India is on the cusp of a digital revolution. While 3G never attained mainstream status in India, 4G has caught on like wildfire. A part of that success can be attributed to Reliance Jio and their disruptive 4G VoLTE services that transformed the telecom sector overnight. With the JioPhone, Jio now has their sights squarely set on the 50 crore plus feature phone users which have been left out of the digital revolution.
Feature phones are not a new phenomenon in India. Companies like Nokia and Samsung have been churning out no-nonsense, easy to use feature phones with phenomenal battery life for years now. In fact, HMD Global, the company responsible for Nokia’s comeback into the smartphone game recently launched Nokia’s most affordable feature phone yet – the Nokia 105, which retails for just Rs 999.
While both the Nokia 105 and JioPhone are low cost phones aimed at first time users, they are as different as chalk as cheese. The Nokia 105Â is the old guard, the old fashioned feature phone while the JioPhone is a revolution in the making (if we go by Jio’s claims at least) and a completely new way of approaching the feature phone. Let us see how these two devices compare:
- On the face of it, the JioPhone and Nokia 105 actually look pretty similar. It seems that feature phones of the past had the design pretty much figured out – the JioPhone looks almost exactly like any feature phone of old. Both the Nokia 105 and JioPhone come with a traditional old school T9 keyboard with a color screen at the top and a plastic build. The center button of the JioPhone doubles up as a voice search key.
- When it comes to the display, the JioPhone comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display while the Nokia 105 makes do with a smaller 1.8-inch QVGA panel. While the Nokia 105 comes with 4MB of internal storage, the JioPhone supports storage expansion via a microSD card.
- The Nokia 105 runs on Nokia’s Series S30+ software while the JioPhone is rumoured to run on a custom build of Firefox OS called Kai OS. While both devices do not support WhatsApp or Facebook, the JioPhone comes pre-loaded with Jio apps such as Jio Music, Jio Cinema, Jio TV and Jio Chat. These give you unlimited access to music, movies and TV shows.
- Content (movies, TV shows and more) can be mirrored from the JioPhone to any television using the ‘Jio Phone TV-Cable’ feature. To avail this feature, you have to buy Jio’s Rs 309 pack after which you can cast content from the phone to any television via a cable. The Nokia 105 does not come with any such feature.
- The JioPhone also comes with features such as a web browser and NFC for digital payments and – both of which the Nokia 105 lacks. The JioPhone also supports voice search – you can simply ask the device to place a call, play music or even send an SOS message to your emergency contact. The best part is that this can be done in both Hindi and English. The JioPhone is simply a much smarter device than the Nokia 105.
- The highlighting feature of the JioPhone is the fact that it can run on Jio’s 4G networks and make 4G VoLTE calls. The Nokia 105 does not support 4G. It does not even support 3G or HSPA +. In fact, it runs on the age old 2G network. It’s like comparing Blu Rays with VHS tapes.
- There is one ace the Nokia 105 has up its sleeve – Snake. Yes, the Nokia 105 comes with a modern version of the beloved game Snake which obviously the JioPhone has to do without. Additionally the Nokia claims that the 105 can offer up to an impressive 15 hours of talktime. On the other hand, Jio has not revealed any details regarding the battery life of the JioPhone. Both the JioPhone and Nokia 105 come with a FM radio and flashlight.
- When it comes to price, do not let Jio’s advertising fool you. It is a much more even comparison. The JioPhone is not a free phone. You have to pay Rs 1500 as a security deposit (refundable after three years if you return the phone) after which you are locked to Jio’s network. The JioPhone will come bundled with a Rs 153 monthly plan which will give users free voice calls, SMS, data (500MB per day) and Jio app access every month. There are two sachet packs on offer as well – two days unlimited voice and data for Rs 24 and a week of unlimited voice and data for Rs 54.
- The Nokia 105 in comparison costs Rs 999 with no contract or security deposit in play. The dualSIM variant retails for Rs 1,149. You can use any SIM card you want (of any operator) and choose whichever plan you want. If you like flexibility and do not want to be locked to one operator for three years, then the Nokia 105 might be the phone for you. Otherwise, the JioPhone beats the Nokia 105 comprehensively in almost every way imaginable.