A Smart Phone? We Tested the Phone ‘ Cheaper ‘

Many have said that a smart phone at that price was too good to be true; BBC reporter give your verdict.

Earlier this year, the Indian company Ringing Bells announced to amazement of many who would launch the smart phone Freedom 251 at a price under $ $4 (R $13). Now, the company says it will sell 200,000 units of the model from July 7. The reporter Shilpa Kannan, BBC in New Delhi, in India, was one of the first people to test it and tell me if there is reason for such skepticism.

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Have on hand a of smart phones “cheaper in the world” is not easy. The Freedom 251 is a device with Android system that the Ringing Bells think selling to 251 rupees (R $12.30). To manipulate it, it looks like an iPhone 5, Apple. And, taking into account your price, the specs are pretty impressive: cameras on both sides; 1 GB of RAM; 8 GB of internal memory, expandable to 32 GB; quad-core processor, which provides a greater processing power when needed and uses less battery in the rest of the time. There are two models: one white and one black.

There were only a few basic applications in Freedom 251 when the BBC tested

Basic applications

In principle, it seems to behave like a smart phone more simple. But it is hard to put to the test its resources, since it comes with just a few basic applications such as calculator, music player, Web browser and e-mail.

But many question whether the company will be able to deliver millions of devices like promises.

A member of the Indian Parliament, Kirit Somaiya, came to suggest that it’s a “big scam”, while the Director of the Indian Cellular Association, which brings together companies in the sector, said that the sale of a handset so it seemed “a joke or a scam”.

Mohit Goel, founder and President of Ringing Bells, denies the charges of fraud.

Your family is in the business of making dried fruit for years, and he says the desire to be part of digital India led him to have the idea of a low-cost smart phone.

High demand

It cannot be denied that there is a lot of demand for a product like this. The India is the second largest cellular market in the world, with 1 billion subscribers, many of whom have a cheap smart phone-though not as cheap as well. But the Freedom 251 is too good to be true?

Freedom 251 comes with camera and flash on the back

I was able to touch a device when the company announced in February this year. More than 70 million people had registered at the time the internet to buy it. The company couldn’t take it and left the air.

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However, the phone given to me and other journalists was actually a model made by a company from China. The brand name-Adcom-was covered by white paint on the front and a sticker on the back. And, strangely, the symbols of the applications looked like the iOS system, used on the iPhone, despite being an Android device.

This sparked fury and protests outside the company’s headquarters, which was questioned by the police, tax authorities and Indian Government agency responsible for fighting economic crimes. The Ringing Bells returned, so deposits made by 30000 potential buyers on the internet.

Mohit Goel denies the release of Freedom 251 is a fraud

The new appliance is a completely different model. The most obvious change is that there are now three buttons below the screen, instead of just one.


But where the Ringing Bells is fabricandos this phones, if you still need to build their factories? Goel says that your company is importing “pieces” of Taiwan and realizing the mounting in Haridwar, in the North of the country.

Mohit Goel expects to sell a line of more expensive phones, beyond Freedom 251

The phone costs around 1,180 rupees to be manufactured, and Ringing Bells says subsidize it by means of agreements with the manufacturers of the applications that come pre-installed. Goel says it will have a loss of 150 rupees with each smartphone, and hopes that the Government also subsidize. About of 200,000 units would be ready to be sold.

The Ringing Bells also plans to have more expensive models, sold as low as $ $100 (£ $330)-and at a profit. But critics are not convinced.

“I find it hard to believe that a phone can be manufactured by 251 rupees, so it’s hard to understand their business model,” says Pranav Dixit, an expert on the technology news site Daily Factor.

“And there’s something more important: the founders do not have experience in the technology industry.”

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