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Reliance JioPhone Hands On

Here's our hands-on of the Reliance JioPhone, the latest 4G connected feature phone, meant to boost connectivity among the masses.

Staff   |    Published: March 19, 2018 8:25 AM IST

While the iPhones and Pixels will always come along and attract the attention of the trendy smartphone crowd, the masses may not care much for them beyond a faint interest in the technology itself. For the majority, value matters more than flashy technology when it comes to actual buying decisions. And for people with not much disposable income, saving every rupee matters. That’s where devices such as the JioPhone come in.

We’ve all probably heard about the JioPhone. Much if its fame comes from the first three letters in its name; it’s a feature phone meant to take advantage of Jio’s affordable telecom plans and connectivity. While technically the JioPhone will cost you nothing, there is a Rs 1,500 security deposit that is refundable after three years, which can effectively be considered the price of the phone. The benefits of this phone are revolutionary for the price and considering the kind of device the JioPhone is. We’ve reviewed the JioPhone, and here’s what we think about it.

Make no mistake; the JioPhone is a feature phone. However, it’s no ordinary feature phone. While typical feature phones come with limited connectivity and not much to talk about beyond the basic ‘features’ that they possess, the JioPhone tries to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a feature phone with connectivity. However, when it comes to design and build, it’s as simple and straightforward as it gets.

There’s no touch screen, and you get a physical keypad for controls and inputs. It’s all very reminiscent of the old days, where phones were more about calling and SMS than about the ability to connect to the internet. You’ll also notice that the device has been designed to appeal to the sensibilities of small-town India. Features such as a camera and a torch have been built into the device, and are easy to access as well. Long pressing the up button turns on the torch, while a similar long-press of the middle button brings up voice control to quickly place calls or send SMS.

Other quick controls on the keypad give you access to JioPay and Jio services, while the regular buttons below are used to input numbers and text where needed, as well as place or disconnect calls. The red button also controls the phone’s power, while the green button lets you access Jio’s video call facility. The bottom of the phone has the 3.5mm and AV jack, while the right has the micro-USB port for charging. The speaker is at the back along with the rear camera, while the front camera is right above the screen.

For more, watch our hands-on video of the JioPhone!