Keeping close watch on Ringing Bells: Prasad

New Delhi: Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said his department is keeping a close watch on Ringing Bells, which launched mobile handsets last week for Rs 251.

The minister said the Department of Telecommunications has enquired whether the company can provide phones for the price, which works out to less than $4.

“This was done to ensure that there are no discrepancies later. If there are any, we will take action as per the law. Our department is keeping a watch,” Prasad said here.

Earlier informed sources told IANS that the telecom ministry has done an internal assessment on viability of the handset ‘Freedom251’, being touted as the world’s cheapest smartphone at Rs.251, and found such a device cannot be offered for not less than Rs.2,300-2,400.

Taking the world by surprise, the company on February 23 launched “Freedom 251” smartphone that, it said, has been developed “with immense support” from the government.

There are, however, some apprehensions about its final appearance and performance. It looks similar to an Apple iPhone. All the icons of the built-in app are a pixel-to-pixel copy of Apple’s iOS icons.

“Freedom 251” has a Android 5.1 operating system, a 4-inch qHD IPS display, a 3.2-megapixel primary and a 0.3-megapixel front camera.

The smartphone comes with pre-installed apps like Swachh Bharat, Women Safety, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, among others.