Nextbit’s Robin smartphone is up for pre-order at a price of $399 (Rs 25,900 approx) on its Kickstarter page. The smartphone, which promises unlimited storage, can be shipped to India by paying an additional $70. But, it is the cloud in its DNA with Android as the base that makes it different from conventional android phones.
This is where Robin comes in. Firstly, Robin is not a conventionally designed $400 Android smartphone. It is tall, square and striking in mint and midnight black colour options.
Why Android? Because Nextbit’s team knows more about Android than anyone else. The company CEO Tom Moss served as Worldwide Head of Business Development for Android at Google until 2010 while its CTO Mike Chan overlooked software development right from Android 1.0 through 3.0 Honeycomb. Nextbit’s Chief Product Officer Scott Croyle was formerly SVP of Design and User experience at HTC and was behind popular phones like HTC Evo, One M7 and One M8.
With smartphones and our consumption evolving significantly, our storage needs have increased but not the space. To put things in perspective, we now play games that take up gigabytes of storage in a go and stream 320kbps MP3 songs. With major streaming services offering offline capability, a 320kbps song of length 3 minutes can easily take up nearly 7 megabytes or say 100 Megabytes for every 15 song downloaded. Saving a 90-minute YouTube video offline at 360p can easily take up 320MB of storage space.
So where do we store them all? Cloud and Nextbit’s Robin wants to be your cloud saviour. Robin will let you dump or offload all that stuff you don’t use on your phone. Nextbit says, “it will always rain them back for you” whenever you need them.
As Robin’s Kickstarter page reads, “Robin intelligently adapts to your storage needs, and automatically optimises the space on your phone when it sees you need it. By learning the apps you use and the space you need, Robin offloads the stuff you don’t use to the cloud. So you can have everything you want (in the cloud), and just what you need (on your phone). Robin backs up your apps and photos whenever you’re connected to power and Wi-Fi.”
Apart from the cloud puzzle, Robin is nothing short of a well specced smartphone. The handset is powered by a hexacore Snapdragon 808 processor paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage with 100GB available on cloud. The device features a 5.2-inch display with full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) resolution. It has a 13MP camera with phase detection autofocus and dual tone LED flash. There is a 5MP front camera for all selfie obsessed folks.
The power key doubles up as a fingerprint sensor and the phone has dual speakers and USB 3.0 Type C connector. The 7mm slim device weighs 150 grams and supports NFC and LTE. That is an healthy list of smartphone spec.
Like many other startups, Nextbit has gone Kickstarter way with its project to manage inventory requirements. The project goal is set at $500,000 and has already crossed the goal with 22 days to go. The first 1,000 backers get Robin for $299 while all others get the device at $349. Robin is expected to be available for retail in Q1 2016 for $399 and the Kickstarter page lists India as one of the shipping destinations.