Indian company Ringing Bells has introduced a new Android Lollipop smartphone which has gone on sale for less than €3.50 in its domestic market.

The Freedom 251 mobile phone, priced at 251 Rupees, has a 4-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, though this is expandable with a micro SD card. The rear camera boasts 3.2 megapixels, and a front facing 0.3 megapixel camera is also included.

The phone, while somewhat reminiscent of an iPhone in its design, runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and comes pre-installed with a range of international apps, such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as more localised applications for farming and fishing.

Ringing Bells says that its aim in launching this cut price mobile phone is 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 cascade knowledge, news and current issues so that all experience the confidence of inclusive growth and equal opportunity.”

Based on early reports from the first 24 hours of availability, demand for the cheap smartphone in India certainly seems to be high – the company reported that its website was fielding 600,000 hits per second shortly after launch, overloading the servers, which it hopes to have back up and running shortly.

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