A majority of the people buying Lyf smartphones for the Reliance Jio SIMs seem to be picking up the entry-level Flame 3 and 4 devices. Their primary idea is to buy the cheapest possible device which they can use as Wi-Fi hotspots to beam to the primary devices. However, there is a better way to do this, and that is to get yourself a Reliance JioFi 2 Wi-Fi hub.
The Reliance JioFi comes with a free Jio 4G SIM. However, you will need to go through the full documentation to get through the process of getting the SIM, without which this is just another Wi-Fi hub. The device has a 2300mAh battery. In the box, you have a charger and USB cable.
How to set up?
The JioFi 2 switches on to create a Wi-Fi signal of its own. You can use the password printed on the device below where the battery goes in to log in to this network from any device and start browsing.
Once you are logged in, open jiofi.local.html/on your browser to log into the admin panel and change the password.
This is recommended for security reasons and also for the fact that you would otherwise be struggling to remember the password. If you are using the JioFi to store stuff using a micro-SD card, this is also managed using the same console.
Most of us will primarily buy a JioFi device to tap into the high-speed internet, at least initially. So speed is the crucial thing here. I tested the JioFi primarily on an Android smartphone, the Apple iPhone 6s Plus and a 13-inch MacBook Air. On a Ookha speed test, the numbers were really good, clocking over 30 Mbps download speeds at most locations. There is a bit of variation depending on where you are, but the lowest I clocked in Delhi NCR was around 15 Mbps.
However, these blazing fast speed test scores don’t really translate to fast download speeds at all times. I was surprised when the speed test showed 30 Mbps download speed, it was taking me close to an hour to download a Minecraft file from Download.com with the speeds crawling at under 20KB/s. The download speeds didn’t improve much on the iPhone at the same time, but it was blazing fast on the Gionee S6s.
On the Android device, I could download a 133 MB game in well under a minute. I can just guess the speeds are not optimised for Apple devices at the moment.
The JioFi has a decent 2300 mAh battery that lasts you an entire day with active usage. It charges up within an hour. There is a LED indicator on the device to give you an idea of the battery levels.
For everyone looking forward to the Reliance Jio service for high-speed data connectivity on the move, the JioFi seems a more practical device at the moment. However, before you buy one of these, please remember we still don’t know what fares Reliance Jio will charge for the data once the service goes live, but it certainly won’t be free. Also, the high speeds are sure to come down once more user log-in and clog the network.
Even then my feeling is that Jio will be faster than what the competition is offering.
Estimated street price: Rs 2,899 with free SIM