The much publicised Zero Paisa plan from Videocon Mobile Services has been able to garner a lot of eyeballs, but as they say, nothing comes free, and this offer is no exception.
If you buy a Videocon mobile handset from among the seven models that are part of this scheme you get to make 10 to 30 minutes of free local calls to any network, every day for one year.
The amount of money you save, though, depends on which handset you buy, and at what price.
Here is a list of phones that offer the Zero Paisa scheme. We also tell you the amount you save and whether the deal makes sense.
Videocon V202 is a very basic handset with FM radio and torch, and is priced reasonably at about Rs 1,500. You get 10 minutes of local calls free everyday for 6 months. You save about Rs 180 per month or Rs 1,080 over six months, assuming that you utilise the free talk time every day because left over talk time doesn’t get carried over to the next day. The phone can be bought at a discount of Rs 200-Rs 300 without the offer, so buying it at MRP with the Zero Paisa scheme is certainly better.
Videocon V1292 is slightly better equipped than V202. It has an MP3 player with 20 mm speakers, FM radio on loudspeaker with FM recording, dual SIM support, and an LED torch. But its MRP is more than Rs 1,900 and the difference between MRP and market price is in excess of Rs 500. Yet, the offer is worth considering.
With a Videocon V1404 phone, the offer period is extended to 1 year. V1404 is a dual GSM SIM handset with a 4.5 cm (or 1.8 inch) display, VGA camera with video recording, an MP3 player, expandable memory up to 2 GB, FM radio with recording, and an LED torch. With savings in excess of Rs 2,000 (10 minutes per day for 365 days,) this handset is a better deal compared even to V202, as savings are even greater than the phone’s MRP, which is about Rs 2,000.
Videocon V1428 is also a dual GSM SIM handset with a slightly bigger, 2 inch screen, than that of V1404. You also get Bluetooth connectivity and memory expandable to 4 GB. In other respects the phone is similar to V1404. At an MRP of about Rs 2,700 and the same savings as with V414, it is a good bet even though it costs Rs 700 after you deduct savings.
Videocon V1676 is another handset that offers 10 minutes worth of free local calls every day for 1 year. V1676 is a Qwerty device with a 2.4 inch screen, 2 mega pixel camera, EDGE and GPRS connectivity, and pre-loaded Nimbuzz and Opera mini browser, as well as a memory that can hold 1,000 phonebook entries or SMS messages.
With an MRP of more than Rs 4,300 this device is not exactly cheap. At this price you can buy phones with similar specifications from established brands such as Samsung and Motorola. Indian brands Micromax and Lemon sell the same set of features at Rs 1,000 less. However, since the savings are Rs 2,000 per annum, the offer isn’t bad.
For a user in Tamil Nadu, Videocon’s scheme is more lucrative with 30 minutes of free calls every day and unlimited locals calls to Videocon Mobile users for 1 year, which translates to savings of more than Rs 6,000 per year.
Expensive handsets such as V7400 come with 30 minutes of local calls free to any network, plus unlimited calls to local Videocon numbers daily for 12 months, translating to savings of more than Rs 6,000.
Videocon V7400 is an Android 2.1, 3G handset with a 2.8 inch touchscreen that has display resolution of 320 x 240 pixels.
The phone uses Wifi connectivity, A-GPS for mapping, has a 3.2 mega pixel camera, uses Bluetooth, and its memory is expandable up to 16 GB.
But at Rs 13,000 the phone isn’t a good deal because Micromax Andro, which has similar specs, is available for Rs 8,000.
Another phone powered by Android 2.1 Eclair, which is an old version of the OS, V7500 has a 3.2 inch touchscreen, and comes bundled with an 8 GB micro SD card. The phone’s memory is expandable to 32 GB, and it has a 5 mega pixel camera. V7500 works on 3.5G, Wifi and A-GPS, networks. It has a preloaded push mail client associated with the Gmail server.
Where features are concerned, the phone is decent. But, it’s outrageously expensive. An MRP of nearly Rs 20,000 is not justified. V7500 is available at below Rs 11,000 in the open market, but for the free talktime you have to pay the MRP, which is not a wise decision.
You can, in fact, buy a much better Android phone from manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, LG or Sony Ericsson for Rs 20,000.
While at the lower end, the offer brings substantial savings, with regard to higher end handsets, it does not result in any savings at all.
Moreover, there are several plans from service providers such as Reliance Communications, Uninor and Tata Teleservices which offer unlimited intra operator (e.g. Tata to Tata) calls for a small amount, like Rs 30 per month. Plans that enable free calls to any network are also available, though the simplicity of Videocon’s offer can’t be denied.
Note: We have calculated savings based on a call rate of 1 paisa per second.