2. This is the Robin. It’s a new Android phone that has smart software, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space.
Robin is made by a company you’ve never heard of called Nextbit. I know what you’re thinking: Another Android device? Aren’t there already thousands of those? (24,000, actually.)
But Robin is different for two reasons: it’s really freaking pretty and it runs a unique version of Android that analyzes how you use your phone, then sends stuff you don’t need (like an app you haven’t opened in months or a photo from a week ago) to ~the cloud~ (AKA a giant building full of servers).
3. I had the chance to try out Robin for a week, and was immediately hooked.
I was sold before I even turned on the device. The mint version’s hardware is playfully colorful. I’d describe its aesthetic as “minimalist kawaii.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It’s sleek. It’s eye-catching. Its material is soft to the touch. It’s just… really attractive, which is not an adjective I typically use to describe Android devices.
The phone is definitely a conversation piece. This morning, while I was waiting in line for coffee: “Cute case. What is it?” “No, it’s a phone, actually.” “No way, really?” (Yes, way.)
4. The phone’s software is awesome, too. When Robin is plugged into a charger and connected to Wi-Fi, it’ll backup apps and photos automatically so you never have to delete content to make room for more.
A row of blinking lights on the back of the phone will let you know that there’s a sync in progress.
5. Here’s the crazy part: Robin comes with 30 GB of local storage and 100 gigabytes of online storage.
It would take tens of thousands of photos (perhaps even more) to fill up that amount of storage. Unlike online services like Dropbox or Google Drive, you don’t have to pay Nextbit a yearly fee. The 100 GB just comes with the phone. And it’s yours, forever.
6. It costs $400, which is pretty expensive as far as phones go, but is on par with premium unlocked Android devices, like the Nexus 6P ($500).
Premium = Quality materials.
Unlocked = Works on any carrier.
In fact, when you compare the Robin and Nexus 6P (my favorite Android device, period) in terms of the technical nitty gritty, they’ve got the same RAM (3 GB), quick charging capabilities, and excellent rear cameras.
Plus, the Robin has a more manageable (slightly smaller) 5.2-inch screen size and it’s $100 cheaper.
8. When you haven’t used an app in a while, Robin will “archive” it. To restore the app, just tap on the icon. Easy.
Archived apps appear gray on the homescreen. Robin will upload the app’s data file, so that when you need it again, all of your information and log in credentials will be waiting for you.
9. If you don’t want Robin to archive certain apps, you can “pin” them by swiping up on the app icon.
You can find all of your archived apps, pinned apps, and all downloaded apps by tapping the purple ellipses on the homescreen.
10. Robin automatically uploads the full-size resolution photo to the cloud, and presents you with the space-saving screen-resolution version.
If you need to send a full-resolution photo to someone via Gmail (or some other messaging platform) just attach the file normally and Robin will pull the full-res, high-quality version from the cloud and send it as your attachment.
12. There’s a fingerprint sensor inside the power button.
My suggestion is to scan ALL of your fingers. Because of where the button is positioned, I found myself picking up the device in all sorts of ways and wishing that I hadn’t just added my thumbs.
13. One feature that’s both a pro and a con is that the Robin uses a USB Type C cable to charge.
On the one hand, the phone charges SUPER fast. Just thirty minutes will give you enough to last the day. On the other hand, if you forget your cable at home, you’re totally screwed. Very few devices use USB C cables and none of your friends or coworkers will be able to lend you a charger.
Nextbit is also selling cases alongside the Robin, but I didn’t like them at all. They felt very rigid and plastic-y.
15. The Robin is a legitimately impressive Android phone that eliminates one of the biggest pain points for smartphone users: limited storage.
It’s got everything most smartphone users need: a great camera (13 MP!), solid battery life, a crisp high resolution display, and a speedy processor. Best of all, it runs near-stock Android and, if you’re a tinkerer, you can unlock a bootloader and load a custom ROM (which amazingly won’t void your warranty).
Robin is a fantastic phone for someone who wants something that’s unique and well-designed, someone who takes a ton of photos, and/or someone who loves playing a lot of mobile games (and doesn’t want to delete anything to make room for more). Robin is essentially the phone-version of what Google promised us with the Chromebook.
The phone’s biggest drawback is the $400 price, but for 100 GB of included online storage and peace of mind, it’s probably worth it.
You can order the Robin at nextbit.com.
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