Review OBI Worldphone SF1

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Aug 1, 2016.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    A relative new entrant, I found this phone on a deal that was on. Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to buy one after checking some reviews online.

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    I love the clear plastic packing. A welcome departure from the dull, single color packing of nearly all devices these days. This is somewhat like an iPod's packing, where in you can see the device clearly.

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    Tech specs -
    - Qualcomm SnapDragon 615 - 1.5 Ghz - 8 Core.
    - 3GB RAM - 32 GB storage (Also comes in 2GB/16Gigs).
    - Android 5.0.2 out of the box.
    - 13MP Sony Exmor Sensor - IMX214 with F/2.0.
    - 5MP front with LED flash.
    - 3000 mAH battery.
    - 5 inch - Full HD - IPS display.
    - Pixel density 443 ppi
    - Quick Charge 1.0


    Other features -

    - Hybrid metal/plastic build.
    - Floating screen
    - Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with olephobic coating
    - Chroma Flash
    - Dual Mic.
    - Refocus feature (Camera)
    - Manual shooting mode (Camera).

    On paper, the specs do sound good. To take it out of the box, you unwrap the above label, and it opens up along the length.

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    The Quick Charger is heavy, and well built. With a red OBI logo on the back. It is rated at 5V, upto 2Amps.
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    The Micro USB, though contrasting in white color, looks durable and longer than usual. The full USB end however is the half USB kind -

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    Some bundled documentation.

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    The all important, SIM release key. This supports a Micro + Nano Hybrid tray. The Nano SIM tray is shared with the MicroSD card tray.

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    The device. Regular 5 inch device, with the floating display giving it an edge to edge bezel. At 146Gms, it does feel lighter than what it actually weighs.

    The Circular bit printed on the sticker is the OBI custom launcher. Thankfully, other than that, and Google Apps, there is no other application loaded. Which makes for a extremely clean and stock ROM.

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    The back is smooth and flat. Though it feels like metal, it is plastic. The Camera and flash are flush with the back.

    It does appear that this panel can be pried out to access the battery, but I'll refrain from doing that for a few months.

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    The bottom houses the Micro USB port and dual speaker setup. Honestly, playing a video on YouTube the audio was better than Redmi 3, but not as loud. So that's a trade-0ff. I value the better quality of the speaker, rather than being unreasonably loud.

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    The top has the 3.5mm jack and noise cancellation Mic. Surprisingly, though the Dolby Audio feature is touted, no headphones are bundled with the device. Perhaps with the intention that most users would use their own headphones.

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    The volume toggle and power button are on the left side. This is a welcome departure, since most manufacturers are somehow stuck to the right side of the device. The stealth finish of the buttons does make it a surprise for someone using the device for the first time.

    Also to note, no capacitive buttons at the bottom. This uses on screen buttons.



    The floating screen edge.

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    By all means and measure, the OBi SF1 is a well built device. Somehow reminds me of the Lumia family from Nokia. Not sure how durable the finish is, but it sure is a change from the current crop of Android devices that We have gotten used to seeing. This does not do Rose Gold or, appear similar to any other Android devices currently on the market.

    Do visit their site and see some of their other models, like the MV1, and the SJ1.5. They truly stand out and are unique in their own regard, design wise.

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    Now to power up and do a quick bench

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    The colors are crisp and and the image bright. I really like the display. Though it does not go as dark as I would prefer (No reading mode, or ultra low brightness mode), I like the response and finish.

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    Not a bad score of 34,297. This is a entry level device, and that is evident from the bench.

    Now to put my SIM card in and test real world usage.

    BTW, the pricing is more than reasonable 9,100 INR, which makes this a good deal, though slightly dated on the processor.

    To be updated further.
  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    A second run, later and Geekbench revealed the following results -

    Screenshot_2016-08-01-23-11-52.jpg

    Antutu Score of 35,413

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    Middling score of 2423, putting it at par with SnapDragon 800 series.

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    The battery life does leave a little to be desired, but that's for a heavy user. A normal user should have no trouble lasting a day or more easily, before needing a charge.

    The camera, on the other hand, didn't disappoint.

    Here's a shot from the OBi SF1 -


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    Same shot taken from iPhone 6S Plus -

    iPhone 6S Plus.jpg

    The iPhone has better contrast and the boardwalk is lit up correctly, but the rays of the sun are better defined in the Obi.

    Not a bad camera, though a tad slow to capture. A steady hand can give some pretty decent results.
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Other challenges with the Obi SF1 seem to be the lack of available accessories in the online market. I searched Amazon, AliExpress and could only find screen guards for the device. The phone covers were of generic type, and/or the flap kind, which I don't like.

    Reaching out to Obi on Twitter did not yield much, since they responded with a generic, "Check local market" tweet.
    An email sent to their customer support is yet to be responded/acknowledged after 2 weeks.

    This was not my expectation from a new company on the scene, and having to price cut their devices to meet the competition.

    For the price (9.2k) it's is a decent device, but the likes of LeTV and others are rolling out devices with better specs, in slightly more money.

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