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Is JioPhone Next really the 4G smartphone for everyone Reliance promises?

After much anticipation, JioPhone Next went on sale in India. The new 4G phone, developed in collaboration between Jio and Google, is considered the most affordable smartphone due to its original Rs. 1999. However, this is only the first installment – the price of JioPhone Next in India is set at Rs. 6,499 and the remainder of the amount must be paid in monthly installments for up to 24 months. The new phone offers features including a custom-designed Pragati OS (that’s more or less Android Go) and is integrated with a list of localized features.

On an episode of the Gadgets 360 Orbital podcast this week, host Achil Arora talks to producer Aditya Nat Jha and senior columnist Sheldon Pinto to discuss everything JioPhone Next has to offer.

While the specs of the JioPhone Next are pretty basic and on par with any low-cost smartphone, it does have a list of Google-supported features to attract customers. We talk about all these features in detail during a more than half-hour conversation.

One of Google’s most striking innovations for the JioPhone Next is the Pragati OS, which is an improved version of Android 11 (Go version). The dedicated operating system comes pre-loaded with Google Assistant to support voice commands to operate the device. It also supports language translation and read aloud functions to delight the first smartphone users in the country. In addition, the phone supports 10 different languages, including Hindi.

JioPhone Next goes on sale in India, buyers must register first: full details

Along with the basic settings, the JioPhone Next has a customizable camera that integrates Snapchat augmented reality (AR) lenses and has features to support night photography and low light photography. The phone also features Nearby Share, allowing users to share content, including apps, photos, and videos, without the Internet.

Gio also claims that with Google’s software support, JioPhone Next is capable of receiving future updates with advanced settings and feature updates – just like the “Feature Drops” and “Security Updates” on the Google Pixel series.

Like some other budget options in its price range, the JioPhone Next has a removable battery. This will help you get a new battery if the original fails. However, Jio hasn’t provided any details yet on how much the battery will cost – or whether it will be officially available through any retail or service channels.

JioPhone Next also restricts access to the 2G connection if the customer chooses a network other than Jio. This is unlike the other options available in the same price segment, where you get 4G support regardless of the network you are using. However, JioPhone Next supports 4G if you are using the Jio network. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a 4G phone.

As for the key alternatives to JioPhone Next, there are models including Realme C11 (2021), Redmi 9A, Itel Vision 1 and Infinix Smart 5A. We will talk about some of these models in our conversation. We also discuss how the EMI model could significantly increase the final price of the JioPhone Next.

JioPhone Next comes with a pre-installed device lock feature to avoid default payments

You can catch all of this and more by hitting the play button on the built-in Spotify player above.

If you’re new here, you can find the Gadgets 360 podcast at Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotifyand wherever you find your podcasts. Remember to keep an eye on him wherever you listen. Please also rate us and give us a review.

New Orbital episodes roll out every Friday, so remember to tune in every week.

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