The much-awaited JioPhone Next is up for grabs now. The phone, which was first announced during Reliance’s AGM as a phone that is being created in close collaboration with Google, aims to make India 2G free by offering an ultra-affordable smartphone to first-time mobile internet users.
Thanks to the Jio-Google collaboration the phone comes with a custom Android skin called Pragati OS which adds software-driven features like live translation, Read Aloud and more. It also comes with custom filters from Snapchat built-in to the stock camera app additionally the phone has all the popular apps from Google despite being powered by a low-end chipset.
The JioPhone Next has been priced at Rs. 6,499 for users who like to purchase it in one go, however, the company is also offering an option to finance the phone by paying Rs. 1,999 up-front along with Rs 500 as processing charge and the rest as an EMI for 18/24 months.
While on paper it looks like a promising device, the real-world performance has been questionable and it all boils down to the choice of a low powered chipset at the core of the phone. Though we can blame chipset shortage and rising component prices for this to a certain extent, however, Jio also has Qualcomm as one of its investors hence its difficult to pin point a reason behind using a low-end chipset.
The most important thing that the JioPhone Next offers is the option to get the phone at just Rs. 1,999 and the EMI amount includes free call all over the country with bundled 4G internet.
That said, the JioPhone Next is not the only affordable 4G phone available in the country – though in case you buy these phones you have to pay separately for the calls and mobile internet.
For the comparison, we will consider the phone’s maximum retail price as a benchmark and will try to assess options based on the value for money on offer. Here’s a quick list of phones that can be bought under or around Rs. 7,000.