Over the past year, Google and Jio have been working on an “affordable smartphone for India” with more capabilities emerging in June. The JioPhone Next will now be available during Diwali, with Google detailing even more about the $86 device.
It notably runs what Google says is an “optimized version of Android called Pragati OS” that has been “customized to deliver a great smartphone experience to users in India.” In practice, it has the Play Store, OTA updates “for new features,” security patches, and an unspecified “customization” capability.
The relation to Android Go, Google’s existing version of Android for entry-level phones, is unclear, but the JioPhone Next is clearly running the “Go” version of first-party apps. We’ve reached out to Google for more details.
This includes Camera Go, with Google announcing a Snap partnership that sees Indian-specific Snapchat Lenses directly in the application. A Snapchat icon appears to the left of the shutter. This integration follows the two companies working on the Pixel 6’s “Quick Tap” capability. Otherwise, the application continues to offer HDR, Night, and Portrait modes for the 13-megapixel rear sensor and 8MP front-facer. There’s a rear LED flash and display flash for selfies, while 1080p at 30FPS is supported on both lenses.
There’s also Maps, Search, and Nearby Share for offline sharing. Other features include Assistant with a heavy emphasis on voice interaction, text-to-speech, and Google Lens translation
Otherwise, the JioPhone Next looks its price of ₹6499 ($86~). There’s a 5.45-inch (720×1440) display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The bezels are quite thick, while everything is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon QM215 with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage that’s expandable (up to 512GB).
There is 4G LTE and dual-SIM support, while other connectivity includes 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, a headphone jack, and micro USB. Sensors include an accelerometer, light, proximity, and dual microphone. Lastly, there’s a battery that ranges from 3,400mah (rated) to 3,500mAh (typical).
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