Just yesterday we reported about the launch of Freedom 251 smartphone which claims to be the world’s cheapest smartphone. Considering the price of just Rs 251 or just $3.65 the claim does appear true. But, we are skeptical and are curious on whether they can actually deliver it to everyone who succeeded in placing the order today or in next two days. Here is why we are a bit anxious and even feel that consumers should stay away from ordering it.
Misleading Device images of the device
If you open the portal of Freedom 251, you will find a good-looking premium kind of Smartphone depicted as Freedom 251, but if you look at the full-page advertisements, it is too different. Yesterday only we felt that the images on the site are not real and the print ads carried a much realistic image of the device. We were right. Checkout the images below. The actual device is at the right end.
No info on number of units that will be sold
There is no info on how many number of units will be sold in first batch.
No concrete information on where the device will be assembled or manufactured
The company says that the devices will be manufactured / assembled in a factory in Noida, yet the information is not complete as we don’t have any more details about the factories. Are they already finalised or yet to be done. If not, then how they can complete all the orders before 30th June?
Who is subsidizing it and why?
Clearly this is a subsidised phone yet the company says that Government is not giving any subsidy. The question remains, then who is subsidizing the phone and why? If no one is subsidizing it then it is not possible to manufacture and deliver it at that price.
It is a rebranded phone and not a Make in India Phone
Freedom 251 is a rebranded Adcom Ikon 4 chinese model and even brand name was whitened out in one of the preview units sent to one of Media houses (Hindustan Times). Adcom Ikon 4 is priced at ~ Rs. 4,000 on Flipkart and other e-commerce portals.
Freedom 251 appears to be violating Apple copyrights with the icons and even the design of the phone. More bizzare is the fact that if you look at the source code of their website, you will find clear mention of apple icons that are used there. Perhaps they forgot to rename those icon files.
Problems with Payments, No refund Policy, No Confirmation
We were unable to find any refund policy or in fact any policy about payments, refunds, cancellations etc on their site. Apart from that, users who succeeded in ordering the device, didn’t get any order confirmation / receipt of the same, but just the confirmation from payment gateway that the payment has been made.
And guess what, it even lets you order half the phone i.e. 0.5 units of Freedom 251.
You can even reach the successful order page even without ordering the phone, even though it says 0 units.
We still want to believe it’s possible, but we are too skeptical about this. If they can clarify these points, we would surely ask users to try buying it, but till then we would ask everyone to stay away from Freedom 251.