Freedom 251 benchmarks and gaming: a capable smartphone at the price of a happy meal

“The Freedom 251 offers a quad-core MediaTek processor and a gig of RAM”

Remember the time when the primary purpose of a mobile phone was to make phone calls? With the rapidly evolving technology, those days are long gone with consumers wanting more out of their smartphones. Today, these gadgets don’t just provide us with a portable means of communication, but have also become our go-to devices for consuming media and playing games. Although smartphones come in different price brackets, one could argue that a flagship device isn’t required to play most of the games available on the Play Store. With several budget smartphones known to handle games well, we took the challenge up an notch and decided to benchmark the Freedom 251 (first impressions)- one of the cheapest Android smartphones in India right now. Curious to see whether a Rs 251 Android smartphone from Ringing Bells can play a game at decent frame rates? Then continue reading..


Before we see how the phone fared in our testing, let’s take a look a what the Freedom 251 is packing under the hood. Inside, there’s a MediaTek MT6580 chip which features four processing cores clocked at 1.30GHz with the graphics being rendered by a dated Mali-400MP GPU. The device comes with 8GB of internal storage along with a gig of RAM for multitasking. With specs out of the way, let’s take a look at the device’s benchmarks.

Freedom 251 CPU-Z (2) Freedom 251 CPU-Z (3) Freedom 251 CPU-Z (1)

Being one of the most popular benchmarking apps to quantify a device’s performance, we tested the Freedom 251 through 3D test scenes within the AnTuTu app. AnTuTu benchmark rates the device on the basis of CPU and GPU performance and also ranks it against other smartphones based on the device’s score. The Freedom 251 scored just 22,318 points with a 9,155 point tally for CPU performance and 3,249 points for GPU performance. While the top-tier smartphones like the OnePlus 3 obliterate the Freedom 251 in benchmarks, bear in mind that the latter costs a fraction of what the OnePlus 3 retails for.

Freedom 251 Antutu Benchmarks (2) Freedom 251 Antutu Benchmarks (3) Freedom 251 Antutu Benchmarks (1)

On the Quadrant benchmark, the Freedom 251 scored 9,463 points with a Multicore score of 1,124 and Metal score of 681 on Vellamo coming eerily close to the Asus Zenfone 2.

Freedom 251 Benchmarks (3) Freedom 251 Benchmarks (2) Freedom 251 Benchmarks (4) 

Since benchmarks have been known to not give the correct picture of a device’s real time performance, we installed a bunch of games on the Freedom 251 to see how it fared. Starting off with one of the most downloaded endless runners, the phone surprised us by playing Subway Surfers without breaking a sweat. The game played without any lags or stutters and offered a smooth gaming experience. Jetpack Joyride was a similar affair and was playable at good frame rates with a minor hiccup or two in between. Turning up the heat, Riptide GP2 was next on the list which is a fairly CPU and GPU intensive title. However, the Freedom 251 surprised us yet again as the game was not only rendering the water and splash detailing, but was also playable at decent frame rates.

Freedom 251 gaming Freedom 251 Gaming01

The Freedom 251 was holding its own against everything thrown at it and therefore, we decided to install one of the most demanding titles on the device- Asphalt 8. Turns out, the Freedom 251 still had some aces up its sleeves as once the game had loaded, it could be played with some occasional lag here and there. Granted, the loading time was a long wait but to see a Rs 251 smartphone running Asphalt 8 definitely made it worthwhile.

In conclusion, the Freedom 251 is not a bad buy for the price tag (and with a price like that, how can it be a bad deal?) but the real question is how to get your hands on one. While the company claimed to empower Indian citizens by offering the phone at a throwaway price, only a few thousand units were shipped from over a million registrations.  And as of now, the phone can only be picked up from Ringing Bells website by enrolling in their loyalty program. If you choose to invest in that, the handset should turn out to be a great buy even though it offers mediocre specs at best. All in all, the Freedom 251 is definitely capable of some casual gaming and if your needs are restricted to making just phone calls, the Freedom 251 definitely beats all the smartphones and even feature phones at this price.

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