With all the major releases like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 happening at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, Obi Worldphone made an appearance at the event on Monday to launch its latest smartphone, MV1. The budget smartphone is built on the same design strategy as its predecessor SF1 smartphone and adds some new elements to stand out in the crowd.
Obi partnered with Ammunition, a San Francisco-based design studio, for its Worldphone series, which resulted in devices like SF1, SJ1.5 and now MV1. At first glance, the MV1 smartphone does not look a lot different than the company's flagship SF1, featuring the same floating glass display on the rectangular polycarbonate body.
"For our markets, the design of the MV1 is a fresh, modern breath of air in a sea of sameness. Its combination of simple form, iconic outline and resolved details make it an object to be desired," Robert Brunner, Ammunition founder and Obi lead designer, said in a statement.
Obi Worldphone, which was started by former Apple CEO John Sculley, brings some new ideas to the table with MV1, but it largely looks like a fusion of two Obi phones released last year. What's different in the MV1 is its dual OS, which can either run Android 5.1 Lollipop or Cyanogen OS 12.1.1, and UV coating on the Gorilla Glass for better readability.
In terms of specifications, the Obi MV1 is not entirely an attention-seeker. However, the $139 (around Rs 9,500) price tag is something worth considering, if customers are looking for an affordable handset in the market. The handset is available in Asia and Africa and expected to be launched in Latin America and Europe next month.
Obi Worldphone MV1 features a 5-inch 720p display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and 294ppi. The oleophobic coating on the screen ensures there are no fingerprint smudges left on the phone. Like the previous phones, the MV1 also has Dolby Audio and dual noise-cancelling microphones. There is a 8-megapixel rear-facing with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP front snapper.
The MV1 smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor with Adreno 304 GPU for graphics. The base model comes with 1GB RAM, but the company also has a 2GB RAM variant for $149 (approx Rs 10,200). Both models have 16GB onboard storage, expandable up to 64GB using microSD card. The dual-SIM 4G-enabled handset draws power from a 2,500mAh battery, and weighs 149 grams.
The details about when the Obi MV1 would be launched in India are not conclusive, and the company spokesperson said nothing is confirmed as of this moment. But if it does launch in India for around Rs 10,000, it will have a serious competition from Lenovo, LeEco and Xiaomi, as they offer a lot better spec-sheet compared to Obi in the budget segment.