Obi Worldphones — a company co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley — has unveiled its first two affordable and aesthetically striking smartphones. Both phones are named after California cities: SF1 named after San Francisco and SJ1.5 named after San Jose and feature similar designs, although there are clear differences in specifications and performance.
Smartphone manufacturers are climbing over each other to take full advantage of the rapidly expanding market opportunities in India. Chief among them is Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, which has just announced its first smartphone assembled in India, for the Indian market only. The Redmi 2 Prime still predominantly uses parts from China, but is assembled in Sri City.
As for the device itself, the Redmi 2 Prime offers a considerable memory and storage upgrade on the regular Redmi 2 without costing a whole lot more. For just under 7,000 Rupees ($110 USD) you get a device packing 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, that’s double the memory and capacity of the Redmi 2 which costs just under 6,000 Rupees ($94 USD). Both devices make use of Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor and host 4.7-inch IPS HD (1280×720) displays and an 8MP camera on the back. What’s more, they’re dual SIM and can cope with LTE speeds up to 150Mbps.
Xiaomi plans to bring more of its manufacturing process to India, eventually producing more of its components and packaging within Indian borders. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s chief stated “this is like the typical chicken and egg story. Unless there is any smartphone manufacturing happening in the country, you cannot expect to get components locally.” So this is very much just the first step in its journey to cracking the Indian market.
It’s early but we’re here at the Moto ‘Choose a Better Relationship” event in NYC. We’re obviously expecting a new Moto X and Moto G but we’re really excited to see what a better mobile relationship entails. We’re live! Head below for the latest.
Android One has arrived in Pakistan at long last, and does so with the launch of the QMobile A1 smartphone. In a blog post this morning, Google announced that consumers will be able to snag one of these new handsets for just 11,500 PKR (around $110 USD) starting today. Expand Expanding Close
Samsung today announced a new 5-inch, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean-powered smartphone known as the “Galaxy Grand”. We don’t get any details on pricing or availability, and specs and design add up to your typical low to mid-range Galaxy variant, but the device is packing a 1.2 GHz dual for processor, 5-inch WVGA TFT LCD, 8-megapixel camera (2 megapixel front cam), Bluetooth 4.0, and 1 GB of RAM. Perhaps the most interesting part of the Grand is that initially Samsung will ship a dual SIM version (GT-I9082) only that will allow users to manage two numbers on one device:
For the dual SIM version, its innovative dual SIM feature provides total communication flexibility, allowing users to manage two phone numbers from a single phone. It is possible to receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other, ensuring efficient management of personal and work commitments without ever missing a call. Dual SIM also offers the flexibility of selecting different billing plans for either SIM, switching between them to make the most of cheaper call and data plans. Expand Expanding Close
Samsung unveiled its low-end, specialized Galaxy Music smartphone today that promises to deliver a premium sound quality and various must-have features.
The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered handset boasts a “powerful processor,” although Samsung neglected to name the hardware, with promises of a fast and smooth performance. It also features dual front stereo speakers, an FM radio, and the ability to handle high-speed downloads. The unique aspect of the 3-inch device is its dedicated Music key that “provides quick and convenient access to the music player for the perfect listening experience.”
The Galaxy Music will also be available in a dual-SIM version as the Galaxy Music Duos. There is not much else for details, including price and availability for both variations, but check out the Galaxy Music’s white paper below and official press release after the break.
Display: 3.0-inch QVGA 240-by-320 TFT
OS: Android Ice Cream Sandwich, access to Google Play
Overlay: Samsung Touchwiz and apps
Camera: 3 Megapixel fixed-focus camera with no Flash
Video: Recording and playback — WVGA at 25fps
Audio: Music player with SoundAlive
Connectivity: Bluetooth technology v 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n
Sensors: Accelerometer, digital compass, proximity
Memory: 4GB user memory, 512MB RAM, microSD up to 32 GB
The 4-inch handset boasts a WVGA 480-by-800 display and a 5-megapixel rear-shooting camera, but users who travel often or juggle multiple phones will mostly love its ability to toggle SIM cards. The dual-SIM functionality essentially lets users connect two phone numbers to a single phone, while the “Always on” feature allows them to receive calls on one SIM number while answering a call from the other line. The Galaxy S Duos further supports various billing plans for each SIM.
A few of the additional specs mentioned in the press release include “rounded edges and smooth ceramic-like finish,” 1GHz processor, 1500mAh battery, and 4GB of on-board storage. The Galaxy S Duos is eyeing a September launch starting in Europe with a rollout scheduled for other territories, and The Verge noted an LTE version, with possibly different internal specs, is coming down the pipeline.
Let’s hope the Galaxy S Duos marks an industry-wide transition to multi-SIM smartphones. It would certainly be interesting to see all the carriers simultaneously fight for usage on a single device.