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Brands Dialogue | brandsdialogue

Will brand-value help Samsung Galaxy S3 to battle it out with Obi’s Hornbill S551?

May 19th 2015 at 4:00 AM

Having tasted some success in a rather short time in the Middle East, Obi Mobiles, a smartphone company co-founded by former CEO of Pepsi Co and Apple, has entered East Africa, starting Kenya and Tanzania. However, it is already facing competition from established brands such as Samsung, Tecno Mobiles, Huawei, HTC, etc. With yet another player claiming the superiority of its smartphone in the market adds to the challenge of picking the right product. Through this comparative review, we have tried to examine the relative strengths of two smartphone models, i.e. Samsung Galaxy S3 and Obi Hornbill S551 with the intention to enable consumers to make an informed choice.

With dimensions 136.6x70.6x8.6mm, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 weighs about 133g where as Obi’s Hornbill with 156x76.8x7.9mm dimensions weighs only about 126g. Interestingly, in spite of its larger frame, Obi’s Hornbill is a relatively lighter device. Furthermore, while Galaxy S3 has a Super AMOLED display, Hornbill has a TFT IPS Screen with Capacitative Touch HD. Both the devices, however, have a resolution of 1280x720 Pixels. Given the larger overall dimensions, Obi’s Hornbill has the space to offer a wider display screen size 5.5 inches, where as Galaxy S3 comes with a screen size is 4.8 inches. Considering the display screen Galaxy S3 has an edge due to being more battery efficient, better viewing quality at angles and just sharper and clearer images in general, however, a larger screen size in Hornbill simply enhances the viewing experience.
At the performance front, both Galaxy S3 and Hornbill have the same 1GB RAM, but Galaxy S3 has a comparatively advanced Quad Core 1.4GHz processor than Hornbill that comes with Quad Core 1.3GHz processor, which gives S3 a sure edge. However, Hornbill makes up for the processor lag in the operating system. Obi’s Hornbill runs on Android 4.4 Kit Kat while Samsung’s Galaxy S3 runs on a rather outdated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which puts Obi’s Hornbill on a stronger footing. Furthermore, Galaxy S3 has an internal memory of 16GB expandable up to 64GB through microSD where as Obi’s Hornbill has an 8GB internal memory which is expandable up to 32GB through microSD. Since expandable memory of 32 GB is more than sufficient, we believe it is not really a critical differentiator.
Obi’s Hornbill also has superior cameras of 13 megapixel at the rear and 5 megapixel at the front, where Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has an 8 megapixel rear camera and a meager 1.9 megapixel front camera, an out right advantage Hornbill. Looking at the battery capacity, Galaxy S3 with 2100 mAh once again is found to be lacking before Obi’s Hornbill that comes with 2200 mAh. Maybe Samsung should have paid more attention to the battery and less on the expandable memory.
In terms of Networks and Wireless Connectivity, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is available on 2.5G: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, 3G: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz and 4G (dependent on market) but Hornbill is available only on 3G: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz. Both devices have v4.0 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities (802.11 a/b/g/n), but only Galaxy S3 provides Wi-Fi Hotspot. Another differentiator is the SIM Card capability, where Galaxy S3 has only 1 slot for a micro SIM but Hornbill has two slots and can be used for micro SIMs and regular SIMs.
That brings us to the most critical differentiator, the price. In spite of lagging behind Obi’s Hornbill in display screen size, operating system technology, cameras and battery life but with the advantages of more advanced processor and the ability to function on multiple networks (2.5G, 3G and 4G), Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is priced around KSh 40,000, where as Obi’s Hornbill is pleasantly priced around KSh 18,000. Of course, Samsung has the brand value to justify the price, but a smart consumer would sure consider several critical differentiators while making decision.

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