Freedom 251: A hit or a miss ?

Authors: Anuj Nawal & Vijay C.

For Rs.251 you can buy a small pizza ,good quality pen or a screen guard for your smartphone. But now you can buy a smartphone for this price. Shocking isn’t it? It is a shocking news to everyone else around the globe. The freedom 251 made by Ringing bells, Noida based handset maker has created a buzz all over social media for the price tag it carries. If you haven’t heard about it, then here’s the thing which makes it different. It’s the Nano of Mobile phones. With a price tag of a shocking INR 251 only, it makes tech genies all over the world question it’s authenticity. Riddled by queries, we haven’t heard much about the phone from Ringing bells except for it’s Specifications and the in-built apps. A clear picture of what to expect from the phone cannot be given as the delivery of the phone to everyone will be done by June end.
This is what we know about the SmartPhone Freedom251

Display:
Screen size: 4 inch
Display type: qHD IPS
Pixels: 960 x 540

Hardware:
Processor: 1.3 GHz Quad-core ( Manufacturer not mentioned on the site)
RAM: 1GB
Memory: 8GB internal with expandable upto 32GB
Battery : Li-Ion 1450mAh

Camera:
Rear camera: 3.2MP
Resolution: 2048 x 1536 pixels
Front camera: 0.3MP

Software:
Operating System: Android Lollipop 5.1
Pre-installed app: Women Safety, Swacch Bharat, Fisherman, Farmer, Medical, Facebook and Whatsapp.

User Interface: Not Known

The handset body is expected to look similar to a regular small to mid range handset with a circular button instead of the usual rectangular ones we see in android smartphones on the bottom. (Apple might not be too happy about this)

Leaving aside the specifications the phone is providing, there are a lot of things that are still in the dark. Many tech giants have been speculating over how a phone can be manufactured so cheap and many theories have been developed on the same. Typically, a cellphone with such specifications would sell for around 4000-5000 and how Ringing bells got the handset’s price down to INR 251 is still a big question hovering the social media. Of course the “Make in India” campaign has helped a lot but getting it to Rs.251 is a long way from there. The phone was also distributed to a few media representatives such as the Hindustan Times. From what the Techies analyze, there are a lot of things that might get the handset into trouble. For starters here are some of the issues:
Adcom body?

Some quick research on the internet will tell you that the design provided by the Freedom251 is exactly same as the one of Adcom’s handset Adcom Ikon 4. HT claims that the one it was given had Adcom written on it miserably rubbed over by a whitener. User Interface! (Apple would seriously be pissed this time) The icons and the general UI the phone had were astonishingly similar to that of the UI apple products use. Pretty sure Apple will sue them if this gets out too loud. The other interesting fact is that the Adcom Ikon 4 provides a similar User Interface. Coincidence huh? Speculating more over this would be of no use as the handset hasn’t been made ready for public use, but we sure hope that everything falls into place in the end and we get the ultimate cost effective phone in India.

As the number of crimes against women are increasing it is important to have a women safety app in their mobiles. Many of them don’t install or have access to these kind of apps due to reasons like lack of money to buy a smartphone. Freedom251 comes pre-installed , so it may help in reducing the number of crimes against women which is of sublime importance.

Apps like Farmer, Fisherman, Medical, Chrome, YouTube ,etc will provide up to date information to farmers, fishermen and in general to everyone which help them to be up to date with the latest techniques and facilities available or provided to them by the government.

Anyone who has Rs.251 can afford to hold one in their hands. We are now in the time were people are ready to spend 40K to 80K to buy a smartphone. So, this mobile will truly be a game changer. Especially the middle income class can now afford to buy a smartphone for everyone in their family.

The affordability of this phone will give the “Digital India” initiative by the Government of India the much needed boost by ensuring universal mobile connectivity, access to internet which will in turn lead to a alert, safe, connected and literate society.

Since the government has launched programs like e-Governance, e-Kranti, e-Health, e-Education, etc having a smartphone with an internet connection will help involving many people in the decision making process and receiving their allocated funds and services provided under various schemes.
If the phone reaches the hands of the needy people and if they have internet access then the true potential of Digital India initiative can be achieved.

Freedom251 tagline is “SAPNE SACH HONGEY” which translates to” Dreams will come true” but only till June, when the phone is due to launch will we be able to tell if freedom251 itself comes true of its pricing and promises.

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