The world’s cheapest smartphone at Rs 251 (less than $4) is here, finally. Its makers, the Noida-based startup Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, say they have made it possible despite allegations from various quarters that such a phone would not see the light of the day. Even an FIR was lodged against the company.
According to Ringing Bells’ Founder and CEO Mohit Goel — sitting comfortably in his Sector 62 office here, the company has been able to keep its promise to consumers.
“We are ready with nearly two lakh ‘Freedom 251’ handsets. We will start delivery from June 30,” Goel told IANS, adding that once he is done with this first phase of delivery (of two lakh phones), he will open registration again for those who wish to buy the handset.
The company had in mid-February this year planned to deliver 25 lakh handsets before June 30. However, it received over seven crore registrations before its payment gateway crashed within three days.
“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,” he said in one breath.
According to Goel, he is facing a loss of Rs 140-Rs 150 per unit, but hopes to make profit on volumes. “We will have a loss, but I am happy that the dream of connecting rural as part of the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives has been fulfilled with ‘Freedom 251’,” Goel said.
The 3G device has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory and supports external memory cards of up to 32GB. No device was, however, given to IANS. Only a photograph was allowed to be taken.
The company has offered an 8MP primary camera with flash, a 3.2MP front camera for selfie and a 1,800 mAh battery. It runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop).
The phone is available in two colours black and white with centrally aligned rear camera and branding on the back panel. It has a speaker just alongside the branding.