JioPhone is a feature handset with smartphone-like capabilities: Know more

After disrupting the telecom market with ultra-affordable tariff plans, Reliance Jio Infocomm on July 21 unveiled a feature phone with smartphone-like capabilities, effectively priced free. The analysts believe that the JioPhone would bring another wave of disruption but this time it will impact both, telecom incumbents and feature phone manufacturers. 

With the launch of first feature phone with 4G long-term evolution (LTE) ready capabilities, Reliance Jio aims to bring 500 million feature phone users of the country to its network, which is driven by data and is the only 4G only network in the country. 

While the JioPhone performs all the basic tasks of a feature phone – voice calls and SMS, Reliance Jio has integrated smartphone-like capabilities such as Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) for voice call, Jio apps for videos and music, and Jio chat for instant messaging etc. that becomes the key differentiating factor of the Jio Phone. 

Let's take a look at the smartphone-like features of Jio Phone: 

High definition voice calls 

The Jio Phone is a first LTE-ready feature phone that comes with unlimited calling bundled with all the tariff plans. The phone uses VoLTE feature – voice calls using data packets – that allows high definition voice calls. The high definition voice call feature is still not available in all the smartphones and feature phones usually stick to 2G network for voice calls. Therefore, the feature is a first for any feature phone. 

Voice commands 

The Jio Phone can be operated using voice commands. The voice command feature is not limited to calling and messages but the Jio apps can also be operated using the app – music playback and video playback.  

Instant Messaging 

While the Jio Phone currently does not support any native instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Hike, Skype etc., the Jio app suite comes with Jio Chat app that works as an instant messenger and therefore becomes the easy substitute of other services. 

Videos and Music 

The Jio Phone comes equipped with Jio apps suite with video and music app being a part of it. The phone is capable of running online videos and music and it is another major addition to a feature phone with smartphone-like capabilities 

Screen Mirroring 

With Jio Phone, Mukesh Ambani also announced a niche product dubbed as TV-Cable that allows Jio Phone users to watch video content on their televisions. According to the company's claim, the cable can be connected with any television – CRT, LCD or smart television – and allows user to enjoy online videos running on phone mirrored through television screen. However, to avail the services, user needs to recharge by Rs 309 Dhan Dhana Dhan plan. 

Near Field Communication (NFC) 

The Jio Phone in future will support digital payments using NFC technology. With NFC technology, users can make digital transaction through their Jan Dhan account, bank accounts and Jio money app. 

Other specification 

The Jio Phone features alphanumeric keypad and four-way navigation key for easy operability. The feature phone sports 2.4-inch QVGA screen, torch light, FM Radio, microSD card slot and camera. The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor. For security purpose, the Jio phone comes with a distress call feature that gets activated by long-pressing numeric key 5. The long-press activates the distress message and send it to selected contacts. 

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