It hasn’t been that long since Reliance launched their effective zero cost 4G VoLTE feature phone, JioPhone. Many have pre-booked it already, but it might be too early to decide that JioPhone is a better buy. JioPhone has created such a stir, that several other companies have planned to launch their own cheap 4G phones. One such cheap phone, Airtel’s 4G smartphone or the Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian at an effective cost of Rs 1399 recently made its entry into the mobile phone market and this may interest you. Let’s see what Karbonn A40 smartphone offers in comparison with Jio’s feature phone and which one suits your budget.

Comparison Of Specs

Let’s start by comparing the specs of these two devices. However, one might think comparing a feature phone to a smartphone is a trifle. But, it does matter since both phones are offered by carriers under the same category of 4G schemes and price paid is almost the same.

JioPhone Specs

Let’s see the specs of India ka Smartphone, the JioPhone. It is a feature phone having a 2.4inch QVGA TFT display and alphanumeric keypad with 4-way navigation. The JioPhone runs on KaiOS and is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core Spreadtrum or Qualcomm processor and has 512MB of RAM. The device has 4GB of internal storage which can expand up to 128GB using the SD card. There is a 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera for video call and selfie. For connectivity, it supports single SIM 4G LTE – VoLTE, ViLTE (No 2G/3G), Wi-Fi (No hotspot), NFC, Bluetooth, and GPS.

Other features include Jio voice assistant, FM radio, micro-USB and 3.5mm jack. It has a removable 2000mAh battery which provides 12 hours talk time. JioPhone comes preinstalled with Jio apps like JioCinema, JioMusic, Jio Money and does not support Whatsapp or Facebook currently. It comes in just one colour option -black. In the retail box you will find, handset, charger, USB cable, warranty and a SIM card.

Karbonn A40 Indian Specs

Coming to the specs of Airtel’s 4G smartphone or Karbonn A40 Indian. It is a low-end smartphone with 4inch touch screen display having 480×800 resolution and 233 ppi. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum processor and has 1GB RAM. For apps and files, it has 8GB ROM and you can expand up to 32GB using the SD card. The A40 also has a 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP selfie camera. For connectivity, it supports dual-SIM card, 4G LTE – VoLTE, ViLTE, 3G & 2G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

Other features include FM radio, micro-USB, 3.5mm jack and OTG support. It has a removable 1400mAh battery which provides about 4 hours talk time. Since the OS is android there will be no scarcity for apps and you can also use SIM cards of other providers. A40 has 5 colour choices – Black, Coffee, and Champagne. In the retail box you will find, handset, headset, charger, USB cable, and warranty. A40 defeats JioPhone in performance but battery backup is not up to the mark.

Comparison Of Effective Pricing

Now let’s examine the effective pricing strategy followed by these two providers. All calculations done below is on basis of basic tariffs. Any extra subscriptions will incur more charges and must be added to spends you made.

Effective Zero Cost JioPhone

In Jio’s terms, it is an effective zero cost phone, since the customer gets back the initial payment of Rs 1500 on returning the phone after 3 years. However, one should also add the amount spend on basic tariffs for 3 years, since it is a must for getting the cashback. On returning the phone he gets back Rs 1500, that makes it Rs 5508. The downside is a customer pays Rs 5508 and the phone will not be in his pockets after 3 years. Also, if you plan to buy the JioMedia Cable, you have to add the extra amount incurred.

  • Customer Pays = Rs 1500 + (Rs 153 * 36 months) = Rs 7008
  • After 3 years Customer Gets = No Phone + Rs 1500
  • Actual cost paid of the returned phone = Rs 5508
Effective Rs 1399 Priced Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian

In the case of Airtel’s 4G smartphone, the customer has to make an initial payment of Rs 2899. The customer will get a cashback of Rs 500 after 18 months and another cashback of Rs 1000 after 36 months making it Rs 1500 after 3 years. However, one needs to recharge for a minimum value of Rs 169 for 3 years to avail all the cashback. After deducting the cashbacks, the customer pays a total amount of Rs 7483. Here the customer gets to keep the phone after 3 years. So Airtel’s A40 scheme have the upper hand.

  • Customer Pays = Rs 2899 + (Rs 169 * 36 months) = Rs 8983
  • After 3 years customer gets = Phone + Rs 1500
  • Actual cost paid for the phone =  Rs 7483
Reliance JioPhone Vs Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian : Which Is Better?

Comparison Of Tariffs

Now let’s see if the price paid for the service meets your demands. We have already seen that the monthly tariff of Airtel is slightly more compared to Jio. For JioPhone Rs 153 plan, you get 500MB per day followed by reduced speed post FUP. For Airtel’s Rs 169 plan, we get 500MB per day and post FUP you will be charged as per the regular tariff. You will also get limited free SMS per day for Jio which is not applicable to Airtel. So, in this case, Jio is a clear winner.


A customer should agree and full fill certain terms and conditions to be eligible for cashbacks in both cases. In the case of JioPhone, you have to return the phone to be eligible for any cashback. If you return the phone in the period of 12 – 24 months, you’ll get only Rs 500 minus applicable GST(on Rs 1000). If you return the phone in the period of 24 – 36 months, you’ll get only Rs 1000 minus applicable GST (on Rs 500). It must also be noted that the customer must do the mandatory monthly recharge. Jio also states that the returned phone must be undamaged and in working condition, also all user data must be cleared.

In the case of Airtel’s Karbonn A40 Indian, you don’t need to return the phone to be eligible for cashbacks. However, the customer needs to perform recharges for Rs 169 per month (or total worth Rs 3,000) for first 18 months to get Rs 500 cashback. To get the remaining Rs 1000, the user needs to perform recharges for Rs 169 per month (or total worth Rs 3,000 within) for next 18 months. Airtel will credit all cashbacks to users Airtel Payments Bank account. After analyzing the schemes, we found each has their own pros and cons. Hope you enjoyed the write-up, Peace!

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