Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Industries has launched the JioPhone for free during the 40th annual general meet that was held in Mumbai on July 21. The feature phone with smartphone alike features will go on testing beta phase starting August 15 and the preorder will begin starting August 24. The phone will go on sale in September to users who prebook the device. ( The details on how to pre-book with device have yet not been shared by RIL).
Even though the phone is effectively free, there is a catch in the form of one-time security deposit fee of Rs 1,500, which is refundable only after 36-months, that the user need to pay.
In a bid to bring the 50 crore feature phone customers of India on to Reliance Jio network, the company launched the phone with cost-effective tariff plans. Reliance Jio is offering free voice, data, Jio apps and SMS to its users at a monthly recharge of Rs 153. Jio will also offer a weekly Rs 54 plan valid for 7-days and Rs 24 plan valid for 2-days with the purchase of the phone. Both these plans come with free voice, data, apps and SMS.
The phone is the first long-term evolution (LTE) ready device that can play videos too using Reliance Jio apps. The phone is equipped with 22 Indian regional languages and can be operated using voice commands.
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.
For customers who seek to mirror their phone screen on a television, Reliance launched a “TV cable” that allows users to mirror their phone screen on CRT and LCD TVs. The TV cable can be used with Rs 309 Dhan Dhana Dhan offer.
Reliance Jio has also promised to bring near field communication (NFC) ready phone later this year that will allow users to make digital transaction on a single tap from their linked jan dhan account, bank account and Jio Money.