Airtel to launch 4G phone at ₹1,649 in collaboration with Intex

Bharti Airtel is working with Intex to launch a new entry-level 4G enabled smartphones against the 1500 JioPhone. Along with the feature phone, the company has launched two entry-level Android-based smartphones (Intex Aqua A4 and Intex Aqua S3) at an affordable price tag of ₹1,999 and ₹4,379 rupees. One has to take a note that, these prices are effective prices, which means, one has to pay an upfront advance and has to recharge regularly to attain these prices.

These smartphones will be exclusively available from Airtel stores and Intex Authorised Resellers.

The ₹1,649 rupees priced Intex Aqua Lion N1 comes with a price tag of ₹3,799 (market price), however, as a bundle, a user can get the device for just ₹3,149 and has to recharge a combo plan worth ₹169, which offers free 512 MB 4G data per day with free voice and SMS. After 18 months, one can receive a cashback of 500 and after 36 months of recharge, one receives a cashback of ₹1,000, making the phones effective price ₹1,649. If the customer is not interested in the bundled plan, then he has to recharge for ₹3000 for the first 18 months and ₹3000 for the next 18 months to get similar cashback benefits.

If we look at the tech specifications of the Intex Aqua Lion N1, the phone offers a 4.0-inch touchscreen with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB onboard flash storage. The device runs on an Android Nougat with 2 MP primary camera and a VGA secondary selfie camera. On to the storage, the device offers 8 GB onboard flash storage with a dedicated micro SD card slot (up to 128 GB).

The recharge plans for the Intex Aqua A4 and Intex Aqua S3 remains the same, however, one has to make a down payment of ₹3,499 (retail price is ₹4,999) and ₹5,879 (market price is ₹6,649) to get these smartphones.

The Intex Aqua A4 features a similar 4.0-inch IPS LCD display, driven by 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB onboard flash storage with a dedicated micro SD card slot. The cameras on the device get an upgrade. The Aqua A4 offers a 5 MP main camera and a 2 MP selfie camera.

The Intex Aqua S3 features a 5.0-inch display, powered by same 1.3 GHz processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB onboard flash storage with a dedicated micro SD card slot. The 8 MP main camera and a 5 MP secondary camera is also an upgrade over other two models with a user replaceable 2450 mAh Li-ion battery.

Here is the official product statement from Ajay Puri,  Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia) Bharti Airtel:

“We are really pleased to see the continued positive response to our ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative from customers as well as smartphone manufacturers,”

With these plans, you are not only getting a smartphone at a much lower price point, but the bundled data and voice calls at an affordable recharge plan is also very interesting. However, don’t expect these devices to excel in gaming or multitasking. In fact, these devices will have better performance with the normal day to day usage like calling,  watching videos, and chatting.

So, what do you think about these smartphones? Are these the better offerings compared to 1500 JioPhone?