In order to encourage manufacturing of products by the multi-national as well as domestic companies in India itself the Government of India initiated the Make in India programme. The programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25th September of 2014. It was devised so that India can be transformed into a global design and a manufacturing hub. Some financial analysts find it a timely response to a critical situation in the financial world market. It’d help India to achieve the top spot globally for foreign direct investment.
On 19th February 2016 a Noida based local company named Ringing Bells under the Make in India scheme launched the world’s cheapest smartphone naming it Freedom 251. It officially launched in New Delhi by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. Freedom 251 is undoubtedly the cheapest phone in the world. Owing to its price; which definitely rang so many bells among the public, the company succeeded in selling around 30,000 units within the first day of its launch. The product went out of stock within a fortnight but just after a brief hiatus, the company website showed it back in stock.
Freedom 251 is priced at a bare minimum of Rs 251 ($5). One might not believe it at first but even if they believe it the first thing that’d spring up in the customer’s mind is that Freedom 251 might not be having the features which one wants in a phone but that’s not the only thing about Freedom 251 you’ll be wrong about. The phone is 3G-enabled and has a cool 4-inch display of WVGA resolution. 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor is coupled with 1GB RAM which is quite considerable in comparison with the latest additions in the smartphone’s world. The total storage space is of 8 GB and the phone sports a 3.2 megapixel camera. It also has a 0.3 megapixel front camera. The battery backup is quite good, thanks to the 1450 mAh battery installed in the device.
The Noida-based company said that the deliveries will take almost 4 months to complete and they are expecting it to do so by the month of June. http://www.freedom251.com is the special website through which Ringing Bells is marketing and selling their device. Moreover, the company has made cash on delivery option available to the people but in doing so they are charging an extra Rs 40 as delivery charges, taking the total price of the device to Rs 291. The booking for the device which is only available online has been closed since 21st February.
On its launch night the website claimed to have hit 6 lakhs hits per second resulting in the crashing of the website for some time. Having received such an overwhelming response and look ups and also with the features that the company is promising on paper, we can’t see the fervour of Freedom 251 going down sooner.
Some things to keep in mind before ordering Freedom 251
- Ringing Bells is not one of the well established brand and with no past record in electronics it’s still an unknown brand, making it difficult at this point to ascertain the quality of Freedom 251 and the after-sale scenario.
- The company told its consumers that it’d take them 4 months to ship the handhelds to them and all the booking is done online, keeping in mind the lack of track record of the company there’s a slight possibility that the handheld’s may not be shipped at all.
- Although the site does say that the device is coming with a warranty for 1 year but still there’s no such return policy depicted on the website.
Getting a smartphone at the cost of a 3G internet pack is not something anyone would have imagined in near future. But this opportunity is up for grabs now. We can see it making a big name for itself and also for India in the entire world. But for the time being the price tag put up by Ringing Bells is just ringing bells among people throughout the world. But when the money involved is as low as Rs 250/- then Freedom 251 is something you must try for sure.