JioPhone Next in India
Reliance Jio first entered the feature phone market a few years ago, and now it has finally entered the smartphone market. JioPhone Next follows the huge success of JioPhone, a blockbuster that has sold over 110 million units. For the first time, millions of Indians have access to the internet thanks to the feature-rich but basic device. Now comes the JioPhone Next, a low-cost smartphone with features that are unheard of in this price range. Before you start shaking your head, assuming that it won’t have any Google apps, you should pull up a chair for this one. With a few eye-catching features, this smartphone is gaining popularity primarily because of its “affordable” asking price of Rs 6,499.
JioPhone Next Prices in India, Variants, Availability
The JioPhone Next is available for Rs 1,999 (down payment) plus 18 or 24 months of Easy EMI on the Reliance Digital website. It can also be purchased for Rs 6,499 as a one-time payment. JioPhone Next comes in a blue colour option and a matte back option.
Planning to upgrade? Sell Your Old Phone in 60 Seconds From Home
JioPhone Next Box Contents
Reliance has kept things pretty simple here. You get the JioPhone Next along with the following items in the box:
- 5W charging adapter
- Micro USB charging cable
- Warranty card and user guide
JioPhone Next Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the device, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 5.45 inches IPS LCD
- Chipset: Snapdragon 215
- RAM & ROM: 2GB RAM, 32GB Storage
- Software: Pragati OS
- Rear camera: 13 MP
- Selfie camera: 8 MP
- Battery: 3500 mAh
JioPhone Next Design and Build
Jio opts for a standard design for the JioPhone Next, with bezels at the top and bottom instead of the notched look. The backside features a matte surface that prevents fingerprints and has a beautiful dotted texture. It brings to mind the first-generation smartphones, which were light, rough, and long-lasting (only from the back). The fingerprint-resistant back panel is made of plastic. At the bottom, it features a matter coating, a Jio logo, and a speaker grille. The blue colour is appealing. Furthermore, the compact form size makes single-handed operation easy.
The phone is very light and comfortable to hold. There’s also a touch of nostalgia. You will find an opening on the right side, at the bottom, that will allow you to remove the back cover and access the battery. The battery is easily removable, which is a rare feature in today’s Android phones.
When you remove the back cover of JioPhone Next, you’ll see two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot that allows up to 512GB of storage expansion. The loudspeaker is located on the bottom, along with the micro USB port, a microphone (making it a dual-mic phone with MEMS), while the 3.5 mm audio jack is located on the top. The power and volume controls are on the right side.
The smartphone isn’t limited to Jio SIM cards, which is a positive thing; you can use other SIM cards as well, but you won’t be able to use mobile data from them; you’ll have to stick with Jio’s data. This can be a bummer if you have a SIM card other than Jio and are using data.
JioPhone Next Display
We haven’t seen a phone without a waterdrop notch in a long time. Jio appears to have chosen a simple design with no frills or notch. The JioPhone Next boasts a larger 5.45-inch screen on the front. I was worried about how the videos and photos would look because of the handset’s 720 x 1440p resolution, but I really shouldn’t have bothered: the colours are vibrant and the panel is bright. A huge screen allows you to enjoy content in new ways that you wouldn’t be able to do on a feature phone’s little screen. The display is large enough for daily use and content streaming. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 shields it. Anyone upgrading from a feature phone would love the display’s size and quality. On the screen, the visuals appear to be alright. However, it should have been brighter. The phone’s current brightness levels make it tough to use outdoors. In a nutshell, the JioPhone Next is designed to seem like a feature phone with a big screen.
JioPhone Next Performance
It’s the performance that’ll make you want to ask for more. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 processor and 2GB of RAM may not be enough to provide a smooth user experience. The phone’s performance will be comparable to entry-level Android smartphones, and while it’s a quad-core SoC, its power will be comparable to the Snapdragon 425 SoC. In this price range, it competes with Xiaomi’s Redmi 9a and realme C11 2021.
In our initial testing, we didn’t notice any significant performance lags in the interface, but you can’t expect it to work smoothly if your device usage is mainstream; a phone with 2 GB RAM and an entry-level chipset will perform as expected. To begin with, this phone performs as expected, and the Pragati OS on the phone appears to be light in weight. Multitasking is clearly not JioPhone Next’s strong point, and it’s certainly not a gaming device.
When using the JioPhone Next on a daily basis, it’s easy to overlook that it’s a budget smartphone until you lock it and have to unlock it again. In more expensive phones, the lack of a fingerprint sensor may appear to be a major flaw, but not in the JioPhone Next.
JioPhone Next Software
JioPhone Next is an entry-level smartphone with a customised Android Pragati operating system designed exclusively for the Indian market. The Pragati OS is designed to provide users in India with a simple and enjoyable experience. This OS was developed in collaboration between Google and Jio. The software specifications include Android 11 Go out-of-the-box layered with Jio’s Pragati OS, Android security update on September 5, 2021, and Google Play system update on June 1, 2021.
The UI is clutter-free, and the good news is that Jio hasn’t gone crazy with customizations, which is a problem with many Android forks. There are a lot of apps that come pre-installed (much of which cannot be uninstalled). These include Jio’s vast range of apps, such as JioCinema, JioGames, JioMart, JioMeet, JioSaavn, JioTV, and MyJio, in addition to the standard Google apps. The Meta family of apps, like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are also installed. Many of the pre-burned apps, such as Assistant, Gallery, JioCinema, Facebook, and JioTV, are actually lighter versions tailored for Android Go devices. The JioPhone Next is well equipped to welcome millions of unconnected Indians to the Indian internet universe, thanks to simple and easy-to-use apps like Google Assistant Go and compatibility for several Indian languages.
JioPhone Next Cameras
When it comes to the cameras in JioPhone Next, it has a single 13 MP camera on the back and an 8 MP selfie camera on the front. Portrait mode, night mode, HDR, and preloaded custom India-augmented reality effects are all available on the rear camera. Because the camera app includes Snapchat integration, it connects to the internet to give you trendy selfie filters.
Also Read: Most Annoying Problems with Xiaomi Smartphones
Based on my limited time with the device, the JioPhone’s back and front cameras appear to be average, but the good news is that the company tried to improve them by introducing a dedicated night mode, and operating the camera is pretty simple too. There’s also Google Lens, an AI-powered tool that allows you to point your smartphone at an object, such as a bird, and then ask Google Assistant what that object is. It’s a useful feature to have on your phone.
To be honest, I was taken aback by the camera’s performance. I wasn’t expecting the JioPhone Next to capture such good photographs compared to its price point. Yes, you may blame me for underestimating the Google partnership’s influence. Both the rear and front cameras provide good shots in direct sunlight. Even with edge detection turned off, the portrait shots are sharp. In lowlight, the photos may lack sharpness, but the JioPhone Next performs admirably for the price.
JioPhone Next Battery
The JioPhone Next comes with a 3,500 mAh battery that can be charged using a micro USB cable. When compared to its Chinese competitors, Xiaomi’s Redmi 9a and Realme C11 2021, the JioPhone Next has a smaller battery, but the good news is that you can remove and replace the battery yourself if needed, which isn’t something you see on many smartphones these days. On a light spec smartphone, a 3,500 mAh battery should suffice; we didn’t find the phone to be low on juice.
The JioPhone Next has a standard charging input of 5V and 1.5A, which equates to 7.5 Watts of charging power. Charging the device with this charger would take you around 2 hours.
JioPhone Next Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
To begin with, you will not be able to access the internet through any other network provider than Jio. To access the internet on JioPhone Next, you must have a Jio SIM card. This can be a major drawback for some. For speedy connectivity, there’s 4G, as well as dual-SIM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth v4.1.
The back’s single speaker is loud enough for regular use. There’s a 3.5mm jack slot on it. However, there are no earphones included in the box (a little too much to expect from a budget phone).
The phone lacks a fingerprint scanner, which is to be expected at this pricing point. As a result, you’ll have to unlock your phone with an old-school pin or pattern password.
JioPhone Next Pros & Cons
- Android 11 Go Edition
- Regional Language support
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Affordable Price
- The camera Quality is much better than expected
- Average Display
- Underwhelming performance
- Average battery
- Internet Only Works with Jio SIM
JioPhone Next provides great overall performance at an affordable price. It’s clearly aimed at the millions of people who still use feature phones but want to upgrade to a smartphone. Only Rs 1,999 is required upfront, with the remainder based on the plan selected. Altogether, the JioPhone Next offers a lot more value for the money you’ll be paying. The JioPhone Next is in a class by itself, with no obvious competitors that can match its feature and price combination.