuinely need their daily wages.”

Ghauri said market dynamics and customer behaviour within the low-earnings market had been markedlydistinctive from the ones in the taxi journey sharing arena.

moreover, Rixi’s placetracking, reliant as it’s far on vague cellular telephone tower triangulation and Google Maps, has thrown up some major kinks.

numerous customers complained that Rixi’s carrier changed into not able to supply on its promised 15-minute service delivery time.

“Even inside the maximum densely populated cities inside the united states, the accuracy is no more than a few hundred metres, which is not correct sufficient for a driver searching out a passenger,” statedDanielle Sharaf, a era entrepreneur whose organisation offers valuedelivered services for cell phones.

Rixi says it has an errors charge of best three percent, and says mismatches are due to its reliance onoutside services together with Google Maps.

Ghaznavi stated a main hurdle to adoption inside the Pakistani marketplace is the shortage of literacy,both conventional and virtual, among rickshaw drivers and passengers, compared to those the use oftaxi trip hailing apps.

“The rise of the center class is the important thing to resolving the rickshaw scenario. proper now, themiddle elegance is not traveling on a rickshaw, the lower middle elegance is,” he stated.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Rixi, Uber, Uber Pakistan