Reliance Jio will open up pre-orders for their much-anticipated disruptor, the JioPhone from today at 5:30 PM. Jio’s feature phone on steroids aims to bring a change for the next billion people, those who haven’t witnessed the power of Internet. At the announcement, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries quoted Clive Humby, UK Mathematician and architect of Tesco’s Clubcard when he said that “data is the new oil”.
Reliance is offering JioPhone for Rs 1,500 which, after three years will get refunded to users in case they want to return the handset to the company. Along with this, users will have to opt for a special data package for JioPhone which will cost them an additional Rs 153 providing them with unlimited data for a period of one month.
Interested users can choose to pre-book JioPhone from 5:30 PM starting today and pay Rs 500 up front. The rest of the amount, that is Rs 1,000 can be paid at the time of delivery. What’s more is that people will be able to pre-book the handset from Jio’s official retail stores and from the MyJio App.
Those looking to pre-order the handset offline will have to visit a Jio Store where Adhaar details of the user will be taken and they will be provided with a token number. Online booking for the JioPhone will begin on jio.com and users will need to log into their Jio Account.
The JioPhone comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display and features a 2-megapixel camera on the back while the front houses a VGA camera. The handset comes with a Dual core Spreadtrum chipset clocked in at 1.2GHz while Mali-400 helps in graphics rendering. This is backed by 512MB of RAM and an onboard storage of 4GB which can be expanded up to 128GB through a microSD card. JioPhone runs a tweaked version of Firefox OS dubbed as KAI OS and features a voice assistant along with support for all of Jio’s apps such as JioMusic, JioTV, JioCinema, JioXpressNews and JioChat.
JioPhone supports a single 4G nano-SIM card and is powered by a 2,000 mAh battery which Jio claims will last 12 hours and 15 days on standby. Besides Jio, even Airtel has plans to launch a 4G enabled smart feature phone.
While 4G has been made affordable and these features phones do have data capabilities, they will be lacking one key ingredient - WhatsApp. Recently, at an event in New Delhi, WhatsApp executives specified that there were no plans to launch a feature phone variant of the app.