Soon you may be able to pick up a smartphone for less than the price of a 16GB microSD card… at least if you’re in India.

The Freedom 251 is a smartphone from Indian phone maker Ringing Bells, and it’s expected to sell for just Rs. 500, or about $7. The company will officially launch the phone on February 17th, 2016.

Update: Actually, the phone is even cheaper than expected. It sells for Rs. 251, which is less than $4.

Update 2: If it’s real, that is…

ringing bells

This isn’t the first low-cost phone from Ringing Bells.  Earlier this month the company introduced a $44 model called the Smart 101 which features a 5 inch, 960 x 480 pixel IPS display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera, 3.2MP front camera, a 2,800 mah battery, and 4G LTE support.

It’s highly likely that the new Freedom 251 will feature scaled-back specs.

Indian government officials have been encouraging development of low-cost devices including phones and tablets as a way to help bring the country’s population into the internet age. The government worked with device maker DataWind for several years to produce Aakash tablets, which sold for under $35… but which weren’t particularly high-quality devices.

But technology moves fast, making it easier to produce low-cost hardware capable of performing simple task. The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently launched a $5 version of their mini-computer… but the Raspberry Pi Zero doesn’t have a screen, battery, or cellular radio, all of which are necessary for a phone.

via NDTV and Economic Times of India

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