Soon after launching the Karbonn A40 Indian 4G-enabled smartphone in the Indian market, India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel in a partnership with home-grown handset manufacturer Celkon, on Monday announced the launch of its another highly affordable smartphone, called the “Celkon Smart 4G smartphone” in the Indian market. The Celkon Smart 4G handset has been launched in the country as part of Airtel’s “Mera Pehla Smartphone” initiative, under this initiative the telco aims to create an ‘open ecosystem’ of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to the people at the price of feature phones by teaming up with multiple mobile manufacturers. Earlier this month, Airtel had also announced a similar offer in association with Karbonn Mobiles. However, the new Celkon Smart 4G smartphone has been launched in the country with an effective price of Rs. 1,349, which is Rs. 50 cheaper than the freshly launched Airtel Karbonn A40 smartphone. Carried a sticker price of Rs. 2,849, the new Celkon Smart 4G smartphone will be made available in India via all leading offline mobile stores across the country.

If you don’t remember, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio announced their much-awaited 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone, dubbed as “JioPhone” in India with an “effective price” of Rs. 0 (Zero). Reliance Jio’s effectively free offering of low-cost 4G enabled VoLTE handset has triggered a new form of handset revolution in the Indian telecom industry. To counter Reliance Jio’s JioPhone, other leading telecom operators and domestic handset makers have already updated their feature phones and smartphones catalogue by launching affordable 4G-enabled handsets in the Indian market. They have been trying really hard to come up with new strategies and aggressive plans to compete against the Reliance Jio, which has captured over 10 crore subscribers in a short period of time. A few days ago, Micromax in a collaboration with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) also launched a new 4G VoLTE feature phone, “Micromax Bharat 1” in the Indian market at Rs. 2,200. Then, the domestic handset manufacturer Micromax in a partnership with Vodafone India also introduced its highly affordable smartphone, dubbed as the “Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra” in the Indian market at an ‘effective price’ of Rs. 999.

However, Bharti Airtel and Celkon partnership will allow the customers to enjoy unlimited voice calling facility and 500MB 4G data per day at just Rs. 169 per month. To grab this affordable 4G smartphone, customers will need to make a down payment of Rs. 2,849 for the handset, and then make a minimum amount of recharges over three years to receive Rs. 1,500 cashbacks, giving the smartphone an ‘effective price’ of Rs. 1,349. The Celkon Smart 4G smartphone comes bundled with a separate plan at Rs 169 per month plan that offers unlimited voice calling and 500MB of high-speed 4G data per day. Note that, customers will need to make recharges worth Rs. 3,000 in the first 18 months to get Rs. 500 cashback, and then make recharges worth Rs. 3,000 over the next 18 months to get Rs. 1,000 cashback, totalling Rs. 1500 cashback for the 3-year period. Airtel also detailed that in case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, they have the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements.

The ‘effective cost’ of using the Celkon Smart 4G smartphone will be Rs. 4,877 in the first year, compared to Rs. 4,927 on Karbonn A40 Indian. But if a customer uses the respective devices for three years, Airtel-Karbonn A40 Indian would cost them Rs. 7,483 [Rs. 1399 + (169 x 36 months)], whereas the Airtel- Celkon Smart 4G smartphone would cost customers Rs. 7,433.

As far as specifications are concerned, the Celkon Smart 4G smartphone comes equipped with a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen display with a screen resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. On the software front, the smartphone runs on Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system out-of-the-box. For photography, the Celkon Smart 4G features a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and an LED flash module. Talking about its selfie camera, the phone houses a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for capturing selfies and making video calls. The handset also comes pre-loaded with some Entertainment apps such as My Airtel App, Airtel TV, Wynk Music. The smartphone also supports all regional languages including 24 major Indian languages.

Photo Courtesy: Celkon

In terms of connectivity, the Celkon Smart 4G smartphone offers various connectivity options including Dual-SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1, GPS, FM Radio, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. On the battery front, the Celkon Smart 4G comes loaded with a 1,500mAh battery that is rated to deliver a decent battery life on a single charge. Dimension wise, the 4G-enabled handset measures 122 x 64 x 11mm and weighs 119 grams.

Commenting on the launch of the new Celkon Smart 4G smartphone, Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel, said, “We are pleased to partner with Celkon in our endeavour to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an ‘open ecosystem’ of low-cost devices. Celkon has strong brand affinity and deep distribution in southern Indian markets, and our partnership will enable us to serve a large set of customers with this affordable smartphone proposition. Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ proposition has received an extremely positive response from customers and we look forward to bringing more device partners on-board in the near future.”