Obi Worldphone SF1 Review

OB Mobiles It entered India last year as a seller of affordable Android smartphones. This company gained a distinct identity due to its backing by former Apple CEO John Sculley. However, in reality, OB Mobiles proved to be like any other smartphone manufacturer. This company also expressed confidence in designing and manufacturing the handset in China and decided to sell it under its own brand. Company’s first smartphone OB Octopus S520 ,review) focused only on specifications. Very low on user experience and aesthetics.

In 2015, Obi Mobiles came in a new avatar, Obi Worldphone. The company still aims to offer budget handsets in emerging markets, but this time more attention is being paid to user experience and aesthetics. The responsibility of designing the phone and creating its UI has been given to California’s design studio Ammunition.

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today we Obi Worldphone SF1 We will review it, which is the company’s new flagship handset. On paper the phone lives up to expectations. This time Obi has worked so much on the design that it can create its own identity among the many smartphones in the Android range.

Look and Design
The design of SF1 is ‘like it or hate it’, which means it will definitely attract attention. The kind of decisions taken regarding style can be called interesting. At first glance the smartphone appears to be a fusion of an iPod Touch and a Microsoft Lumia device. This mixture is a bit strange, but it seems to work. The display is slightly convex. This does not provide any new function to the user, but it manages to create its own identity. Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection is present on the display.

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The 5-inch full-HD IPS display is crisp. Colors come out bright and sunlight legibility is also decent. Above the screen is a 5-megapixel fixed focus camera with LED flash.

The rest of the body is made of plastic, there is a 3.5 mm headset socket on the top. The hybrid SIM slot is on the right, while the volume and power buttons are on the right. The experience of using the buttons is not that great.

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The speaker grill and micro-USB port are at the bottom of the handset. The Lumia style body has been given a matte finish, due to which it is easy to hold in the hands. There is a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash on the rear panel. The 3000 mAh battery is completely sealed.

The SF1 comes with a charger and USB cable. You will not get a headset in the box. OB Worldphone has done a good job on design and aesthetics this time, especially compared to the first handset. The build and design of SF1 is good and its size is also suitable for the hands.

Specifications and Software
If we talk about specifications, SF1 has made most of the right decisions. You get an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset and Adreno 405 for graphics. You can choose between 3GB RAM and 32GB storage or 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. You will also be able to use microSD card up to 64 GB in the device. However, due to the hybrid SIM slot, you will be able to use a single SIM with a microSD card. It has dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-LTE, USB OTG, FM radio and GPS connectivity features. The phone supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 1.0 feature.

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The device will run on Android Lollipop (5.0.2) OS out of the box. Custom skin OB Lifespeed has been used on it. There is not much difference between this skin and stock Android. Users have also been given the option to switch to the stock Android launcher if needed. You can also set long-press or double-press actions for the Home and physical buttons. Obi has also provided some other features, such as flip to mute and the option to automatically answer the phone when the handset is taken close to the ear.

Apart from Google apps, Obi has provided many other productivity apps in this device.

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We like that SF1 is free of unwanted apps. Because of this, you have more RAM available to use apps. Despite this, we noticed shortcomings while using the interface. Be it multitasking or opening any app or any UI amination, the phone used to slow down for some reason. We could not get rid of this problem till the end. By switching to the stock launcher, this problem was reduced a little but not completely eliminated. We hope this is a software glitch of some sort and that it will go away with an upcoming update. Or the company may just upgrade to Android Marshmallow.

Leaving aside the shortcomings of the UI, the performance of the app is quite good. The credit for this goes to the powerful hardware. Gaming performance is good and even intensive games like Dead Trigger 2 ran smoothly. The phone generally did not heat up much, except while charging and recording video for long periods of time.

Talking about charging, with the help of the power adapter provided by the company, you can get 27 percent power in your smartphone in just 30 minutes of charge. Call quality is also satisfactory. The ambient light sensor sometimes takes longer than necessary to respond.

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Being a mid-range phone, the benchmark test results would be considered good.

The performance of SF1 in media playback is commendable. Play high-definition files smoothly. Dolby Audio Enhancement is capable of improving volume and audio quality.

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The 13-megapixel camera takes good pictures in daylight. Its focus reticule is a bit big due to which there is difficulty in locking the focus on small subjects in this app. Landscape photos in good lighting come out with detail. The colors are quite neutral. Photos taken in low light are not very good, there is a lot of noise and it becomes more difficult to get sharp images.

The 5 megapixel front camera takes decent pictures. The camera interface is very simple and easy to use. You can run the camera in auto mode or there are many other modes available. OB has added some new features to the IQ Camera sub-section. Refocus lets you reset the focus point in previously taken photos. This feature was not working properly for us.

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You can also make changes in HDR, Contrast, Sharpness, White Balance, ISO and Burst Mode as per your convenience. Even in panorama mode, you will not be satisfied with the photos taken, as the individual photos do not appear to be properly connected to each other. You will be able to record video of 1080 pixel resolution and its quality is also quite good. We wanted the option to control focus in shooting mode. Apart from this, the option of video stabilization is also not available.

The 3000 mAh battery lasted 9 hours 53 minutes in the video loop test. In normal use the phone’s battery easily lasted for a day. We managed to use our handset the next day as well.

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our decision
The 32 GB variant of OB Worldphone SF1 is available for Rs 14,000. If seen as a complete package, this is a great offer. Due to its good build quality, excellent battery life and audio quality, it will attract your attention in every situation. The camera works well, especially in daylight. One pleasant thing is that you also get quick charging feature in this mid-range phone. There are a few areas where the SF1 needs to improve. Especially in the lagging UI. Apart from this, the performance of the camera in low light. We hope that OB Worldphone will soon release a software update for the SF1 so that users can take advantage of the features on Android 5.1 Lollipop and higher.

Let it be known that Gadgets 360 is the exclusive retail partner of OB Worldphone SF1. OB Worldphone owner John Scully’s company Inflexion Point has invested in NDTV’s Gadgets 360.

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