No, this post is neither about the slogan decibels at JNU nor about the misplaced sense of patriotism by goons. This one is simply an attempt to talk about the way ‘make in India’ is being milked. Does this ring a bell?

Make in India’, I guess is all about the policy music used to attract FDI and to ask multi-national companies to set up manufacturing units in the country. So, is an Indian company making in India right in pushing itself under the ‘make in India’ umbrella? But then, we’re so accustomed to ‘take’ and never ‘make’ that this insistence sounds rather attractive. Come on India, start making.

Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd calls itself ‘one of the fastest growing smartphone companies in India‘ but informs us that they were established in 2015. That’s fast enough to make me smile and think: ‘These people are navigating themselves well in the political and bureaucratic jungles of the country.’! I was actually on the verge of thinking that we’re fast and reckless only on our roads, so I’m happy. I’m really happy to read all this.

They (Ringing Bells) ‘design and produce smart phones to provide a satisfying mobile experience for users, so that their valuable time is spent doing things/tasks they love, instead of figuring out ways to use the phone.’ Well, figuring out how to lobby for gains is what we’re good at… so the company think-tank is right when they tell us that we’re not so good at figuring out how to use technology. It hurts. But hey, this is how self-realisation sets in, right? I mean, if you cannot figure out technology, you can possibly only download videos and store inane selfies and other pictures… for which an 8GB internal memory, which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card is enough. 1GB RAM is again enough for listening to Bollywood numbers, watching videos from YouTube, and playing basic games. The 1.3GHz quad-core processor, and a 4-inch qHD IPS display is more than sufficient for this… you surely don’t need retina display here. What use are a gorilla glass for the screen and all those complex technology bits called UI? Come on, be reasonable… after all, the phone does run on Android 5.1. Isn’t this the lollipop that the masses need?

I’m sure the team at Ringing Bells is ‘an amazing team of smartphone lovers who collaborate seamlessly to exchange technical and qualitative inputs and create quality products’ as they call themselves on their website because they have understood exactly what the masses in our country need. The team also has the ability to ‘convert consumers’ needs and insights into amazing products’ if we agree on who the consumers are who are being targeted. Are these consumers even aware of the way the mobile phone cameras have evolved? No… so they deserve to remain happy and joyful with a 3.2MP rear unit and a 0.3MP front shooter. After all, they are not going to click pictures to send them to NatGeo or LonelyPlanet… right? They aren’t going to even create videos for global consumption… right? Their stuff is for applause from their own family and friends in the village… so this is just fine. By the way, the phone has a 1,450mAh battery which will see that they remain entertained through the 8 hour power-cuts that every village seems to be having all the time. I am, however, genuinely foxed on reading that this phone, the Freedom 251, has connectivity options that include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. I understand that the big boys in big cities talk about big toys with 4G running in their arteries… but every time I have ventured out of Delhi, I have wondered how fast the 3 in 3G disappears. WiFi doesn’t come cheap… but wait, the governments everywhere are in a hurry to announce free WiFi hubs and so this makes a lot of sense. Well, the masses will soon know that the ‘free’ wears out rather fast. And what about Bluetooth? Well, tech companies have stopped giving Bluetooth earplugs even as gifts now… but I’m sure the stocks are lying in their warehouse. So we’ll soon have bullock-carts going from one field to another driven by a smartened farmer’s help with a Bluetooth earplug waiting eagerly for that dream call by some Bollywood heroine. This reminds me to mention that our movies will now have something new to show and talk about.

Another thing that I wouldn’t want to miss in this post is that this Rs 251/- smartphone will have a few apps pre-installed that will include apps on ‘Women Safety’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Fisherman’, ‘Farmer’, ‘Medical’, ‘Whatsapp’, ‘Facebook’, and even ‘YouTube’… so be ready to accept a lot of new friends from the rural India.

The Freedom251 is, I’m sure, ready to ‘empower citizens, even in the remotest rural and semi-urban centres of India, with the latest in digital technology at incredible affordable prices’ and Ringing Bells will be hailed as a company that gave the country ‘innovative solutions for a Brighter tomorrow’.

So if you’re one who needs a brighter tomorrow, please be informed that you can place your order on the company website from 0600 hrs tomorrow, that is, 18 February 2016.

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Freedom 251... the new smartphone from Ringing Bells

Freedom 251… the new smartphone from Ringing Bells

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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Arvind Passey
17 February 2016