Nextbit's first phone is as ambitious as it is pretty. The phone's way of automatically backing up apps and photos you haven't touched in a while works better than expected, and just might free some people from the dread of full phone anxiety. Too bad, then, that the unremarkable camera and disappointing battery life detract from a thoughtful (and truly cool) experience.
The crew at Nextbit is something of an Android phone dream team: Tom Moss used to run Google's Android business, Mike Chan was a longtime Android engineer and Scott Croyle designed phones that made people fall in love with HTC. Is it any wonder, then, that people are curious about the phone they've been working on together? Robin, as the device is called, is more tightly integrated with the cloud than just about any other smartphone, and the creators promise it will change the way we think about managing files on our tiny pocket computers. That's a big plan for a small company, but luckily for them, they mostly pulled it off.
Calling hardware "sexy" is both lazy and just absurd, but it sort of feels appropriate sometimes? There's something about seeing a design that tries to evoke speed or strength that can hit you right in the guts before you know it. That's not the case here. The Robin isn't sexy; it's cute, and I'm absolutely, over-the-moon in love with how it looks. It's charming in a way that most smartphone makers seem afraid or just unwilling to embrace. That's saying something, considering the Robin is basically just a flat rectangular box.
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