India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio held its AGM (annual general meeting) today, where it shed light on what the company has in store in the coming year. It took the opportunity to unveil a low-cost Android smartphone called the JioPhone Next. It is, for all intents and purposes, the successor of the massive successful KaiOS-powered JioPhone. Unfortunately, a lot of the JioPhone Next specs are shrouded by mystery at the moment. Reliance Jio neglected to get into specifics but confirmed that it is working with Google to develop the smartphone.
For starters, the JioPhone Next will very likely run Android Go out of the box, similar to what we’ve seen on ultra-low-cost Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy M01 Core and Galaxy A01 Core. The former costs around Rs 4,999 in India, and we can expect the JioPhone next to cost lower than that. Reliance Jio is all about budget offerings and can easily undercut any competition, more so in the ultra-low-cost segment.
The only concrete information we have about the JioPhone Next that it will ship with Snapchat-esque AR filters, Google Assistant, and support for local Indian languages. It goes without saying that the smartphone will ship with a metric ton of Jio-branded bloatware, and there’s a high chance that it will be designed to exclusively run Jio SIM cards. This could be a silver lining for the Galaxy M01 Core and its kin, as they offer a lot more flexibility (and less bloatware) compared to the JioPhone Next. We should know more about the device sometime as its September 10 launch date approaches.