All your JioPhone questions answered in one place

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 24 Aug 2017
All your JioPhone questions answered in one place
HIGHLIGHTS

The wait for the JioPhone is over as the company open up pre-orders for the device today. Here, we answer all your queries regarding the upcoming 4G feature phone. So look no further and start reading…

The JioPhone(₹ 1500 at amazon) has been making quite a buzz in the Indian mobile phone market since its announcement at RIL’s 40th AGM in July. A month of anticipation later, the VoLTE enabled device that promises to convert India’s 500 million feature phone users into 4G adopters, will be made available for pre-bookings starting 5:30PM today.

If you want to know more about the various ways to pre-book the device, this detailed article will explain it all. Here, we will attempt to answer all the frequently asked questions about the JioPhone, including its specs, features, app support, and more. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Which processor does the JioPhone house?

After much speculation, it is now clear that the JioPhone will come in two variants as far as processors are concerned. If you buy a JioPhone, you will either get a unit with a Spreadtrum 9820A processor or a Qualcomm 205 chipset with a 1.2GHz Dual Core CPU.

The Spreadtrum 9820 is a budget 4G capable SoC designed to reduce RAM usage. It combines a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A7 processor and a Mali 400 GPU for 3D graphics acceleration. The chipset supports 720p video display and a resolution of upto 5MP in the camera department. Too bad that the JioPhone houses only a 2MP rear camera, but more on that later.

The Qualcomm 205 is also especially designed to bring 4G connectivity to feature phones, without compromising on battery life. The chipset supports 4G LTE Cat 4 upload speeds and Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 802.11n. The SoC is made keeping battery life in mind and promises “efficiency and extended use-time,” eliminating the need to frequently charge a device.

What is the display size and resolution of the JioPhone?

The JioPhone sports a 2.4-inch display. That is approximately 2 full-sized SD cards put together. It is a QVGA display with a 320p x 240p resolution. Here, it is important to understand that while the native video player on the JioPhone supports 720p video playback thanks to the SoCs powering the device, users will not experience the same while watching videos on the JioPhone. 720p videos will be downscaled because of the lower resolution of the feature phone’s display, but once the device is connected to a 720p TV with the JioMediaCable, users will be able to watch videos in the 720p resolution.

Will the JioPhone support WhatsApp messaging?

A company source tells us that the JioPhone will not support WhatsApp and will only house the JioChat app for instant messaging. When we met up with WhatsApp representatives a few days back, we were told that the company currently has no announcements to make regarding a lighter version of the app, something that would be ideally suited for a feature phone. So, as far as we can tell there will be no WhatsApp on the JioPhone.

Which apps will the JioPhone support?

It may not include WhatsApp, but the JioPhone will offer a plethora of applications. These include, JioMusic, JioCinema, JioTV, JioXpressNews, JioVideo, JioGames, JioChat, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Firefox, Chrome, and more. The default browser on the device can be brought up with a single press of the ‘0’ key and certain apps can be opened, navigated using the voice-based JioAssistant. For emails, the JioPhone will support Microsoft Exchange.

What can the JioAssistant do?

The JioAssistant is a pre-installed voice commands-based helper that will allow JioPhone users to perform tasks such as make calls, open camera, dictate messages, browse the internet, play a song from JioMusic, find a movie on JioCinema, change TV channels on JioTV and more. One would need to press the center of the 4-way navigation key which features the mic icon to bring up the JioAssistant. The JioAssistant will be able to identify voice commands in two languages, English and Hindi, as of now.

Does the JioPhone have an IR blaster?

No, the JioPhone does not house an IR blaster.

What are the other connectivity options on the JioPhone?

The JioPhone has Wif-Fi support and houses Bluetooth 4.1 with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Compared to classic Bluetooth, BLE consumes less power on the device. The phone also has GPS support and USB 2.0 connectivity. The device will also feature a Wi-Fi hotspot and NFC. 

How much storage does the JioPhone have?

The JioPhone has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. The storage is expandable upto 128GB via a micro-SD card slot.

What operating system does the JioPhone run on?

The JioPhone runs on KAI OS. KaiOS is a port of the Firefox OS. The same was recently used on the Alcatel Go Flip VoLTE phone, which has specs similar to the JioPhone. KaiOS will also allow users to create an account, which will enable users to remotely lock or wipe the device in case of loss or theft. We built KaiOS for those who can not afford or do not want to use a smartphone,” Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS writes on the Hong Kong-based company’s website. The OS comes with a store for apps based on HTML5 and is optimised for non-touch phones. The JioPhone will be the first device in India to house the KaiOS.

What is the battery life of the JioPhone?

The JioPhone comes with a 2,000mAh Li-Po battery. Reliance Jio claims that the phone can provide 12 hours of talktime and has a standby time of 15 days. This will of course be tested when we get our hands on the phone.

Does the JioPhone have an FM radio?

Yes, the JioPhone has a built-in FM radio.

What about the cameras on the JioPhone?

Don’t expect much from the JioPhone’s camera. It houses a 2MP primary camera and a 0.3MP front camera. The phone does support video recording and the cameras can be used to make video calls.

What languages does the JioPhone support?

While the JioAssistant only understands Hindi and English, the JioPhone can be customised use 22 different Indian languages including - Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

What will the JioPhone box contain?

The JioPhone box will contain the handset, a removable battery, a charger adaptor, a quick service Guide, a warranty card and the Jio SIM card. There won’t be any earphones accompanying the device.

Does the JioPhone support touch-based digital payments?

The JioPhone cannot be used to make touch-based digital payments as of now, but at its AGM, Reliance had promised that the capability will be added to the NFC-enabled device via a software update in the coming months.

Does the JioPhone have a one-touch emergency button?

Yes, the JioPhone does house a one-touch emergency number. Users can press the number ‘5’ on the JioPhone to trigger a call to pre-fed emergency contacts, or even the police.

How much will the JioPhone cost?

Well, the phone is “effectively free” as Reliance calls it. Customers will be charged Rs 1500 as a refundable security deposit which will be returned after three years on submitting the phone back to Reliance. Monthly charges for the JioPhone will be Rs 153, which will give users free voice calls, unlimited data, free 300 SMS, and access to all Jio apps. Additionally, JioPhone users can also make sachet recharges of Rs 24 for 2 days validity and Rs 54 for a week long validity. With a recharge of Rs 309, JioPhone users will get the same benefits, with the addition of the JioMediaCable.

JioPhone Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Price:
Release Date: 21 Jul 2017
Variant: None
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    2.4" (240 x 320)
  • Camera Camera
    2 | 0.3 MP
  • Memory Memory
    4GB/512MB
  • Battery Battery
    2000 mAh
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