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

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.

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

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44 Comments

1. Inotamira

Posts: 173; Member since: Feb 06, 2016

Can this be purchased in the US?

2. htcforlife

Posts: 73; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

Can you read?

3. Inotamira

Posts: 173; Member since: Feb 06, 2016

Yeah, nothing was stated about having it shipped outside India

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.

15. Inotamira

Posts: 173; Member since: Feb 06, 2016

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

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.

23. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 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

38. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

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

35. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

No need to be a Dick about it htcforlife

4. Intrepid_wiz

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

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

5. joseanand

Posts: 27; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

11. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Data cost are already dirt cheap in countries like India.

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

6. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

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

20. ihearlivepplz

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

540p I guess? :P

34. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Better than 480p. :)

25. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

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

7. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 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.

8. karas

Posts: 85; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

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

9. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

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

19. M4th3u54ndr4d3

Posts: 67; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Me too. That's really weird.

29. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

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

26. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

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

10. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Everyone will soon own a smartphone with prices like this.

30. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

That's the only idea behind this project.

33. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yep...

12. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 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........

13. TyrionLannister unregistered

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

22. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

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.

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