Jio Phone bookings are on top of everyone’s mind now that we have entered August, with the phone going on beta trails mid-month. However, the Jio Phone
beta trials will only be available for a small section of the public, and most people interested in the handset will be left out in the cold. The device will launch for the public in September, and even then you will be able to get your hands on it only after pre-booking the device. The Jio Phone booking process will start from August 24, both online and offline. The company did something similar last year, when it started beta trials for the Jio telecom network a few months ahead of its September public rollout.
Jio Phone booking online and offline
For Jio Phone bookings online, you can check the MyJio app on August 24. Till then, you can sign up for updates on the Jio.com website, clicking on Subscribe, and filling the required details. If you do not have access to the MyJio app, you can opt for the offline Jio Phone booking process by heading to an offline Jio retailer on August 24. Remember though, the handset will be delivered to you in September, even if you pre-ordered it on the first day bookings open. The company says it will deliver the 4G feature phone on first come, first serve basis, and that it aims to deliver 5 million units each week. More details are expected to come as the release date draws near.
Jio Phone price
Jio Phone is free, according to Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. Nevertheless, it requires the user to make an upfront payment of Rs. 1,500, which is refundable after three years. Regarding the Rs. 1,500 security deposit, he had said at the AGM, “The security deposit is necessary to avoid any potential misuse of data.”
Jio Phone specifications, features
To recap on the Jio Phone, the entry-level phone will come with unlimited voice, data, and texts. Customers will have to recharge with a Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan monthly pack of Rs. 153, which will give them free voice, texts, unlimited data (high-speed data capped at 500MB per day), and free access to Jio apps for 28 days. At the 40th AGM, Ambani also announced an accessory “Jio Phone TV-Cable” that will allow users to connect their phones with any kind of television sets. For connecting phone to TV, users will have to recharge with Rs. 309 per month pack for large screen.
Talking about Jio Phone features, the device comes with an alphanumeric keypad, 2.4-inch display with QVGA display, microSD card slot, torchlight, FM radio. It will be a single SIM handset that works only on 4G VoLTE networks. The phone supports voice commands and 22 Indian languages, and has a panic button as well. A short demo of the voice command feature on Jio Phone was showcased during the keynote presentation where the device was able to play music via Jio Music. Additionally, the handset will also come with a panic button that is enabled when long-pressing the number 5. Moreover, the Jio phone will come with advanced NFC support for digital payments that will be rolled out to users via OTA software upgrade. Qualcomm and Spreadtrum have confirmed their chips power the new feature phone.
The phone does not have WhatsApp support at the moment, though we did catch glimpse of a web browser, Facebook, and PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat broadcast during the unveiling at the Reliance AGM.
According to analysts, Reliance Jio aims to reach another 100 million users with its new feature phone; this will be in addition to the 125 million users that already use the Jio telecom network. Moreover, the 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone will completely change the low-end phone segment and bring about a new era of innovation in this segment. On the other hand, industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has termed the Rs. 0 pricing a clever marketing move by the company and attempt to save government levies like licence fee.
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