After a long wait, Jio finally launched its much anticipated JioPhone Next smartphone which it has brought to the market with an intention to bring onboard 50 million new users who are currently trapped with 2G feature phones. The smartphone was initially scheduled for launch on 10th September but due to the global semiconductor shortage and the rising price of chipsets, the phone will finally be available for purchase on 4th November 2021.
In this article, we get our hands on the JioPhone next and check out the contents in the box and the build quality, along with an overview of some of the features of the phone. The box comes with the JioPhone Next branding and inside we have the handset, the 2 pin charger with a micro USB cable and a quick start guide. The phone has a plastic body but does not feel cheap to hold in the hand, though it does not have a premium feel either.
The phone has a dual nano sim slot, both slots support 4G Volte functionality but the primary sim slot will compulsorily need an active Jio sim to be inserted into it and data connectivity is available only through Jio network. The secondary sim slot will support sims of any operator but will work only for voice services and only so long as there is an active Jio sim in the primary slot.
The phone sports a 13 MP back camera and 8 MP front camera and shoots decent photos in well-lit rooms but the low light performance is not that great. The screen is 5.45″ multi-touch HD+ and has corning gorilla glass 3 with an anti-fingerprint coating, the scrolling is smooth and does not lag despite the low internal config. The processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 quadcore 1.3 GHz while the RAM is 2GB and internal storage is 32 GB expandable, the low RAM works fine for basic functionality like WhatsApp messaging but is not ideal for heavy gaming.
The phone runs a customised version of Android called Pragati OS which has been designed by Google specifically for this phone, to ensure that the operating system runs smoothly despite the low processor and RAM configuration that this device runs. Google voice assistant works well and performs the desired tasks by following voice commands. There is an integrated image to text functionality that reads out text from an image scanned by the back camera.
The 3500 mAH battery supports just 5V/1.5A charging and lasted us an entire day of regular usage. Other connectivity features on the device include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 and a standard 3.1 mm audio jack.
JioPhone Next packs in a decent internal specs configuration for an entry-level smartphone but the upfront price tag of Rs 6499 does not justify it and the Rs 1999 downpayment with 18 and 24 month EMI option doesn’t sweeten the deal either. Someone who can afford this price tag may rather consider going for a base variant of Chinese brands and not be tied to a carrier-locked phone, while those who are truly cash-constrained may consider the Jio itel A23 Pro handset priced under Rs 3899 which will lower the entry-level barrier.