Nextbit Introduces Robin, a Phone That Makes the Cloud Smart
Sep 1, 2015, 9:00 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Nexbit today revealed the Robin, an Android smartphone that intelligently uses the cloud to help manage storage space on the fly. The handset includes 32 GB of "offline" storage and 100 GB of "online" storage. The hardware itself has 32 GB, but the Robin has access to another 68 GB of storage on Nextbit's servers. When the Robin is connected to the internet (via LTE or WiFi) it has access to all 100 GB of this storage space. Most interestingly, Robin's software will learn which apps are used the least and will proactively remove them from the handset until they are needed. Removed apps still appear in the menus, but are greyed out and unusable until the user chooses to reload them. Users won't have to re-enter credentials for removed apps; Robin keeps account and login details intact. The handset has a unique industrial design created by Scott Croyle, a former designer for HTC. The main chassis is made from metal and it is book-ended by two polycarbonate caps. The caps house stereo speakers (each with its own amplifier), camera modules, sensors, and wireless radios. The Robin features a 5.2-inch full HD screen and is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3 GB of RAM. The Robin has a 13-megapixel main camera with two-tone LED flash, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. Nextbit added a fingerprint sensor to the screen lock button, which is located on the side of the Robin. The phone has a 2,650mAh battery that is sealed in. Wireless radios include Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, WiFi, HSPA+, and a wide selection of LTE bands for compatibility with networks such as those run by AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. Nextbit is launching the Robin in the U.S. via Kickstarter beginning today. Early bird supporters (first 1,000 backers) can score the Robin for $299. Follow-up Kickstarter supporters will have to spend $349. The Robin will ship for $399 in the first quarter of 2016.
Nextbit announced the Robin last year, but the company is using CES 2016 to re-introduce the phone just ahead of its launch. This phone focuses on optimizing on-board storage using the cloud.
Nextbit hopes the Robin will convince people to jump into the cloud feet first. This Android smartphone prioritizes which apps and files get to stay on the phone, and which are relegated to Nextbit's servers.
Jan 9, 2018
Nextbit this week warned owners of its Robin smartphone that it plans to shut down its Cloud Storage service on March 1. The company revealed the news in an email to customers.
May 3, 2016
Amazon is kicking off sales of the Nexbit Robin with a limited price. Anyone who buys the phone from Amazon between May 4 and May 10 will pay $299, rather than $399.
Oct 22, 2015
Nextbit has opened up preorders for those interested in its forthcoming Robin smartphone. The phone was initially offered via Kickstarter for $299/$349.