The world's cheapest smartphone is on sale again today in India, but the site is unresponsive and appears to be under heavy load.
Yesterday Ringing Bells halted the online sale of the $3.70 Freedom 251 smartphone in India after its servers crashed. The company promised to improve the order system and start sales again today. The Freedom 251 online purchase option is live, but the site is under heavy load. In our tests we get empty order pages and also empty homepage at times.
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Update March 19: $4 Freedom 251 Sales halted, rebranded Adcom Ikon 4 controversy arises.
Ringing Bells claims that on the first day 30,000 orders for the Freedom 251 smartphone went through, which is not a lot. The company said that they encountered a load of 600,000 hits per second.
The ultra-low price and the pre-order vows raise questions about the legitimacy of Ringing Bells and its dirt cheap smartphone. Industry insiders wonder how the company is even able to make a phone that cheap.
Ringing Bells director Mohit Goel tries to dispel the concerns. He told the Economic Times, "We are not hiding anything. The money collected is being kept in an escrow account and the company won't get the funds till the deliveries are done. Orders will be taken for a maximum of 2.5million phones online and another 2.5 million offline. We are promising 100% deliveries to all 5 million orders by June 30, starting from April."
ET also reports that the Indian government is keeping an eye on Ringing Bells.
Ringing Bell's Freedom 251 smartphone would be the biggest star at the MWC 2016 in Barcelona. While traditional smartphone makers aim to make more feature packed phones costing several hundred Dollars, here is smartphone that costs as much as a beer.
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The Freedom251 features a 4-inch QHD IPS screen 1.3Ghz quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, up to 32GB via SD Card, 3.2MP rear camera, .3MP front camera, 1450 mAh battery, and 3G connectivity. The $4 smartphone runs Android 5.1. The smartphone comes pre-loaded with apps including Women Safety, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Fisherman, Farmer, Medical and more.