As expected earlier, Reliance Jio announced the ‘India ka Intelligent Smartphone’ dubbed JioPhone at its 40th AGM meeting held in Mumbai, India. The JioPhone comes with 4G VoLTE support and offers several smart features. While the company sold the affordable 4G VoLTE smartphones through LYF branding, the JioPhone has only the Jio branding. Interestingly, the JioPhone was introduced as a smartphone instead of a feature phone and the smart features justify that. It comes with 4-way navigation buttons along with the Alphanumeric keypad.
One of the most innovative features of the JioPhone is the voice assistant in regional languages. Though the JioPhone is announced to be free, the company will be collecting 100% refundable deposit of Rs. 1,500 to avoid the misuse. The users will be paid back only after 3 years from the date of JioPhone purchase. Talking about the availability, the JioPhone will be available for beta testing from August 15th and the pre-booking starts from August 24th. The sales start from early September on the first-come first-serve basis.
Jio also announced to make 5 million units available every week. The users of JioPhone can enjoy unlimited voice calls, 4G data, and access to Jio apps for just Rs. 153. It comes with a validity of 28 days and the unlimited 4G data has a FUP of just 500MB per day. Apart from the Rs. 153 plan, the JioPhone users can also avail the small recharge packs of Rs. 24 for two days and Rs. 54 per week. The screen mirroring is another innovative feature for a feature phone. For streaming content from JioPhone, the customers have to opt for Rs. 309 plan instead of Rs. 153 basic monthly plan.
They will be getting a JioPhone TV cable that can even be plugged into any TV including the older CRT TVs. The device also supports the 22 Indian regional languages. It sports a 2.4″ QVGA display and is said to come in compact form factor. The JioPhone also got the SOS feature which can be enabled by long pressing 5 on the keypad.Once SOS is activated, it sends the location and emergency alert to pre-selected contacts and calls the 112 emergency number. It even packs torch light, FM Radio, MicroSD card slot and more.
There is also NFC support for making virtual payments but it will be enabled later this year via automatic software update. Jio also showed the demo of the built-in Namo app for listening to the Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat. With over 125 million users, its market share will see huge surge once the JioPhone is made available in the market. According to the Jio, its 4G network coverage will be more than 2G coverage of the other networks in the next one year.