Jio Phone bookings have opened in certain offline retail stores in the Delhi-NCR area, ahead of the scheduled August 24 date that was announced at the Reliance AGM on July 21. If you have such an offline retailer taking Jio Phone bookings right now, you can be ahead of the millions who are expected to buy the handset when bookings officially open. Gadgets 360 spoke to one such retailer to find out the details of the pre-order process, the documents needed, how many units a person can order, delivery date, and when the Rs. 1,500 refundable security deposit needs to be made. Find out everything you need to know about the Jio Phone booking below.
To book JioPhone, you will need to submit a copy of your Aadhaar card with the authorised Jio retailer, whether it is a store around the corner or a Reliance Jio outlet. As an individual consumer, you can get only one unit per Aadhaar number across the country, so you will not be able to place orders on different stores in the hopes of getting multiple units. After you submit the Aadhaar number, your details will be uploaded into centralised software that will assign you a token number, which you need to cite while picking up the phone.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the July 21 event that the JioPhone will effectively be free, with an upfront, refundable security deposit of Rs. 1,500. Now, while making the JioPhone booking offline, you will not have to pay anything when you submit your Aadhaar number. The Rs. 1,500 payment will have to be made only when you pick up the unit assigned to you from the offline retail store. This sum can be reclaimed after 36 months of using the handset, according to Jio.
The JioPhone delivery date for those who place the order right now will be between September 1 and September 4. This delivery date is expected to swell up as the number of bookings increase over the coming week, so it is best to pre-order the device as soon as possible to get your hands on it earlier. Ambani at the Reliance AGM had only mentioned September as the month of delivery, without specifying any specific date. He had also said the company aims to delivery 5 million units a week to consumers.
It is yet unclear whether the bookings are open at all offline retailers right now, or if it is being opened in phases. We have contacted the JioPhone team for clarification, and will update the story as soon as we get an answer. The online bookings for the handset begin on August 24 via the MyJio app.
To recap on the JioPhone, the entry-level phone will come with unlimited voice, data, and texts. Customers will have to recharge with a Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan monthly pack of Rs. 153, which will give them free voice, texts, unlimited data (high-speed data capped at 500MB per day), and free access to Jio apps for 28 days. At the 40th AGM, Ambani also announced an accessory called Jio Phone TV-Cable that will allow users to connect their phones with any kind of television sets. For connecting phone to TV, users will have to recharge with the Rs. 309 per month pack.
Talking about Jio Phone features, the device comes with an alphanumeric keypad, 2.4-inch display with QVGA display, microSD card slot, torchlight, FM radio. It will be a single SIM handset that works only on 4G VoLTE networks. The phone supports voice commands and 22 Indian languages, and has a panic button as well. A short demo of the voice command feature on Jio Phone was showcased during the keynote presentation where the device was able to play music via Jio Music.
Additionally, the handset will also come with a panic button that is enabled when long-pressing the number 5. The Jio phone will come with NFC support for digital payments that will be rolled out to users via OTA software upgrade. Qualcomm and Spreadtrum have confirmed that their chips power the new feature phone. The phone does not have WhatsApp support at the moment, though we did catch glimpse of a Web browser, Facebook, and PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat broadcast during the unveiling at the Reliance AGM.