Ever since the official launch of Reliance Jio services, there's been a lot of excitement around the new network. Jio launched earlier this month, with lifetime free calling, and a welcome offer giving everyone 4G unlimited data until December 31 2016.
Predictably enough, this meant that actually getting your hands on a Reliance Jio SIM is an uphill task as of now, and activation isn't much easier.
Unlike other phone networks, Jio runs entirely on 4G, which also extends to voice calls. This means that you'll need a 4G-capable phone that also supports VoLTE (Voice over LTE), in order to make calls. If your phone supports 4G but not VoLTE, you have to use the Jio4GVoice app (earlier known as JioJoin) in order to place calls over the network.
If you're looking to get a new phone and wondering whether it'll work with Reliance Jio 4G network, we've done the searching for you. We looked at the best smartphones with VoLTE support from among the ones that we've reviewed. We stuck with the phones that we have already reviewed since they've been put through multiple tests, including testing with VoLTE calls. We also set a cut-off date of October 2015, so that none of the phones is more than a year old. The phones are divided into price bands, but beyond that are included in no specific order. Here's a look at the best phones you can buy if you're switching to the Reliance Jio network.
In case you want to have a look at a bigger list of mobiles that will work on the Jio network, read our earlier piece.
Reliance Jio mobiles between Rs. 35,000 and Rs. 50,000
1. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Apple recently slashed prices of last year's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus so now is a pretty good time to buy these handsets. In our review of the phones, we found the design to be really great with improved camera performance, and faster touch ID. If you're interested in the Apple ecosystem, then you can't really go wrong with one of these phones.
2. Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung's flagship devices offer real competition to the iPhones, and the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are amongst the best phones you can buy. The performance and battery life of both phones also impressed us, though Samsung's software can still be improved upon.
3. HTC 10
The HTC 10 flagship smartphone sports a stunning design and impresses with performance. The handset sports a vivid display and both the cameras take decent shots. The only shortcoming for this phone is its battery life.
4. BlackBerry Priv
The BlackBerry Priv is the only phone in this entire list with a physical keyboard. For some people, that's going to be a reason enough to pick it, along with the fantastic build quality. However, it does feel a little overpriced, and a little dated, and the front camera is a disappointment.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Launched in September last year, Samsung's last Note-series phablet is available at a price as low as Rs. 39,900. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 offers solid performance and good battery life however the S Pen mechanism is prone to damage.
If budget is not a limit, then you can also consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - we haven't included it in our list since we haven't had the chance to carry out a full review yet, but all in all, there's a lot to like about the phone. The phone is not officially available yet due to its exploding battery issue, though when it does become available the problem should be fixed.
You could also consider the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which should go on sale in India soon. Those phones will start Rs. 60,000 and Rs. 70,000 respectively, but they're what you want if you're looking for the latest and greatest in phones.
Reliance Jio mobiles between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 35,000
1. OnePlus 3
The OnePlus 3 is an absolute powerhouse and during our review, it broke several records when it comes to benchmark scores. The handset scores heavily in terms of build, camera, and battery life. The massive 6GB of RAM is the biggest highlight of the handset.
2. Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL)
The ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) offers a fair amount of power under the hood with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. The handset delivers decent battery life, a good camera, and solid build. The price is a little high for what you're getting, but overall, it's a good pick.
3. LG Google Nexus 5X
Google's 2015 Nexus 5X is now available for Rs. 25,990. It sports a quick fingerprint sensor and takes some really nice photos. The overall performance of the smartphone is above satisfactory, but the limited storage can be a problem.
4. iPhone SE
Apple's iPhone SE shows that good things do come in small packages, and it's a very good all-round pick that offers a fair bit of muscle too. The front camera is a little disappointing, but if you're looking at a cheaper option to get into the iOS ecosystem, or if you just really like the 4-inch form factor, it's your pick.
5. Oppo F1 Plus
The Oppo F1 Plus has a vibrant display with good sunlight legibility. The phone takes its design cues from the iPhone range and looks premium. The battery life and camera performance of this phone are pretty good too.
Reliance Jio mobiles between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 25,000
1. Xiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi's flagship Mi 5 impressed us with its fast performance and great battery life. The handset was one of our picks for top value for money devices. It lacks expandable storage, which could be a problem for some users, but otherwise, it's a good pick.
2. Oppo F1 and Oppo F1s
Oppo F1's metal chassis looks and feels incredibly premium. The handset's general performance is very good and both the front and rear cameras deliver good quality in most lighting conditions. On the other hand, the display of the handset is bit of let-down. The Oppo F1s has a great front camera that is capable of taking pretty detailed selfies in varied conditions.
3. Gionee S6 and Gionee S6s
The Gionee S6 has a nice design and the biggest highlight is its battery life. Its camera takes good shots during daylight but no fingerprint sensor at this price is unfortunate. The Gionee S6s, on the other hand, is targeted at young buyers who are obsessed with selfies. Unfortunately, the shots taken with front camera in low-light were below average. It's still a good overall pick, and the phone also has decent battery life.
5. Gionee Marathon M5 Plus
If you're looking for excellent battery life in a smartphone, you can easily go for the Gionee Marathon M5 Plus. This phone received a perfect battery score in our review.
Reliance Jio mobiles between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000
1. LeEco Le 2
The LeEco Le 2 delivers good performance and battery life. The handset comes with free a Le Ecosystem subscription for a year, which is a nice value add-on. The biggest concern we have is the lack of a 3.5-mm adaptor for audio.
2. Moto G4 and G4 Plus
The Moto G4 is one of the popular smartphones in its category and decent battery life. The performance is above par and it also offers near-stock Android experience. Lenovo's Moto G4 Plus is one of our picks for the best phones under Rs. 15,000 in September. The good battery life and near-stock version of Android makes the overall package value for money.
3. Xiaomi Mi Max
Xiaomi's Mi Max has a lot going for it. The handset is the best media consumption device available in the market, with an enormous battery. On the other hand, it's nearly the size of a tablet.
Reliance Jio mobiles under Rs. 10,000
1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
Xiaomi's Redmi Note 3 was one of our top picks for the sub-Rs. 10,000 smartphone currently available in the Indian market. The great build quality, battery life, impressive display, and solid performance makes the entire package value for money.
2. Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime's biggest advantage is its size that makes it easy to use with just one hand. The battery backup is solid, as is the performance. It's a value for money devices at this price.
3. InFocus M680
The InFocus M680 smartphone certainly feels solid, thanks to its metallic touches, and features a crisp display. The phone is snappy and responsive though battery life is average. It also gets a bit warm with use.
These are our top picks of phones at various price points that will work with the Reliance Jio network, but if you're not keen on these phones, there were a few other entry-level phones we reviewed that you can consider. They didn't fare as well as the phones in the list though, and involve a bit of compromise. Nonetheless, you could also check out the InFocus M370, since it's one of the few sub-Rs. 5,000 devices with VoLTE. The LG K7 LTE is another option but it's a bit too expensive for what's being offered.
The Panasonic Eluga Arc is another good option, if a fingerprint sensor and design are important to you. Finally, there's the Coolpad Mega 2.5D which suffers on the battery and camera fronts, and so didn't make the list, but is otherwise not a bad option.
These are all the picks we had - if we've missed a good phone with VoLTE support that you are using on the Reliance Jio network, please let us and the other users know via the comments.