Nextbit Robin is a ‘cloud-first’ Android smartphone that’s now available on Kickstarter

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HTC’s flagship One phones are often lauded for their design and their clean, attractive hardware. Now one of the men behind some of HTC’s One designs is back with a new company and a new phone.

Nextbit today introduced the Robin, an Android phone with a unique storage system. The Robin comes with 32GB of built-in storage as well as 100GB of cloud space that’s utilized for apps and content that you don’t regularly use. If the Robin determines that you may not need something on your phone because you don’t use it often, it will automatically upload the content to the cloud. If you decide that you want it back on your phone, you simply tap on the app or content that you want to download and it’ll be loaded back onto your device.

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Getting back to design, the Nextbit Robin is an attractive phone. It’s got a metal shell on its rear as well as two polycarbonate blocks at its top and bottom. The square body houses two round, indented front-facing speakers and a 5-megapixel front camera, as well as circular volume buttons on one side and an oblong power button and fingerprint reader on the other side. The back of the phone is home to a 13-megapixel rear camera with phase detection autofocus and RAW support as as well as four LEDs that light up when you’re connected to the cloud. The bottom of the unit houses another lone LED that’ll alert you to incoming notifications as well as a USB Type-C charging port.

When it comes to specs, the Nextbit Robin offers a 5.2-inch 1920×1080 LCD screen, 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, NFC, a a 2680mAh battery. It runs “the newest Android” beneath what appears to be a custom Android UI, but Nextbit promises that the Robin has no bloatware. And if you’d like, you can take advantage of the Robin’s unlocked bootloader to install a custom ROM, which won’t void your warranty.

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The Nextbit Robin’s connectivity capabilities include GSM 850/900/1800/1900, WCDMA 850/900/1800/1900/2100, and LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28. So while you’re only getting HSPA on 1900MHz with the Robin, you do get support for all three of T-Mobile’s LTE bands. And because the Robin comes unlocked, you can just pop in your SIM and go.

The Nextbit Robin is available on Kickstarter, so you’ve got a few different buying options if you’re interested in the device. The cheapest is a $299 Early Adopter Special that includes a phone and charger, but that’s limited to 100 units. The regular Kickstarter Special offers the same goodies for $349 and is available to all. Then there’s a $399 True Rebel Special that also includes a case can vinyl mascot toy, and a Double Kickstarter Special that includes two phones.

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Nextbit says that Early Adopter Special units will be delivered in January 2016, while all other orders should go out in February.

Nextbit’s Robin is part of an ever-growing category of “affordable flagships” that also includes devices like the ZenFone 2 and Moto X Pure Edition. It’s great to see this category continue to grow because it offers quality phones for prices that are often less than traditional flagship phones, and it makes buying an unlocked phone easier to do. The Nextbit Robin looks like a solid addition to this group, offering good looks and respectable features for $349.

What do you think of the Nextbit Robin?

Source: Nextbit Robin (Kickstarter)

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  • Ascertion

    The specs are actually quite interesting.

    Battery size could be a bit higher.

    Looks to be compatible with T-Mobile/AT&T’s bands.

  • But does it have VOLTE? For, without it, band 12 is nearly useless.

  • YABD

    Good looking phone.

  • JLV90

    I would not back a phone without history of actually releasing a phone. Some people are still waiting on saygus to launch their phone since march.

    • EAS

      Seriously. I considered getting a V2. So glad I didn’t. By the time it’s released the specs will be outdated.

      • Ascertion

        Isn’t it launching with the SD 800? That’s already a chip from 2013.

        • EAS

          It is indeed. Haha

        • orlando duran

          It’s not the 800, my god read the Damn article

          Snapdragon 808 processor

        • Ascertion

          You should read the comments before you critique them. I’m referring to the Sagyus V2 phone that was in context to my post.

    • I was an early adopter of the OnePlus One and have few regrets. A few bugs had to be worked out, but all-in-all, I was pretty happy. Sometimes you have to take an educated guess or a leap of faith.

      • steveb944

        Except it was known the parent company, OPPO, actually made good products.

        I’m weary of supporting crowd funded phones due to getting burned with Yotaphone 2.

  • Ordeith

    Cloud-first? On T-Mobile’s network?
    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

    • I store virtually everything on the cloud and never, ever have a problem. Ever.

    • Is this not a T-Mobile news blog? You’re acting like the people here have other carriers. I would think that if you have T-Mobile, and you’re not on contract (which they don’t do anymore), you would only choose T-Mobile if you have the best service. Otherwise, I would believe you would go somewhere else with better service. I personally have great service, so cloud storage access will not bother me.

  • EAS

    Well clearly from a past HTC designer, look at those big bezels. O_O

    • Ascertion

      I was thinking Nokia.

      • cloud strife

        I agree. the design and color is something Nokia will pull off. Looks like one of their last designs when they still use Symbian and before moving to the N9 design.

  • rosedog

    The cloud is not the answer! Never will be. Don’t believe the hype.

    • Paul

      Agreed.

    • JBrowne1012

      It would be if everyone including t-mobile would just offer the purest form of unlimited data not this synthetic form of unlimited data where if you use more than your neighbor then hey we will slow you down.

      • rosedog

        WRONG! And you sound like you’re just coming off as whiny. I also do not understand what the hell it is with people who seem to equate “unlimited data” with “unlimited speed”. They are not same thing.

        If you can’t access the ” cloud ” any and everywhere at any given moment during the day then it will 100% not be the answer, ever! In addition to that that any and everything you store on the ” cloud ” is no longer yours, you gave all rights up to the ” cloud ” operators.

        This bullshit that is being fed to people today about why their devices can’t have memory card slots is a sham. It is the last trick the manufactures have to try to squeeze more money out of idiots, memory is cheap, real cheap and they don’t want people to have it. Don’t believe me? Take anyone of the manufactures bald face lies and put that same theory up against a laptop/desktop computer….guess what they manage to operate just fine with memory cards all day, every day, 24/7.

      • GinaDee

        Stop being a cheap @zz and get a wired ISP and Wi-Fi router at home.

        Unless you are the moron using 2 TB’s of data (tethering) then you have nothing to worry about.

        • YogaMind

          Agreed. I’ve used lots of data on T-Mobile and have yet to be slowed.

      • vinnyjr

        Go to AT&T or Verizon and see what you get there. No one is holding you at T-Mobile. Stop using your mobile phone as your home int connection.

  • steveb944

    Thank goodness it’s not a phablet so I’m not remotely tempted.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Cloud is EPIC fail especially AT&T’s and Verizon’s are charging you crazy $$ to access the cloud data.

  • cloud strife

    “You do get support for all three of T-Mobile’s LTE bands” —- What’s the third band? I know 1700/2100 and band 12 700. So what’s the third one?

    • Rod

      2, 4, 12.
      1900, 17/2100, 700

  • 9to5Slavery

    Battery DRAIN!!!!!