Thursday, 18 February 2016

Freedom 251: Cheapest smartphone in the world is here

Feb 17, 2016, witnessed the release of the cheapest smartphone till date and the commencement of probably the most ambitious project ever taken under the Digital India campaign.

Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells Company is cheaper than the 4G smartphone they released earlier Smart 101 at Rs. 2,999 earlier. It complies with government's Make in India program and is priced at just Rs. 251 (approximately $4), making it arguably the cheapest smartphone in the world.

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The key specs of the phone:

  • 4-inch (960 x 540 pixels) qHD IPS display
  • 1.3GHz quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD
  • Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
  • Dual SIM
  • 3.2MP rear camera with LED flash
  • 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3G,WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, GPS
  • 1450mAh battery

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar launched the smartphone ‘Freedom 251’ on February 17. The launch event was attended by government officials like the Member of Parliament, Murali Manohar Joshi.The event and launch held - stand as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India.

According to the phone’s official website, the company aims to “Empower citizens, even in the remotest rural and semi-urban centres of India, with the latest in digital technology at incredible affordable prices and cascade knowledge, news and current issues so that all experience the confidence of inclusive growth and equal opportunity.”

The Noida-based company said that ‘Freedom 251’ launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for “empowering India to the last person, transforming India’s growth story”. The phone comes pre-loaded with several apps for Women Safety, Swachh Bharat, Framers, Fishermen and more. Ringing Bells says the Freedom 251 smartphone has been developed 'with immense support' from the government .The company also asserts that its smartphone is built to meet the goals of Make In India, the government's project to entice multinational as well as domestic players to manufacturer their products in India.

Last year, DataWind had announced that it is teaming up with Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCOM) to launch the world’s most affordable smartphone, priced at Rs 999. The phone is yet to hit the market though.

Freedom 251’s design looks like it's been borrowed from the iPhone 6s, with similar rounded edges, a round button and the silver ring around it.  What's more, the UI of the Freedom 251 has been customised to look a lot like an iPhone. In fact, many of the icons look identical to apps that ship with Apple's phone.

The freedom251 site has categorised the features under the following tags(thus justifying the name of the phone):

  • Freedom to Flaunt
  • Freedom to Capture
  • Freedom to Connect
  • Freedom to Explore
  • Freedom to Talk
India, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, is poised to overtake the US as the second-largest market in next few years. In the last few months, global smartphone makers, including the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola and Gionee have commenced assembling their handsets in India, where the government is pushing local manufacturing through its Make in India initiative.

The smartphone comes with 1-year warranty and the company says that it has over 650 service centres across India. It will be available for order through Bookings for the Freedom 251 will start from Thursday 18 February from 6.00 am in the morning and will close on 21 February at 8.00 pm. 

A smartphone priced at Rs. 251 will go a long way in connecting every Indian, and like the previous government tried to take computing to the masses with the Aakash tablet, the Freedom 251 has the potential to realise the 'Digital India' vision.

Article by Rishibha Tuteja
Last minute Blogger, fangirl by profession. A Bibliophile by heart, Tech–Enthusiast by choice.
She breathes dreams like air and can be reached at

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