JioPhone 2 goes on sale tomorrow, but is there an alternative?

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The Micromax Bharat 2 comes with similar specifications as the JioPhone 2, except that it runs Android. But how do the two phones compare?

JioPhone 2, the successor to the popular JioPhone launched last year, is set to go on sale on August 16. Unveiled at Reliance’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 28, the JioPhone 2 is a clear upgrade from the original JioPhone, be it the hardware or the design.



The “smart-feature” phone comes with a 2.4-inch display, a full QWERTY keypad with a 4-way navigation pad, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage that can be expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD card. It also supports apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Maps and YouTube with an added accessibility advantage of having Google Assistant. It is backed by a 2,000mAh battery and provides VoLTE and VoWiFi connectivity along with Bluetooth, GPS and NFC. To click photos, it even features a 2MP rear camera and a VGA selfie camera. All of this at a price of Rs 2,999!

But here comes the question; is it really the undefeated champion of ultra-budget, smart-feature phones? Is it strong enough to be compared to an Android smartphone? Let’s find out.

JioPhone 2 vs Micromax Bharat 2

There are several “smart-feature” phones by other manufacturers that provide similar features along with WhatsApp and Facebook integration. But I wish to bring your attention to another similarly priced phone, with similar capabilities – The Micromax Bharat 2.

Yes, I might be going overboard while comparing the two phones with different operating systems, the JioPhone 2 running KaiOS while the Bharat 2 runs Android, but the raw specifications of the two phones are pretty similar.

Display, hardware and performance:

The Bharat 2 comes with a 4-inch, touch screen LCD TFT display with a resolution of 800×480. This is superior when compared to JioPhone 2’s 2.4-inch screen with a lower resolution.

Under Bharat 2’s display are three capacitive navigation buttons while the JioPhone 2 comes with a full QWERTY keypad and a 4-way navigation pad.

In terms of performance, the Micromax Bharat 2 comes with a 1.3GHz Spreadtrum SC9832A processor paired with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage which is expandable to 32GB via a MicroSD card. The JioPhone 2 is powered by an unidentified processor that is also paired with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage that is expandable to 128GB via a Micro SD card.

Connectivity and battery life:

In terms of connectivity, both phones support VoLTE, Wifi, bluetooth and GPS. The JioPhone has an added advantage of providing NFC.

n terms of battery life, the Bharat 2 comes with a smaller 1,300mAh battery when compared to JioPhone 2’s 2,000mAh battery.

The Bharat 2 comes with a dual-SIM slot and is not tied to any carriers, so you can connect to any carrier of your choice. The JioPhone 2 is tied to Jio and so you can’t switch your carriers.



Software:

In the software department, the Bharat 2 runs Android Marshmallow 6.0. While this might seem like a great advantage, the Bharat 2’s specifications would not allow a majority of the apps to run smoothly. The JioPhone 2 has KaiOS that is optimised to run on JioPhone 2’s specifications, making it a less frustrating user experience, even though its app store doesn’t feature the variety of app as the Android platform. Further, Bharat 2 lacks the entertainment package that the JioPhone 2 provides with its Jio suite of apps.

Camera:

On the photography front, both phones offer a similar 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP selfie camera, that are adequate for basic photography, but don’t expect anything mind blowing.

Price:

The Micromax Bharat 2 currently sells at Rs 2,800 on Amazon, which makes it marginally cheaper than the JioPhone 2, which sells at Rs 2,999.

Conclusion

The Micromax Bharat 2 comes with similar specifications as the JioPhone 2, but its hardware is not adequate to run Android Marshmallow smoothly, so it loses its edge over user experience against the JioPhone 2. Further, the JioPhone 2 comes with NFC and all the basic apps that are required on an Android phone, like Facebook, Google Maps, WhatsApp and YouTube.

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