India's Ringing Bells Unveils New Android Smartphones & More

As a company, Ringing Bells is yet to celebrate its first birthday, but it has already seen enough controversies and experienced enough media exposure to feel a little older than that. However, not to succumb to the pressures and politics of it all, the newly-incorporated Indian tech company has now announced a bunch of new gadgets as promised earlier this month. While none of the devices the company announced on Thursday are likely to have the same eye-popping effect as the controversial Freedom 251 smartphone, they do, nonetheless, offer some very interesting choices for buyers looking to get some stuff for not-too-much cash. The extensive lineup include 4 feature phones, 2 Android smartphones, 3 power banks and a 31.5-inch Hi-Definition LED TV that comes with a Rs. 9,990 ($150) price tag.

Taking a slightly more detailed look at the devices unveiled today, the two smartphones, named Elegant and Elegance, are priced at Rs. 3,999 ($60) and Rs. 4,499 ($68) respectively. They have identical specifications except for two key differences; while the $60 Elegant comes with 3G connectivity and a 2,500 mAh battery, the higher-priced Elegance carries a slightly larger 2,800 mAh battery and comes with LTE connectivity with support for VoLTE (Voice over LTE) – a feature that’s lacking in many a high-end handset. Apart from that, the rest of the specs, as mentioned, are identical, including a 5-inch 720p display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of expandable storage, dual-SIM connectivity and preinstalled Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Imaging options include an 8-megapixel primary camera with LED flash and a 3.2-megapixel selfie-cam. Other connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.

The rest of the gadgets include 4 feature phones named Hit (priced at Rs. 699 / $11), King (Rs. 899 / $14), Boss (Rs. 999 / $15) and Raja (Rs. 1,099 / $16.5). The company also unveiled 3 power banks – The RB Power is rated at 4,000 mAh and is priced at Rs. 399 ($6), the RB Power Plus comes with a 5,500 mAh battery and will cost Rs. 499 ($7.5) and the RB Smart 8,000 mAh power bank will carry a price-tag of Rs. 699 ($11) on release. None of the gadgets, however, will be available for purchase with immediate effect, and while there’s no word on when the handsets or the power banks will go on sale, the company says that the TV will start shipping from August 15th, India’s Independence Day.

Meanwhile, as for the much-hyped Freedom 251 handset, the device will start shipping from tomorrow, July 8th. While as many as 200,000 units were pre-ordered before the company had to stop the process because it was overwhelmed with the response, Ringing Bells will only be shipping 5,000 units tomorrow and wait for customer feedback before proceeding with the rest of the orders for the now-famous smartphone. The company has also denied reports that it is yet to refund the booking amount to those whose orders were cancelled, saying that it has already refunded Rs. 8.4 million ($130,000) to everybody who had booked the Freedom 251 on February 18, 2016.

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Kishalaya Kundu

Senior Staff Writer
I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.