Obi worldphone, a company founded by the ex CEO of Apple John Sculley, has set its sight on the Nepalese market and is looking to win over a place in the pockets of people of Nepal with its mid tier offering the OBI Worldphone SF1 at a very compelling price.
Obi Worldphone SF1 which was launched here in Nepal by the Jyoti Groups is priced around Rs 21,499 for the 16 GB ROM/ 2 GB RAM and Rs 26,199 for the 32 GB ROM/3 GB RAM variant. Since the launch we have using this phone (the 16 GB ROM/ 2 GB RAM variant) and putting it through its paces before giving you guys a full review.
Obi Worldphone SF1 is one of the most uniquely designed phone we have ever seen. First thing any one is going to notice while looking at this phone is the slightly elevating display. It gives the device that wow factor and undoubtedly will make some heads turn. The device nonetheless is encased in a metal chassis and the back of the phone is made out of polycarbonate plastic.
The phone also feels good in the hands thanks to its slightly rounded corners at the bottom. The top accent however is flat and is sharp to the touch. The button placement on the SF 1 is also a little weird with the power button and the home button put together on the right. This will take some time getting used to for some users. The buttons themselves are flush to the body and feels a little mushy to press.
And talking about the physical aesthetics of the phone, the phone upfront has 5 inch IPS 1080p display with a pixel density of 443 PPI. The display is also covered by Gorilla Glass 4 giving you protection against drops and scratches. At the top of the display we have a 5 mp front camera with led flash and also an ear piece. On the right side of the devise we have a hybrid sim card slot meaning either you can use two sim cards or one sim card and a micro SD card. The left side has the power button and the volume rockers as mentioned earlier.
At the top of the phone there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microphone while the bottom has the speaker grill and the microphone grill. The back of the phone houses a 13 mp camera with led flash and some company branding.
It is amazing that the phone offers a 5 inch 1080p IPS display with Gorilla glass 4 protection at this price range. The display quality itself is very good with picture and texts looking sharp and clear. Watching movies and playing Youtube videos is a joy on this device. The display also has an oleophobic coating to prevent those finger prints and smudges. The display is one thing that you will definitely love about this device.
The phone rocks a Snapdragon 615 processor coupled with the Adreno 405 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. Hearing the raw specs one would think that the phone would fly though the day to day usage but that is contradictory to the actual scenario. The phone is super lagy and has difficulty performing the simplest task. Task like opening the recent apps, navigating through the home screen and opening apps causes the phone to lag which is really weird considering the specs it packs.
On the bright side the gaming performance is good and we were able to play many titles with ease. There was also no considerable lag while gaming except for some few frame drops here and there. The phone also handles the heat dissipation very well as the phone did not get too hot while gaming.
Also watch: OBI worldphone SF1: Unboxing
In the software department the phone runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Lifespeed UI, Obis own custom skin, on top of it. The skin is fairly light with subtle changes to the icons and the lock screen. I am not really a fan of the custom skin, but I really enjoy the playfulness of the lock screen offered by the UI. The software however is very problematic as it’s the culprit to the lag found on this device. The software is a total disappointment over its amazing hardware. With no support for future Android upgrades, this is one thing we can’t turn a blind eye on.
The OBI Worldphone SF1 packs a 13 mp rear Sony IMX214 camera with an aperture of f/2 found in many other mid tier smartphone. Again, we were expecting some great images out of it but it was completely contradictory to our thinking. The software again has hampered what was supposed to be a great performer. The camera quality in well lit condition is decent but when the lighting changes slightly the picture gains a lot of noise and artifacts.
The phone also tend to over sharpen the image a lot. The low light performance is mediocre with shots being dark, grainy and over sharpened. The phone does have some neat tricks like Chroma flash and Opti zoom which are fun to play with but not enough to save the phone.
The 5 MP camera on the other hands takes some decent selfies in well lit scenarios. However, it also tends to over sharpen the image in sightly dim conditions. This problem could be solved with an over the air software updated, but as of right now we are disappointed with the camera performance.
The 3000 mah battery which fuels this device provides good battery life as we were able to get a full day worth of battery life with moderate to heavy usage out of this phone. That coupled with the support for Qualcomms quick charge 1.0 makes it a compelling package.
The OBI Worldphone SF1 has problems that can be easily fixed with a software update. It’s a shame that the phone packs some amazing hardware we have ever seen on a mid tier phone only to be let down by the software. The software hampers the overall performance and the day to day usability of the phone.
Unless the phone gets a software update we have a hard time recommending this phone to anyone. And if does get a software update and all the issues are fixed than this phone will most definitely be a top contender in the mid tier market. The phone, nevertheless, as of right now has a good display, battery life that will get you through days and an appealing design at an affordable price. If this is enough to lure you into buying the phone then it is available in most retail store near you.
Also watch: OBI worldphone SF1: Unboxing