Reliance Jio’s free offers like Welcome Offer and Happy New Year have truly put the Indian smartphone and telecom industry out of gear. Already, rival operators are constantly announcing tariff cuts and schemes for their mobile subscribers. Jio has also been rumored to be working on a feature phone with VoLTE support, which is expected to further intensify the competition. While we are still awaiting more details about Jio’s 4G feature phone, Lava has fired the first salvo with its new 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone, called the Connect M1. The feature phone is priced at Rs 3,333. Also Read - Lava Z2 Max with a 7-inch display launched in India: Price, specificationsAlso Read - Today's Tech News: FAU-G India launch, Jio suspends internet services in Delhi NCR
The Lava 4G Connect M1 is touted as the first phone in its category to offer support for higher network speeds. When Reliance rolled out its 4G services, it tied up with Lava among other manufacturers to offer a bundled package of its services with the newer smartphones. Now, to give a perspective, the Lava 4G Connect M1 feature phone when combined with a Reliance Jio subscription makes a steal of a deal. Also Read - Lava Zup to go live today, Lava Z1 available at Rs 4,999
Brands like Lava and most likely Jio are looking to target the massive feature phones in the Indian market. According to a CMR report, feature phones shipments have continued to outpace smartphones in India. Until November 2016, about 25 million feature phones were sold in India as opposed to 19 million for smartphones. Despite smartphones becoming more affordable, feature phones account for 55 percent of all mobile phones. The latest report by Counterpoint says feature phone shipments in India grew by 4 percent year-on-year in 2016. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio s 4G feature phone could be a masterstroke, here s why
“The launch of this smart feature phone, we believe, will create possibilities for users as they will now be able to consume digital content and even do digital transactions. Furthermore, a sizeable segment of feature phone users in India who use their phone to only make calls will now be able to access the internet; to their advantage; and that too at affordable price,” said Gaurav Nigam, Head Product, Lava International.
Lava 4G Connect M1 specifications, features
Given that it is a feature phone, the Lava 4G Connect M1 doesn t offer a radical design and comes in a polycarbonate body. It features a tiny 2.4-inch display and is powered by a 1.2 GhZ quad-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The feature phone comes with support for microSD card for storage expansion up to 32GB.
The phone features a rear VGA camera. There is no front camera. Given that it is essentially a feature phone, the battery is expected to deliver longer backup than usual smartphones. It is powered by a 1,750mAh battery which Lava claims can offer 2G talk time up to 17 hours and 4G talktime up to 6 hours. It runs Mocordroid version 6.0 OS and comes pre-loaded with apps such as Facebook Lite and some other social media applications. Other features include dual SIM support, FM and Bluetooth.
In the feature phone category offering 4G VoLTE support, the Lava 4G Connect M1 will compete with Reliance s rumored LYF Easy phone. It has been long speculated that Jio’s VoLTE-enabled feature phone will be priced between Rs 999 and 1,500. Based on the leaked images, the purported phone does offer slightly better designing in comparison to the Lava 4G Connect M1. However, since these have been leaked images, one cannot be sure of its authenticity.
Now what could yet again work in Reliance s favor is that the rumored phone is expected to feature a front and rear camera and come bundled with Reliance Jio apps such as Live TV, JioChat and video-on-demand. It is further expected that it could also come with the company s own digital wallet, Jio Money, to encourage cashless payments. While there is no official word on the release date of the Reliance Jio feature phone, it shall make for an interesting market study both in terms of feature phone adoption and how well Reliance is able to cash on its 4G freebies scheme from the rural segment.