Freedom 251: India’s about to get a R60 Android smartphone

ringing bells smart 101

The Freedom 251 will very likely become the cheapest mass-produced smartphone ever once it begins shipping to the Indian public on 3o June.

While nothing special on the specs front, its real appeal lies in its ridiculous price tag. That’s Rs 251 rupees, just US$4, and even more impressively, just R60.

Manufacturer Ringing Bells has previously come under the spotlight for misleading the public, but the phone is ready for its big debut at the end of the month. And according to the CEO Mohit Goel, each phone will be sold at a R30 loss.

The phone had been earmarked for February shipping, but it (and its payment gateway) couldn’t keep up with demand.

“We learned from our mistakes and decided to go silent till we come out with the product. Now we have a 4-inch, dual-SIM phone ready for delivery. I feel vindicated,” Goel explains to the Indian Express.

Related: 7 smartphones under R1000 you can buy right now

So, what can be said about the Freedom 251 then?

For starters, you’d be hard pressed finding a Cape Town restaurant meal cheaper than the phone itself. Also, around 200 000 devices will be pushed though its first batch until 5 July. The company, selling the devices at such a loss, will hope that it can sell all units within this period.

In terms of specs, the Freedom 251 has a 4.0-inch 960×540 screen, a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of microSD card-expandable storage. Beyond the internals, there’s an 8MP rear camera with a 3.2MP selfie camera. There’s also a 1800mAh battery, and support for 3G networks.

According to Goel, Ringing Bells also plans to introduce the “cheapest television sets in India” by the end of July. The company also sells a number of other devices, including the Smart 101 (above image), feature phone Master, and the 4u.

Andy Walker


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