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The Freedom 251 is a quad-core Android smartphone that costs as much as a cup of coffee

Posted: , by Luis D.

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The Freedom 251 is a quad-core Android smartphone that costs as much as a cup of coffee
Before smartphones were a thing, we remember urban legends about supermarket cashiers returning old mobile phones if they don't have change. Funny as it may seem, these legends could come true soon, because the Freedom 251 smartphone literally costs chump change. The quad-core Android handset was announced in India and is about to go on sale tomorrow, priced at a rather affordable $3.6 (251 INR).

So, how much smartphone can you have for the price of a cup o' Joe? Surprisingly much, indeed – the Freedom 251 runs Android 5.1, features a 4-inch 960p IPS LCD screen, and has a 1.3GHz quad-core chipset with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. There's a 3.2MP rear cam and a 0.3MP front cam combo on the 3G-connected, dual SIM smartphone, which is powered by a 1450mAh battery. That's a decent set of specs for the price, and the Freedom 251 doesn't look half bad.

The Freedom 251 is a quad-core Android smartphone that costs as much as a cup of coffee
Clearly, there has to be some kind of agenda behind releasing such an extreme bargain of a smartphone. According to its website, the 251 is meant to "empower citizens, even in the remotest rural and semi-urban centers of India, with the latest in digital technology." As for the company behind the smartphone, it's called Ringing Bells, and it was incorporated just five months ago. As the smartphone is being made under Prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to "empower each and every one in India". Thus, it is likely that the government is subsiding the Freedom 251.

With the smartphone launching in India tomorrow, Feb 18, it will be interesting to learn if the company will manage enough supplies and whether everyone who wants one will be able to get it without dealing with flash sales, sign-ups, or other promotional tactics. Those interested should pay the website a visit and "book" themselves, starting 6 AM (presumably Indian time) tomorrow.


source: Freedom 251

44 Comments
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posted on 17 Feb 2016, 03:34

1. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


Can this be purchased in the US?

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 03:38 14

2. htcforlife (Posts: 73; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


Can you read?

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 03:42 7

3. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


Yeah, nothing was stated about having it shipped outside India

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:46 6

14. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


The answer would be no, at least for a little while. This is part of the 'make in India' scheme to stabilize the slipping Indian economy. They are most likely going on loss making these and are working on subsidy by the government.

The only reason this phone is being produced is to reduce smartphone imports. High Imports reduce the exchange rate and cause the economy to tank. That being said, I'm no expert in Economics.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:52 1

15. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


Makes sense, my primary interest was to use this as a Dev device to build apps or games for.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:59

16. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


You can still buy a few similar phones in US for under 50$. Or look at eBay for refurb models.

BTW it's not recommended to make games for. qHD is archaic resolution and you won't be able to adjust DPI scaling properly for higher-end devices. I would suggest you look into a stock android phone with at least 720p screen, maybe a moto G refurbished.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 06:33

23. neela_akaash (Posts: 1157; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


Less than $4 for a smartphone sounds really mad. But yes that's right. Although the renders are not accurate. Following is the actual image.

http://m.gsmarena.com/freedom_251_is_a_4_smartphone_that_packs_in_a_quadcore_cpu_and_runs_android_lollipop-news-16671.php

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 20:29

38. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


OMG, the official picture doesn't look anything at all like the actual image! Bogus!

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 11:56 1

35. medicci37 (Posts: 1272; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


No need to be a Dick about it htcforlife

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 03:50 3

4. Intrepid_wiz (Posts: 28; Member since: 30 Dec 2015)


You mean tomorrow February 18, not "..251 launching in India tomorrow, March 18..."

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:01

5. joseanand (Posts: 27; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


now. they need to reduce the data cost and provide more free-wifi zones.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:32

11. mixedfish (Posts: 1164; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Data cost are already dirt cheap in countries like India.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:41 1

21. ananthu07 (unregistered)


when you convert it to US dollars? yes. But, within the country? no. Also, there are no mobile data plans that give you unlimited or at least large data cap

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:08 1

6. duartix (Posts: 290; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


960p is not qHD.
qHD is 960 x 540p.
Still it's a steal.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:26 1

20. ihearlivepplz (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Jul 2015)


540p I guess? :P

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 10:44

34. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10443; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Better than 480p. :)

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:30

25. dimas (Posts: 2046; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


There'a a catch for this phone: you have to borrow a charger as part of cost cutting.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:11

7. Trakker (Posts: 283; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


This is what's so good about Android that it allows people all over the world to essentially have a fully functioning computer and hopefully helps stop the traditional propaganda governments use.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:11

8. karas (Posts: 76; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


sim costs more or less phones price.
I can buy 4 such mobiles with my screen gourd price

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:17

9. kkmkk (Posts: 479; Member since: 06 May 2013)


how is this even possible ?? i fell like there is something wrong about it

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:17

19. M4th3u54ndr4d3 (Posts: 60; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Me too. That's really weird.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:04

29. neela_akaash (Posts: 1157; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


There is a government subsidy behind this phone. The actual cost of the phone is around $30.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:32 1

26. dimas (Posts: 2046; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


India's having their own phone factories so this is possible, just not expecting it to be that low.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:19

10. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2358; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Everyone will soon own a smartphone with prices like this.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:05

30. neela_akaash (Posts: 1157; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


That's the only idea behind this project.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:29

33. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2358; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Yep...

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:33

12. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


The best things are the Android 5.1, 8GB ROM + 1 GB RAM.

But Smartphones being a Business, I believe there is a HUGEEE Caveat behind this. Let's see........

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 04:43

13. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


I would prefer kitkat on those specs. lollipop is too resource hungry to cause even flagships to stutter.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 06:09

22. Norris (Posts: 121; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)


Have you used Marshmallow? How much better is it than Lollipop? I'm thinking of upgrading my S4 to MM(CM 13) but I'm not sure that it will be able to work properly as Lollipop(CM 12.1) isn't much fluid.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:37 1

28. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


I haven't personally tried it on my phone, but my friend's moto G 2014 changed from a laggy unusable mess on lollipop to a fairly usable experience.

MM is definitely way better than lollipop. I'm not sure if it's better than kitkat though.

posted on 23 Feb 2016, 22:19

44. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


100% Agreed. I think KitKat is best Android version to come out from Google. Both my LG G Pro 2 and Meizu M1 note have started experiencing lags and battery drain in Lollipop. Hope Marshmallow would be better.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:00

17. athos07m (Posts: 64; Member since: 22 Apr 2012)


I read somewhere that I think the Indian Defence Minister will unveil the phone tomorrow. Indian government subsidy should be behind this price.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:08

32. neela_akaash (Posts: 1157; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


Yes that's true. There's a subsidy behind this. But really this is cheaper that a movie ticket or KFC's quarter bucket of Chicken wings.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 05:11

18. josephnero (Posts: 555; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Prepare to have your info sold

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:26

24. sebstin (Posts: 100; Member since: 03 Dec 2015)


For similar specs samsung sells for $200.. :)

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 07:35

27. TheGranter (Posts: 51; Member since: 28 Jan 2016)


Soon to come, a hole bunch of s**tty videos of indian people doing silly s**t most ordinary western freak out about.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 22:22

41. prabithroy (Posts: 3; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)


Yeah, and more s**tty selfie and everything, lol

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 08:07

31. chenski (Posts: 393; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)


Its the beginning of the end for expensive flagships!

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 13:02 1

36. Shubham1221 (Posts: 64; Member since: 29 Jul 2015)


Great Initiative!!!!Can be used as a backup device and really it has a price tag which no one imagines.Its a cheapest world smartphone.Lets see how it turns to real usage.But so far Its a great unbeatable price.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 15:29 1

37. Swordylove (Posts: 186; Member since: 27 Jun 2015)


Now that's 4" with an impressive stb ratio.

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 20:52

39. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


http://www.freedom251.com/

They changed the picture now lol. Looks like a toy now. MEH..

posted on 17 Feb 2016, 20:53

40. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


"With 3.2MP AF Rear Camera & .3MP Front camera capture best moments of your life. Freedom 251 with its inbuilt touchless technology is Ideal for perfect Selfie. For Selfie lovers life just got a little easier."

Hahahahahahaha........

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 06:44

42. avinash22i (Posts: 55; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


What did you expect a SONY EXMOR camera ha. So you expect the company to advertise it as " No it will most probably shoot crappy pics please do not by it".

It looks like a TOY- Again do you expect it to Look like a LUMIA or an iPhone.

It's 251 rupees for gods sake, So stop cribbing about it and go cry some where else will ya.

If what they have published is true, then no matter how bad the phone will be it is still worth it. The phone is meant for those who are Below Poverty Line and for those who reside in the most rural of places which will give them access to connectivity and digitization not to play MORTAL COMBAT and shoot 4K videos with it.

posted on 23 Feb 2016, 22:17

43. najib1312 (Posts: 152; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Agreed, but they missed out an important logic - those living below poverty line don't even have INTERNET ACCESS, let alone purchasing these online.

I believe only youngsters and techies are actually going to buy these phone - I myself have placed orders for 3 units :-)

In terms of ad, they should have been honest from the beginning. Why do they have to put a fake image in the beginning (which was actually an image of good looking phone with thin bezels) and change it after the registration starts? That's deceiving.

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