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Nextbit Robin review

7/10 AVG.
RATING



7/10
Informr score
The Nextbit Robin currently has an Informr score of 7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 35 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Attractive colors and festive design
  • Good performance
  • Screen offers vibrant colors and good viewing angles

What's bad

  • Poor battery life
  • No control over cloud storage
  • Slow camera

Cloud storage has become an integral part in people’s everyday lives and most people use at least one service from Dropbox to Google Drive. Now devices that heavily rely on cloud storage have become more common with Chromebooks as a prime example. Smartphones are now making that leap with the release of the Nextbit’s Robin.

In terms of design, the Robin hearkens back to older smartphones with its sharp and angular shape. To balance out the angles, it incorporates round buttons and speaker grills for a more approachable appearance.

What really gives the Robin personality, however, are the pastel color options of turquoise and light green, though it does have a more subtle dark grey palette. Reviewers call the design festive and fresh with Engadget stating, “I’m absolutely, over-the-moon in love with how it looks. It’s charming…” While the color and shape might make it look “toy-like” experts point out the build quality is superb and the soft texture of the back makes it easy to grip.

Very thin side bezels surround the 5.2 inch 1080p LCD display. While it doesn’t compare to higher end phones like the iPhone 6S, critics describe it as good enough as it offers vivid colors and solid viewing angles. The only issue they noticed were faint lines running horizontally across the screen. Still, they mention the average smartphone user probably won’t even notice.

A hexa-core Qualcomm processor and 3GB of RAM keep the Robin running at a fairly steady pace. It was able to handle pretty much any task reviewers threw at it, though they did notice it would get a bit warm. Thankfully, they didn’t experience any shutdowns due to the processor overheating. Gaming was likewise smooth and they were able to play fairly graphics heavy games on medium setting without any lag or stutters. The biggest disappointment in terms of hardware was the battery. Critics were barely able to get a full day out of it, with many having to charge midway through with even moderate usage.

What really sets the Robin apart from its competitors is its focus on cloud storage. While it does come with 32GB of onboard storage users also receive 100GB of free cloud storage. It will automatically back up apps, phone data, photos and games and will even archive apps that have not been used once your onboard storage reaches 2GB. Unfortunately, this is where the phone runs into issues. Users have zero control over the cloud storage feature. That means they cannot offload new apps or photos as Robin only moves over inactive/older ones. There is also no way to force a backup to the cloud. The inability to use the cloud as they wished was a huge disappointment for experts. Still, they don’t deny the usefulness of the smart storage features as it can help keep apps and photos organized.

On the rear of the device is a 13MP camera. It comes equipped with Phase Detection Auto Focus and an f/2.2 aperture. In practice, critics were able to take vibrant pictures in bright light settings despite missing optical image stabilization. They were also impressed with low light pictures, though when viewed closer, they did notice significant noise reduction in post-processing, leading to blurry images. The biggest problem they had was the long delay between pictures. Often it would be a full second before they could take another picture.

The Robin is a hardsell for reviewers. While the admired the cute design and good performance they were less than thrilled with the slow camera, lack of control over cloud storage and poor battery life. Most suggest waiting until the second version releases to see if any of Nextbit addresses these issues rather than buying into the first iteration.


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.8 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Chip Chick

Robin is an experiment, and experiments don’t usually go perfectly the first time they’re attempted. The value of their cloud storage system is questionable, the battery life isn’t great, and the phone gets disconcertingly hot even with light use. But, the camera and performance ar...

- Chance Kinney, Chip Chick
Mobile Choice

Street-cred wise this is a great phone. It is a breath of fresh air in an all metal world. It is also a very good idea to hook up a phone to cloud for it to backup automatically and especially for a challenger brand. However, niggles remain. The camera is very laggy and performance is hit and miss.

- Sunetra Chakravarti, Mobile Choice
Tech Advisor

The final feelings for us are ones of a chance missed. Nextbit has created a unique phone and created a buzz, but they’ve gone out on a limb by pushing a cloud storage function that is much better on paper than in reality. Had the company plumped for a base model of 64GB, for example, it might...

- Henry Burrell, Tech Advisor
PhoneArena

The Robin is a great, inspiring start for Nextbit. Hopefully there are many other great things to come from the company in the future, and hopefully this includes a high-end device to go toe-to-toe with the flagships out there. Nextbit obviously has what it takes.

- Ray S., PhoneArena
XDA Developers

The Robin isn’t an extraordinary device, but it doesn’t pretend to be one. Nextbit has taken what Google wants to do with the Nexus and cloud services and simply integrated all of it. Google wants you to use individual services to backup your photos, apps, music, etc while Nextbit is pro...

- Mishaal Rahman, XDA Developers


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The Nextbit Robin's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
2680mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2680 mAh battery.

Nextbit Robin Specs

Overview
Release date February 16, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa core 1.8 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.701 W/kg
Body: 0.591 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2680 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 510 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Mint, Midnight, Ember
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.9 x 7.2 x 0.7 cm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 150 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.2
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Self-timer, Phase detection
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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