In 2015, Obi Mobiles came in a new avatar, Obi Worldphone. The company still aims to introduce budget handsets in the emerging market, but this time the focus is on user experience and aesthetics. The responsibility of creating the design and UI of the phone has been given to the California-based design studio Ammunition.
today we Obi Worldphone SF1 Will review, which is the company’s new flagship handset. On paper, the phone lives up to the expectations. Obi has worked enough on the design this time to make it stand out amongst the plethora of smartphones in the Android range.
look and design
The SF1 has a ‘likes or dislike’ design, which means it is sure to attract attention. The kind of decisions made regarding the style can be called interesting. At first glance, the smartphone looks like a fusion of iPod touch and Microsoft Lumia device. This mix is a bit awkward, but seems to work. The display is a bit protruding. With this, the user does not get any new function, but it manages to make its own identity. There is a protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the display.
The 5-inch full-HD IPS display is crisp. Colors come out bright and sunlight legibility is also good. Above the screen is a 5-megapixel fixed focus camera with LED flash.
The rest of the body is made of plastic, with a 3.5mm headset socket on top. The hybrid SIM slot is on the right, while the volume and power buttons are on the right. The experience of using the buttons is not that great.
The speaker grille and micro-USB port are at the bottom of the handset. The Lumia-styled body has been given a matte finish, which makes it easy to hold. On the rear panel there is a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The 3000 mAh battery is completely sealed.
The SF1 comes with a charger and USB cable. You won’t find a headset in the box. Obi Worldphone has done a good job on the design and aesthetics this time around, especially as compared to the earlier handsets. The SF1 has a good build and design and its size is also suitable for the hands.
Specifications and software
In terms of specifications, the SF1 has made most of the right decisions. You get the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset and for graphics, Adreno 405. You can choose between 3GB RAM and 32GB storage or 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. You will also be able to use a microSD card up to 64 GB in the device. However, due to the hybrid SIM slot, you will be able to use a single SIM with a microSD card. It has dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-LTE, USB OTG, FM radio and GPS connectivity features. The phone supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 1.0 feature.
The device will run out of box on Android Lollipop (5.0.2) OS. Custom skin OB Lifespeed has been used on top of it. There is not much difference between this skin and stock Android. The user has also been given the option to switch to the stock Android launcher if needed. You can also specify a long-press or double-press action for the Home and physical buttons. Obi has also added a few other features like flip to mute and the option to pick up the phone automatically when you move the handset closer to the ear.
Apart from Google apps, Obi has given many other productivity apps in this device.
We liked that the SF1 doesn’t have unwanted apps. Because of this, you have more RAM available to use the apps. Despite this, we did see shortcomings while using the interface. Be it multitasking or opening an app or any UI animation, the phone used to slow down due to some reason. We could not get rid of this problem till the end. Switching to the stock launcher did reduce this problem slightly but not completely. We expect it to be some kind of software deficiency and it will be fixed with the coming updates. Or else the company should upgrade to Android Marshmallow only.
Apart from the shortcomings of the UI, the performance of the app is quite good. The credit for this goes to the powerful hardware. Gaming performance is good and even intense games like Dead Trigger 2 run smoothly. The phone generally didn’t overheat, except while charging and recording videos for a long time.
Talking about charging, with the help of the power adapter given by the company, you can get 27 percent power in your smartphone in just 30 minutes of charge. Call quality is also satisfactory. Ambientlight sensor sometimes takes longer to respond.
Being a mid-range phone, the benchmark test results will be considered good.
The SF1’s performance in media playback is commendable. Play high-definition files smoothly. Dolby audio enhancement is capable of improving volume and audio quality.
The 13 megapixel camera takes good pictures in daylight. Its focus reticle is a bit large, due to which there is a problem in locking focus on small subjects in this app. Landscape photos in good light come with detail. The colors are very neutral. Photos taken in low light are not very good, there is a lot of noise and it becomes more difficult to take sharp images.
The front camera of 5 megapixels takes decent pictures. The interface of the camera is very simple and also easy to use. You can run the camera in auto mode or there are many other modes also available. Obi has added some new features to the IQ Camera sub-section. With Refocus, you can reset the focus point in previously taken photos. This feature was not working properly for us.
You can also adjust HDR, Contrast, Sharpness, White Balance, ISO and Burst mode as per your convenience. You will not be satisfied with the pictures taken even in Panorama mode, as the photos taken separately do not appear to be properly connected to each other. You will be able to record video of 1080 pixels resolution and its quality is also very good. We wanted the option to control focus in shooting mode. Apart from this, the option of video stabilization is also not present.
The 3000mAh battery lasted for 9 hours 53 minutes in the video loop test. The battery of the phone easily lasted for a day in normal use. We were able to use our handset the next day as well.
The 32 GB variant of Obi Worldfone SF1 is available for Rs 14,000. As a whole package, this is a great offer. With good build quality, great battery life and audio quality, it will grab your attention at any cost. The camera does a good job, especially in daylight. One pleasant thing is that you also get quick charging feature in this mid-range phone. There are some areas in which SF1 needs to improve. Especially in slow UI. Apart from this, in the performance of the camera in low light. We expect Obi Worldphone to release a software update for the SF1 soon so that users can take advantage of the features of Android 5.1 Lollipop and up.
It is to be noted that Gadgets 360 is the exclusive retail partner of OB Worldphone SF1. Obi Worldphone owner John Scully’s company Inflection Point has invested in NDTV’s Gadgets 360.