There’s been a lot of hubbub with Android and storage lately, especially with the Galaxy Note 5 and its lack of a microSD card slot. Nextbit is taking the issue head-on with its new smartphone, which is says will never run out of space.
The Nextbit Robin is all about the cloud, learning how you use your phone and saving apps and content that you haven’t used in a while to the cloud. It’ll automatically back this stuff up when you’re on Wi-Fi. And if you ever decide that you want an app or photo or whatever else on your device after it’s been sent to the cloud, you can tap on it and it’ll be downloaded to your device. The Robin comes with 32GB of internal storage (no microSD slot here) and 100GB of cloud space.
One other major feature of the Nextbit Robin is its design. The phone is made with a metal backplate and colorful polycarbonate blocks at its top and bottom. There are round, indented speaker grilles on the front of the phone as well as two separate volume buttons on one side and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader on the other side. Around back lives a camera with phase detection autofocus and RAW support, as well as four LEDs that light up when you’re connected to the cloud. There’s also a single LED on the bottom of the phone to let you know when you’ve got notifications that want your attention as well as a USB Type-C charging port.
Most of you are probably wondering about this thing’s raw specs. The Robin has a 5.2-inch 1920x1080 LCD screen and a 5-megapixel camera on its face, as well as a 13-megapixel shooter around back. Powering the device is a combination of a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 2680mAh battery that’s said to be “engineered for long battery life.” The battery also supports quick charging. Rounding out the spec list is 32GB of storage, NFC, WCDMA 850/900/1800/1900/2100, and LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28.
Nextbit’s Robin is powered by “the newest Android” that appears to be covered with a custom user interface. Nextbit says that there’s zero bloatware on the Robin, though, and the device also has an unlocked bootloader and open source drivers, allowing you to easily load a custom Android ROM if you’d like. Nextbit even says that if you do flash a custom ROM, your device will still be under warranty, which isn’t something that we hear often.
The Nextbit Robin is available on Kickstarter and its expected to be delivered in January 2016. Right now you can get an Early Adopter Special that includes a phone and charging cable for $299. Once that’s gone, there’s a Kickstarter Special tier for $349 that also includes a phone and cable, as well as a $349 True Rebel Special tier that includes a case and vinyl mascot toy.
The Nextbit Robin is definitely a nice-looking phone, but that’s not terribly surprising considering the people that are behind the device. For example, Scott Croyle is Nextbit’s Chief Product Officer, and he previously spent time at HTC as SVP of Design and User Experience. The Robin seems to tick quite a few other boxes, too, offering solid specs at price point that’s competitive with the other “affordable flagships” that we’ve seen lately. The downside here is that the Robin won’t ship until January 2016, well after its competition has hit the market. Will there be lots of folks willing to commit to the attractive Robin and its unique cloud storage system? We’ll have to wait and see.
What do you think of the Nextbit Robin? Are you going to back its Kickstarter?