Update (2/19): Surprise, surprise – people like cheap things! It seems that after getting 600,000 hits per second on its website, the company couldn’t handle all the orders (and accompanying traffic), and so it had to suspend orders for now. Don’t worry though, Ringing Bells (the handset maker) promises to open back orders “soon”.
Ringing Bells, a company based out of India, has announced that their newest release, the Freedom 251, will sell for just Rs. 251, which is a little less than 4 USD. The device will launch Thursday morning, and when it does, it may be the cheapest smartphone currently for sale in the world.
The Freedom 251 is a curious beast. If you’re expecting anything more elaborate than entry level specs on this device, you are outside of your mind, but given its $4 price tag, it’s really surprisingly well put together. The handset runs on a mystery brand quad-core 1.3 GHz SoC that gets 1GB of RAM to play with. You’ll get 8 gigs of storage space on this baby, but you can expand it up to 32GB with a microSD card. The device sports two cameras – which all by themselves would justify a $4 investment – with the rear-facing one rocking 3.2 megapixels and the selfie-snapper offering .3 megapixels. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box.
The device doesn’t have LTE support, but it claims to run 3G like a champ, has wifi capabilities, and a 1450mAh battery that shouldn’t be too challenged by the Freedom 251’s meager hardware. It comes with an assortment of mild bloatware and a one year warranty. You can purchase the device online starting tomorrow, but Ringing Bells warns that it may be June before they complete all the shipments.
While most people probably won’t have much interest in such a low end device, the Freedom 251 is notable because it sets a new benchmark in terms of affordability. Late last year, Walmart launched a $10 smartphone in the United States that beat out the original iPhone’s specs handedly. The pace that mobile technology is developing means that more and more people who weren’t able to afford a smartphone are arriving to the market all the time, and as ubiquitous as smartphones are now, we can only expect them to become moreso in the future.
What are your thoughts regarding the Freedom 251? With a price that low, it’d be tempting just to pick one up to play around with. Let us know your opinion of the bang-for-buck offered by these specs in the comments below!