Few months ago a company named Ringing Bells out if no where came and launched a device called “Freedom 251
” and suddenly took the technology world for a spin as that as a smartphone with decent specification with a price tag of Rs 251($4) only. We managed to get hold of the device and we bring you the in depth review if the device as well as a giveaway for a lucky one.
The Freedom 251 has a 4-inch (960 x 540 pixels) HD IPS display with 1.3GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6580M processor with Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory expandable memory up to 32GB. The device packs a 3.1MP rear-facing camera and a 0.3MP front front-facing camera with Bluetooth 4.0 WiFi and other standard connectivity features. All of this powered by a 1450mAh battery and weighs only 130g.
Considering the price tag of just Rs 251 the device is well designed with a textured back and light weight and well places speakers and camera assemble the device has a nice classic design. On the front there is a 4″ IPS display that works well even in the sunlight resistive touch buttons front speaker n the top and proximity sensor and the vga front camera on the top. On the back there is the primary camera in the middle and a flash just below it. The speaker grill on the bottom right and the “Freedom 251” branding on the bottom. The device we had came with a tempered glass protection on the screen.
On the right side there is a power button and on the left side there are volume rockers with the buttons placed just right the feedback is good. On the top we have a micro-usb slot and a 3.5 mm jack and on the bottom there is a microphone.
The device runs on on android 5.1 with a custom skin on top. The UI isn’t bad and there are some pre-installed themes to choose from which basically changes the icon pack in the phone’s launcher. There is a indian flag to be seen while turning on and off the device and there wasnt any bloatware which might slow down the phone. This was a review unit so maybe there wasnt any bloatware but we dont know how the bloatware is gonna affect the performance.
The home screen was just like the samsung with the apps menu on the right side and the normal app drawer with transparent background. The UI was well designed and not felt cheap at all. It was rather pleasing and kept simple. The device was easy to use and had cold screen access which enabled double tap to wake and gestures to open apps while the screen was off. We didn’t see any settings or instructions about this feature in the device meaning these aren’t customizable nor can be turned off.
Performance is the major concern in any device. The device was expected to be laggy considering its price but the device took us by surprise. There wasn’t any big lag which might concern us. The device shuttered for a bit here and there but their wasn’t any big lag. Considering the price tag the phone performed extremely well.
We also did used few benchmark apps and the performance was surprisingly good. The AnTuTu Benchmark gave us the score of 17,814 and we realized that the device doesn’t support any 3D engine and the CPU isn’t able to run large apps smoothly.
The display was good and sunlight readable with full brightness. The colors were okay and the device had MiraVision engine which is a display optimization engine. It was kinda nice on the part of Ringing Bells to add that.
The camera on the Freedom 251 has features like smile detection and HDR. The back camera is usable but the front camera is totally unusable. There are two shots in outside lighting and inside. The phone doesn’t click good photos in low light condition.
Connectivity Storage and Battery life
The connectivity of the phone is fine with bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and GPS. We never faced any problem with the connectivity and calls except the fact that the sound from the front earpiece was not of that good quality. The voice was unclear but still usable and considering the price tag its was good.
The 1450mAh battery didn’t even lasted the whole day but considering the price of the phone is less than the usual price of a battery of that rating we will take it. There was one concern we would like to state that the battery was wrapped around in a piece of paper and there was a noticeable piece of plastic behind the paper which was included just to increase the dimension of the battery to fit the device. Its unsafe if you remove the battery every now and then. The company should look into providing more safe batteries.
The device was more than what we expected for the price tag of Rs 251. The phone was aimed at the poor who doesn’t own a mobile or definitely not a smart phone. It will be a great user experiance for them and a amazing first phone for the masses. This is the thing which will help in connecting the poor. The device was launched in a country where people spent at least twice the cost of the device on a single meal Considering all this this device will be a huge hit and we personally would like to salute the company Ringing Bells for launching a great device.