Freedom 251: What makes us wary and suspicious about this smartphone
Ringing Bells on Wednesday launched India's cheapest smartphone at a throwaway price of just Rs 251 – that's well under $4!
Noida: Ringing Bells on Wednesday launched India's cheapest smartphone at a throwaway price of just Rs 251 – that's well under $4!
While the smartphone has generated quite a buzz, it has left tech analysts with more questions than answers.
Here are some of them:
- The preview device shipped to reviewers bears the logo of Adcom, which was hidden with whitener, and not Ringing Bells or Freedom 251! Adcom is actually a Delhi-based importer of IT products which also ships in smartphones and tablets. Freedom 251's looks and specifications are also similar to that of Adcom Ikon 4.
- The user interface of Freedom 251, which is powered by Android Lollipop, resembles an iPhone! Many of the app icons appear to have been lifted straight from the iPhone and that should make customers wary as that has the potential to attract copyright infringement case. Also, the home button on the phone appears to be a clone of the one on iPhone!
- Further, Freedom 251 is not reported to have secured Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification, which is mandatory for all phones sold in India.
- While bookings for Freedom 251 start on February 18 at 6 am and close on February 21, the phone is not likely to ship before June 30 – that's nearly four and a half months later.
- The preview phone is not at all what it looks like in promotional pictures. In fact, the images of the phone posted on the official website and the phone given for reviews appear to be two totally different phones.
- Analysts are wondering how Ringing Bells is managing to sell a smartphone at Rs 251! Calculations done by various websites put the factory/assembling cost of the phone at well above Rs 2,500! Even the Adcom Ikon 4 is priced above Rs 4,000 on e-commerce websites.
- Last but not the least, the company has shied away from answering the doubts in the minds of people, including journalists, so far. While this makes us suspicious, we would still like to wait and watch how the entire things plays out.