New Obi Smartphones to Hit Kenyan Market in October (allAfrica.com)

Kenya is among African countries targeted by the launch of Obi Worldphone new smartphones which are set to be available this September. The devices, priced at an exceptional value to attract discerning young people, are to be launched in Africa, Middle East and Asia.

Designed by San Francisco-based product studio Ammunition, the new models – the Obi Worldphone SF1 and SJ1.5 – are set apart by industrial design. Ammunition also developed Obi Lifespeed, a custom user interface for Android that unifies the software and hardware experience. The devices also feature technology from Qualcomm, Dolby, Sony, Corning Incorporated, Google, MediaTek, Japan Display, Inc. and Samsung.

According to a media release, Obi Worldphone is the first to address the market need between high-design smartphones at high prices and generic smartphones at low prices.

“Over the next three years 1 billion users will upgrade from low-end, starter smartphones to models with more power and greater functionality,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, Inc. of San Jose, Calif., a 35-year market analyst and research firm evaluating the global adoption of consumer technology. “The Obi Worldphone no-compromise design and aggressive pricing makes it very appealing to this audience as the market for smartphones expands and the upgrade market for smartphones accelerates.”

“Obi has taken the best of Silicon Valley – innovations in design, state-of-the-art technology and high standards for manufacturing – and fused them into beautiful, powerful tools at attractive prices,” Sculley said. “Our efficient cost structure and broad distribution combine to present empowering tools that help our customers achieve their aspirations.”

“With Obi we set out to create beautiful, original smartphones that go beyond consumers’ expectations. From concept through to manufacturing, we’ve paid incredible attention to quality, materials and engineering to achieve the highest level of design,” Brunner said. “We’ve obsessed over every detail of the Obi experience – from industrial design, user interface and packaging – to deliver inspiring products that overturn the misconception that great design has to come at a high price.”

The Obi Worldphone SF1 is the company’s flagship 4G/LTE smartphone featuring state-of-the-art photography and audio capabilities. The SF1 has a raised 5-inch display made of durable Corning Gorilla Glass 4 – an instantly recognizable signature element that emphasizes the interplay of the hardware with the user interface. The SF1’s premium feel comes from its reinforced fiberglass body and metal accents at the top and bottom of the phone. The SF1 also features a long-life, quick-charge battery and easy-access, dual SIM slot with micro secure digital (SD) expansion. The SF1’s suggested retail price is US $199 USD for the 2 GB RAM / 16 GB internal memory version and US $249 USD for the 3 GB RAM / 32 GB internal memory version.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor powers the SF1’s 13-megapixel camera and best-in-class Sony IMX214 Exmor sensor to enable people to capture more professional-looking images. Hybrid auto focus enables split-second, perfect focus in any light – even when shooting into the sun – through phase-detection technology. The camera makes use of the Qualcomm ChromaFlash camera feature to quickly snap two photos – one with flash, one without. The final image takes the brightness from the one with flash and the color accuracy from the other, creating a single, well-balanced image. Users can select their focus after taking a picture through the Qualcomm UbiFocus camera feature. After the photo is taken, users can also zoom in at a resolution beyond normal digital zoom levels, with crisply detailed images powered by the Qualcomm OptiZoom camera feature.

The SF1 also features Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0 power management technology, which dramatically decreases the time required to charge the battery. The SF1 can charge to full power in less than three hours, which is about 40 per cent faster than older phones. The SF1 runs on Google Android Lollipop. The SF1 is named for its city of origin, San Francisco.

The Obi Worldphone SJ1.5, on the other hand, is a 3G smartphone powered by the MediaTek MT6580 Quad-Core processor. The SJ1.5 has an asymmetrical design, with a crisp, squared-off top and a curved bottom that gives it a distinctive silhouette. The screen is made from 2.5D curved glass built flush with the body of the phone to give it a seamless feel in the hand. The SJ1.5 offers unique color and accent options, taking a more expressive approach. In addition to featuring easy-access dual SIM slots, the SJ1.5 comes with 16 GB of internal storage and a card slot for memory expansion. The SJ1.5 sports front and rear cameras and is protected by scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The SJ1.5 uses the Android Lollipop operating system and its suggested retail price is US $129 USD. It’s named for Silicon Valley’s other major city, San Jose.