Tuesday, 16 February 2016

What the under-Rs-500 Freedom 251 smartphone could offer!

Believe this! A smartphone is being made available by an Indian manufacturer under Rs 500. 

Noida-based low cost handset maker, Ringing Bells, is launching its ultra-cheap smartphone, Freedom 251, amid much fanfare on Wednesday.

With the new device, the company is looking to promote the Indian government's Make In India initiative, and empower "India to the last person, transforming India's growth story".

In its launch invite, the company has stated "The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs 500. This event and launch stands as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India".

The event will see participation of top Government officials, including Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, and also the BJP stalwart Murali Manohar Joshi.

Well-informed analysts in smartphone space said the move to market a smartphone below Rs 500 is "beyond imagination" as the "labour costs itself had been pegged at $5-6 for making such devices locally".

"If they're able to market at Rs 500... having a cheap hardware then I think they're subsiding the device by bundling several software services for which the company might be receiving commission," said Neil Shah, partner and director at Counterpoint Technology Research.

"It would be interesting to see whether the device works on an android version", he added.

Previous efforts towards launching a low-budget quality smartphone with attractive features had gone futile pushing the manufacturer to stop the program for lack of good market response.

Mozilla had abandoned efforts to market its ambitious $25 smartphone that's powered with Firefox OS on lack of " sufficient traction" and had instead turned its attention on " efforts that provide a better user experience, rather than focusing on cost alone."

In a related note, Mozilla said: "We will eat our own fox food. It's incredibly hard to build, make decisions and provide feedback on a product you don't use everyday."

Analysts expectations about the device are follows:

Screen is being pegged at around 3.5 inches
The picture quality would be below the standard Video Graphics Array(VGA) that provides 640*480 pixels
Processor - MediaTek variant that's manufactured by Spectrum
RAM is seen to be around 250 MB
A run on Android OS will make it incredibly good. However most expectations rest on Firefox OS

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