$4 Android Smartphone Debuts in India, Looks a Lot Like an iPhone

$4 Android smartphone debuts in India

Believe it or not, there’s now a Smartphone out there that can be purchased for less than the cost of this $10 a night Airbnb listing. A virtually unknown Indian company called Ringing Bells has officially debuted the Freedom 251 – quite possibly the most affordable Android smartphone ever made. The price tag? 251 Indian rupees, which is the equivalent of $3.67 USD.

You’re probably wondering what the hell $4 can get you in the way of smartphones. The Freedom 251 is powered by a 1.3 GHz Quad-Core processor, features a 4-inch qHD display, 4 GB RAM, and 8GB of storage (expandable to a 32GB with a microSD card). The extremely  economical smartphone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop software which debuted in 2014. Don’t expect the cameras to be as current though. The device has a 0.3 megapixel front camera and 3.2 megapixel rear camera with autofocus. In other words, don’t even think about doing it for the ‘Gram with this thing.

As far as the phone’s physical hardware goes, its cosmetic similarities to the iPhone are hard to ignore. Additionally, many of the Freedom 251’s icons even look like clones of the ones found on an iPhone. The Android phone for the most frugal of consumers also comes preloaded with a handful of apps, including Whatsapp, Facebook, and YouTube.

The Freedom 251 was launched under the Indian prime minister’s Make in India initiative. According to Ringing Bells President Ashok Chadha, however, there is no government subsidy for the project. Chadha claims that India’s PM merely aided the launch of the Freedom 251 by offering “vision and guidance.”

In order to eliminate marketing and distribution costs, the Freedom 251 is only being sold online. There’s also a very limited purchase window for the device, which is only available for all of four days, from February 18-22.

In theory, an incredibly cheap smartphone like the Freedom 251 sounds like a tool that could greatly benefit India’s less fortunate. However, the initiative is not without controversy. The phone’s official website initially featured images of the wrong device. In an even bigger blunder, the device shown to the media at launch looked like a rebranded version of a phone made by a company called Adcom. The device even featured Adcom branding which was covered up with white-out. You can’t make this stuff up. But again, it’s a $4 phone. Don’t act like you weren’t expecting there to be some type of catch..




Photo Credit: ComputerHoy.com

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Nate Santos

A born and bred New Yorker, Nate was raised on '90s hip-hop and AND1 streetball mixtapes. In his early college years, he began writing for music blogs and YRB Magazine, while working one of the scummiest jobs known to man, mobile phone sales. He later joined The SOURCE as a Contributing Editor for the print magazine and TheSource.com. He has written for XXL magazine, Complex.com and BET.com, among other media outlets. On occasion, he still loses sleep over Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals. He often copes with the stress of being a lifelong Knicks fan by adding to his sizable sneaker collection or watching a George Carlin stand-up special.