The Reliance Jio JioPhone is now available for pre-booking in India. The device is an entry-level feature phone that packs in 4G bands which allows it to do a lot more than just place phone calls.
Jio will be giving out the device for free, where a customer has to basically pay a Rs 1,500 security deposit to prevent abuse of the free handset. Interested buyers can book the phone for a price of Rs 500 only on the first-come-first-serve basis. The rest of the amount, Rs 1000, can be paid at the time of delivery. The JioPhone can be returned after a period of 36 months where the customer can get back the security deposit paid during the booking.
Pre-booking for the JioPhone starts on 24 August at 5.30 pm and since the demand is expected to be high, Jio has allowed for the pre-bookings to be done at both a Reliance Digital store and even via the MyJio application.
So what hardware do you get in feature phone that is available for free on the Jio network?
Starting with the design, the feature phone is made of plastic and will only be available in a black finish. It is compact, and features a rather boxy appearance but is practical nonetheless. There's a handy torchlight at the top and it comes with the usual chocolate bar form factor with a 50 percent split on the front. The top half takes up the display and the bezel surrounding it, while the bottom half has a keyboard with the standard T9 12 button keypad. Above the keypad sits a 4-way navigation stick with a Jio Assistant button in the centre.
A microphone for calls sits just below the keypad while the speaker sits at the back along with the primary camera.
A 3.5 mm headphone jack along with the "all-important" USB 2.0 port sits at the bottom of the device.
Delving deeper, the JioPhone features a 2.4-inch QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) display. Below it sits a 1.2 GHz dual core Spreadtrum 9820A/QC8905 chipset with a Mali-400 GPU clocked at 512 MHz. There 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB via a microSD card slot.
Coming to the cameras. The JioPhone packs in a 2 MP primary camera and a 0.3 MP front-facing camera for video calls. The device can also record video and supports playback of 720p video in MPEG4, h.263 and h.264 formats.
Connectivity options include a 3.5 mm jack for audio, 4G LTE bands, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth v4.1.
As for the software bit, there's KAI OS (Firefox) and the handset will come bundled with pre-loaded Jio apps like MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, JioChat, JioMusic and JioXpressNews.
Other interesting bits about the software include Microsoft Exchange support and contacts import via Gmail.
Then there's the Jio Assistant that will accept voice commands for placing a call, sending an SMS, playing music and more.
The handset supports 22 Indian languages which include, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri , Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Powering all of the above is a 2,000 mAh battery which according to the booking website offers 12 hours of talktime and 15 days of standby time.
What comes in the box?
Well you get the the Jio Media Cable for connecting your JioPhone to a compatible TV set. Then there's the removable battery, charger adaptor, quick service guide, warranty card and the SIM card.
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