A well-planned move by Reliance Jio
Today at the Reliance AGM, the Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced the new Jio 4G feature phone with VoLTE support which is nicknamed as “India ka Smartphone” for an effective price of ₹ 0. Now if you may ask, why is it termed as effective price or rather what is the Catch in this. To get this phone you have to pay a “Fully refundable” deposit amount of ₹ 1500 up front. This amount will be refunded only after 3 years by giving back the Jio phone. We do not think that it is a bad deal as the phone features are surprisingly good just like the plans with which it comes. This brilliant move by the company opens up the gate for those users who did not switch to Reliance Jio or who did not take a new connection as they did not have a phone which supports VoLTE. The VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is not a common feature among the basic phones which we get to buy. (until Reliance launched Jio in September 2016).
Availability and plans for Jio phone
The phone will be only available to beta testers from August 15th on the Indian Independence Day and those who want to pre book, the window will be open from August 24th onwards. Those who pre-book the phone will be able to buy the phone from September onwards. The phone does come with a couple of plans as well, for ₹ 153/month, the users will get free voice calls, SMS and unlimited data @4G speed. The second plan for ₹ 309 / month offers all the facilities of the previous plan plus the support to mirroring the phone screen to TV, via a cable which is compatible with LED, LCD and CRT TV. This option would help the company to get subscribers from even the remote parts of India who doesn’t have a latest LED TV with HDMI support. They just need a basic TV to enjoy all the facilities the company offers. Apart from these 2 plans, the company also announced 2 sachet packs for ₹ 24 for 2 days and ₹ 54 for a week.
About the Reliance Jio phone
The phone looks pretty decent with a 2.4 Inch non-touch colour display with an OS similar to Android interface. The phone supports NFC for making digital communications for Tap & pay just like Apple Pay & Samsung Pay. This will be enabled only at a later stage after the software upgrade. We are not yet sure of the phone model which is about to be released, however it looks like it is not a Chinese made cheap mobile, instead it will support the “Make In India” initiative.
Demonstration of distress button which sends out an SMS to our near and dears during an emergency.
The future of Reliance Jio Network
Reliance Industries predicts that the Jio network is expanding at a great pace and in the next 12 months India’s 4G coverage will overtake the 2G coverage. To achieve this, the company is coming up with this basic 4G VoLTE feature phone when an entry level smartphone costs ₹ 3000 – ₹ 4500. Can we consider this move to be the last nail in the coffin of Airtel, Vodafone & Idea?
How to book your phone?
On August 24th visit the Jio App or Jio Stores to pre book your device by paying ₹ 1500 as it is managed on a first come first serve basis. Check out their website regularly for updates.