JioPhone Next was announced by Mukesh Ambani at Reliance Industries’ 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday. The new Android smartphone has come as a result of the partnership between Reliance Jio and Google that was announced last year and was revealed by both Mukesh Ambani and Google head Sundar Pichai. It offers an optimised Android experience on top of an entry-level hardware to attract the masses.
The JioPhone Next also offers Google Play store access and features including voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, and language translation. Speaking at the Reliance AGM, Ambani said, “India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services… because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for these users. Last year… Sundar and I had talked about Google and Jio co-developing a next-generation, feature-rich, but extremely affordable smartphone.” While many features of the upcoming phone were revealed, and its launch date of Ganesh Chaturthi, September 10, the price of the phone was not announced yet, only that it will be “the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally.”
JioPhone Next price in India, availability details
JioPhone Next price in India is yet to be revealed. However, the phone is slated to be available for purchase from September 10.
JioPhone Next specifications
The JioPhone Next is designed for people looking to upgrade from 2G to 4G connectivity along with an affordable smartphone. The new offering is based on a custom Android operating system that has been specifically designed by Google for Jio. The smartphone comes preloaded with a voice assistant and offers features including automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, and a camera with augmented reality filters. It also comes with support for regular Android updates.
“JioPhone Next is powered by an extremely optimised version of the Android operating system that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google, specially for the Indian market,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries, at the virtual AGM. “This is a testimony to a global technology giant, and a national technology champion, working together to make truly a breakthrough product that can be first introduced in India, and then taken to the rest of the world.”
In July last year, Jio Platforms received an investment of Rs. 33,737 crores from Google. That deal, which was a part of Google’s India Digitisation Fund, included the plan to build the affordable Android phone.
This is notably not the first time when Jio has brought its in-house handset for consumers. The telco back in July 2017 introduced the Jio Phone as its smart feature phone with 4G connectivity. That model received an update in 2018, with the launch of the Jio Phone 2. The upgrade included a QWERTY keyboard and a wider screen over the original phone.
What is the best phone under Rs. 15,000 in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 27:54), we speak to OK Computer creators Neil Pagedar and Pooja Shetty. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.