Even though the commercial launch of Reliance Jio 4G service remains in a limbo, the company has been rolling out Jio Preview offers where users can test drive the network and its range of content services. The offer is available on buying a LYF-branded smartphone; on select Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy A-series,; and now also to HP laptop users with JioFi 2 MiFi portable hotspot device. Reliance Jio is offering free 4G VoLTE enabled SIM card along with unlimited data, HD voice calls and access to its apps for 90 days. I purchased the JioFi 2 MiFi hotspot under the HP Preview Offer, and here are my first impressions. Also Read - JioPhone Next specifications revealed ahead of November launch: Check price, full specs, more
What is JioFi 2 and how to get it?Also Read - Best postpaid plans under Rs 600 from Reliance, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea: Unlimited calls, OTT subscription, more
Well, JioFi 2 is a wireless router, also referred to as a MiFi device. You can use it as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot to share the internet with Wi-Fi enabled devices. Priced at Rs 2,899, the JioFi 2 device is only available to users who had enrolled under HP Preview Offer. However, as per the Reliance Digital Xpress Mini store staff, the JioFi 2 is likely to become available for everyone starting today. Also Read - Reliance Jio vs Vi vs Airtel: Best 4GB daily data prepaid plans under Rs 600
JioFi 2 design and build
The JioFi 2 is a small and compact device with pebble like design. It is slightly heavy and thick compared to some MiFi devices from Airtel and Vodafone. The top surface has a plastic casing with glossy finish, Jio branding and a power button under it. Be careful, the surface is easily prone to scratches. In just half a day, I ve successfully managed to get a couple of scratches while the device was kept in my pocket.
There are five LED indicators on the JioFi 2 — four on the top to indicate network connectivity, mobile data, Wi-Fi connectivity and WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). The power button has a blinking LED indicator and there is a battery indicator (with three bars) besides it.
The sides have a smooth curved finish and the body is made from polycarbonate plastic. On the left edge, you have the WPS button to connect your smartphone, tablet or PC with the MiFi device without having to enter the password. The right edge has the microUSB port for charging the battery.
Open the back cover and you ll find the removable battery, model number of the device, the IMEI, serial number, default SSID (Wi-Fi network name) and password among other details. There are two slots one for a microSD card (up to 32GB) and the other for SIM card. In the box, you get the JioFi 2, charger plug and microUSB data cable.
JioFi 2 features
The JioFi 2 comes with a host of features that you re not likely to find on other MiFi devices offered by the competition. You can create a Wi-Fi hotspot and share the internet connection with up to 31 users, where other MiFi devices only let you connect up to 10 devices at a time. How much it will impact on the speed and battery that remains to be seen when I thoroughly review the device. In terms of Wi-Fi, it only supports 802.11b/g/n standards. Also, while other MiFi devices offer peak speeds of up to 21Mbps, in a couple of tests, I was able to get around 27Mbps in my neighborhood.
The JioFi 2 comes with a 2,300mAh removable battery which Jio claims to offer up to eight hours of continuous use. I ll get to know the exact battery life when I start using it full-fledged over the next few days. There is also a Wi-Fi disk feature, where you can download content on the microSD card and share it with other users on the same network.
Lastly, you also get Jio HD voice calling feature where you need to download the JioJoin app on your smartphone and make free HD voice calls for a period of 90 days via Wi-Fi. I tried placing calls, but the voice calling feature wasn t activated while filing this feature.
Using the JioFi 2, I could also access Jio suite of apps such as JioOnDemand to watch movies, JioPlay to watch live TV and other apps such as JioBeats, JioMags etc. I played Bajirao Mastani for 15 minutes to see how JioOnDemand works, and the movie played in high-quality and without any sort of buffering.
JioFi 2 settings and connection
Connecting to JioFi 2 Wi-Fi hotspot is simple. The SSID (or Wi-Fi network name) and password is mentioned underneath the battery, where the SIM and microSD card slots are. However, if you want a customized Wi-Fi name and password of your choice, first connect to the Wi-Fi network and on your web browser head over to jiofi.local.html.
Both, the default user ID and password is administrator for accessing the configuration settings. It will open the interface as above, letting you change password, block users from accessing the network and more.
JioFi 2 performance
It s been barely four hours since I started using the JioFi 2, and so far, I did not face any issues connecting two of my smartphones, one laptop and an iPad mini. The speeds have also been steady, and I ve almost downloaded 80 percent of a 20GB game on Steam in about three-and-a-half hours. So far, the battery has gone from 100 percent to 18 percent but that is not bad considering it downloaded 16GB of data in all this time, while connected to four devices in total.
With a price tag of Rs 2,899 and goodies such as unlimited high-speed internet, HD voice calls and access to Jio suite of apps for 90 days, you can t possibly go wrong with the JioFi 2. I ll be intensively testing the Jio network and the JioFi 2 over the next few days to review it. Till then, stay tuned.