Looking to buy a JioPhone Next? Read this first

The much-awaited JioPhone Next is up for grabs now. The phone, which was first announced during Reliance’s AGM as a phone that is being created in close collaboration with Google, aims to make India 2G free by offering an ultra-affordable smartphone to first-time mobile internet users.

Thanks to the Jio-Google collaboration the phone comes with a custom Android skin called Pragati OS which adds software-driven features like live translation, Read Aloud and more. It also comes with custom filters from Snapchat built-in to the stock camera app additionally the phone has all the popular apps from Google despite being powered by a low-end chipset.

The JioPhone Next has been priced at Rs. 6,499 for users who like to purchase it in one go, however, the company is also offering an option to finance the phone by paying Rs. 1,999 up-front along with Rs 500 as processing charge and the rest as an EMI for 18/24 months.

While on paper it looks like a promising device, the real-world performance has been questionable and it all boils down to the choice of a low powered chipset at the core of the phone. Though we can blame chipset shortage and rising component prices for this to a certain extent, however, Jio also has Qualcomm as one of its investors hence its difficult to pin point a reason behind using a low-end chipset.

The most important thing that the JioPhone Next offers is the option to get the phone at just Rs. 1,999 and the EMI amount includes free call all over the country with bundled 4G internet. 

That said, the JioPhone Next is not the only affordable 4G phone available in the country – though in case you buy these phones you have to pay separately for the calls and mobile internet. 

For the comparison, we will consider the phone’s maximum retail price as a benchmark and will try to assess options based on the value for money on offer. Here’s a quick list of phones that can be bought under or around Rs. 7,000.

Best JioPhone Next alternates

Redmi 9A

The Redmi 9A is the cheapest phone from the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. The phone offers better value for money compared to the JioPhone Next as it comes with a slightly better design, has more colour options and a bigger 6.53-inch LCD panel with HD+ resolution.

The MediaTek Helio G25 chipset at the core offers more processing power than the Snapdragon SoC present on the JioPhone Next. The Redmi 9A has a bigger 5,000 mAh battery and a dual-camera setup at the back. Though Xiaomi’s MIUI is heavily customized and the fact that the company also shows ads in the interface, could be a letdown for many.

The Redmi 9A is Rs. 500 costlier than the JioPhone and the 2GB/32GB variant is available at Rs. 6,999 while the 3GB/32GB variant is priced at Rs.7999. The also comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and splash-resistant coating that helps protect the phone from accidental water splashes.

Realme C11 2021

 Another phone is aimed at entry-level smartphone users and has better hardware specifications than most devices in this list. 

The Realme C11 2021 has an Helio G35 SoC at its core, a 6.53-inch LCD panel with HD+ resolution, a dual-camera setup with 13MP and 5MP sensors at the back and a 5000 mAh battery which is larger than the JioPhone Next and should ideally offer a longer standby time. 

The phone misses out on a fingerprint sensor though and the 2GB/32GB variant retails at Rs. 6,999 while the 4G/64GB variant is available at Rs. 8499.

Infinix Smart 5A

Another smartphone that sells in the same price band and offers slightly more than the JioPhone Next. Priced at Rs. 6,999, the Infinix Smart 5A comes with an Helio A22 chipset coupled with 2GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage. 

It has a dual-camera setup with an 8MP primary sensor coupled with a depth sensor. The phone is powered by a 5000 mAh battery pack, which can ideally offer just over a day of backup.

Lava Z2

The Lava Z2 is yet another worthy JioPhone Next alternative, however, it comes with a near-stock Android experience, 6.52-inch LCD panel with HD+ resolution and 1-year free screen replacement, MediaTek G35 Soc at the core and a 5,000 mAh battery pack. The phone comes with a dual-camera setup with a 13MP primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor.

The Lava Z2 comes in two combinations – 2GB/32GB currently available at Rs. 799 and the 3GB 32GB variant priced at Rs. 7,999.

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