The name John Sculley may ring a bell to those who have followed the tech scene for a few decades. The former CEO of Apple – before Steve Jobs returned – Sculley surprised seemingly everyone when he emerged in the summer of last year with a brand new company, Obi Worldphone, and some snazzy new smartphones. Aimed at budget-conscious consumers primarily in developing markets, the company’s phones have a distinctive design that set them apart from many Android rivals.
On Monday, Obi Worldphone announced a new addition to the family, the Obi MV1, an Android-based smartphone that has several unique points going for it, including a “Floating Display” and an “Iconic Shape” in addition the 2 OS versions the phone will be sold in: Android 5.1 Lollipop and Cyanogen OS 12.1.1. Mr. Sculley had the following to say about the product:
This is an industry with 200 different brands vying for consumers’ attention. There will be 1.4 billion Android phones produced in 2016 alone, so there needs to be a way to stand apart from the pack…The components for all these different phones are mass produced, in the same countries, and often in the same exact factories. What we’ve done with the Obi Worldphone from the very beginning is show that it’s possible to have a beautifully designed phone that fits into your lifestyle at an accessible price without sacrificing form and technology. You don’t have to give up style in exchange for substance. With the MV1, you can have both.
The device, which is unapologetically on the lower end of the spec spectrum, comes with the following:
- Aesthetics – Polycarbonate body with anti-fade UV coating, smudge-free matte finish, and floating (“raised”) glass display.
- Dimensions – 145.6 x 72.6 x 8.95 mm
- Weight – 149g
- Operating System – Cyanogen OS 12.1 on Android Lollipop 5.1
- Communication – Easy-access, dual SIM (Micro and Nano), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual band, Wi-Fi direct. Bluetooth – v4.1, A2DP. GPS – A-GPS/ GLONASS. USB – microUSB v2.0
- Sound – DTS SoundTM with dual microphone for noise-cancellation.
- Primary Camera – 8 MP AF OV8865 with LED Flash; f/2.2 aperture; Auto-Focus; records 1080p @ 30fps.
- Secondary Camera – 2 megapixels
- Processor – Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 212 with 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with Adreno 304 GPU
- Display – 5-inch full, high-definition in-cell display. High definition (720×1280 pixels), 294 ppi.
- Cover Glass – Scratch definition resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
- Coating – Anti-fingerprint oleophobic coating
- Networks – GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/HSPA+/4G/LTE
- Memory – 1GB RAM with 16GB internal storage or 2GB RAM with 16GB internal storage, both expandable up to an additional 64 GB with microSD
- Battery – 2500 milliamp hours (mAh) lithium polymer (Li-Po)
- Sensors – Accelerometer (gravity) proximity, ALS (light)
The Obi MV1 will be sold in two different spec configurations. For $139 customers get 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, and for $149 – just ten more – they can get double the RAM at 2GB, also with 16GB of storage. The phone will go on sale and begin shipping immediately in Asian and African markets, and will come to Europe and Latin America in March.
What are your thoughts on the new Obi MV1? Does the phone look iconic? Does it look familiar? Would you consider buying one for a friend of family member who doesn’t demand the most monstrously monopolizing specs? Could Obi have a future making the same designs with top-end components as well? Leave your comments below and be sure to let the world know!