Freedom 251, the smartphone from Ringing Bells, is what everyone in India has on their purchase list at the moment. But it’s anything but easy to get hold of the world’s cheapest smartphone. I guess, I am just another of those million Indians, who have been trying unsuccessfully to buy the smartphone on http://www.freedom251.com.
After hours of hitting buy and ending up on a blank screen, I am not sure how many people will actually end up with one of these smartphones in their hands by June 30, the day when the company promises to complete all deliveries. While there are few people, even some friends, who managed to book their Freedom 251 after several hours of tracking the website and trying repeatedly, most were unlucky in pleasing the smartphone gods of Noida.
The first time that I opened the Tricolour touting website, I was has happy to see the big, green ‘Buy Now’ button and was sure that I’ll book Freedom 251 in my first attempt. But pretty soon, my attempts turned into an ordeal as I kept trying and failing each time. The website just refused to take me to the the payment gateway despite filling in the details. In fact, on many occasions, the site refused to open and a blank page stared at me through the computer screen.
Interestingly, the booking limit of number of units of Freedom 251, which was unlimited until yesterday has been cut to just one per user now. This basically means that only 1 unit of Freedom 251 smartphone can be booked by a user and that whatever bookings that came in on Thursday has overwhelmed the company. One will need to register through a different e-mail id in order to book more than one Freedom 251.
From those who have been able to book, it’s now clear that the company has stopped taking payments and will be accepting the Rs 291 per user (Rs 251 + Rs 40 for delivery) only 48 hours later.
All that is immaterial for me, though as I have not made much progress on the site. The next logical thing seemed to call their customer support numbers. Well, I tried that too but couldn’t get through despite repeated attempts.
The smartphone sure seems too good to be true, but it also seems a hard one to get hold of at the moment.
Why the frenzy?
The Freedom 251 at just Rs 251 promises exceptional features on paper. The smartphone is 3G-enabled and features a 4-inch WVGA resolution display. It is powered by a 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB RAM, 8GB total storage space and sports a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back. It will have 0.3 megapixel camera on the front and has a 1450 mAh battery.