Reliance and Google showcase the JioPhone Next for India

Reliance JioPhone Next
(Image credit: Reliance)

Reliance just concluded its Annual General Meeting for 2021 with a barrage of announcements and success stories. While there were no major developments around 5G or the affordable JioBook laptop, we did get our first glimpse at the smartphone being developed with Google for India — the JioPhone Next 4G.

When Jio was started in 2016, it had the vision to bridge the digital divide of India. After democratizing 4G LTE connectivity, it announced a foray into the smartphone market in partnership with Google. Today we got our first glimpse at the device jointly developed by the two tech giants.

What the JioPhone Next will look like (Image credit: Reliance)

The JioPhone Next will be an entry-level smartphone that will let millions of users experience the internet for the first time.

Google’s Sundar Pichai revealed that the JioPhone Next will run an “extremely optimized version of Android” to make the best use of the specifications at hand. Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani said that it will be one of the most affordable smartphones available in India and globally, suggesting an eventual possibility of exports.

No hardware details were specified, but a closer look at the device confirms that it will have a single camera on the front and back. There’s a loudspeaker grille on the back amid a polycarbonate body and a tall display on the other side.

Google has played a key role in the software development of the JioPhone Next. It will come loaded with features that make browsing and access to information easier for the masses. New features include regional language support in the voice assistant, a ‘Listen’ button on the screen to read out the contents aloud, auto-translation and more. 

The camera will offer features such as HDR, night mode and a unique Snapchat filter integration which is a first on the native camera app of a phone. Similar to the Google Pixel family, even the JioPhone Next will get new features and drops regularly, along with the usual Android releases and security updates.

The JioPhone Next will be available in India starting September 10, which coincides with the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Other pricing and specification details will be revealed later.


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Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.