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September 5th, 2016 marked the inception of Reliance Jio, the first 'VoLTE Only' network operator in India. With the introduction of Jio, the Indian telecom market took a serious jerk. Jio made it possible for everyone to use the high-speed internet via its 4G network for free for a complete year.
Jio dominated the Indian telecom market and still remains to do so at nominal prices. When everyone thought that Jio had no more tricks left up its sleeves, it introduced the Jio Phone. Jio Phone comes at an effective price of Rs. 0. This means that users will have to spend Rs. 1,500 for the device although they can get the amount refunded within two years.
Also, with the Jio Phone users will have to pay less for an unlimited voice and data plan. A monthly charge of Rs. 159 is all that you need to pay for unlimited internet and calling.
So let's go ahead and find out how the device actually feels in hands and if it really is the "India Ka Smartphone" which Reliance so fondly boasts about.
The Jio Phone comes with a 2.4 inch VGA display. It has an alphanumeric keypad and a 2000 mAh battery. The device offers 4G VoLTE mobile network. It has a micro USB 2.0 port.
The Jio Phone has 512 MB of RAM and has an inbuilt storage of 4GB. The device also supports memory expansion via microSD card. Jio Phone runs Kai Operating system and has a very basic UI.
The Jio Phone looks no different from basic handsets that were once quite prevalent in India and were popular for having a solid built. The front panel of the mobile phone boasts a VGA display accompanied by an alphanumeric keypad.
The micro USB port along with 3.5 mm audio jack rests at the bottom of the device. While the top edge houses a small light that serves as a torch. The keypad of the phone has several shortcut keys for accessing music, emergency contact, torch etc. Also, the keypad has soft keys.
The speakers are placed on the rear panel and LYF branding is engraved right below the speakers.
The mobile phone is compact and very handy to use. Although the width of the device is more than almost every mobile phone available in the market, its overall size is very small and compact.
Features, OS and UI
The Jio Phone is not a smartphone. It does not support multitasking or allows users an access to several games or content exclusively available on smartphones. However, it is the closest thing to a smartphone.
Here is all that you can do on the Jio Phone. Users can browse the internet on the dedicated browser available on the device. Users have an access to movies and popular TV show via the Jio Cinema and Jio TV app pre-installed on the phone. Users also get an access to thousands of songs through the Jio Music app.
It offers an option to make and receive video calls and users can always use the phone as an internet hotspot via USB tethering.
Connectivity options on the mobile phone include GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi and 4G VoLTE. Considering the fact that LYF managed to offer so many connectivity options on such a basic phone really makes one wonder if the device is actually a smartphone or not.
As if these features were not enough to qualify this device as a smartphone, LYF has also incorporated the voice search option on the phone. It enables users to open selective apps while it is also capable of dialing Phone numbers of contacts saved on the phone through voice command.
The Jio Phone also houses a VGA front camera and basic 2-megapixel camera rear snapper.
The voice command feature is really impressive. It recognizes the voices well enough.
Since Reliance Jio wants its mobile phone to be a phenomenon throughout the country, it has offered support for 22 Indian languages on it.
The Kai OS operates smoothly backed up by 512 MB of RAM that ensures a glitch-free performance of the phone. The UI of the OS is pretty basic and is well planned. It gives users an access to all the content they wish to get their hands on and while doing so users need not worry about complex settings or controls.
Battery and charging
The phone has a 2000 mAh battery and Reliance claims that the phone lasts up to 15 days on a single charge. The phone is charged through a micro USB 2.0 port. The phone charges quite fast however we do not have an approximation of time that it may actually take.
We will give you a complete insight on the charging and battery backup of the phone once we review it thoroughly.
So the Jio Phone comes for an effective price of Rs. 0. But this is probably the last thing that compelled me towards this phone. The voice command, high-speed internet access, music movies and videos available online and a compact design with various connectivity options, really impressed me.
To add to all this Reliance will also launch an HDMI cable that one can use to connect the phone to a big display of a TV or a computer.
The phone will certainly sell out in the rural areas and small towns of India without a doubt. The "India Ka Smartphone" truly deserves the colloquial.