Freedom 251 Ringing Bells
Ringing Bells promises to start dispatching Freedom 251 smartphones from April Ringing Bells website

Freedom 251, touted as the world's cheapest smartphone, has received over 70 million bookings within a few days of the launch of the device. Ringing Bells, the little-known tech firm behind the mobile, said it has stopped taking orders so as to complete the first phase.

Brushing aside the controversies surrounding the device, the company has promised to deliver 500,000 devices before 30 June, 2016.

"Till 11 am on Saturday [20 February], a total of 73 million people have booked the [Freedom] 251 smartphone. We had to shut down online bookings because we are prepared to deliver only these many handsets," Mohit Goel, the company's director, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.

The firm said it will begin dispatching the smartphones from April and complete all orders before the promised deadline. Ringing Bells says 30,000 people paid Rs 251 (£2.5, $3.8) for the smartphone on the opening day. The money collected will remain in an escrow account until all the deliveries take place.

Questions have been raised about the credibility of the equipment and the owners behind the company. Admitting the increased scrutiny of the firm, Ringing Bells's president Ashok Chadha said: "Yes, there was a visit from excise department and IT [income tax] department. We are planning to achieve milestones under Make in India, Skill India and Startup India. They issued us some guidelines for the future and extended full support and cooperation."

The company, based in Noida, an industrial hub near the Indian capital Delhi, launched the device on 17 February at a glitzy event. Here are some of the specifications of the handset: It runs a 1450mAh battery and Android Lollipop 5.1. With a one-year warranty, the phone is equipped with a 3.2MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera. The phone has 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory and is powered by a 1.3GHz Quadcore processor.