An early take a look at Nextbit's 'cloud first' Robin smartphone
Nextbit needed to have fun the launch of its debut smartphone at the moment at a celebration in San Francisco, nevertheless it turned out to be a celebration of success as properly. In slightly below 12 hours, the startup reached its $500,000 Kickstarter aim to fund the Robin, an Android telephone that is not solely “cloud first,” but in addition surprisingly design ahead as nicely. We had an opportunity to get an early take a look at what the ultimate product may truly appear to be (although keep in mind these are all nonetheless prototypes) and requested Scott Croyle, Nextbit’s Chief Product and Design Officer — who’s additionally a former design lead for HTC — a number of questions concerning the telephone as properly.
First, let’s recap: The large concept behind the Robin is that if you get it, not solely do you get 32GB of inner storage, however you additionally get 100GB of cloud storage — utterly free. Once you’ve maxed out the capability of your telephone, Robin is clever sufficient to slowly offload lesser used apps and/or media to the cloud. “It is a distinctive hybrid strategy,” stated Croyle.
Whereas he wasn’t capable of present the software program operating on the prototypes to me, he did present a beta model of it operating on a Nexus 5. He confirmed how a lesser used app was greyed out. Faucet it, and you will see a progress bar because the app is loaded again onto the telephone from the cloud. After a couple of minutes, the app will not be greyed out and you should use it simply as you possibly can earlier than. And in the event you by no means ever need an app to be offloaded to the cloud, you’ll be able to simply pin it so that it will all the time be in your telephone.
As for photographs, he says that for those who select to again them up within the cloud, the telephone will solely load up the unique excessive-res pictures whereas holding down sampled variations in native storage so you possibly can see what you could have saved away. You do not all the time have to make use of the cloud both; it is utterly as much as you if you wish to allow cloud storage for simply media, each media and apps, or not use it altogether.
What’s maybe much more spectacular nevertheless, is that hardware. It is a properly designed gadget, with straight sides, a slim profile and funky colours — it is available in each “mint” inexperienced and “midnight” blue. On the correct aspect is an influence button that additionally doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Simply faucet and maintain it to unlock your telephone. Along with the common microphone on the underside, there’s additionally a noise-canceling microphone on the prime. As for the remainder of the hardware, there’s additionally a thirteen-megapixel digital camera, LED flash, a 5.2-inch 1080p display and a USB-C port.
It is onerous to actually give palms-on impressions at this level because of the early prototype nature of the gadget — the one we’re displaying right here is an EVT, or an “engineering verification check” — however we’re at the least capable of present a mockup of what it might appear to be. The general really feel could be very mild and clean to the contact. Despite the fact that it is squared on the edges, it nonetheless felt fairly snug to carry because of a little bit of a “mushy contact” end on the again, which we’re advised is near what they need within the ultimate hardware. Powering all of it is a reasonably-shut-to-inventory Android Lollipop, albeit with a number of Nextbit touches.
There’s nonetheless 27 extra days to the Kickstarter at this level, so you continue to have time to get one for $349 (the $299 early fowl specials are all gone). However when you do, keep in mind there will be a wait: Croyle tells me they will not begin delivery till January 2016 on the earliest.