The technology world was abuzz this weekend at Mobile World Congress (MWC), with several large tech firms adding new, high-end products to their current device portfolios. While the majority of the attention belongs to new offerings from both Samsung and LG, they weren’t the only participants looking to gain exposure from the event. Many other companies unveiled smaller, yet notable devices aiming for more budget-conscious buyers while still offering a very compelling smartphone experience. Obi is one such company, offering prospective buyers an attractive and inexpensive package in the MV1.
The MV1 sports a 5-inch panel with a resolution of 720 x 1280. While the 720p resolution is fairly standard for a budget-focused smartphone, the presentation makes it far more interesting upon first glance. The display is slightly raised above the device’s chassis, causing a thin protrusion from the bulk of the device’s soft-touch polycarbonate frame. The protrusion is definitely a unique touch, and makes the phone stand-out from similarly priced handsets. The phone is also fully unlocked, with LTE support and dual-sim capability
Looking at the remainder of the spec sheet, the MV1 comes equipped with a standard budget SoC in the Snapdragon 212, clocked at 1.3 Ghz. The rear-facing camera contains an 8 megapixel OmniVision sensor along with a 2 megapixel front-facing shooter. The phone also packs a 2500 mAh battery, and while that may seem modest for a 5-inch handset, the device’s lower-res panel should provide less of a power penalty in daily usage. Storage capacity is limited to only 16GB, but can thankfully be expanded by up to 64GB with an included microSD card slot. The phone does have options with RAM capacity, coming in variants of 1GB and 2GB. In terms of the operating system, the phone comes with Cyanogen OS running Android 5.1 Lollipop.
Overall, Obi presents a very compelling offering in the MV1. While the specs appear modest on the surface, the starting price of $149 for the cheapest model gives the device significant value in the burgeoning budget-phone market. More importantly, it provides even greater buying options for first time smartphone consumers, especially in emerging markets. In terms of availability, Obi is set to launch the device immediately for Asia and Africa, with Latin American and European launches set for March of this year.