- Reliance Jio announced its feature phone, the JioPhone
- You’ll have to pay Rs. 1,500 upfront, and at least Rs. 153 per month
- The phone supports voice commands, Jio apps, Facebook
After months of rumours, JioPhone has become official, with goodies such as free calls, unlimited data, and the option to mirror TV shows and movies on the television. Mukesh Ambani at the Reliance AGM unveiled the handset, and announced the device will be compatible with the Jio 4G VoLTE network, something that most feature phones in India are unable to. The company also announced dedicated Jio plans, features, and availability details of the JioPhone. Here’s a look at everything you need to about the device.
On Friday, at the 40th Reliance Industries AGM, Chairman Mukesh Ambani finally unveiledthe Jio feature phone, the JioPhone. It’s been long rumoured, but now it’s finally official after months of speculation. Making the announcement, Ambani pointed out that the majority of phone users in India do not have smartphones, and are thus unable to access the 4G-only Jio network. The Jio Phone is meant to address this audience, and thus is an affordable, 4G VoLTE-capable feature phone with ‘smart’ apps. Here are all the details that you need to know about the phone.
Jio Phone price and features
At the AGM, Ambani announced that the JioPhone – which he called “India ka smartphone” will be “effectively free”. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that either – the phone will require an upfront payment of Rs. 1,500, which is however fully refundable, but only after three years. That said, the phone comes with a whole host of interesting features.
For one thing, the JioPhone’s got all of the Jio apps – that means Jio Music, Jio Cinema and so on, and access to these is bundled with the prepaid plans for the phone, so even on a feature phone you’ll be able to enjoy streaming services. It supports other apps as well, including Facebook. The Jio Phone also supports 22 Indian languages – and voice commands. You can send messages, place calls, search the Web, and so on, using only voice commands.
Another interesting feature is NFC support – with this, users will be able to make payments from a linked bank account via UPI, or through POS machines in place of a debit card. This will be enabled later, although the hardware is already present. There is also a panic button integrated in the device.
Jio Phone plans
There are two prepaid plans that you can sign up to with the Jio Phone. Both have a one month validity, and include unlimited data, unlimited calling, and SMS. The plans are for Rs. 153 and Rs. 309 respectively, and on the surface look very similar, but there’s one difference. With the Rs. 309 plan, users will be able to use the JioPhone TV-cable, an accessory that allows you to mirror your screen onto any TV, so that Jio’s streaming services can be enjoyed by the whole family. And the plans come with 500MB daily FUP for the high-speed data.
At the same time, Ambani also noted that for users who don’t want to commit to a monthly plan, the company also has a couple of sachet plans that give shorter term access to data. There are again no limits mentioned. For two days, Jio Phone users can get the Rs. 24 pack, or they can opt to spend Rs. 54 for a week of usage.
Note that these plans are exclusive to Jio Phone users and cannot be subscribed by other Jio users.
How to book Jio Phone
The JioPhone will be made available from August 15 in a beta program, and will be available for pre-booking from August 24 onwards. The JioPhone pre-orders can be made using the MyJio app or Jio offline stores. Customers who pre-book the phone will be eligible to purchase it from September onwards, on a first come first serve basis. Mukesh Ambani said Jio is targeting to have 5 million JioPhones available every week.
Reliance Jio numbers
Aside from unveiling the phone, Ambani also gave some details about Reliance Jio’s growth. He said that Jio now has over 125 million subscribers, of which 100 million are paid subscribers. He added that Jio users make over 250 crore minutes of voice and video calls every day, and consume 165 crore hours of high speed video per month, and 125 crore GB of data every month.