JioPhone Next has now gone on sale in India after a long wait. The new 4G phone developed in collaboration between Jio and Google is claimed to be the most affordable smartphone thanks to its initial cost of Rs. 1999. That’s just the first installment, though: the JioPhone’s Next price in India is set at Rs. 6,499, and the rest is to be paid in monthly installments of up to 24 months. The new phone offers features including a specially designed Pragati operating system (it’s more or less Android Go) and is integrated with a list of localized features.
On this week’s Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital episode, host Akhil Arora speaks with producer Aditya Nath Jha and Senior Reviewer Sheldon Pinto to discuss JioPhone Next.
While the specifications of the JioPhone Next are quite simple and match any cheap smartphone, it has a list of Google-backed features to attract customers. We talk about all these features in detail during our half-hour conversation.
One of Google’s most notable entries on the JioPhone Next is the Pragati operating system, a modified Android 11 (Go edition). The custom OS comes preloaded with Google Assistant to support voice commands for operating the device. It also supports language translation and read-aloud functions to satisfy the first smartphone users in the country. Furthermore, the phone supports ten different languages, including Hindi.
In addition to the basic customizations, the JioPhone Next has a custom camera that integrates Snapchat’s augmented reality (AR) lenses and features to support nighttime and low-light photography. The phone also comes with a Near Share feature that allows users to share content, including apps, photos, and videos, all without the internet.
Jio also claims that with Google’s support on the software side, the JioPhone Next will be able to receive future updates with enhanced customizations and feature upgrades – just like the “Feature Drops” and “Security Updates” on the Google Pixel. Series.
Like some other budget options in its price range, the JioPhone Next has a removable battery pack. This helps to get a new battery if the original one fails. However, Jio has not yet given any details on how much the battery would cost — and whether it would be officially available through retail or service channels.
The JioPhone Next also restricts access to 2G connectivity if a customer chooses a network other than Jio. It’s different from other options available in the same price segment, where you get 4G support no matter your network. Nevertheless, the JioPhone Next does support 4G if you go for Jio’s network. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a 4G phone.
As for the main alternatives to the JioPhone Next, some models include the Realme C11 (2021), Redmi 9A, Itel Vision 1, and Infinix Smart 5A, among others. We talk about some of these models in our conversation. We also discuss how the EMI model could significantly increase the final price of the JioPhone Next.
JioPhone Comes Next With a Device Lock ‘Feature’ To Prevent Defaults
You can catch all this and more by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
If you’re new here, you can find the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts from. Don’t forget to follow it wherever you listen. Also, rate us and could you rate us and leave a review?l episodes come out every Friday, so tune in every week.