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JioPhone Next announced: The cheapest smartphone in the world? (Updated)

Update: Key specs of the JioPhone Next have leaked.

Published onJune 24, 2021

  • Reliance has announced the JioPhone Next smartphone in collaboration with Google.
  • Google says the phone will have support for the latest Android updates.
  • The firm says it’ll be “by far” the cheapest smartphone in India and the world.

Update: August 13, 2021 (1:57 AM ET): Some key specs of the JioPhone Next have leaked before its launch. The phone is expected to feature the Android 11 (Go Edition) and a Qualcomm chip. You can read more about the leaked JioPhone Next specs here.

Original article: June 24, 2021 (6:24 AM ET): Reliance’s JioPhone series has constantly offered among the cheapest phones in India, and we’ve known for a while now that the company was working with Google to ready a new JioPhone based on Android. Now, Reliance has announced the JioPhone Next, and it could be taking cheap to a new level if the firm can be believed.

The JioPhone Next features a typical candybar-style design with a full touchscreen and what looks like a single rear camera and single front shooter. But Reliance says the new phone also offers the Google Play Store, while screenshots from the phone show additional apps like Google Maps, Chrome, and YouTube. The Google partnership doesn’t end there, either.

“Our teams have optimized a version of our Android OS especially for this device. It’ll offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted in a pre-recorded segment during the Reliance stream.

It’s interesting to see the firms promise the latest Android updates, and a subsequent press release specifically notes that the device will get “feature drops.”

A slide shown during the stream also expanded on smart features, specifically noting a voice assistant (later confirmed to be the Google Assistant), screen reading, language translation, and augmented reality filters in the camera app. Speaking of the camera, the press release confirmed that the camera app would offer HDR and night mode functionality, suggesting that it’s the Google Camera Go app.

Reliance confirmed that the JioPhone Next would be launched on September 10, but it didn’t disclose pricing for the device. Nevertheless, the firm says the new phone will be “by far the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally.” That’s an incredibly bold claim, so we’ll be eagerly waiting for official pricing.

Looking for more cheap smartphones in India? You can check out our guide to the best smartphones under Rs 10,000.