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JioPhone Next smartphone launched, Google says it runs special version of Android

Reliance Jio, at its 44th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, announced its all-new JioPhone, the JioPhone Next. The new smartphone has been built in collaboration with Google and runs a special version of Android.

JioPhone Next announced at the company's 44th Annual General Meeting on June 24 JioPhone Next announced at the company's 44th Annual General Meeting on June 24
Story highlights
  • During the keynote, Chairman Mukesh Ambani claimed that the JioPhone Next would be among the most affordable smartphones in India and globally.
  • JioPhone Next to be available in India from September 10.
  • It runs an optimised version of Android developed by Jio and Google.

JioPhone Next has been announced at the company's 44th AGM on Thursday. The smartphone has been built in collaboration with Google. The company announced that the JioPhone Next runs on a special version of Android.

JioPhone Next comes after JioPhone and JioPhone 2. While the JioPhone 1 and the JioPhone 2 were essentially feature phones with some smart features, the JioPhone Next is a full-featured smartphone, complete with the Google Play store.

"I am pleased to announce that Google and Jio teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough smartphone, JioPhone Next. It is a fully-featured smartphone supporting the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio," said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, during the 44th Reliance AGM, which was the second consecutive virtual annual general meeting.

"Our teams have optimised a special version of Android specifically for this phone. It is built for India and for users who will experience a smartphone for the first time," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Jio Phone Next is powered by an optimised version of Android, which has been jointly developed by Reliance Jio and Google.

"It is ultra-affordable and packs cutting-edge features," Ambani added. The Jio Phone Next will be available in India starting September 10. "It will be available in market from Ganesh Chaturthi, 10th September," announced Ambani during the keynote.

"At a time when so many aspects of our lives and work are moving online, it's even more important to make technology accessible and helpful for everyone. This goal is at the heart of our partnership with Reliance Jio," Sundar Pichai added.

Pichai also added that the new affordable Jio smartphone would open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the first time.

Some of the features teased on the JioPhone Next include voice assistant support, which means it may support Google Assistant, will be able to read screen text aloud automatically, can handle language translation, and will pack a camera with augmented reality filters.

Some camera features announced include Night mode support, HDR mode, and Snapchat lenses bringing Indian-specific effects to your selfies. The Jio Phone Next has also been confirmed to support the latest Android releases and security updates. The smartphone will offer users access to the Google Play store.