The Freedom 251 is the world's cheapest smartphone. It was launched in India by a Noida-based company called Ringing Bells for just Rs.251.
What's the catch? Nothing (as far as we can tell).
The device raised more questions than answers: the company says the government isn't subsidising the
device; there's a Adcom logo on the front of the device, which was concealed with whitener; and the phone, which is being pitched as a
Made in India device for the Prime Minister Digital India plan, blatantly rips off the user interface of Apple's iOS.
I've been using the phone for about a day and so far, everything works as it should on a low-end Android device running Android 5.1 Lollipop. There are absolutely no extra apps on here, including the promised government apps like Swacch Bharat, but that may just be because these were just some early units given to the media.
according to a Gadgets 360 report, the phone is not certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) (this is mandatory — and time consuming and expensive), so it might possibly fail some radiation tests? We don't
All the app icons on
the built-in apps look exactly like iOS app icons. Mail is the same. Music is the same. Settings is the same. Heck, the
browser has a Safari icon on it. It's a clear violation of Apple's copyright. When we asked Ringing Bells about this at the event yesterday, their technical head Vikas Sharma told us:
“We have used Apple's icons because Apple hasn't copyrighted their designs." We have reached out to Apple for a
comment. It will be interesting to see if the company goes after Ringing Bells.
There's a Goel family behind this, but very little is known about them. As far as I know, they were into agricultural commodities for over 30 years are new to the telecom game. Mohit Goel, who was there at the event, and is an Amity University alumnus, didn't say much at the launch, and was mostly being directed
by his wife Dhaarna, who, according a Hindustan Times report, is the CEO of Ringing Bells. Goel’s parents who were present at the event said he had been assisting his father at his grocery store in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district till recently. Information about funding and finances is very sketchy/non-existent and deserves to be looked into, imo
LOLA /r user asked: How is the performance of the device,
is it even worth the 251 rupees.
Reply: Even if it just tells the time, it's still a cheap clock.
A friend of mine at work was able to book one at about 1:30pm in the afternoon today. The total price came to Rs.291/- (including Rs.40/- as delivery charges).
Payment details are apparently to be sent to his email within the next 48 hours as per the site.
relax... you were the third person to open a thread on 251, so i had to mention it.