Freedom251, the cheapest smartphone or scam?

An indian company Ringing Bells recently announced their phone Freedom251 to be the cheapest smart phone in the world. 251 comes from the price in Rupee which amounts to 4 USD or 2.5 GBP. This news suddenly caught attention around the world and became a hot topic in mobile industry.

The specifications of this phone is suggested as below.

4-inch qHD screen with IPS
1.3 GHz quad-core processor
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
microSD slot for up to 32GB of external storage
3.2MP rear camera with auto focus
0.3MP (VGA) front camera
3G support
1450 mAh battery
Android 5.1 Lollipop

Freedom-251-specifications

When the phone was revealed to public, it was understood that the phone was actually bland rip-off of Apple iPhone with Android operating system on top. Phones had a back case with Indian Flag but the front side has a correction fluid on the main brand. Journalist removed it and amazingly phones had another brand Adcom. Apparently that same phone was already on market for around 40$. So clearly launching of this phone was failure and questions began.

The phone was supposed to be produced in India, but the company Adcom is Chinese and they had no idea their phone would be used for this display. Founders of Freedom251 said they had little time to prepare so they used a similar phone with the same specs.

However, their phone on their webpage was still quite different with more modern edges. Later they changed this image too, making it clear that they have no idea how their final product will look like.

51139268

Strangely this poor launch was backed by an MP – Murli Manohar Joshi who praised the phone. This probably enhanced the hopes that the product would be supported by related Indian government schemes. This was later understood to be wrong when Bureau of Indian Standards declared this company has no certification to be able to manufacture phones in India.

Now we have a price of 251 rupee around 4 US dollars, but we don’t have a phone, no manufacturing agreement with any companies, no certificate for manufacturing. And on top of that, their contractor for call center – Cyfuture, is sueing the Ringing Bells for failure of any payment.

 

If you live in India, our advise is clear. Don’t pay anything to this imaginative product. It’s either a scam, or terrible planning. The company later said that the product itself will cost almost ten times more to manufacture but they are hoping to reduce this price with further measures such as creating an e-commerce market and using indian state schemes.

 

All the news so far, tells us that there is no agrement at all and all campaign based on promises.
We believe phones will not be delivered, or if some are given some phones, they will be second hand, extremely cheap android devices.

 

References

1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3451626/The-world-s-cheapest-smartphone-3-66-Freedom-251-4inch-Android-handset-revealed-India.html

2. http://techpp.com/2016/02/17/freedom-251-specs-price-features/

3. http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/freedom-251-ringing-bells-bpo-case-fraud-scam/

4. http://techpp.com/2016/02/17/freedom-251-specs-price-features/

 

Raspberry PI setup PART – 1

Raspberry Pi is a small size (slightly larger than a credit card) computer. It looks like a regular pc card, but the small board includes almost everything a computer should have. We will try to including necessary tips for you to start working with Raspberry Pi. To review this product, we bought Raspberry Pi from this link.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008PT4GGC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B008PT4GGC&linkCode=as2&tag=c0a5-21

 

The delivery was superfast, we ordered on Friday evening, item despatched on Saturday and it was delivered on Sunday!. The package is minimal and and for a minute, you may think there is nothing in the package as Raspberry Pi is pretty light.

 

All the package includes is the little board, and nothing else. There is not even a manual but you can get all the necessary information on the web.

 

To setup and connect Raspberry Pi, you need

 

1x SD Card (4 GB is ideal but we purchased a 16GB SD card from this link)

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0013AV9TW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B0013AV9TW&linkCode=as2&tag=c0a5-21

 

1x Micro USB cable. This cable is quite common and you may already have it at home. As an example, Kindle Readers also uses this cable. We had a Samsung S3 cable with plugin and it was all we needed to power this little computer.

 

1x USB Keyboard.

 

1x USB Mouse (not necessary but it is handy in graphical environment)

 

1x HDMI to HDMI cable (standard 19pin)

 

1x Ethernet cable (to connect to Internet – you can also have an USB wireless adaptor)

Before we can set the computer up, let’s first format it. Go to this website

 

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/eula_windows/SDFormatterv4.zip

 

and download/unzip and run the file. Insert your SD card into your computer and run the software. Quick format option is OK.

 

Once formatting is complete, go to

http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/NOOBS_latest

 

and download the zip file. It is almost 1.3GB so it may take some time. Unzip the file, and copy all the files into SD card. This is all you need, you don’t need a special copy mechanism. Now your SD card should be ready.

 

Information & Communication Technologies