Obi’s Latest Smartphone is Powered by Cyanogen OS and it’s Insanely Cheap


Obi Worldphone has unveiled its latest smartphone at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The device, designed by Silicon Valley-based design firm Ammunition, is one with a difference from previous Obi Worldphone devices.

The Obi Worldphone MV1 will run on Cyanogen OS, a modified version of Android developed by a company of the same name. Version 12 of Cyanogen OS which the device will run on is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop.


Like previous Obi smartphones, the MV1’s strength is in its pricing. The base model which has 1 GB RAM will cost $139 while the 2 GB RAM variant will go for $149 making them all sub-$150 devices. That is a key factor if a device is to gain any traction in emerging smartphone markets that are very price sensitive. Such markets include India, Kenya and others in Asia, the African continent and Latin America. In India, Obi Chief Executive and founder John Sculley launched the last generation of Obi Worldphone devices, the SF1 and SJ1, last year. He was also in Kenya in the same year to launch the Obi brand.


Specifications of the Obi MV1 are as follows:

  • Size and weight: 72.6 x 45.6 x 8.95mm, 149g
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1280×720 pixels) protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: 1.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 212; GPU: Adreno 306
  • Memory: 16 GB internal storage (expandable up to 64 GB with microSD); 1 GB / 2 GB RAM
  • Camera: 8-megapixel main with OmniVision OV8865 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording/ 2-megapixel selfie
  • Operating System: Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 (Android 5.1 Lollipop)
  • Network: 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery: 2500mAh (built-in)
  • Others: Dual-SIM (micro, nano)

Obi sees itself as the Western response to the influx of Asian-based smartphone brands in emerging markets and will be banking on these two new devices and others in its portfolio to further consolidate its share of the smartphone market which is forecast to see 1.4 billion smartphones produced this year alone.