[Sponsored] Obi Hornbill S551: the design story

“The Hornbill from Obi is the most stylish phablet you can buy south of Rs 10,000”

If you’re on the hunt for a large-screened smartphone that doesn’t cost a bomb, the sub-Rs 10,000 smartphone segment in India is packed with phablet options. Making a choice is a tough task, especially since many of them offer similar specs and are priced similarly too. However, the one area where most of them lack is the style factor – they all look pretty much the same. The same blocky designs, the same thick bodies – it’s an ocean of samey-ness out there. But then the Hornbill S551 (first impressions) from Obi landed, and with its swanky looks, created a big wave for you to ride.


Make no mistake, while marginally better specs and slightly slower prices are always attractive, there’s a chance you may regret your purchase later if you end up with a device that’s too plain Jane. With the Obi Hornbill in your hand however, you can be sure of second glances coming your way when you walk into a club or a boardroom. Let’s take a closer look at the design.


First up, the Hornbill is quite slim. At 7.9mm, it may not be the slimmest out there, but it’s definitely one of the thinnest in its class. The attention to detail is quite evident as you observe the design closely. The Hornbill comes in a dual-tone finish, with the front being black and the rear clad in white. The rear features a dimpled pattern that looks divine, but it’s the chrome accents that add to the oomph. The Obi logo, the camera lens and the flash are all embellished in chrome, making the device look quite premium.


Then there are the metallic bands on the sides, with even the power key on the right and the volume rocker on the left featuring the same finish. The visible screws on both ends of the bands add an industrial, classy look to the phablet that’s quite unmatched.

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Scared of getting blemishes on that pristine white back? Fret not, as the retail box includes a premium flip cover that replaces the rear panel. The cover features precise cut-outs for the front earpiece, the rear camera and the speaker, so you can use the smartphone with the cover on. Further, the cover sports a white leatherette finish, that adds another dimension of style to the device, protecting with without adding too much bulk.

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It’s not as if the Obi Hornbill’s beauty is only skin deep, since it also boasts powerful specs for its asking price. The 5.5-inch screen features a resolution of 720p. The dual-SIM device runs Android KitKat, and the show is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor that works in tandem with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of expandable storage, and there’s support for 3G on both the SIM slots – a rarity in this price range. The rear camera rocks a resolution of 13-megapixels and features a Sony sensor for optimum image quality, while the front camera is 5-megapixels.


For a best buy price of Rs 9,250, the Obi Hornbill S551 is one device that’s light on the pocket, should offer smooth, lag-free usage, and one that you can proudly flaunt wherever you go.

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