Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reliance Jio notes - pros and cons - mini review

Since my Xiaomi phone was showing some problems due to a crack on the screen and a dunking in water, I thought I would get a backup phone. And with 4G support in order to use the Reliance Jio welcome offer of free sim + free data + free calls upto 31 December. Got the cheapest 4G phone advertised with VoLTE - Intex Aqua 4G Strong.

Got a barcode by entering my Aadhaar number into the MyJio app, got a free SIM in ten minutes from a nearby shop, got thumb-print scanner verification done there itself. Though the dealer said the network would start working in another hour, it took another 6 hours or so, until at night the data connection on the SIM started working - activated.

Incoming and outgoing calls were not happening. Tried installing Jio4GVoice app to make outgoing calls over VoLTE - outgoing calls started going through. But not incoming calls. After 4-5 days, incoming calls from other Jio numbers started to work. Perhaps incoming calls from other networks would also work after a few more days. Solution suggested by Jio dealer was to install JioChat app - not sure how that would help. 

Battery life of this phone is not stellar, as the reviews suggest. But for Rs. 3500, no complaints in using this as a backup phone. Just on 4G standby, battery drains in 10 hours or so. Tethering via USB or wifi also drains battery quite fast, though USB tethering also charges the battery. 

As this indiatoday post indicates, there are many issues with Jio. The reliability issues are so much that anyone who needs a phone to work all the time must have another number from another provider. Interconnect issues apart, even Jio to Jio calls have problems due to people going offline - though this is probably due to their using other network options instead of Jio. Can use it as a free toy till Dec 31, that would be my policy.

Speeds - apparently Jiofi devices have greater speeds than sims put inside mobile phones. I generally get around 5 Mbps, with speeds dropping to 1 Mbps in the evenings. Early morning peak speed of 15 Mbps. Torrents are probably throttled - we got around 2 Mbps over a half hour test run. Also, the speeds are limited after 4 GB per day (as of now) as shown in the MyJio app below.


With Jiofi device, as tested by my colleague V, has gone upto 50 Mbps also,

In general, the DNS services on Jio are bad - changing to Google public DNS immediately improved browsing responsivity. Streaming videos are generally good - HD streaming on the JioTV app and on YouTube. On Vimeo, sometimes spotty, sometimes OK.

Edit: One week post-activation also no incoming calls. So, called up customer care at 199. Spent around 20 minutes on hold before a polite agent picked up. Apologetically gave me separate complaint numbers for voice and sms not being received, giving a 48 hour resolution time. Got a truncated sms from Jio tech support during the 48 hours. Finally, around 3 days later, incoming calls started working. 

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