Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani launched a new smartphone, JioPhone Next, at Reliance Industries’ 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM). The new phone has been developed in partnership.
Reliance Jio and Google collectively last year announced the arrival of the new smartphone, offering an optimised Android experience on top of entry-level hardware to attract people.
JioPhone Next also provides access to the Google Play store and includes features such as voice assistance, automatic read-aloud of screen text, and language translation.
“India still has around 300 million smartphone users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for such users,” said Ambani, speaking at the Reliance AGM.
“Sundar Pichai and I last year had discussed Google and Jio, co-developing a next-generation, feature-rich yet extremely affordable smartphone.”
Though most features of the upcoming phone have been revealed, the price is yet to be disclosed. The makers have only announced that it will be “the most affordable smartphone not just in India but also worldwide.”
Giving tough competition to companies such as Xiaomi, Realme, and Samsung, the new Jio phone offers a list of features in the affordable market segment.
Specifications of JioPhone Next
JioPhone Next targets those looking to upgrade from 2G to 4G connectivity in exchange for an affordable smartphone based on a custom Android operating system specifically designed and developed by Google and Reliance Jio. This smartphone comes with a preloaded voice assistant other than features like automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, and a camera with augmented reality (AR) filters. It also supports regular Android updates.
“Powered by an extremely optimised version of the Android operating system, JioPhone Next has been collaboratively developed by Jio and Google specifically for the Indian Market,” elaborated Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, at the virtual AGM.
“This is a testimony to an international technology giant and a national technology champion, working together to make truly a breakthrough product that can be first launched in India and then taken to the rest of the world.”
Notably, this is not the first time when Jio has introduced its in-house handset for consumers. Back in July 2017, the telecom company launched the Jio Phone offering smart features with 4G connectivity. Apart from the launch of the Jio Phone 2 in 2018, that model received an update that included a QWERTY keyboard and a wider screen over the original phone.