Most of us expect a cheapo dumb-phone for $4 but apparently in India, standards are changing fast. After the world’s cheapest car and tablet, the country welcomes the cheapest smartphone in the world, called the Freedom 251, a phone which costs just $4.
We don’t know exactly what makes the phone so cheap but what you get in the end looks rather usable, at least on paper. Boasting a 4″ display on the front with 960 x 540 resolution, the 251 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, which is still elusive for most people around. Under the hood, you’ll get a 1.3 Ghz quad-core (that’s right) processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB (should be expandable).
The back even has a 3.2 megapixel camera, which should trump every other phone when it comes to the iconic megapixel-per-dollar ratio. To top that of, there’s even a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The battery capacity is set at 1,450 mAh. The company which makes the device, Ringing Bells already has a bundle of experience when it comes to affordable smartphones. Apparently, it also has a 4G phone costing $30. Take that Xiaomi.
Regardless of all the wizardry however, no company can realistically bring a phone out for a price like that. The likely thing at play here is a government subsidy. The effort could also be a part of the Make in India initiative, which favors local production. More details on that front will likely be out soon as the sales of the early batch are already underway.
Remember, the Indian government also launched the cheap Akash tablet for students in 2011, costing less than $40. At a price like this, adoption is possible in even the most deprived of areas.