The launch of Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells in mid February sent shockwaves throughout the world by pricing it at just Rs. 255. While we were still recovering from the controversy, we received yet another jolt in April. A Jaipur based company released its smartphone named Docoss X1 from just Rs. 888. On 17th May, there was the launch of a smartphone for a price you wouldn’t believe. Namotel launched their (and the world’s) cheapest smartphone, “Acche Din” for just Rs. 99, Stop pinching yourselves, this is true – I mean rupees Ninety nine only.
Now let us look at each of these so called “Make in India initiative” products and see how they stack up against each other.
The Freedom 251 smartphone would come with a 4 inch qHD IPS Display. The Docoss X1 offers a 4 inch IPS screen, with a 5 points capacitive touch screen and the Namotel Acche Din also has a 4 in Display. Quite frankly, you cannot expect much from a smartphone at the price these guys offer. Here, there is no clear winner, so it is a tie between the three.
Processor and memory:
The Freedom 251 features a 1.3 GHz Quad Core processor, mapped with 1 GB RAM and 8GB ROM that can be expanded up to 32 GB. The Docoss X1 is powered by a 1.2 GHz Quad Core processor, mapped with 1 GB RAM and 4GB ROM that can be expanded up to 32 GB
Namotel Acche Din also comes with a 1.3 GHz Quad Core processor, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB ROM that can be expanded up to 32 GB.
While there is nothing much to compare about the processor – two have the same and one, the Docoss X1 is slightly less clocked, the deciding factor here is the internal storage. With 8 GB internal storage the Freedom 251 has double the capacity of its rivals in this segment. The winner here is clearly Freedom 251.
All three offer dual SIM support as well as connectivity capabilities like 2G, Edge and 3G. Though not much has been said, we expect bluetooth It would be too much to expect these handsets to offer 4G. This is pretty much a decent standard offered in all the three. It’s a tie again.
Freedom 251 comes with a 1450 mAh Battery, the Docoss X1 houses a 1300 mAh power house and the Namotel Acche din sports a 1325 mAh battery. With the display and other feature to remain the same the Freedom 251 is the clear winner here with over a 100 mAh more juice in the battery than the other two.
Both the Ringing Bells Freedom 251 as well as the Namotel Acche Din come with Android 5.1 Lollipop, whereas the Docoss X1 has an older Android 4.4.2 Kitkat version. Though the Android 5.1 is quite dated now, it is a more recent version compared to Kitkat. So, in the operating platform category, Freedom 251 and Acche Din have a tie, where as the Docoss X1 stands to lose.
NOTE: Though the Freedom 251 and the Acche Din come pre-installed with Android 5.1(Lollipop), there is nothing mentioned about the readiness to upgrade to Android 6.0 – Marshmallow, the latest version of android operating system.
The Freedom 251 comes with a 3.2MP AF Rear Camera & 0.3MP Front camera. The Docoss X offers a 2.0 MP Rear camera with Flash and a 0.3MP Front Camera meant for selfies. Namotel offers 2 MP AF rear camera and a 0.3 MP front facing camera.
Though Freedom 251 claims to have a inbuilt touchless technology that is Ideal for perfect Selfie nothing much can be achiever by a 0.3 MP (VGA) camera. Among the three the Freedom 251 is the winner here with a 3.2 MP autofocus rear camera. The front camera is the same in all the three, hence it is a tie.
The Freedom 251 was available for pre-order from their website http://www.freedom251.com/ , even accepting online payments. However, after the controversy this created, the product was reduced to – only available through “Cash on Delivery”.
The Docoss X1 was available to be pre-booked between 27th and 29th April by sending an SMS to 7666204430 with details such as Name, Address, and Pin Code. However, later this number was removed. Their website http://www.docoss.com/ feature a tracking status checker for users to check the status of the delivery.
The Namotel Acche Din can be booked from their website www.namotel.com. Upon trying to access this website we found that “This site cannot be reached”. After trying for over three hours we gave up. Namotel claims that there would be a nominal delivery charge of Rs. 199 associated with each order. So, be ready to shell out Rs. 300 to get the phone.
Which Phone should I buy?
In terms of sheer specification on paper, the Ringing Bells product – Freedom 251 is the best. However, there is very little information about the quality of the product, the grade of the parts used and the service network. Though they would claim to have a wide network of service centers across the length and breadth of the country, this has not been validated. Again, each has a dedicated website, the quality of the website leaves a lot to be desired. The terms and conditions are not clear either. Buy them at your own risk. To many Rs. 99 of Rs. 251 would not be a big amount. For them, this would be worth a try. For other, the suggestion would be to lay low and watch what happens next, before you invest your money.
Both the Freedom 251, and the Namotel Acche Din claim to be part of the Make in India initiative. Namotel goes a step further and says that the device is only for those “who holds Aadhar Identity.” How this pans out is something we need to be wait and watch.