Freedom 251: Indian electronics company launches world's cheapest smartphone today

The Freedom 251 has some fairly impressive specs for a phone that costs roughly the same as a cup of coffee

An Indian electronics company has launched a smartphone that only costs 251 rupees - or around £2.60.

The Freedom 251, manufactured by Ringing Bells, launches on 18 February and will bring a "revolution to the industry," a company spokeswoman told AFP.

Considering it costs about as much as a cup of coffee, the 251 boasts some fairly decent specs - it runs the Android Lollipop 5.1 operating system, and is powered by a 1.3 GHz quadcore processor.

It also has a 4-inch screen, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal memory (expandable to 32 GB) and a 3.2 megapixel front camera.

Freedom 251 owners will have access to all the apps on the Google Play Store, although some of them might push the phone to its limits.

The 251 also comes with a number of pre-installed programs like farming and fishing apps, which are designed to suit the phone's target market.

The Ringing Bells spokeswoman told AFP that the phone was assembled in India with parts produced overseas - however, the company reportedly intends to manufacture its devices entirely in India within a year.

Low-cost smartphones, many of them Chinese-made, are readily available in India, but even the cheapest models usually cost £15 to £20.

It's not currently clear just how Ringing Bells has managed to produce such a cheap smartphone. It's been suggested that the Indian government could be subsidising the company, but no such deals have been announced.

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The Freedom 251 will be available online and at 650 distributors across the country from 18 February.