DataWind launches affordable smartphones in India with free internet access

DataWind launches affordable smartphones in India with free internet access

DataWind, the company behind world’s cheapest Aakash tablet, today launched its affordable range of PocketSurfer smartphones in India that come with free internet access. The Canadian company has partnered with Reliance Communications (RCom) for bundling free internet access on its GSM network in the country.

The range of PocketSurfer smartphones includes the PocketSurfer 2G4, which comes with an affordable price of Rs. 1,999, and the PocketSurfer 3G4, priced at Rs. 2,999. Both the new smartphones will be available through Naaptol starting today and will reach key modern trade and retail partners such as Sangeetha Mobiles and Spice Hotspot Retail on March 24.

On the part of specifications, the PocketSurfer 2G4 has a 3.5-inch HVGA display and is powered by a 1GHz Cortex-A5 CPU and 256GB of RAM. There is 512MB of internal storage along with microSD card support for expansion up to 32GB. Besides, it has a rear camera, dual-SIM support and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

The PocketSurfer 3G4, on the other hand, has a 4-inch display with 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA) resolution. There is a 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, 256MB of RAM and 512MB expandable storage. The smartphone has a 5-megapixel camera sensor on the rear along with an LED flash and a VGA camera sensor is available on the front. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and comes with dual-SIM support.

DataWind PocketSurfer 3G4

DataWind PocketSurfer 3G4

Alongside the two affordable smartphones, DataWind has launched the PocketSurfer 3G5 as its entry-level smartphone with a price tag of Rs. 5,499. The smartphone has a 5-inch WVGA display, 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB expandable storage, 3-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera. It has dual-SIM support and packs a battery which is claimed to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time on a single charge.

On announcing the launch, S. Suneet Singh Tuli, President and CEO of DataWind, said:

“We are passionate about technology and access that enables and empowers the common man to achieve more in every conceivable way. With this new range of ultra-low cost smartphones, powered with free internet access by India’s leading network, we hope to ignite a spark that will revolutionise India’s movement towards achieving its grand vision of a Digital India. We see this as a beginning of a new phase in internet revolution led by mobile internet and we are delighted and privileged to have RCom by our side in this new transformational journey towards Digital India.”

DataWind promises to move towards the Indian Government’s Digital India and Make in India programmes and is set to start manufacturing the new smartphones in the country. Suneet said that his company is in development to kick-start 90 percent of the manufacturing of its new devices in the country within 90 days.

“In our commitment to Make in India, we hope to generate 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in India within the next year as we work with electronics manufacturing services companies in India,” he added.

Montreal-based DataWind has 18 US and international patents which it has used to reduce the bandwidth consumption on the new smartphones. Suneet claims that the new smartphones are capable to reduce the bandwidth consumption on Indian networks and are enabled to accelerate delivery of web content by factors of 10 to 30 times.

The company has provided its UbiSurfer browser on the new smartphones to provide unlimited free internet access through RCom network. However, free access does not include audio-video streaming or local download, but users can be able to surf webpages and search any content for free.

Commenting on the partnership with DataWind, Gurdeep Singh, CEO, Consumer Business, RCom, said:

“We are delighted to partner with DataWind and offer unlimited data for 12 months on our high-speed GSM data network, which will lead to a unique user experience on the PocketSurfer smartphones, which sport many technological breakthroughs. A product like this one will be best experienced on a seamless IP-enabled network such as RCom’s, and will make for an unmatched data experience.”

The new model launched by DataWind does not conflict with pricinples of Net Neutrality and is nowhere similar to what Facebook introduced a few weeks back with partnering RCom and offering limited access to select services through Internet.org. Especially, the smartphones have capabilities to fulfil the needs of first-time smartphone buyers in the country to let them experience the Android ecosystem.

With additional reporting by Jagmeet Singh

Categories: Smartphones