Devices News

Nextbit announces the Robin, a head-turning Android smartphone

Robin Android Smartphone

It seems that almost every smartphone is identical – after all, there’s not much differentiation in terms of hardware specs and general design especially in the mid-range price bracket. With hundreds of Android phones to choose from, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult. But a company called Nextbit (formed by a collection of ex-Google employees) is aiming to do just that with the Robin, a phone that certainly looks the part…

The Nextbit Robin

The Robin is being funded through a campaign on Kickstarter and seems to be creating a lot of waves in the press this week. The campaign has at the time of writing received pledges of $716,868 – exceeding the goal of $500,000.

Besides its standout looks, the specs of the Robin are somewhat better than most mid-range Android phones. Here’s a rundown of what’s under the hood:

  • Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3GB RAM, 32 GB storage, and 100 GB online
  • A 5.2-inch IPS LCD at 1080p (1,920 x 1,080)
  • 13MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus & dual-tone flash
  • 5MP front camera
  • A 2680 mAh battery
  • Stereo front speakers
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • WiFi A/B/G/N/AC
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 850/900/1800/1900/2100
  • LTE Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28

Pretty decent specs by most standards. But the interesting thing about the Robin is its use of cloud storage. The company says the Robin learns from the way you use the phone and determines what to store in the cloud so that you never run out of physical storage. It’s also possible of course to manage the content on the device yourself, but allowing Robin to organise storage automatically should mean users never have to worry about deleting photos or apps.

Robin Android Smartphone

The Robin runs Android Lollipop at the moment, however we’ve been told that by the time it launches, it’ll have Android M (Marshmallow). So who’s responsible for the pastel-coloured, angular design? Former HTC design guru Scott Croyle (who led the M7 and M8 at HTC) steered the Material Design inspired looks to create something that’s already turning heads. Would you rather be seen with this attractive smartphone or an anonymous grey slab?

Robin Android Smartphone

The Robin is on track to launch in January next year for $399. Anyone who contributes as an early backer on Kickstarter will be able to get the device for $299 however, or the reduced price of $349 for ‘regular’ backers.

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

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