The long-rumoured Rs. 500 Jio feature phone is in the news once again, as images, specifications, and new features have leaked online. The handset is expected to go official on July 21, when the Reliance Industries Annual General Meeting will be held. With a 4G VoLTE-enabled Jio feature phone, Reliance Jio would be able to tap the feature phone market, which has been out of its reach because of the lack of low-end handsets supporting the 4G VoLTE network in India. Among the notable features of the handset are the custom OS, and support for Internet tethering.
Jio feature phone specifications, features
According to a report by TechPP, the Jio feature phone will be sold under the Lyf brand; the company already sells smartphones under the Lyf name. As rumoured previously, the feature phone is said to have a 2.4-inch colour display, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage, up to 128GB microSD card support, dual SIM functionality (Nano SIM + Standard SIM), 2-megapixel rear camera, and VGA front camera. There’s also a 2000mAh battery, FM radio, Bluetooth 4.1 + LE, and video calling.
On the software side, the Jio feature phone is said to come with ‘KAI OS’, a customised version of the HTML5-based Firefox OS. It will reportedly have an app store named ‘KaiOS Plus’. It will also have an integrated voice assistant with support for Indian languages. In addition, a report by Telecom Talkclaims there will be provision for Wi-Fi tethering too, meaning a user will be able to connect multiple devices using the handset’s Internet connection; the TechPP report, on the other hand, says the handset will have app-specific USB tethering.
The leaked images only show the phone will have a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, without specifying the make. Previously, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum have been said to be supplying the chipset for the device. The handset is also said to come with access to Jio apps such as Jio TV, MyJio, JioCinema, and JioMusic.
Jio feature phone price
According to an HSBC research note, the Jio feature phone price in India will be Rs. 500, after subsidising the manufacturing cost. The company is said to have placed an order of 18-20 million units for the handsets with Chinese vendors such as Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone. The handset is expected to be unveiled on July 21, but hit the market in August.
The upcoming Jio feature phone will be targeting the feature phone market, which has remained out of the company’s reach due to the prohibitory costs of smartphones. It will help the Mukesh Ambani-backed company increase its user base, whose growth was the slowest in April since it launched operation. This happened as the services went paid, even though the services remain extremely affordable due to the Jio Summer Surprise and Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offers. More recently, the company revised its plans to provide more data and more validity at the same price, and launched a new plan that provides the Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Offer benefits for another 84 days at Rs. 399.