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Social media is buzzing with news and discussions about the recently launched Freedom 251 smartphone that has been introduced in India for a really and literally unbelievable price of INR 251 ($4)! A launch event for the phone was conducted, which indicated that it’s not a scam, though some government officials including Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar (Guest of Honor) did not show up at the event.


Even the launch event did not look like a launch event, and maybe this is because the company is still not experienced, Freedom 251 being their second smartphone. But at least the launch event shouldn’t have gone wrong, which raises a lot of questions in our minds. Clearly speaking, we think that Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251 is a scam and people shouldn’t fall for it. Here are 4 strong reasons why you should not buy Freedom 251 smartphone.

Freedom 251 Buy or Not to Buy?

Disclaimer: Before we go ahead and start without our list, we would like to tell you that these are our liberal thoughts that we believe in currently. We are not confirming or guaranteeing in any way that this is a scam unless it is completely proved with more proofs. Our only intention is to make our readers aware of all the possibilities that we can make out from the information currently available at hand. We have referred PhoneRadar for information.

1. The Product Isn’t Subsidized

Freedom 251 hasn’t received any subsidy from the government, and this has been confirmed by the President of Ringing Bells himself. The company says that most of the costs include the passing on of the 13.8% duty protection for selling a Make in India product. However, some researching and calculation tells us that the minimum cost for making the Freedom 251 with those specs should be around INR 2000-2500. The company is only getting a discount of a couple of percent through the Make in India campaign, which is actually not enough for covering the production expenses. So there’s a really big gap between the cost of production of the smartphone and its INR 251 price tag.

2. “Make in India” But Made in China!

While the company claims on its website that their Freedom 251 smartphone is a part of the Make in India campaign, we believe otherwise. First of all, no one has ever heard of Ringing Bells, and secondly, the Freedom 251 resembles the Adcom Ikon 4 smartphone that is imported from China to be sold in India by Adcom, an India smartphone vendor. One look at the Ikon 4 and you would say that Freedom 251 is the exact same phone, which conflicts with the fact that it is a Make in India product. Also, no one knows where the Ringing Bells manufacturing plant is, or whether or not they even have one.

3. Copyright Infringement Issues

Let’s say for a moment that this is not a scam and that Freedom 251 is a real smartphone available for INR 251. However, Ringing Bells is clearly violating copyright laws by directly lifting off software elements from Apple’s iOS such as calculator, browser, messages, camera, clock, etc. Apart from the software, even the circular home button on the Freedom 251 looks like the Touch ID/Home button on the iPhone 6/6s.



4. Freedom 251 is Not BIS Certified

The Bureau of Indian Standards had introduced a rule in 2015 that makes it compulsory for smartphone manufacturers to get BIS certification for their products before they can start selling them in India. And for your information, the Freedom 251 smartphone does not carry a BIS certification, which places it in an illegal zone according to us. Ringing Bells itself claims that the Freedom 251 will start shipping in June and they will get the BIS certification by then as the procedure is a lengthy one. However, it is still not legal to start selling the phone before getting it certified.

All the above information points towards a possibility that Freedom 251 could be a scam and you should refrain from buying this handset as of now. We hope the government gets deep into the matter and investigates the ins and outs of Ringing Bells’ business so that we clear idea of what’s true and what’s not. Till then, it would not be safe to buy Freedom 251 smartphone.

You might have heard recently in your social media timeline that a smartphone priced at Rs 251 is launched in India. Well, that is hard to believe, but as far as we people are led to believe it is a greenlit since company conducted a launch event. But it didn’t go as promised, as the Guest of Honor, the Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar and few other government officials didn’t show up for the event. Moreover, we would say the launch event didn’t felt like an actual smartphone launch event, trust us as we say because we have been to a lot of events.


Sure, company is inexperienced, since it’s their second handset only, but they could have don’t it properly. Instead it’s letting us believe that the Freedom 251 smartphone from the Ringing Bells is just another scam. As the Smart 101 handset, which is what claimed by some users online posting feedback on company’s business listing. Let’s go down this road again as we have several times and let us convince you why you shouldn’t buy the cheapest 3G smartphone in the world.

5.Is it a Subsidized Product?

The information that was able to gather from the company officials at launch says that it isn’t a government subsidized product. The President of Ringing Bells has clarified that there is no subsidy provided by the government for the Freedom 251 smartphone. When asked how you are going to achieve this feat of launching a product at Rs 251, he responded with that company has broken down costs, most of which includes passing on the 13.8% duty protection for selling a Make in India product to a customer. According to the calculations after researching, we came to a number at Rs 2300-2500, which would be a minimum cost bearings for a phone with specifications like Freedom 251. Now the company is admitting that there is no subsidy provided by the government, but they’re rather getting a Make in India discount of a couple percent, which in theory would not cover the expenses of the production. There is just a significant gap between the 251 Rs price tag and the costs to make a smartphone with such specifications.

6.“Make in India” via China

The company claimed on their website that the Freedom 251 is a part of Make in India campaign. While are happy to see this initiative taking serious steps with big corporations like Samsung, Gionee, Vivo and Xiaomi are couples to name. But a company no one’s ever heard of announces a smartphone with such dirt cheap pricing, all out of the water, with no concrete reports is just to skeptical, wouldn’t you say. Moreover, a wholly highlighting issue came in when we find out that Freedom 251 is a Rebranded Adcom Ikon 4 smartphone. If you didn’t know, Adcom is an Indian Smartphone vendor, who imports handset from China and sell it in the country, as many companies like Micromax and Karbonn does. The Adcom has been in the news recently where company inked an agreement with Zopo Mobiles, an international mobile manufacturer from China. Since we have established that Freedom 251 smartphone is really a rebranded version of the Ikon 4 smartphone Adcom, then how can it be a Make in India product, if it’s imported from Chinese manufacturing plant. Moreover, the Noida-based Ringing Bells haven’t shared any plans that where they have set up the manufacturing unit in the country, or if they haven’t when would they would do so. In the name of Make in India, the company might just be target innocent citizens who believe that it’s a real product. But what if it’s not, have you thought about it!



7.Copyright Infringement

Okay, even if it was true somehow that it isn’t a scam, then how would you justify the copyright infringement that Ringing Bells is completely violating by using the software icons lifted from the iOS. The dialer app, browser, calculator, camera, clock ad messages applications are copied from iOS. For those who are not aware, Apple iPhone runs on the iOS mobile platform, and the icons that are being used on the Freedom 251 are clearly in violation of the copyright infringement. Meanwhile, we are at it; the software is not the only thing that is apparently copied from the Apple iPhone. If you’re not familiar with the iPhone, then let us tell you that the circular Touch ID at the bottom of the cheapest 3G smartphone looks like iPhone 6/6s.

8.Different Photos, Same Device

What’s more disconcerting is that founders of Ringing Bells think this as a joke? Why do we say that? Well, it’s because the smartphone doesn’t look anything like the images posted on the Freedom251.com. Do You want to hear more? After going through the order page, the device image completely changes. Also according to the images we had published in our earlier article (Posted above as well), you can see it’s different. Now how is that possible? One device, two entirely different images. As if that wasn’t enough, you could order minus 1 unit of the device at minus Rs 291 (Shipping included) as shared online. Some of the users even claimed that site is accepting up to 99 units. We also witnessed that case, although, now the booking is closed for around 24 hours. It may be a technical flaw, but if it is any real, wouldn’t it make sense to use existing e-commerce websites (like Flipkart and Snapdeal) that could handle such transactions with much ease. Or maybe they couldn’t because what this all is a big fat scam, luring people to spend money.

9.NO BIS Certifications

As of last year, companies launching products in the India need to file for BIS certification before launching any product in the country. What is BIS Certification and why is that important? Well, as of last year, the Bureau of Indian Standards has made mandatory for smartphone manufacturing companies in India or outside to launch a product need to go through BIS certification procedure if it wants to be sold in the country. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology introduced a compulsory certification requirement in 2012, which has been then going to apply on various electronics equipment since then including tablets and as of last year, the smartphones as well. Now wouldn’t it be illegal to sell a product with no BIS certification? Well, that would be true. Even, the Ringing Bells claims that their product would be shipped sometime in June (by then they can get certification as it’s a long procedure), it doesn’t give them right to start selling product right now.
After going through all above points, we think it isn’t a wisest of the decision to buy this handset. Well, if you’re just curious to know how it would turn out, in the end, you’re most welcome, but we recommend not buying this smartphone, as it is highly likely that it might be a scam. A big fat scam. Check out few more concerns that we have risen in the below articles about. Stay Tuned on our site to know latest about the Freedom 251 smartphone.

1 comments:

  1. I am continually amazed by the of information available on this subject. What you presented was well researched and well worded in order to get your stand on this across to all your readers.
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Mithilesh Joshi