Four months back, I struggled, but finally managed, to book the Ringing Bells Freedom 251 for myself. I had the same question on my mind as millions of other Indians — what does a Rs 251 smartphone look like? But even today, holding Freedom 251 in my hands seems like a distant dream; despite the company reassuring it will start deliveries from June 30. Let me tell you what has made me think this way.
I had managed to place an order for the smartphone among all the chaos – the Freedom 251 site crashing, Ringing Bells refusing to take multiple orders and the website refusing to take me to a payment gateway. Finally, when I succeeded, I was given an order number for my Freedom 251 smartphone, and I am supposed to pay cash on delivery.
However, it doesn’t seem like Ringing Bells will be able to stick to a delivery date. Ringing Bells initially said it would start deliveries on June 28. Now, it has delayed the date of delivery to June 30. This has made me doubt the company’s intentions. Yet, I still wait patiently for my Freedom 251 to arrive (or company CEO Mohit Goel to change his mind, again).
Also, I can’t seem to find the Freedom 251 website anymore. Typing Freedom 251.com automatically takes me to ringingbells.co.in and surprisingly the phone isn’t even listed on it. While it has other product listings, including a Smart 101 phone, Master and 4u; looks like all traces of a phone called Freedom 251 have been wiped out.
This gets me worried because then I can’t enter my order number to check what the delivery status is. But I’m still trying not to lose hope and will check the delivery status on June 30.
Moreover, Ringing Bells says it received seven crore registrations for Freedom 251, and all they will deliver is 2 lakh units in the first phase. This makes it more of a lucky draw. And I might not be able to check if the 2,00,000 people actually managed to get one of the phones.
Also, we still don’t know what the phone looks like as the ones showed at the launch event were Adcom units — as acknowledged by the company.
I’m still trying to get over the fact that a smartphone can actually be bought for Rs 251. And now I’m on the verge of believing such a smartphone doesn’t actually exist.