Reliance today announced the JioPhone, a 4G LTE enabled smartphone, at its shareholder meeting. The announcement comes after weeks of speculations which revealed specifications and photos of the upcoming smartphone. The JioPhone will be effectively free for users, after paying a security deposit of Rs.1500. The deposit will be refundable after a period of three years.
At the launch, the JioPhone was labeled as ‘India Ka Smartphone’.
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance, also announced attractive tariff plans for the JioPhone that begin with Rs.153 per month. The JioPhone tariff plan comes with free unlimited calls, unlimited data capped at 0.5GB per day, and access to the Jio suite of apps. Customers can also purchase a cable that will enable them to stream content from their JioPhone to their TV at a subscription of Rs.309 per month.
The JioPhone is a smartphone in a feature phone’s body. The phone comes with a 2.4-inch display and runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor supported by 512MB of RAM. There’s a 2MP primary camera at the back and a 0.3MP front-facing camera. The JioPhone comes with a 2000mAh battery that should be good enough to last a day or two.
As for availability, the JioPhone will be available from August 15 but only to a select few. The JioPhone will be available for beta testing. One can expect a referral system that will be at play here, similar to the early Jio 4G LTE network launch days. Pre-orders for the JioPhone will begin from August 24.
The JioPhone comes with a number of apps pre-installed apart from Jio’s own apps. These include a web browser, Facebook, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat app.
JioPhone Tariff Plans
JioPhone tariff plans start from Rs.153 per month. This includes unlimited free phone calls and text messages. It also comes with free access to Jio’s suite of apps. Subscribers can opt for a Rs.309 per month plan which will enable streaming to a big screen TV using a cable.
The smartphone is targeted at existing feature phone users who lack data connectivity and pay more for voice calls. In a way, the JioPhone will make existing 2G based feature phone useless and more expensive too. A free smartphone running on a 4G LTE network, added with Jio’s regular freebies, is a great deal to beat.
Apart from this, Jio has also announced sachet packs that will be priced at Rs.24 (valid for two days) and Rs.54 (valid for one week). These packs could be great if users want to try out the network before making a payment of Rs.153 per month.
At the launch event, Jio announced that the JioPhone is a ‘revolutionary’ and an ultra modern device. JioPhone will be capable of running apps as well as accepting voice based commands. The demo at the launch event seemed too perfect to be true, but we can’t be certain about it until we actually try out the phone ourselves.
JioPhone will also support NFC based payments by the end of this year. This means consumers will be able to make payments using their JioPhone at retail partner stores. The smartphone comes with an SD card slot for adding additional memory. It has a headphone jack and a built-in FM radio.
How To Buy JioPhone?
We’ve written a quick guide on how you can buy a JioPhone online or offline from August 24. Take a look here.