JioPhone Next hits shelves for ₹6,500 or $87 outright

Phone developed by Jio and Google, running a version of Android called Pragati OS costs $87.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Jio

After some false starts and delays, the JioPhone Next was announced in India on Friday, at a cost of ₹6,500 outright, which is approximately $87.

For that money buyers will get a 5.45-inch device with a 720x1440 resolution screen, removable 3500mAh battery, 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage. A 4-core Qualcomm Snapdragon QM215 has been used as the processor, and the phone is dual SIM with LTE support.

On the software front, the phone is running a version of Android called Pragati OS, and packs the features announced in June including using Google Assistant to operate the phone, the option of automatic read-aloud of screen text, and language translation.

"The JioPhone Next is an affordable smartphone designed for India, inspired by the belief that everyone in India should benefit from the opportunities the internet creates," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said.

"To build it, our teams had to work together to solve complex engineering and design challenges, and I'm excited to see how millions of people will use these devices to better their lives and communities."

While it costs ₹6,500 outright, Jio is offering a number of finance and data plans after users put down ₹2,000 up front, and the balance is paid off over 18 or 24 months. The cheapest plan is ₹300 a month for 5GB and 100 minutes of talk a month, and the most expensive is ₹600 for 2.5GB each day and unlimited voice. All plans have a ₹500 processing fee.

Potential users need to register their interest with a local JioMart, on Jio's site, or send a WhatsApp message, before heading to a JioMart for device collection once a confirmation message is sent.

In its latest results, Jio Platforms reported its net profit increased 25% year-on-year to ₹3,728 crore, around $502 million.

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