JioPhone launched to make dumb feature phones obsolete Reliance Jio has introduced the JioPhone, a revolutionary smart feature phone at its Annual General Meeting. Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced the phone will have unlimited 4G data with free voice and declared digital freedom for all Indians, rich or poor.
From voice commands to support for apps, the JioPhone comes with features unheard of in a phone from this segment before.
It's pricing too is very disruptive. Ambani stated the phone will essentially cost zero money. The JioPhone will be sold against a security deposit of Rs 1,500 which will be refunded after three years. Let’s have a look at the features of this innovative feature phone. 1/4 What is it? The JioPhone is a feature phone that has a 2.4-inch QVGA display, physical alphanumeric keyboard with four-way navigation button, a loudspeaker, headphone jack, and an SD card slot. The interface from what little we saw, is clean, minimalist and is inspired from Android’s Material Design. There is support for 22 Indian languages. It is a VoLTE based cellphone that will work only on Jio’s 4G network.
It also has an SOS feature. Holding down the 5 button will send a distress message to your emergency contact along with your location. There’s support for NFC-based contactless payment. Jio users can connect their bank accounts, UPI accounts, Jan Dhan accounts and more. The digital payment feature will be enabled through a software update later in the year. 2/4 What can you do with it? The JioPhone has almost all the features that a normal smartphone has like a browser, to log onto the internet. All of Jio’s apps will be available, from JioTV to JioMusic. And these can all be controlled through voice commands. Jio users can also stream music using voice commands and make calls and send texts in any language.
There are apps like Facebook, JioPhone Browser and even an app for PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann ki baat’ broadcast. 3/4 What does it offer? For a price of Rs 153 per month, JioPhone users will get free voice calls and unlimited 4G data. Moreover, the JioPhone will support a JioPhone TV cable that will enable a JioPhone to mirror video content on just about any television - smart TVs to old CRT TVs. Users will have to pay Rs 309 a month to watch Jio’s video content on the big screen. Ambani also unveiled two sachet packs - Rs 24 vaild for two days and Rs 54 valid for a week. 4/4 Who is it for? The JioPhone is a Make In India phone and attempts to bridge the divide in digital freedom in the country by bringing smartphone-like features at a rock-bottom price of Rs 1,500 (which is refundable) to make it affordable to the lowest common denominator of the country. Ambani stated that there are 78 crore mobile phones active in the country, out of which 50 crore phones are basic 2G feature phones. The JioPhone aims to make the 2G feature phones obsolete. The JioPhone is a patriotic offering to the country to enable every citizen to be digitally enabled.
The phone will be available for beta testing from the 15th of August and will be up for pre-booking from 24th of August. It will be available to the masses in September. The JioPhone will be sold against a security deposit of Rs 1,500 which will be refunded to the users after three years when they return it back.