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MUMBAI:First came the Freedom 251, for Rs 251, and then the Docoss X1, for Rs 888. Now, a third player has entered the game.
Bengaluru based smartphone company Namotel has announced their offering, the Namotel Acche Din, for a meagre Rs 99, something they’re calling India’s most affordable smartphone.
According to the company website, the Namotel Acche Din features a 4-inch HD (1280×720) display with a 2MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera. It packs a quad-core processor with 16GB RAM and 4GB internal storage. It’s powered by a 1325mAh battery, runs on Android 5.1 and has dual SIM support.
Of course, as expected, there are a few discrepancies. Namotel spokesperson Madhava Reddy told the press that pre-bookings for the smartphone are currently open on the company website until May 25 for Rs 99. However, before you can buy the phone, customers are expected to first register on bemybanker.com, with Aadhar Card proof, and pay a one-time fee of Rs 199. That will give the buyer a user ID and password, which supposedly lets them purchase the phone. Of course, when we tried it, the bemybanker.com website was unresponsive. On top of that, the purchase itself seems to require a scanned copy of your Aadhar card as well as a passport size photo. That seems like an awful lot of trouble to buy a phone.
The company website also shows the price of the smartphone marked down to Rs 99 from Rs 2,999. That isn’t suspicious in and of itself until you look at the image of the smartphone, embedded above. Right under it is the disclaimer, “Pictures shown in the website is for illustration purpose only.” You bet that’s right because that’s not the Namotel Acche Din, it’s the Leagoo Z1, which costs approximately Rs 2,655 when converted from dollars.
In fact, all the other phones listed on the website have the same disclaimer, and carry photos that are blatant ripoffs of other brands. That includes the Namotel VVIP, a smartphone “coming soon” with a 22-carat gold panel, priced at Rs 1,99,999. Nope, it’s just the Oukitel K10000, which costs about Rs 16,000.
Additionally, as of the time of writing this piece, Namotel’s website has gone down for the count as well. All we know about the company is that, according to its about page, Namotel was set up earlier this year under the Make in India initiative, and the Namotel website is registered to Madhava Reddy. Take a wild guess as to what other website he’s linked to. Yep, bemybanker.com is also registered under Reddy’s name, back in 2014, though records show it was updated today. How unexpected.
Does all of this seem to smell fishy? Of course it does. We’re contacting Namotel’s Madhava Reddy, so you’ll know more when we find out.