With official launch of 4G services only days away, Reliance Jio has launched the cheapest VoLTE enabled phone in India — the Flame 1 — under its LYF brand.
The phone is priced at Rs 6,490, about Rs 1,000 less than the Lenovo A6000 Plus, which was the cheapest VoLTE phone before the launch of the Flame device. (The phone is also likely to come with free data etc.)
With the launch, Jio now has three family of devices under its LYF handset brand — the upper end Earth, the mid-range Water and the entry-level Flame.
While the Water series has seen two models being launched at around Rs 14,500, the Earth and Flame have one each.
One more series — Wind — is likely to be placed above Flame and below Water.
LYF FLAME 1 SPECIFICATIONS
At first look, the Flame 1 does not look value for money because of the barely-there specifications.
For example, the phone has been built around the entry-level Snapdragon 210 chipset, which is comparable to the MediaTek MT6735 series.
However, the performance of the Snapdragon 210 is by no means poor, and the chipset has almost 85% of the power of the mid-range Snapdragon 410 series.
That said, the handset is clearly aimed as an entry-level phone and its specifications bear testimony to the fact.
For example, RAM is 1 GB and both the rear as well as the front cameras have a resolution of just 5 MP.
The Lenovo A6000 Plus, on the other hand, has 2 GB of RAM and an 8 MP camera the back. However, the Flame 1 may take better selfies as it has a 5 MP camera at the front while the A6000 Plus has a 2 MP unit.
The LYF handset has a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 4.1 lakh pixels (854*480) — implying 218 dots per inch.
In comparison, the Lenovo A6000 Plus has a 5 inch display with 1 mln (10 lakh) pixels, implying a resolution of 294 dots per inch.
Built in memory is only 8 GB — half that of the A6000 Plus.
Before we go on, we must emphasize that the value of the LYF phone is not to be measured in hardware alone — it will come with free data, voice and SMS once Jio launches 4G services (expected later this month or early next.)
While the Wind series (price around Rs 9,000-10,000) is expected to come with 50 GB of data and 5,000 minutes, the Flame is likely to come with 30 GB or so.
As a result, we believe that the total value of the freebies coming with the Flame 1 phone should be around Rs 5,000, thus skewing any direct comparison with models like Lenovo A6000 Plus, which does not come with any free data or calls. If you intend to use the bundled the freebies, the effective price of the LYF phone comes down substantially.
It must also be emphasized that the Flame model is optimized for Jio’s network and supports all the three bands that the company operates in — 40, 3 and 5, while the Lenovo model only supports the first two.
The Jio model also offers calls over Internet Protocol using the same dialer as the phone. In other words, you can choose to route calls using a WiFi connection if you wish to save money, instead of using the cellular network.
Other specifications of the LYF phone includes a 2 Ah battery that should be sufficient to power the phone through the day, and Android 5.1 (vs 4.4 on A6000 Plus).
At present, Reliance Digital — which is the primary distributor of the phone, is not offering the phone for sale through its website. It is only offering a registration facility. Users have to give details such as their phone number, email address, the city in which they live and the Reliance Digital store from which they would like to buy the phone.
Meanwhile, models such as Water 1 and Earth 1 are available at Reliance Digital stores in most of the top cities of India. However, at present, no freebies are offered on these models, and it would make more sense for people to wait till end of the month or early next month to make a purchase.