Feature phones are still a big deal in India. According to a recent report, 2016 also belonged to feature phones - with the business standing at 54 percent compared to that of 46 percent smartphones market share. Feature phones can do pretty much everything that is quintessential for a normal phone - Calling and Texting. Of course, there is a massive bridge between smartphones and feature phones, but they are unique for their long-lasting battery life when compared to smartphones.
In a recent move, Lava International announced their new feature phone; Lava 4G Connect M1 at Rs. 3,333. Well, this is not just another ‘Feature Phone,' this is a different phone and industry’s first one to come with support for VoLTE. It is a long-rumored feature phone that competes with current generation smartphones, only regarding connectivity.
The Lava 4G Connect M1 comes with support for 4G, but there’s no support for 3G here. This means that you can use a Reliance Jio 4G SIM card with the phone and can also make unlimited free voice calls without installing any other application.
The phone has a 2.4-inch display, quad-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage with support for storage expansion via microSD card slot, a VGA camera, Bluetooth, and yeah a battery with a capacity slightly smaller than the iPhone 7- 1750mAh.
Priced at Rs. 3,333, this feature phone will give smartphones run for their money. At this price range, we have a couple of smartphones from Reliance’s Lyf brand with the same hardware as Lava’s Connect M1, but it boots Android. Hence, it is called as a ‘Smartphone.'
The major question here is: Will consumers prefer feature phones over smartphones? Our take on this issue is: Yes, users will be interested in this new Lava 4G Connect M1. Going by the reports, it is pretty much clear that many people in the country are not interested in getting a smartphone.
There could be numerous reasons why people might prefer this feature phone over a smartphone. Some people like to stay away from social media while some find it difficult to handle a smartphone with so many features. For the ones who are averse to smartphones and apps - Lava 4G Connect M1 could be a legit choice. Also, it is widely reported that the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm will soon launch their feature phone with support for VoLTE and company’s digital 4G services. An image leaked online suggests the release of the phone is imminent.
Going by the trend, it remains to be seen if feature phone would rise again in 2017 with the inclusion of current connectivity support. We might see some more technologies coming to feature phones by the end of the year.