Code Bytes: Three days to go for Jio to begin testing of the new JioPhone. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio will be commercially launching the new 4G feature phone next month. The USP of the device is its price tag and 4G connectivity. The company claims it is effectively free but the user still has to pay a price of Rs 1,500, which can be refunded after three years.

On August 15, the Jio Phone will be out in the market for beta testing. However, the Jio Phone beta trials will be for a limited set of people only, and most of us will have to wait for the public release. The Jio Phone booking date is August 24, and the handset will be delivered starting September on first come, first serve basis. The August 24 Jio Phone registrations will see a lot of rush, so you need to be quick in making the pre-order, whether online or offline. If you are curious about the registration process and all the details related to it, read on.
Currently, other than voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls and basic internet browsing, there is hardly anything that the JioPhone user will be able to do with the fast 4G connection. One of the biggest deprivations would be the lack of basic applications like Facebook and WhatsApp.However, Reliance Jio knows that India’s 200 million subscriber base of WhatsApp can increase manifold if they are able to provide a special WhatsApp application for the phone’s respective operating system.

Jio Phone booking online and offline

For Jio Phone bookings online, you can check the MyJio app on August 24. Till then, you can sign up for updates on the Jio.com website, clicking on Keep Me Posted, and filling the required details. As is the case with Jio SIM cards, you need an Aadhaar number for the Jio Phone registration. While the registration process is quite simple for individual users, you need to provide your company’s PAN or GSTN number if you are a business owner. You will be able to specify how many units of the phone you want to purchase, with the highest tier being ’50 & Above’ for bulk orders. Once you register your details, you will receive the details around Jio Phone launch on your mobile phone via SMS, and on email.

If you do not have access to the MyJio app, you can opt for the offline Jio Phone booking process by heading to an offline Jio retailer on August 24. Remember though, the handset will be delivered to you in September, even if you pre-ordered it on the first day bookings open. The company says it will deliver the 4G feature phone on first come, first serve basis, and that it aims to deliver 5 million units each week. More details are expected to come as the release date draws near.

 

Jio Phone Specification

To recap on the Jio Phone, the entry-level phone will come with unlimited voice, data, and texts. Customers will have to recharge with a Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan monthly pack of Rs. 153, which will give them free voice, texts, unlimited data (high-speed data capped at 500MB per day), and free access to Jio apps for 28 days. At the 40th AGM, Ambani also announced an accessory “Jio Phone TV-Cable” that will allow users to connect their phones with any kind of television sets. For connecting phone to TV, users will have to recharge with Rs. 309 per month pack for large screen.

Talking about Jio Phone features, the device comes with an alphanumeric keypad, 2.4-inch display with QVGA display, microSD card slot, torchlight, FM radio. It will be a single SIM handset that works only on 4G VoLTE networks. The phone supports voice commands and 22 Indian languages, and has a panic button as well. A short demo of the voice command feature on Jio Phone was showcased during the keynote presentation where the device was able to play music via Jio Music. Additionally, the handset will also come with a panic button that is enabled when long-pressing the number 5. Moreover, the Jio phone will come with advanced NFC support for digital payments that will be rolled out to users via OTA software upgrade. Qualcomm and Spreadtrum have confirmed their chips power the new feature phone.

The phone does not have WhatsApp support at the moment, though we did catch glimpse of a web browser, Facebook, and PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat broadcast during the unveiling at the Reliance AGM.