Two more low-priced, mid-range Android smartphones launched today, following in the footsteps of the ZUK Z1, OnePlus 2, and Wileyfox Storm and Swift. Obi Worldphone, a San Francisco-based mobile operator, launched the SF1 and SJ1.5 online.
Although Obi isn’t a household name, it has a powerful backer. Former Apple CEO John Sculley is one of the main faces of Obi Worldphone, and he was an early investor, showing an interest in low-cost Android devices.
Obi originally started in India, selling low-cost Chinese devices to Indian consumers. It didn’t work out, so the company scrapped sales earlier this year. Now, it’s looking to emerging markets like Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the near future.
The Obi Worldphone SF1 is the flagship, with a 5-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) display and blocky design that reminds us of the Nokia Lumia 1020. Internally, the SF1 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor and a 3,000mAh battery. Obi Worldphone offers two storage options, 32GB with 3GB of RAM or 16GB with 2GB of RAM — both come with a MicroSD card for 64GB expansion.
The SF1 will support 4G LTE and dual-SIM, but there is no Wi-Fi ac or USB Type-C on the smartphone. On the back sits a 13-megapixel camera, and on the front there’s a 5-megapixel camera. Obi Worldphone will sell the SF1 at $200 for 16GB or $250 for 32GB.
The SJ1.5 is the cheaper of the two, and a few modifications have taken place to bump down the price. The 5-inch display is only HD (1,280 x 720 pixels) and internally the smartphone runs on a quad-core MediaTek processor, with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone still has the 3,000mAh battery for all day use, but only 16GB of onboard storage and 32GB of expandable storage via MicroSD.
The cameras have also taken a hit, dropped to 8-megapixels on the back and 5-megapixels on the front. Other features like 4G support are also unavailable, although dual-SIM cards will work on the SJ1.5. Obi Worldphone will sell the SJ1.5 at $130.
The SF1 will run Android 5.0.1, while the SJ1.5 was bumped up to the latest Android 5.1.1 version of Lollipop. We assume Obi will add Android 5.1 to its flagship soon. Both smartphones run a custom version of the Android operating system built by Obi.
Obi Worldphone intends to launch both smartphones within the next year.