“The Nextbit Robin is an attempt to address the smartphone storage crisis issue, and is the world’s first cloud-first smartphone”
Running out on phone storage because there are too many cool apps you keep wanting to download, or because your smartphone takes great pictures, and you can’t have enough of them, is something that happens with everyone. And since smartphones have become so affordable now, instances when a microSD card is more expensive than the phone do happen as well. The Nextbit Robin, which we recently got our hands on, is an attempt to address the smartphone storage crisis issue, and is the world’s first cloud-first smartphone. The smartphone was launched in the US in September, 2015, but it landed in India recently. It seems like a pretty interesting offering overall, with an impressive list of specs, and a price tag of Rs 19,999… here’s what we think about it.
Talking about the specifications first… the Nextbit Robin sports a 5.2-inch full HD IPS LCD display, which comes protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Under the hood, it gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor working in tandem with 3GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of built-in storage along with 100GB on the cloud. The phone sports a 13MP primary camera with phase detection autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. For selfies it gets a 5MP camera.
The phone runs Nextbit OS, based on Android Marshmallow. Backed by a 2,680mAh battery, the phone supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 tech, and uses a USB Type-C charging dock. Connectivity wise, it gets only one SIM slot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC. The phone also sports a fingerprint reader, which has been embedded into the power key, placed on the right edge. The Nextbit Robin rocks dual-front firing speakers, which find their way into the slight dents above and below the display.
The Nexbit Robin is a beautifully designed phone, and its compact display and lightweight build make it extremely convenient to handle. Despite being crafted out of plastic, the smartphone does not make you want to miss a metal build, and that credit goes to its stunning build quality.
The port and button placement is standard. While it won’t make a style statement for you, the Robin stands out in the crowd of similar-looking phones, in a positive way. The display on the phone is sharp enough. The colours, viewing angles, and screen brightness are nice as well. The processing felt pretty snappy in our short use, and as you get 3GB of RAM at your disposal, everyday operation and multi-tasking shouldn’t be an issue. The camera app was minimal, and we tried clicking a few pictures. The shutter speed on the phone was impressive, and the camera seemed to capture decent colours and detail. Considering the specs, the battery of the phone should be able to deliver a day’s worth of use. The UI of the phone is pretty clean, it doesn’t come with any preloaded third party apps apart from the ones from Google.
The Nextbit Robin always keeps your data, applications, and content synced, and it does so over Wi-Fi. The four LEDs on the back indicate when the smartphone is managing the storage on the phone. The Robin can offload or archive least used apps and content from the phone, whenever it senses that you are running out of storage. The archived data on the cloud can be accessed at any point of time, and all of this can happen without the need of network connectivity, since all the data is already synced. If you are in vicinity of an awesome Wi-Fi connection almost all the time, the Robin can prove to be a great companion if you’ve had a history of running out on storage.
The Nextbit Robin seems fairly priced considering the decent set of specifications it offers. In terms of competition, it faces tough competition from the Lenovo Vibe X3 (first impressions), which sports almost identical specs, including a Snapdragon 808 processor, and 3GB of RAM. However, the Vibe X3 sports a 21MP primary camera. The Nextbit Robin is a smartphone for niche users. We’ll tell you how it fares as a daily driver, and if there’s more to it than just cloud storage in our full review which will be up in no time, so stay tuned.