Obi Worldphone announces Obi MV1

by: Matthew BensonFebruary 22, 2016


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
  • 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!

  • comawhite94

    It looks like they stuck the glass of an iPhone 5 onto a Nokia Windows Phone, then gimped the specs and sold it as a cheap entry level phone. I’m sure it’ll have its audience, but when I hear the phrase “From the former CEO of Apple” I don’t expect entry level anything.

    • Antariksh Mehta

      What’s wrong with providing entry-level phones? There are more consumers for the entry-level phones than the premium high end devices. This device looks stunningly beautiful and it has pretty good specifications and the best part is that it being sold at a low price. Former is gone. It is current. John Sculley is the current boss of Obi Worldphones and he is mentoring well. These phones are aesthetically very beautiful unlike the usual branded phones. Mark my words: Obi Worldphone will become one of the best smartphone companies in the next 2-3 years!

  • Ryuto Arisato

    It looks good at the first look. Then, I look carefully at the top and nope.

    • Zero


    • Assefa Hanson

      well you have to give credit that the design isnt generic.

  • Arpit Malhotra

    Ofcourse its iconic! in design. Obi certainly has a potential for bringing in great devices. Its a good phone for a regular user

    • Markoff

      …if you are masochist. sorry this ain’t even for regular user, maybe for children under 4, good luck explaining to your mother or grandma why everything loads so slowly and why all those photos she took are so blurry and can’t be printed

      • Arpit Malhotra

        Thanks for your useless feedback. You don’t have to be sorry, nor am I a masochist. Seriously? I have used Obi Worldphone SF1, the phone is not as slow as you make it sound with your grandmother or mother, certainly not with Snapdragon 615 and eight engines or cores. The photos i captured are great as well and I am seriously looking forward to MV1. Very few smartphone companies have actually ventured into the design aspect, and Obi has done it.

        • Markoff

          ding ding ding we have here obi marketing department…

          • Arpit Malhotra

            wish i was, at least i would have got some money for wasting ma time wd ya

  • Markoff

    so Nokia design with 2012-2013 android specs, sorry that’s not accessible price, but robbery because i would not buy such crap even for my mother in 2016, i am talking particularly about CPU and front camera, i had phone for 150USD with better specs back in 2012 though its design was not so nice

  • Drei

    Such a waste. I have the same specs in my phone, 3yrs ago so NO

  • Oobiewan

    I like it, I wish it had a fingerprint sensor

  • Mickey Saini

    Simple yet elegant!!! without any doubt designing rocks.. Let see how perfectly this phone will function.

  • kreemer

    Certainly interesting design

  • Kody

    It’s different, that’s for sure.

  • PaulC

    I like one thing about it. The shape differentiates one end from the other. Even then, I think square on the bottom and round on top would have made more sense. Maybe that would have been uncomfortable…

    • Markoff

      you hold phone usually in bottom so rounded bottom is better for holding than squared

  • Steven Fox

    That actually sounds quite reasonable for the price and looks really well built.