• The WizPhone WP006 runs KaiOS like the JioPhone and JioPhone 2

  • The Google feature phone also supports WhatsApp

  • The WizPhone WP006 has been priced at IDR 99,000 (approx Rs 490)

Looks like Google is now getting into the feature phone market. Or rather the market for a feature phone but with some smart functionality. The company has launched a new phone, which has a rather weird name, called the WizPhone WP006. This new Google phone looks like a feature phone(Google launches a Rs 500 wizphone), similar to how JioPhone looks, but comes with KaiOS and some smart functionality including Google Assistant that can be given voice commands.

Now, if you think that the WizPhone WP006 is too similar to the JioPhone, you are right. It does look like, and probably works like, the JioPhone. It is powered by the same KaiOS that also powers the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2. And just like the JioPhone, the WizPhone WP006 also supports apps like WhatsApp that have been made specifically for KaiOS.

For now, Google has launched the WizPhone WP006 only in Indonesia. But it surely looks like a pretty big deal because one of the senior Google executives, Scott Huffman, launched the phone at the company’s GoogleForIndonesia event. The WizPhone WP006 has been priced at IDR 99,000, which roughly translates to around Rs 490 in Indian currency. In other words, the WizPhone WP006 is a $7 phone.

The WizPhone WP006 is a feature phone but with some smart functionality built into it. Just like the JioPhone, the WizPhone WP006 supports 4G connectivity. it also comes with special version of WhatsApp installed on it, and its users will be able to summon Google Assistant on WizPhone WP006 with voice commands.

“Google has also been instrumental in this launch by ensuring their digital services operate on the WizPhone via the KaiStore, so consumers have access to a suite of Google apps, including the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Search. Further, the Google Assistant works in Bahasa Indonesia, bridging the digital divide by allowing users to easily access the internet and apps through voice,” KaiOS said in a note to media.

The WizPhone WP006 comes with 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, a 2.4-inch screen, 2MP rear camera and VGA front camera, 1800 mAh battery and Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8905 chipset.

For now, there is no word on if Google will also bring WizPhone WP006 or a similar phone to India. But from what we can see, the WizPhone WP006 looks like a phone not made by Google but blessed by Google with its service. So in India, it is possible that the company may not launch another feature phone 4G support given the fact that we already have JioPhone and the JioPhone 2 available. Instead of launching a new phone, Google may work with Jio to add its service to teh JioPhone.

But if Google indeed brings something the WizPhone WP006 to India, that will give tough competition to the JioPhone. While largely people prefer to buy a smartphone nowadays, many people in India can only afford a cheap feature phone, or may require a secondary phone for calls etc. For these people a phone like the WizPhone WP006 that costs Rs 5000 from Google will surely be a viable purchase.

Vikram Aadi extensively covers Asia's personal device and connected services ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or via mail: vikram@thb2.com.

Windows 10 Build 17763.168 is now available, download offline installers

Previous article

Google Releases Chrome 71,take aim at deceptive websites

Next article

You may also like

More in Business