Freedom 251 May Not Live up to the Hype

Unless you have not been following the news, you know that Freedom 251 is a smartphone that is being sold for an earth shattering Rs. 251 by a little-known company called ‘Ringing Bells’. Despite all the hype, it is not yet clear if the company will be able to deliver what it is claiming to provide. Bookings for the phone have started and the onslaught of traffic has crippled the website.

As with every new offering, there are doubts if the company is genuine or not. What if the company fails to deliver the phones after taking the payment? However, there are two reasons why this is not likely a scam.

Firstly, reputable political leaders have launched this product. Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi launched the phone in New Delhi. Defense Minister of India Manohar Parrikar was also expected to attend the launch function. However he was not able to attend it. It is in the interest of the company to live up to its promises.

Freedom_251

Secondly, the owners of the company are listed and readily accessible. All the founders of the company have come out in the open in the advertisements posted in the newspapers.

However, there are many more reasons why the whole thing looks suspicious.

The sample phone sent to Hindustan Times turned out to be a shabby rebranded phone from a company called Adcom with the logo masked using whitener. Adcom is a Delhi based company which imports Chinese electronics. Strangely, when the newspaper contacted the marketing manager of Adcom, he denied that their brand is being used on Freedom 251. The original phone was launched two years back. There is a possibility that Ringing Bells is now selling old stocks.

Ringing Bells has announced that the phone will carry apps such as Swatch Bharat, Women Safety App, etc. However, the phone sent for review did not carry any of these apps. In fact the phone received by Hindustan Times didn’t look anything like the pictures shown in the advertisements.

The icons of the phone look exactly like those of the iPhone. Since most of Apple’s stuff is protected by patents and copyright, there may also be intellectual property issues with the phone. When the company was contacted about this, the newspaper did not receive any response.

The most suspicious thing about the phone is its pricing. It is not understood how the company can sell smart phones for this price and still stay profitable. Further, it is also not known if the government is subsidizing the phone. Even individual components of the phone cannot be manufactured for this price.

It is also not clear how the phone complies with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. No information has been provided about the location of the factory where the phone is been manufactured or assembled.

Whether or not the phone and the company are genuine – this only time will tell. We will have to wait until June 30 when the the first batch of the phones.

Freedom 251: World’s Cheapest Smartphone @ Rs. 251

Ringing Bells, an Indian smartphone maker which made headlines earlier this month by launching a 4G LTE capable smartphone under Rs. 3000, has launched the world’s cheapest smartphone. The phone known as Freedom 251 costs an astounding Rs. 251. It will run Android 5.1 Lollipop and has impressive specs. Bookings will start 6 AM IST on Thursday i.e. February 18th.

The Freedom 251 has been made with support from the Indian Government and complies with the Government’s Make in India campaign. At such a low price point, Ringing Bells aims to make smartphones available to all people in India.

Freedom_251

The Freedom 251 comes with entry-level hardware specifications but they are still impressive for the price. It comes with a 4-inch IPS display whose resolution is not known. The phone is powered by a quad-core SoC from an unspecified company running at 1.3 GHz paired with 1 GB of RAM. The phone also features 8 GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded up to 32 GB using the microSD slot.

Other features of the phone include a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back and a 0.3 megapixel camera on the front. The phone derives power from a 1450 mAh battery.

Bookings for the Freedom 251 will open on February 18th at 6 AM and close on 21 February at 8 PM. The company has announced that the deliveries will be completed by 30th June 2016.

Freedom 251: Key Specs
Display 4.00 Inch IPS display @ 540×960 pixel resolution
Processor 1.3 GHz, make unknown
RAM 1 GB
Storage 8 GB expandable to 32 GB using MicroSD card
Rear camera 3.2 megapixel
Front camera 0.3 megapixel
Operating system Android 5.1
Battery capacity 1450 mAh

 

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Freedom 251: Cheapest Smartphone in India

Just a few years ago, smartphones were so costly that only a few could afford them. They were considered a luxury and only big-shots could buy them. However now, they have reached a point where they can be considered an essential part of life. A new smartphone named ‘Freedom 251’ is going to planning to take smartphones to a whole new level.

A local smartphone manufacturer ‘Ringing Bells’ is going to launch the India’s cheapest smartphone on Wednesday i.e. 17-02-2015. The company has received support from the government which is emphasizing on connecting every Indian and bring about a digital revolution. The Freedom 251 is likely the world’s cheapest smartphone and will be available for less than Rs. 500 (approximately US $7).

Details such as the exact retail price and specifications of the handset will be announced at the launch event. The launch event will see the presence of a number of Government Officials.

The Freedom 251 reminds us of the Aakash Tablet which was promoted by Government to provide students with an affordable computing device. The tablet was launched in India in 2011 at Rs. 3000. The project was not very successful and was shut down last year.

Ringing_Bells_Smart101

Ringing Bells Smart101

Earlier this month, Ringing Bells made headlines by launching the Smart101, a 4G smartphone at an affordable price of Rs. 2999. The smartphone comes with features that are impressive for its price: 5-inch display, 1.3 GHz quad-core Soc, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB inbuilt storage. The phone also comes with microSD slot using which storage can be expanded to 32 GB.

The Freedom 251 smartphone at a price point of less than Rs. 500 has the potential to significantly improve connectivity in India. Even though India has a large number of smartphone users, a significant number of people still do not have access to phones. It needs to be seen how the new device will be received and what impact it is going to make.