Pre-bookings of the JioPhone has crossed the three million mark, almost touched four million on day one of going on pre-order. Consumers interested in booking the phone could do so at Rs 500 a piece using the Jio app on their smartphone or online. Consumers booking the 4G phone online and on the app experienced glitches. We at digit tried to book the phone online and through the app but were unsuccessful. Reliance has said that it plans to maintain a supply of 5 million JioPhones every week. Consumers could pre-book the JioPhone for Rs 500 and pay the balance Rs 1500 when the receive the phone. The phone will go on sale in September. The JioPhone is effectively free as users can get a refund of their Rs 1500 after three years by returning the phone.
With its 4G feature phone, Jio aim is to target the 500 million feature phone users in the country. Jio has over 123 million subscribers but its user acquisition has stalled in the past few months. The company needs to convert feature phone users into 4G subscribers in order to tap into next set of users. In terms of features, JioPhone sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display and includes a voice assistant that can be used to navigate the device or initiate voice calls and send text messages. There is a 4-way navigation key and the handset offers an alphanumeric keypad. It includes a 2MP rear and 0.3MP front camera and there is 4GB of internal storage expandable via SD card slot. The feature phone uses either Spreadtrum 9820A or Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 mobile chipsets. It has 512MB RAM and runs a custom operating system called KAI OS. On the connectivity front, JioPhone offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and near-field communication, and Jio plans to enable digital payments with a future update.
At the launch event the JioPhone was shown to have quite the accurate response with the voice feature. But then again, that was the unveiling demo, so we will wait for the final unit to tell you how it fairs. Dor those interested, no the JioPhone does not have an IR blaster. One of the most interesting feature of the JioPhone is the ability to consume video content on from the phone on your TV. You can do this by purchasing an additional cable that will connect your smartphone to the TV.