Vodafone partners Micromax to unveil Rs 999 4G smartphone

The new JioPhone rival to join the race is Bharat 2 Ultra, which is being offered at an effective price of Rs. 999. Dubbed as Micromax Bharat-2 Ultra, the smartphone will go on sale in November.

All the existing, and new, Vodafone customers will have to buy the Bharat 2 Ultra at at Rs.2,899/-.

The Micromax and Vodafone partnership will allow the users to enjoy voice calling facility and experience low-priced data and Internet services at just Rs. 150 per month.

"At the end of 18 months, users receive a cashback of Rs 900 and after another 18 months, a cashback of Rs 1,000 respectively, in their Vodafone M-Pesa wallets, enabling them to transact digitally or withdraw cash, as per their convenience".

It should be noted that there won't be any physical exchange of notes involved.

Reports suggest that the effective cost of the device will be Rs 999.

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There is one fundamental difference between the Bharat 2 Ultra and JioPhone and that is the former being a 4G smartphone while the later being a smart feature phone.

Speaking about this offer, Avneesh Khosla, Associate Director, Consumer Business, Vodafone India said, "We are delighted to partner with Micromax to democratise the 4G smartphones at a never before price of under Rs 999". The tie-up with state run telco, BSNL, will help them to penetrate deeper into the 530 million feature phone user market. On the software front, the smartphone runs on Google's Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system out-of-the-box.

For cameras, the Bharat 2 Ultra gets a 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP front-facing camera. While Jio has it's own 4G feature phone, Airtel has recently partnered with Karbonn Mobiles to launch their own bundled 4G smartphone.

Talking about the specifications of the Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra smartphone, it has a 4-inch WVGA display and is powered by the Spreadtrum SC9832 which is a quad-core processor with all the cores clocked at 1.3GHz.

"This partnership with Vodafone will bring in the next phase of smartphone adoption by helping consumers to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones", said Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax, in a statement. Earlier this month, Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel also announced its partnership with Karbonn Mobiles to introduce a 4G-enabled smartphone, called the "Karbonn A40 Indian" in the Indian tech market at an "effective price" of Rs. 1,399. "It will also encourage current non users of 4G to upgrade and enjoy a richer user experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G".

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