Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

Obi Octopus, Wolverine: Can these phones take on Xiami, Moto and Micromax?

Obi Octopus and Wolverine Review John Sculley and Ajay Sharma, CEO, Obi Mobiles at the launch of Obi Mobiles in April 2014.
Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Posted: August 21, 2014 2:38 pm | Updated: August 22, 2014 8:46 am

The key to succeed with the Indian consumer in the hyper competitive smartphone market, according to the former CEO of Apple Computer, John Sculley, is to culturally connect with the young people and bundle the offerings as per their usage. Even more important, it is fashion and not technology that is driving the consumer preference. In short, phones need to be technologically superior as well as be stylish and beautiful.

Sculley, whose mobile phone venture Obi Mobiles is the latest to foray into the Indian smartphone market, has debuted two stylish devices—Octopus S520 and Wolverine S501—in the mid-range segment.

From a marketing point of view, the company appears to have deciphered the winning formula to succeed here—its mobile phones are stylish, beautiful and carry affordable price tags. They are supported by country wide network of over 95 service centres for after sales support. Can they succeed with the customer here, that too in an overcrowded market, let us find out.

Octopus S520

The Octopus S520 is the flagship smartphone from Obi Mobiles. It is available initially for purchase through Snapdeal at Rs 11,990. The device is also one of the tougher-feeling mid-range phones. It packs high-performing hardware and multitasking capabilities in a sleek metallic design powered by a 1.7 GHz Octa Core processor. The phone sports the current version of Android Kit Kat 4.4 and a 12.7 cm HD IPS touchscreen. The latter is super-tough, super scratch-resistant and doesn’t bend under the pressure of your finger, giving the phone a reassuring immovable feel.

OBI_OCTOPUS The Octopus S520 is the flagship smartphone from Obi Mobiles.

As far as other features go, the Octopus S520 comes in a sleek minimalistic design with a maximum thickness of just 8.4 mm, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal memory expandable to 32 GB. The dual SIM, 3G device is optimised for seamless rendering of media content while all standard smartphone functions are supported in multitasking situations by the powerful octa-core processor.

The best part of the Octopus is its speed. It is amazingly fast, and the hardware ensures that switching between apps is swift and smooth. The call speaker has a nice warm tone and the user interface is smooth and easy to catch on.

So why is the performance good when some other mid-range phones struggle? The main reason is that the Octopus has 1 GB of RAM instead of 512 MB as found in other phones in its price range. More RAM comes in very handy when moving between apps. The phone package contains a flip cover, a screen protector along with a USB charger and in-ear bud type earphones as a standard offering.

Wolverine S501

The Wolverine S501 is a decent but inexpensive Android smartphone. It is attractively priced at Rs 7,850. True, it might not be a superstar, but it is a bold attempt by Obi Mobiles to establish its position among the more exciting budget phone makers. Some elements of the Wolverine are better than much of the competition. The most obvious is speed. I have used similar budget offerings, but the Wolverine’s dual-core processor with 1 GB RAM enables an easy and simultaneous experience of all your apps, games, music, and more.

Obi-WOLVERINE-S501 The Wolverine S501 is a decent but inexpensive Android smartphone.

With a mega 12.7 cm flat screen, the Wolverine is designed to look as good as it feels. Its beautiful, leather-like cover protects your phone from cracks and scratches. What makes this beauty even more lethal is its ability to perform. Running on the Android Kitkat operating system, it packs a powerful punch with its dual-core processor. So enjoy movies or play games seamlessly on the big screen. It also comes with a rear key to make things convenient for you.

All in all, a good budget smartphone with a much better all-round performance.

OCTOPUS S520 Specifications

* Screen size: 145 x 75 x 8.4 mm
* Display: 12.7 cm, HD (720p) resolution touchscreen
* Processor: Octa core 1.7 GHz
* Operating system: Android Kitkat
* Camera: 8 MP (rear); 2 MP (front)
* Memory: 8 GB ROM, 1 GB RAM, microSD card slot
* Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB
* Battery: 1800 mAh
* Estimated street price: Rs 11,990

WOLVERINE S501 Specifications

* Screen size: 144 x 73 x 9.6 mm
* Display: 12.7 cm, FWVGA resolution touchscreen
* Processor: Dual core 1.2 GHz
* Operating system: Android Kitkat
* Camera: 5 MP (rear); 0.3 MP (front)
* Memory: 4 GB ROM, 1 GB RAM, microSD card slot
* Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB
* Battery: 1500 mAh
* Estimated street price: Rs 7,850

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