Reliance has launched the Jio Phone for the Indian consumer sat its 40th Annual General Meeting in Mumbai. Jio Phone will be available for Rs Zero. But, customer will have to pay Rs 1,500 as a security deposit, which will be 100 percent refundable after three years. The Jio Phone beta testing will begin from Aug 15 and pre-booking will start from 24 Aug. The phone will be available on the basis of first come, first served from September. Pre-booking from August 24 can be done from MyJio app and physical retail stores.
Jio Phone is a basically a feature phone, but, smarter feature phone than others in the market. It is 4G LTE and VoLTE-ready much like a smartphone. The Jio Phone comes, with an alphanumeric keypad which supports almost 22 Indian languages, microphone speaker, 4-way navigation and a compact design. The device sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display and it comes with SD card slot as well. Then there is an FM radio, Torchlight, ringtones, phone contact, call history and more. But, what’s most important is the fact that they will be able to browse the Internet and make video calls using the Jio Phone.However, the company has not said anything about its hardware and software features, but looks like the phone may be using a Snapdragon 205 SoC, a processor Qualcomm has made specifically for ultra-affordable 4G VoLTE phones.
Reliance Jio is planning to cover 99 per cent of India’s population in the coming years, for that the company is opening nearly 10,000 offices and 10 lakh outlets for physical distribution of its services and devices like Jio Phone. Mukesh Ambani said “It took 25 years for competitors to build their 2G network, but, Jio will achieve its targeted 4G reach in just 3 years.”
However, Reliance hasn’t mentioned if the Jio Phone will support secondary SIMs, it looks like the phone will be locked to Jio as of now. The company has launched a special plan of Rs 153 plan with the Jio Phone that will offer free voice and SMS, unlimited data, with an FUP of 0.5GB per day and subscription for Jio apps like Jio Music, Jio Cinema, Jio TV and others. The best part of Jio Phone is the fact that it will support most Jio apps and also apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, just like a smartphone, and it will be able to run these apps at 4G speeds. In addition, the company also launched daily and weekly recharge sachets like Rs 24 for one day and Rs 54 for one week that will help the potential buyers who are not looking for a monthly plan. Jio Phone will also come with TV-Cable that will allows users to connect with TV (not only Smart TVs but also CRT TVs) to watch live TV and the TV pack is been priced Rs 309 per month.