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What is the Rabbit r1? The AI-powered gadget explained

If you’re intrigued by what device might replace smartphones in the future, you’ve probably come across the Rabbit r1. 

It’s safe to say the Rabbit r1 has had a tumultuous start. 

Start-up Rabbit made headlines at CES 2024 when it caught the attention of many attendees with the pocket-sized AI marvel that is the r1. However, as users began to get their hands on the device the feedback was less than favourable, with many reviewers slating the device for seeming unfinished and accomplishing little that can’t be done with a smartphone. According to a report by Android Authority, the r1 UI might actually be an Android app. 

If you’re interested in what kind of device could have caused this much commotion, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Rabbit r1. 

What is the Rabbit r1? 

The Rabbit r1 is a $199 handheld device that runs on its own operating system, Rabbit OS. 

Many of the r1’s capabilities are based on a bespoke large language model called a Large Action Model (LAM). This language model doesn’t have the same function as the one behind ChatGPT or Google Bard. Rather, the purpose of Rabbit’s LAM is to interact with apps on your behalf, allowing you to break away from your phone. 

The LAM learns how you use apps and services to complete everyday tasks such as booking flights, editing photos and streaming music. This ability works with food apps, rideshare services, maps, shopping apps, travel services, music apps and generative AI services, to name a few. 

“Rabbit OS […] can handle most of one’s digital errands – from simple tasks like searching for up-to-date information to complex tasks such as thoroughly researching and booking options for upcoming travel, or filling a virtual grocery store cart and completing transactions at check-out”, reads Rabbit’s press release

Rabbit simply requires you to sign in to each app through its Rabbithole web portal before using voice commands to instruct the r1 to complete tasks. 

Rabbit R1

“LAM fundamentally removes the need for users to download and use multiple apps on their devices, and instead proactively carries out the tasks on such apps for them”. 

One thing the Rabbit r1 cannot do is make or take calls. The r1 has a SIM slot, meaning you can connect to a 4G network using the device (Wi-Fi and hotspot support are present for those who don’t wish to insert a SIM). However, calling and texting do not appear to be supported at this stage, so you probably don’t want to ditch your smartphone just yet. 

Design and specs 

The Rabbit r1 was designed in collaboration with Teenage Engineering and is made to be sleek and easily pocketable. According to Rabbit, the company took cues from the Tamagotchi when crafting the design, while the Luminous Orange colourway is designed to catch the eye. 

Rabbit R1

The r1 features a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a push-to-talk button for voice commands and a scroll wheel for flicking through Rabbit OS’ activity cards. There’s also the “rabbit eye”, an AI-enhanced rotating camera for making video calls. 

The device is powered by the MediaTek Helio P35 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s the aforementioned SIM slot for cellular connectivity, along with an all-day battery and a USB-C port for charging.

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