The leaders of the Indian company “Ringing Bells” have set their mind on reversing a trend of expensive smartphones. Instead of charging an arm and a leg for their smartphone, they have taken a different approach. One that offers a fully functional smartphone for 251 Indian rupees ($3.7 USD) and will potentially empower millions of people to become connected. Remember that India is the world’s second-largest mobile market with one billion mobile phone subscribers. The new phone is part of India’s new “Make in India” initiative which aims to move production lines to India.

So how much of a smartphone do you get for the price of a Starbucks coffee? Well, in summary you get a really low-end device, but not too far behind the other low cost alternatives that actually cost much more than Freedom 251.

Here are some specs:

  • Screen size is 4 inches and qHD (960×540)
  • Front facing camera is VGA (0.3MP)
  • Rear facing camera is 3.2MP
  • Inside you will find 8GB of storage
  • RAM is 1GB
  • There is a memory card slot  (microSD) that supports up to 32GB of additional space
  • There are 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS capabilities present
  • Battery is 1,450mAh
  • Processor is 1.3GHz quad-core
  • 1 year warranty
  • This is an Android phone running 5.1 Lollipop with all the usual Google services. It also includes a few more bundled apps that entry level buyers in India might find useful. Even if it’s not the fastest phone out there, having access to the software selection in the Play Store could totally change someone’s life if they’re coming from a dumb phone and have no other computing devices.

I still cannot wrap my head around the low price of this smartphone. To my knowledge this is the cheapest smartphone available. How is this possible??? Some will say that the government may be subsidizing the device but according to Ringing Bells that is not the case. They are saying that no direct financial support is involved from the Indian government. At under $4.00 Ringing Bells is basically giving this phone away. There is just no way the company is making any money from this smartphone. I am almost certain that they are taking a loss, but that is just my take on this. The company is set to start taking reservations for the phone on February 18 at 4AM and close on February 21 at 8PM. Currently there are no talks to whether or not this device will be available outside of India. My guess is that it will never be offered for other markets.

Here is a first look video of the Freedom 251 posted by Gadgets 360″