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Nextbit Robin: The smartphone you’ll struggle to fill up

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Tech start-up Nextbit has just launched an Android phone that it reckons is near-impossible to fill up.

That’s a bold claim in a world where Apple still refuses to bypass 16GB as the entry-level ROM capacity for the iPhone.

But the Nextbit Robin has 32GB of storage – just double that of the iPhone 6. So how exactly can Nextbit’s claim hold water?

The company’s grand solution is a simple one: outsource storage to the cloud.

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For instance, the Nextbit software – a mod of Google’s Android OS – learns your usage habits.

Once it works out which photos and apps you haven’t used in a while, it’ll ship them off to the cloud to free up space on your device.

These apps will be greyed app, but a single tap will download them – data, settings, and all – from the cloud, bringing them back to life.

Photos can also be restored, be it at the full and original resolution, or a smaller size optimised for your screen. Again, this is to make the most of your storage.

Naturally, the original files will still be stored in the cloud, so you’ll never lose the full-res photos.

The idea behind the Nextbit Robin is that rather than you having to decide what to keep in the cloud, the software does it for you in a seamless and autonomous way.

We should point out that you’re actually not really getting unlimited storage at all. That’s because Nextbit is only giving Robin users 100GB of cloud storage for free.

That’s still a significant amount, mind, and Nextbit CEO Tom Moss told The Verge that the storage capacity isn’t fixed, and could be raised in the future.

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Right, at this point you’re probably thinking: who the hell are Nextbit?

It’s a mobile company built by ex-employees of some seriously big name tech firms like Google, Apple, Amazon, and HTC.

Back on August 11, the company announced it would unveil its first Android smartphone come September 1. As such, the launch of the Robin isn’t a huge surprise.

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2015

But forget all of this fluffy cloud talk. How does the Nextbit Robin actually stack up in terms of specs?

You’re looking at a fairly formidable device that features a Full HD 5.2-inch display, a Snapdragon 808 processor (just like the LG G4), 3GB of RAM, a 2,680mAh battery, and a 13-megapixel primary camera.

It’s also got some unique features too, like a USB-C charging port and a fingerprint scanner that’s embedded into the power button on the side.

The phone is also 4G/LTE friendly, so all in all, we’d say this is decidedly a flagship device.

The phone is available to pre-order right now through Kickstarter, with early bird handsets starting at $299.

The device will go on sale for real starting in the first quarter of 2016.

What do you make of the Nextbit Robin? Smartphone revolution, or same-old solution repackaged? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our smartphone group test video below:

Dead Words

September 1, 2015, 8:50 pm

It's interesting but also sounds like it would be frustrating at some points when you have apps you know you don't use very often but when you do need them you need them fast. And the fact that there's no word of microSD card expansion doesn't bode well for a phone that supposedly "can never be filled up" or some-such. I like the phone, and it has some good hardware (the design isn't half-bad either) but I'm not sold on the storage idea.

Bugblatter

September 1, 2015, 10:46 pm

Come on, cloud storage doesn't count. We've had that option for many years and it's not good enough, even with 4G. So it's a 32GB phone with no expansion.

styants64

September 2, 2015, 7:36 am

Then when The initial cloud storage space is full you get constant emails inviting you to pay a subscription for more space, and that's why I buy Sony mobile phones with a top up sim capability.

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