Reliance JioPhone vs Airtel Karbonn 4G Indian


Ever since the launch of the JioPhone, there have been reports of other telecom operators like Airtel and Idea working with smartphone makers to launch their own budget 4G smartphone. Now, Airtel has collaborated with Karbonn to announce the Karbonn A40 Indian with an effective price of Rs. 1,399.

Announced under the 'Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ or the 'My First Smartphone' initiative, the Karbonn A40 Indian comes with a price tag of Rs. 2,899 and users will be able to claim a cashback of Rs. 1,500 over a period of 3 years, bringing down the effective price to Rs. 1,399 and unlike the JioPhone, you don’t have to return your device to claim the cashback.

In this post, we will first compare the specifications of the device and then go through differences in various costs of the devices.


The JioPhone comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display and the Karbonn A40 Indian comes with a 4-inch WVGA display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The Karbonn A40 Indian from Airtel comes with a bigger touchscreen display.

Operating System

The Karbonn A40 Indian runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and comes with access to the Google Play store, allowing you to access various apps. On the other hand, the JioPhone runs on Firefox’s Kai OS and comes with some basic apps only. While you will not be able to run heavy apps on the A40 Indian, the presence of Google Play Store means you will be able to run popular apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.


The JioPhone comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage which can be further expanded up to 128GB. The Airtel 4G phone comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage which can be further expanded up to 32GB.


With the JioPhone users get free access to Jio’s suite of apps which consists of 16 applications and this is something that the users of Karbonn A40 Indian will not get. To access any two such applications, the Airtel 4G Phone users will have to shell out Rs. 450 per month.

Other features

Another significant feature of the JioPhone is its ability to stream Jio content on your TV using the Jio Cable, however, you will not be able to do this using the Karbonn A40 Indian. Apart from this, the JioPhone comes with NFC support, which will be used by Reliance Jio to facilitate digital payments. The A40 Indian on the other hand does not come with NC support.

The 4G Phone from Airtel is powered by a 1,400mAh battery and offers a talk time of up to 4 hours. The JioPhone on the other hand comes with a bigger 2,000mAh battery and offer up to 20 hours of talk time.

Cost to customer

If you are confused between the two devices and want to know how much each device will cost you today or three years down the line, continue reading.


Let’s begin with the plans being offered by the two telecom operators:

Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio is offering a base plan of Rs. 153 for JioPhone users. Under this plan, users will get unlimited data with an FUP of 0.5GB per day, unlimited voice calling, 100 free SMSs per day, free access to Jio’s suite of apps and free roaming across the country.


Airtel has announced a new plan of Rs. 169 under which users will get 0.5GB data per day and unlimited voice calling. It is to be noted that if you cross your daily data limit, you will be charged at Rs. 4,000 for additional data.

Airtel has fixed that charge for SMSs at Rs. 1 for local messages and Rs. 1.5 for STD messages. Apart from that, Airtel will also charge you an additional 80 paise per minute for local calls and Rs. 1.15 for STD calls if you are roaming. For SMSs, the company has fixed the charges at 25 paise and 38 paise for Local and STD SMSs respectively.

JioPhone Cost

Starting with the 4G feature phone from Reliance Jio, the device was advertised as effectively free by the company as you could claim the complete amount after three years by returning the device. However, the cashback comes with some strings attached.

To be eligible to claim the cashback from Jio, you will have to recharge with vouchers worth Rs. 1,500 every year for three years. This means you will have to spend at least Rs. 4,500 to claim the cashback. So, this brings the total cost after deducting the cashback to Rs. 4,500 which converts to Rs. 125 per month for 36 months.

Airtel – Karbonn A40 Indian Cost

The Karbonn A40 Indian is priced at Rs. 2,899, which means you will have to pay a price higher than the JioPhone at the beginning. Coming to the cashback from Airtel, you will have to recharge your Airtel number with recharges worth Rs. 3,000 in 18 months to get the first cashback of Rs. 500. You will get the second cashback of Rs. 1,000 if you recharge your number with vouchers worth Rs. 3,000 or more in the next 18 months.

If we deduct the cashback amount of Rs. 1,500, the total cost to customer comes down to Rs. 7,399, which converts to Rs. 205 per month.


If we consider the features of both the devices, initially, the Karbonn A40 Indian looks like a better deal as it comes with a touchscreen display, Android 7.0 Nougat, dual SIM support and Google Play store. However, the JioPhone comes with a bigger battery, unlimited data, free SMSs, access to premium content, costs less and has no roaming charges.

So, if you want a secondary phone, the JioPhone is ideal for you. However, if you want a primary phone and want to use apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, etc. or if you want to use two SIM cards at the same time, you can go with the Karbonn A40 Indian.