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Freedom 251 World's Cheapest Smartphone in Trouble Due to Suspiciously Low Price
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The phone costs only $4, though the bill of material value is much higher even if sourced from the cheapest supplier

Indian company Ringing Bells announced a few days ago it would launch the world's cheapest Android smartphone, Freedom 251, for just $4.

That's an incredibly low price for a smartphone that is not subsidized at all, and that raised some questions in India, the country where the Freedom 251 should be available for pre-order.

Recently, India's Cellular Association got in touch with the telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to try and get some answers regarding the low price of the Freedom 251.

According to the Indian mobile industry body, Freedom 251 can't be priced below $51 even after subsidies. The cost of the material value for the smartphone, even if ordered from the cheapest supply chain, is much higher than the price of Freedom 251.

“For your kind information, the bill of material value for a product like this when sourced from the cheapest supply chain cost approximately Rs 2,700 ($40).
And this, when translated into retail price after addition of applicable duties, taxes and with distribution and retail margins would be at least Rs 4,100 ($60) while the product is being sold at Rs 251,” ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo wrote in the letter.

It's a disguised Adcom Icon 4 smartphone

Freedom 251 should have been launched by India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, who decided at the last moment that it was not a good idea to be present at the event.

But that's not the only issue that Indian company Ringing Bells is facing, as the device showcased as Freedom 251 is, in fact, the Chinese handset called Adcom Icon 4, which was poorly disguised with a white stripe above the logo.

On top of that, the phone copies some design elements from Apple's iPhone (Home button). Also, the app icons inside the operating system are an accurate version of those included in the Apple iOS.

Last but not least, Ringing Bells' website crashed soon after the company opened pre-orders for the Freedom 251, so no one can order the smartphone anymore.

For those unfamiliar with the Freedom 215, the handset comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system right out of the box.

It sports a small 4-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 480 x 800 pixels resolution and a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back.

Freedom 251 is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The smartphone packs a 1,450 mAh battery, a VGA front-facing camera, and offers 3G connectivity.

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