Some Facts about Ringing bells Freedom 251- Scam or not

By Rjain February 19, 2016 12:27

Some Facts about Ringing bells Freedom 251- Scam or not

Ringing bells Freedom 251- Scam or not?

 By now we’re pretty sure all of you would have heard about the smartphone Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells.

If not, The Freedom 251 is the worlds cheapest smartphone. It costs only ₹251, as the name suggests. This is lesser than $4.

Here are the specs of the phone.

  • 4-inch (960 x 540 pixels) qHD IPS display
  • 3GHz quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD
  • Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
  • 2MP rear camera
  • 3MP front-facing camera
  • 3G,WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, GPS
  • 1450mAh battery

Reasons it is NOT a Scam

 This phone by the company Ringing bells, which was established only a few months ago was launched by political leaders.

At the phones launch event, veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi launched this handset in Delhi. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar was also expected to attend this event, but he did not attend it.

Ownership Is Known

If this phone was a well planned scam, the founders of the company wouldn’t have publicly shown their identity.

Here is the Facebook profile of the founder Mohit Goel, who goes by the name ‘CuteMohit’. Also, all the founders of this company have come out in the front page of yesterday’s TOI and mentioned that the handsets would be delivered in June.

Also, the people who purchased the smartphone today were told that payment instructions will be sent to their emails within 2 days. I don’t think someone who wants to make money by scam will try to delay the payment process by the users.

Reasons IT IS a Scam

The phone shown as the Freedom 251’s launch event, although told by the company that it is a beta version phone, was actually a phone called “ikon 4” which was launched by a Chinese company around 2 years ago. To hide the identity of the original company of that phone, ringing bells put Whitener on all the phones for display during the launch event in Delhi.

The company’s official website does not have any information about the phone as of now. That’s alright, since they have a standalone website for the Freedom 251.

But, this website was registered hardly a few weeks ago.

Also, as you can see in the below image of the phone, it has copied app icons from Apple. Which suggests that Ringing Bells might go to the courts of USA before manufacturing the phone in India.

Sample unit of Freedom 251 was reviewed by Hindustan Times, and they found that it’s a shady, rebranded ripoff of a smartphone sold by a company named Adcom, which is a Delhi based importer of gadgets and electronic products. And, Marketing Manager of Adcom has said, “We have no idea that our branding is being used on the Freedom 251.. We will look into this.”

The handset which is being allegedly rebranded (without their permission) was launched 2 years ago. Hence, it can be a possibility that Ringing Bells are now reselling the old stock at lower price.

Interestingly, the handset which has been rebranded is sold for Rs 4000 by Adcom. How will a new company rebrand it and sell the same for Rs 251? A huge red flag for scam alert here.

As per the specifications mentioned in their website, this smartphone will be pre-loaded with several apps such as Swatch Bharat, Women Safety App, Facebook, Whatsapp and more. But the review unit didn’t had any such app. Besides, the actual handset received by HT is entirely different from the handset which is being shown on their website and the full page ads in newspapers.


Mobile Industry Body Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has written to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, asking him to look into this matter, as there is no way any company can sell such a handset below Rs 2700, even after considering all discount factors.

ICA President said, “For your kind information, the bill of material (BOM) value for a product like this when sourced from the cheapest supply chain cost approximately USD 40 (Rs 2,700).”

Considering that this handset feature 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM; the individual cost of each component itself will be far more than Rs 251.

The phone isn’t approved

Ringing Bell, the parent company behind the scintillating offer is not listed under Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which means that they are not certified to sell any product in India. This is a major red flag alert, which indicates that it’s a scam. And, there are no address mentioned on their website; the copy which they have written describing the advantages and features are all amateurish, and the Tweets they are sending are unprofessional to say the least.

We suggest you to not buy the phone for now, until there’s more news on the originality of the phone, and company.

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By Rjain February 19, 2016 12:27
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