Indian smartphone maker Ringing Bells shook the whole tech world in February this year by announcing the world’s cheapest phone, Freedom 251 costing just Rs. 251. Freedom 251 created huge ripples all around the world but was soon smeared with a ton of controversies.
Ringing Bells’ claim to be a part of Indian Government’s ‘Make In India’ program was found to be false. The cloud of suspicion hanging around this device further densified when the prototype devices sent to the media were found to be disguised Adcom phones. The Android icons of the Freedom 251 also seemed borrowed from the iOS. To add to the company’s woes, it came under the scanner of the Indian Government which even investigated into this company.
However, the clouds of apprehension around the Freedom 251 seem to be scattering as Ringing Bells has just announced that it will begin shipping the first batch of Freedom 251 smartphones starting June 30. The number of units of Freedom 251 devices ready to be shipped is claimed to be around a staggering 200,000. The original pics of the device have also been revealed.
It is no big secret that Ringing Bells was facing financial issues in bringing down the price of the Freedom 251 to the desired level. They even got some extra funding from developers in exchange of preloading their apps (probably some government related bloatware) in the Freedom 251. Still, the company was falling short by a huge margin of about Rs.150 per device and even sought help from the Government. It is still unclear whether they received some kind of governmental aid or not.
In spite of all this, it seems that Ringing Bells has finally overcome all odds and indeed succeeded in making the world’s cheapest smartphone which costs just Rs.251 (less than $4). The phone doesn’t look bad on the spec-sheet either. The device sports a 4-inch display and is powered by a quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable internal memory. It features a 3.2MP rear camera and a VGA front camera. The Freedom 251 packs a 1,450 mAh battery and runs on Android Lollipop. For a Rs.251 smartphone, this is more than better.
Kudos to Ringing Bells on making the world’s cheapest phone. We can’t wait until June 30th when the company will start shipping the Freedom 251 and we would be able to get our hands on this device. Till then, stay tuned.