Aakash tablet maker DataWind today partnered with Reliance Communications to launch three Android smartphones priced in range of Rs 1,999 to Rs 5,499. DataWind’s new range of PocketSurfer smartphones offer free unlimited Internet browsing for one year on Reliance. Users can only browse for free.
“Majority of the population in India still do not use a smartphone and are not connected to the Internet. Affordable smartphones, alone, cannot help the masses to be connected. We need to provide something on the connectivity front as well to take mobile Internet to the masses,” said Suneet Singh Tuli, president and CEO, DataWind.
The free Internet access does not include audio/video streaming or local downloads. Users will have to buy separate data plans for extra usage. “Users can browse for free completely even if they do not have sufficient account balance. Reliance will charge us and not the customer for browsing. They can also access social media sites like Facebook for free,” said Tuli. The new smartphones from DataWind are GSM handsets with dual SIM card slots.
The most affordable in the new range is called PocketSurfer 2G4. Priced at Rs 1,999, the 2G dual SIM smartphone sports a 3.5-inch capacitive display and runs on a 1GHz single core CPU with 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. Running Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, it offers a VGA rear camera, Bluetooth, FM Radio, WiFi and claims four hours of talk time battery life.
The 3G enabled PocketSurfer 3G4 smartphone sports a 4-inch capacitive display with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels and runs on a 1.2GHz dual core processor and Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. On the memory front it has 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. It mounts a 5Mp rear camera with FLash and a VGA front camera. The dual SIM GSM handset supports 3G and 2G connectivity and comes with Bluetooth, FM Radio and WiFi and is priced at Rs 2,999.
The 5-inch PocketSurfer 3G5 smartphone is priced at Rs 5,499. It runs on a 1.2GHz dual core CPU with 512MB RAM and 4G ROM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. It runs on Android 4.4.2 OS and offers a 3MP rear camera with Flash and a VGA front camera. It is also a dual SIM smartphone with 3G support, Bluetooth, FM Radio and WiFi.
DataWind CEO also announced the company’s plans to manufacture in India. “In support of the new government’s ‘Make in India’ vision, we commit that within 90 days around 90 per cent of our production will be shifted to India.We aim to create at least a thousand new jobs in the market within this year,” said Tuli. At present, DataWind’s manufacturing units are based out of China.
The new PocketSurfer smartphones will be available on Naaptol’s TV, print and online shopping platforms starting March 17. It will also be available at Sangeetha Mobiles, Spice Hotspot retail and other retail partners.