Jio phone cannot be placed in any particular category. It looks like a feature phone but it has many smart features due to which the phone gets a different identity. All Jio apps work in this feature phone. You will be able to watch movies and stream songs as well. Along with this, free data is also being given in the tariff plan, so that you can use these services. These claims sound good, but how is the experience of using Jio Phone? Let me tell you…
Reliance Jio phone design and design
Jio phone is similar to any common feature phone in terms of design and feel. It comes with small screen and numeric keypad. Everything is made of plastic and we would say that its quality is good. The weight is not too much and it fits easily in the hands. The phone’s grip is good in the hands due to the curved edges. It does not give the feeling of being fat or heavy.
The screen measures 2.4 inches and has a resolution of 240×320 pixels. Viewing angles are bad, but it will be considered decent for the price. Below the display are two function buttons, the D-pad, the call and disconnect buttons, and the number pad. Next to the earpiece above the screen is the VGA camera. There is enough distance between each button and it is easy to reach. Gives a feeling of being strong when the button is pressed.
There is nothing on the back of the phone except the 2 megapixel primary camera and loudspeaker. The back cover can be removed. And the 2000 mAh battery also comes out. Jio is a single sim device and has a nano sim slot. You will get a separate slot for microSD card. At the bottom is a headphone socket along with a microUSB port. There is an LED torch on the top. It can be activated by long pressing the up button on the D pad.
Apart from Jio Phone, you will get a charger and Micro-USB cable in the retail box. Jio SIM will already be given in the phone. It has to be activated before it can be used. We used an old Jio SIM with the phone. And it ran without any trouble. As expected, Airtel SIM did not work in it.
Reliance Jio Phone Specification and Software
Jio phone is a feature phone but the specifications are worth noting. There is a dual core processor and 512 MB RAM has been given along with it. Inbuilt storage is 4 GB. Out of this, 1 GB is available for the user. 1 GB is reserved for apps and the rest of the storage will be used for software updates and app cache. Storage is not a concern, as you will be able to use a microSD card up to 128 GB. You will be able to transfer files from your phone to personal computer via USB cable, all you have to do is enable USB mode.
For connectivity, the Jio phone has Bluetooth and WiFi. With the help of Bluetooth, you will be able to transfer files to other phones. We were able to access the Internet through the Wi-Fi router without any problems. You do not get these connectivity features in feature phones. Because of this, Jio phone overtakes the rest in the race. There is 4G VoLTE support. The phone connects to the Jio network fast. There is no Hotspot feature, which means those who want to use the free data available every day from other devices will be disappointed.
We have received many questions regarding the operating system of JioPhone. For your information, let us tell you that Jio Phone runs on KaiOS. This is a customized version of Firefox OS. Reliance seems to have worked on improving the software. Because the Firefox OS given in Intex Cloud FX had many shortcomings. The user interface is simple and easy to understand. Grid Style is the menu. They are easily identified by the name and icon of the app. You cannot decorate these icons as you like. But you can definitely put the favorite on top. Jio phone has an app store named JioStore, but nothing will be found here except Jio’s own apps.
The four buttons on the dPad on the home screen also act as shortcuts to launch apps. You will be able to access the Settings app, Camera, Messages and the inbuilt music player from these buttons. We could not use these buttons for the app we wanted. Alerts are in one place. These can be accessed via the function button on the left. The settings menu is well laid out and the options are easy to find. There is software update facility and OTA updates will be available which is not common for feature phones. We hope that Reliance Jio will continue to add new features to Jio Phone through this.
The feature phone has geolocation which gives location through GPS and Wi-Fi data. It is used for SOS emergency function. If the user long presses the button number 5, the phone will send an SOS message with the location coordinates. NFC has also been provided for payments in Jio Phone, but it is not available yet. It is possible that it can be enabled through OTA update.
Some useful features have been given in the software. Whenever you type a number to dial, the names of the contacts will be automatically displayed in the suggestion. If you want, you will be able to make video calls by long pressing the call button. However, navigation is a bit slow. Don’t expect smartphone level function from it. While dialing or typing a number, we found that the beeping sound from the keypad came after a while. This made the experience worse, while in reality the keypad has no lag. After muting the phone, we were able to type faster.
Many Jio apps are already installed. You will get Jio apps like Jio Cinema, JioChat, JioMusic. Basic calculator, unit conversion, notes, FM radio, video player and gallery app are also provided. We were able to stream songs on Jio Music. Be able to watch television serials on JioTV and enjoy cinema on JioMovies, that too without any hassle. This subscription is currently free for the buyers of Jio Phone, which is a good thing.
Streaming videos play in landscape mode in Jio apps. But the microSD card present only played in portrait mode. In both the cases the experience of watching the video was very bad. In such a situation, the TV cable accessory will prove to be useful once it is made available. The volume level is not easy to control, as there are no physical buttons. This shortcoming will knock you during media playing or normal use of the phone.
The phone also has a voice assistant named HelloJio. It can be activated by long pressing the dpad button. It understands basic commands. For example, calling on name calling, or opening an app. But it is slow. This is for those who are unaware of this technology.
Popular social media apps like Facebook and WhatsApp are not yet available in Jio Phone. It is reported that the company is working on it. You will get a web browser through which you will be able to take advantage of Facebook and other services. During the review, we were able to use the Telegram messaging app on the web browser of Jio Phone. We also used YouTube in the same way, which was good experience. However, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video were not usable on the Jio Phone browser.
Reliance Jio Phone performance, camera and battery life
Even after sharing simple hardware and KaiOS, you can’t expect the speed of a cheap smartphone from this. The app will take some time to load, but you won’t be disappointed because of this. The hardware is however powerful enough to play full-HD videos. You will be able to run only one app at a time. We also played some games on Geogames. Even though the game is very basic, it doesn’t look bad. The performance of Jio apps depends on internet connectivity. During the review, our phone got good 4G coverage. That’s why the streaming of songs or movies had to wait for only a few seconds. But in the coming time, after the arrival of millions of Jio phone users, the situation may change.
On the back of the phone there is a 2 megapixel camera without flash. The VGA camera is on the front panel. The two cameras are a welcome move at this price point. We don’t have high expectations from these cameras. The camera app is very basic. You only get pictures, videos and self-timer mode.
The resolution of the picture taken with the 2 megapixel rear camera is 1600×1200 pixels. Detail is lacking in landscape shots. There’s a lot of noise in it. In comparison, close-shop shots came out better. Photos get blurry every time due to motion. At night, the performance of the camera is very simple. You need a steady hand for a good shot. Subjects are visible only when there is sufficient light. Hardly visible in low light. Photos look much better on the screen from the handset than on the computer screen. You can choose the resolution of your video. A good quality video will have a resolution of 720×480 pixels. Quality isn’t too bad. It can be put to use. But don’t expect much detail.
Selfie’s resolution is 640×480 pixels. In this also you will get rear camera noise. It would be wrong to compare Jio phone with today’s smartphone. Photos are blurry due to insufficient light or even slightest hand movements. The highest video resolution of the selfie camera is 352×288 pixels. It’s none of your business.
We were curious to know how long the Jio Phone’s battery will last in normal use? According to the feature phone, it comes with a large battery of 2000 mAh. But it has features like Bluetooth, 4G, Wi-Fi and GPS which are known to consume battery. After normal use, we found that 80 percent of the battery remains even after 24 hours. The phone goes for about 4 days without charging.
After talking continuously for 15 minutes, we found that the battery was reduced by 2 percent and after talking for 30 minutes by 5 percent. This is good performance in terms of 4G data connection. We also streamed TV serials on the phone. It was found that after watching a 30-minute episode, the battery decreased by 7 percent. Similar tests showed a 6 percent drop on Wi-Fi connections. After not touching the phone even once for about 12 hours, the battery was reduced by only 3 percent. You’ll also find a power saving mode that switches everything off to reduce power consumption.
Jio phone is not made for smartphone users. This is for users who want to upgrade from a feature phone, but without spending a lot of money. Apart from this, it is made to connect the people of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to the Internet. Will Jio Phone achieve the company’s goal? We would say that it has potential. Hardware enabled. The experience of using the software is also good.
The free subscription to Jio Apps makes this deal even more awesome. The ability to update OTA only indicates that more features may be available in the future. However, you should read the ‘Terms Apply’ section on Jio’s website carefully. Here the specifics related to the tariff plan and the conditions required to get the refund by returning the phone are mentioned. Apart from this, it is not easy to buy the phone. At the same time, how will its performance after a long time? And how reliable is it? All these questions cannot be answered right now.
Let the user who wants to spend negligible to upgrade the phone, tell that the Jio phone is much better than its rivals. Looking at the feature, it can be called a smart feature phone. If you have been successful in booking it then you will not be disappointed.