When the Freedom 251 smartphone from Indian tech firm Ringing Bells was unveiled at a ridiculously cheap price of $4 a few months ago, the world was skeptical. At the price point of less than an average meal at a McDonalds, the Freedom 251 did seem too good to be true. As it turns out, however, Ringing Bells was not bluffing about the device at all.
According to Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel, the Freedom 251 would finally start shipping to the Indian market starting June 30. Of course, the company would only be shipping 2.5 million units of the smartphone starting on June 30, but it is a definitive start. Overall, the pre-orders for the device number about 70 million.
The Freedom 251's journey was very turbulent. When it was introduced, many skeptics emerged doubted whether the smartphone was even real. Reports also emerged stating that another smartphone manufacturer sued Ringing Bells for rebranding its device and selling it off as the Freedom 251. However, most of the skepticism was due to the feasibility of the device itself.
After all, at $4, Ringing Bells would undoubtedly be selling the smartphone at a loss. According to Goel, however, the firm would eventually make money, as long as the device sells well. Plus, the CEO was also quick to point out that the Freedom 251 was simply the company's way of connecting India's poorest to the digital, internet-connected age.
Running Android 5.1 off the box, the Freedom 251 is a full-featured smartphone with pretty decent entry-level specs. The device sports a 4-inch 800x48 WVGA screen, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, as well as an 8MP rear shooter and a 0.3 front-facing camera. While there is indeed a legion of more capable smartphones out there, none could come close to the $4 price of the Freedom 251.