Cover Image - Is the Jio Phone good? – My take on it

Is the Jio Phone good? – My take on it


The announcement of ₹1,500/- Jio Phone created a lot of hype, so much that the servers crashed when the pre-booking started. Reliance did get a similar attention last year when they started distributing its Jio 4G services, for free.

The quality of services provided by Jio has somewhat improved over the time. But is the Jio Phone good, let’s see in this review...

The Jio Phone features

Although touted as “India ka Smartphone” (India’s Smartphone) there is nothing much like a smartphone, in there. It’s a feature phone like the famous Nokia 1100 but with a colour display and a 4G connectivity with a Jio SIM (included).

Jio Phone storage space

By the way, I can see 1 GB of storage free for the media needs. Memory card slot is available if you need more. There also is separate 1 GB available to install apps. It would be better to say, to install Jio apps as I don’t know where to get apps except the Jio store. The Jio Store has apps such as JioMusic, JioTV, etc. You already can guess the other ones I think.

The Jio Phone comes pre-installed with all these apps. Yes, it’s not any phone, it’s Jio Phone. (Rang any bells? No? OK.) And if you are wondering about social media, there isn’t any app for you to use Facebook, Twitter or even WhatsApp. These apps may be available in the near future but nothing can be said for sure. The Jio Phone though has a browser from which you can get connected to the Web. It’s pretty basic. What can you expect from a keyboard-operated, 2.4-inch screen, right?

Jio apps on the Jio Phone

At least, I was able to make my Google searches, finding answers anywhere (places with the absence of Jio network are exceptions). I also undertook the pain to log in to my Twitter account. It’s not that bad but are you interested in seeing only 2-3 lines at a time. Well, I did post 2 or 3 tweets from it. And it comes handy to check notifications when your real smartphone is put away for charging. 😜

But to scroll your TL? Nyah!!!

And the biggest disappointment in the specifications of this Jio Phone is NO WI-FI HOTSPOT. 💔

Tweet from Jio Phone

So, how to use that 512 MB of data you get every day with the ₹153/- recharge. If only they had included this internet sharing feature, this phone, sorry this Jio Phone would have been a lot more useful device. Well, I don’t watch a lot on TV but do love hearing to songs. So I used up my data balance with JioMusic. Got bored of it soon and went back to my good old Gaana (on my real smartphone obviously).

Oh, I almost forgot, there also is HelloJio, the voice assistant which takes a lifetime to process your voice command.

The Jio Phone performance

After coming this far in this Jio Phone review, you already have realized it’s a feature phone with a twist. You get a clock, calendar and also calculator at your service. Then there is an app for unit conversion, for taking notes and the device picks up FM channels too. And yes, a 2MP camera. It’s good and can click pictures. Reminded me of my Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. 😉

And now, after a month’s use, I ended up using it only for calls. You can import your Google contacts easily. That was a one-time-use useful feature. Apart from calls, I use it for making searches on Google (sometimes). But even with so little of load the phone lags.

The phone is slow in loading the contact search results. Lucky for me, I remember the common numbers and can dial them without opening the Contacts app. But when I don’t remember a number, I use my OnePlus One’s dialer to get the number and dial the number on Jio Phone. While the Jio Phone is getting unlocked, which is done by looooong pressing “*”, I have the number on my android phone’s screen, ready-to-dial.

It also entered the dreaded boot-loop when it restarted itself in my pocket. Removable battery saves you from stress at such times. Well, this incident has happened thrice until now.

The phone does give 3 days of battery backup on an average. I keep the mobile data always on.

The verdict

Don’t get lured with those tempting Jio tariffs. You won’t be able to make full use of your data balance. Better to stick with the default ₹153/- recharge. There isn’t any monthly plan with a lower value. You are getting unlimited phone calls, remember? In the long run, the phone would come to use only for making calls. And with those lags, I am not sure how long would this long run be.

If you’re thinking of using that TV cable, good luck. I haven’t used it yet and have no such plans.

P. S. I couldn't find the screenshot feature. 😜