A recently unveiled smartphone in India, which costs only 4 dollars, might turn out to be a scam. The phone from Ringing Bells, a company founded just last year, initially garnered tons of media attention. A recent report by Android Authority shows pictures of the phone, suggesting it is not an original device at all, but rather the Adcom Ikon 4, Chinese smartphone that costs 54 dollars…The phone is called Freedom 251, the number standing for its price, 251 rupees. It was initially criticized by the Indian Cellular Association (ICA). “This seems to be a joke or a scam. It is something we are very upset about,” Pankaj Mohindroo, the national president of the ICA said. He added that the issue is being “investigated by various government authorities”. According to him, such a phone should cost at least 40 dollars to produce, even with the cheapest components. The Freedom 251 supposedly has a 4-inch display, 3.2 megapixel camera and 8 gigabytes of memory. According to the BBC, each phone sold would actually cost Ringing Bells over 8 times its selling price.
But wait, it gets weirder. News site Android Authority has posted pictures which are allegedly of the delivered Freedom 251. White correction fluid has apparently been used to cover up the device’s real manufacturer – Chinese company Adcom. The photos on Ringing Bells’s website were then swapped out, because they didn’t show the actual phone initially. The logo is still not visible, though. There’s more! Although the phone uses a version of Android, many icons in the start menu are blatantly stolen from Apple, like the Safari browser logo.
The company is apparently saying the phone is a “beta version” or a “preview model”, but that’s hardly an excuse for shipping a device which is clearly not what you claim it to be. That plus the unrealistically low price makes it very likely that the Freedom 251 is a 4 dollar scam.