Former Apple CEO John Sculley-backed Obi Worldphone launches sleek sub-$250 smartphones

John Sculley-backed Obi Mobiles has morphed into Obi Worldphone, launching two smartphones aimed at developing markets. Dubbed SF1 and SJ1.5, both devices are set to launch in the month of October and feature interseting design elements that distinguish them from the sea of entry-level phones currently available.

The phones were designed by Ammunition, a San Francisco-based studio whose portfolio included the design of the original Beats headphones. The SF1 is the more premium of the two devices, sporting a fiberglass body with metal accents at the top and bottom, along with a unique extruded display that's designed to provide added protection from the occasional tumble.

The SF1 features a 5-inch full-HD display with Gorilla Glass 4, Snapdragon 615 SoC, 13MP camera (Sony IMX214 sensor) and f/2.0, 5MP front shooter with LED flash, dual-SIM, LTE connectivity (Bands 3 and 40, both tailored for Indian networks), Dolby Audio and a 3,000mAh battery. Obi states that the SF1 will be available with 2GB RAM/16GB storage as well as a higher-end variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal memory. Both models will come with microSD slot for expanding memory.

Obi Worldphone SJ1.5

Meanwhile, the SJ1.5 features a polycarbonate body with an asymmetrical design, with the top section being flat and the bottom ending in a curve. The phone's specs include a 5-inch 720p display, MediaTek MT6580 SoC with four Cortex A7 cores, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, microSD slot, 8MP camera with OmniVision OV8865 sensor and f/2.2, 5MP front camera, 3G connectivity and a 3,000mAh battery.

Both phones run a slightly modified version of Android with a custom lockscreen and backgrounds called Lifespeed, which was also developed by Ammunition. While there isn't a whole lot of customization available from the get-go, Obi mentioned that additional features will be added in the coming weeks and months. Interestingly, the higher-priced SF1 comes with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, while the SJ1.5 is built atop Android 5.1 Lollipop.

The phones will be aimed at developing markets, including India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE and Vietnam. Obi has mentioned that it will launch the SF1 and SJ1.5 in 50 to 70 countries by 2017.

The SF1 with 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage will debut at $199, with the higher-memory variant available for $249. The more affordable SJ1.5 will be priced at $129. We'll bring you more details as both phones start hitting store shelves around the world in October.

Source: Obi Worldphone

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.