Reliance Jio’s JioPhone feature phone with 4G VoLTE is effctively free, but it comes with a catch

The Indian gadgets market is saturated with smartphones that have 4G LTE, so OEMs in India have resorted to making feature phones with 4G LTE, and in some cases with VoLTE. Reliance Jio has joined the train, launching the JioPhone, its first feature phone with 4G VoLTE.

The phone was launched towards the end of July as part of the ‘Made in India’ initiative which encourages OEMs to make smart phones with features that enhance productivity and ease smartphone usage for Indians, but the full specifications of the phone just came out. Here’s why you should get the Reliance Jio JioPhone if you’re in India.

JioPhone Specifications, Review and Highlights

JioPhone

Design & Display

Typical of feature phones, the JioPhone comes with a 2.4-inch display which has a QVGA (320 * 240) pixel resolution. It has the basic design that’s common to all feature phones, and uses an alphanumeric keypad with a 4-way navigation key.

Storage & Processor

Some units of the JioPhone are powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Spreadtrum SP9820A processor and Mali 400 GPU combination, while others are powered by a 1.1GHz dual-core Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform processor and Adreno 304 GPU.

The phone comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 128GB via its dedicated microSD card slot.

Camera

Formerly, feature phones weren’t known to have front cameras and the rear camera was included so that users can save pictorial representations of the world around them on their phones for future viewing. Nowadays, even feature phones can take selfies.

The Reliance Jio JioPhone sports a 2MP camera at the rear and a 0.3MP (VGA) selfie camera at the front.

Battery & Connectivity

The JioPhone packs a 2000mAh battery, a little lower than what most budget smartphones have today. The battery offers up to 12 hours of talk time and can last up to 15 days on standby.

The feature phone is compatible with Wireless FM Radio frequencies and offers numerous connectivity options like Bluetooh 4.1 LE, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. It also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack through which you can stream audio from the phone directly to your ears.

Software & Hardware features

The JioPhone comes with numerous software functions and hardware functions. There is a torchlight on top of the phone, and its package comes with a JioMediaCable that allows you to connect the JioPhone with any Television set and transform it to and sort of transform it to an Android TV.

JioMediaCable

On the software side, the JioPhone runs on the KAI OS out of the box (were you expecting it to run Android? :/ ). It supports tap-and-pay payments via UPI and would later support credit and debit cards via NFC (the functionality will be added via a software update).

The phone comes preloaded with many useful apps like MyJio, JioYV, JioCinema, JioChat, JioMusic and JioXpressNews. It also supports 22 major Indian languages and can be controlled to make a call, reject a call, browse the internet, open certain apps and more via voice commands.

Long-pressing the number 5 at any time on the phone’s keypad dials an emergency number and sends your location and GPS data to an emergency contact which can be preset by you.

Reliance Jio JioPhone Full Phone Specifications

General

Device Brand Reliance Jio
Model JioPhone
Announced July 21, 2017
Released August 24, 2017
Status Available

Network

2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
4G Network LTE with VoLTE
SIM Type Micro SIM
SIM Count Single SIM

Data

2G GPRS Up to 32 to 48 kbps; EDGE – up to 236.8 kbps
3G Up to 42.2 Mbps (HSDPA), 5.76 Mbps;(HSUPA)
4G Up to 300/50 Mbps
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps
Web Browser Yes, HTML5

Design

Type Feature Phone
Dimensions
Weight
Form factor Bar
Colors Black

Display

Display Type TFT LCD Capacitive touchscreen
Size 2.4 inches
Resolution 320 * 240 pixels (QVGA)
Colors 16M colors
Pixel Density
Touch Screen No
Protection n/a
Features n/a
Secondary Display No

Camera

2MP
n/a
Yes
n/a
No
0.3MP (VGA)

Software

KAI OS
n/a
Yes
Skype
Whatsapp Yes
Facebook Yes
Youtube Yes

Hardware

Spreadtrum SP9820A/Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform
CPU Dual-Core 1.2GHz/1.1GHz
GPU Mali 400/Adreno 304
512MB
Internal Storage 4GB
Expandable up to 128 GB (microSD) [dedicated]
Light sensor

Connectivity

Yes, Bluetooth v4.1
Bluetooth Profiles LE
Infrared No
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
Wi-fi Hotspot No
USB Type USB v2.0
USB On-the Go (OTG)
GPS Yes, GPS
NFC Yes
No
No

Battery

Battery Type Li-Ion
Capacity 2000mAh
Placement Removable
Standby 15 days
Talk Time 12 hours

Messaging

SMS Yes (threaded view)
MMS Yes
Email Yes, IMAP4, POP3, SMTP
IM Yes

Media

Yes, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, MIDI, WAV, AC3, FLAC
Yes, 3GP, Mp4, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 player
n/a
Yes, Wireless FM
Vibration, Ringtones
MP3, WAV
Yes
Yes, 3.5mm Jack

Other Features

– MP4/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/Flac player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer

Availability and Price of JioPhone in India

The Reliance Jio JioPhone comes at a price of…actually, the JioPhone is free in India, but you’ll have to give Rs. 1,500 as security deposit which will be given back to you after three years, if you are able to return the phone, that is.

The phone will start shipping to users on a first-come-first-serve basis, but you can currently pre-order the phone.

How to pre-order JioPhone in India

Reliance Jio JioPhone pre-order

The JioPhone can be pre-ordered through any of the following media:

  1. Reliance Jio MyJio app.
  2. Joi.com online website.
  3. Reliance Digital network offline stores.
  4. Jio retailers and Multi-brand device retailers.

The pre-booking proceedings start at 5:30PM tomorrow August 25, and you should book yours early if you hope to get it as soon as it starts shipping in September, because retrieval will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Out of the Rs. 1500 security deposit requied to get the smartphone, Rs. 500 has to be paid when pre-ordering the phone while the remaining Rs. 1000 will be paid when it is finally delivered.

Follow the following steps to pre-book the JioPhone:

  1. Launch the MyJio mobile app and browse to jio.com where the pre-booking is going on.
  2. Click on ‘Pre Book Now’.
  3. Fill in the required details (mobile number and PIN CODE of the location where the phone should be delivered) and click Proceed.
  4. Select your desired payment option and pay the pre-booking fee of Rs. 500.
  5. Wait for a confirmation SMS of successfull pre-booking of the JioPhone with your transaction ID and voucher details.

Reliance Jio JioPhone pre-order confirmation

Note: You can know the status of the voucher by dialing 18008908900 with the mobile number you used to register.

If you’re using other media of pre-ordering, make sure you go with your Rs. 500 pre-booking fee.

Reliance Jio offers for JioPhone

The JioPhone also comes with mouth-watering offers from the tele-communication arm of Reliance Jio. These include:

  • Jio Dhan Dhan Dhan 309 pack: allows you to watch around 3-4 hours of videos of your choice daily on a large screen. Suitable when connecting your JioPhone to a TV using the JioMediaCable.
  • Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan plan: costs Rs. 153 per month and offers unlimited  voice and data.
  • Rs. 54 weekly and Rs. 24 two-day sachet packs.

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