For the last couple of days, people are going gaga over the Freedom 251, world’s cheapest smartphone with an earth-shattering price tag of Rs. 251. The maker of this handset is a less known Noida-based Indian company dubbed as “Ringing Bells” and the bookings started from today morning. But as soon the bookings opened, the whole India witnessed an unprecedented mass hysteria. According to the reports, the website received 6 lakhs hits per second and as a result even “the” Amazon Cloud could not manoeuvre this onslaught of traffic, and eventually the website crashed. Digital and social media gets flooded with the reports and news of the Freedom 251 and starting from the common men to the tech gurus, everybody tried to get their hands on this much hyped device.
In this scenario, our website tried to dissect logically what is the truth behind this unique initiative? Is Freedom 251 really supporting the “Make in India” and “Digital India” projects initiated by the Indian government or is it completely a hoax? We tried to decode whether this whole thing a spam, a money making churn by this hotshot company or they genuinely trying to reach smartphones to the hands of every single Indian . And when we were analyzing the whole thing, we find out some ugly truths behind the entire initiative. So find out the reasons why we think Freedom 251 from the house of Ringing Bells is a massive spam.
The Handset is a Rebranded Fraud
When we first laid our hands on the Freedom 251 we get astonished by the fact that the handset is almost a ditto carbon copy of a smartphone sold by a Delhi based company named Adcom. Adcom is a company which is famous for importing of gadgets and electronic products, launched Adcom A400 two years ago at price of Rs.4000. We found striking similarities between these two phones and we believe Ringing Bells has rebranded the Adcom A400; without their permission of course and selling it by the name Freedom 251.
When we contacted with the Marketing Manager of Adcom, he said, “We have no idea that our branding is being used on the Freedom 251…We will look into this.” And the most hilarious thing is, they have hidden the logo of Adcom with whitener!
Here arises the first question. Which genuine company does such nuisances?
Another interesting thing, Adcom A400 was priced at Rs. 4000. And as per our guesses, Ringing Bells are now rebranding and reselling the old stock of A400 at a much lower price. Here comes the second question, how on earth a new company can rebrand a Rs. 4000 priced phone and sell the same for only Rs 251? So folks, it’s the first point that proves Freedom 251 is a scam.
India’s mobile industry governing body, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has written a letter to the Telecom Industry Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, seeking his intervene in this matter and also requested him to look into this matter. According to ICA, there is no way to sell a phone with such considerable specs and features at a meager price of Rs. 251, with whatsoever the amount of subsidy offered by the government. ICA says that minimum price of a 3G phone is Rs. 2700 these days and Ringing Bells are selling it less than 1/10th price. The 4-inch display,1GB RAM, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor , even the USB charger; by which the phone will be charged with comes with an individual cost which is far more than Rs 251.
Ringing Bells claimed in their website, that the Freedom 251 will be pre-installed with several apps like Women Safety App, Swatch Bharat, Facebook, Whatsapp and more. But the sample units we got for review, did not consist of any apps. Apart from that, the handset is completely different from the one they were advertising on their website and newspapers. Moreover, the icons & browser looks like a direct copy of iOS icons and Safari browser.
The Company is not Government Approved
The Noida-based company Ringing Bells, which is the maker of the Freedom 251 is not listed under the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and this is the most significant point which indicates that the whole thing is a massive gimmick. Also there is no address of the company mentioned in their official website. Moreover, the total approach of the company is very unprofessional, like written descriptions of the phone’s features & advantages and the Tweets are very amateurish and lack expertise.
Well whether the whole thing is a hoax or not, time will only answer that, when the company will start shipping their first batch of Freedom 251 on 30th June. But hopefully the points we discussed have rung bell on your mind and we expect you will think twice before you place the order to buy Freedom 251.