Nextbit announces unique cloud-focused Robin Android smartphone

While the rate of smartphone sales is slowing and people are becoming a bit bored with current phones, Nextbit announced an exciting new affordable Android device.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
(Image: Nextbit)
The HTC One M7 was one of the best smartphones I ever owned and one of the leading designers of that device is part of the Nextbit team that just announced the Robin Android smartphone.

Scott Croyle is Nextbit's Chief Product officer, coming from the role of senior vice president of design at HTC. Prior to HTC, Scott was a principal at One & Company, the design firm HTC purchased in 2008. He is joined by Tom Moss, previous head of business development for Android at Google, and Mike Chan, also previously with Google.

A couple of days ago ZDNet's Steve Ranger posted an article arguing that smartphones aren't boring if you look in the right places. As you can see on the Nextbit Robin Kickstarter page the Robin is definitely not a boring slab as the folks at Nextbit attempt to offer something rather unique at a very affordable price.

The Nextbit Robin is focused on the cloud, but unlike what is being done today to simply sync, store, and backup to the cloud with other devices, the Nextbit Robin integrates the cloud so that it functions almost like integrated storage.

(Image: Nextbit)

Intelligence is integrated with the cloud and the phone adapts automatically to your storage needs. For example, if more offline storage, the phone comes with 32GB of integrated storage, starts to fill up and you need more for photos or video then the Robin automatically moves apps and content to your Nextbit cloud storage so you can continue functioning.

The Robin isn't a plain black slab either with available colors including a nice black and a cool mint. The phone has square corners with every other element appearing as a circle, including front-facing stereo speakers. Hardware specifications include:

(Image: Nextbit)
  • Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of integrated storage
  • 5.2 inch 1080p IPS LCD display
  • 13 megapixel rear camera with RAW support
  • 5 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • USB Type C-3.0 port
  • Fingerprint scanner built into the right side power button
  • 2680 mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and plethora of LTE bands support

Android enthusiasts will love the fact that the Robin is a truly open smartphone with an unlocked bootloader and ability to install custom ROMs without voiding your warranty. The Robin OS is designed so that Nextbit can quickly provide updates to the latest version of Android.

There is not a single 3rd party bloatware app loaded on the Robin, which is music to my ears. It is SIM-unlocked and will not be sold through a carrier.

The first 1,000 Kickstarter backers, of which I am now one, will get a midnight or mint Robin for just $299. This also includes 100GB of online storage with a delivery estimate of January 2016. Regular price in the first quarter of 2016 is estimated to be $399 so you can save $100 if you support the campaign now.

The Nextbit Robin looks to be a rather exciting device with a unique focus on the cloud. Given the design history of the Nextbit team, I can't wait to try it out in a few months.

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