Unboxing… the Nextbit Robin

by: Nirave GondhiaFebruary 12, 2016
1.2K

nextbit robin unboxing aa (4 of 18)

While many crowd-funded projects fail to hit the mainstream, some do, occasionally, prove to be solid projects worth backing. Kickstarter has previously been the birthplace of the Pebble Time range of smartwatches, the 3Doodler 3D printing pen and, last year, the Nextbit Robin.

A problem facing many smartphone users is the lack of microSD expansion on the current range of flagships, and the Nextbit Robin aims to use cloud-storage in a unique way to solve this problem. Coupled with a unique boxy design that’s unique in an otherwise homogenous industry and a unique approach to stock Android, the Nextbit Robin is definitely worth the $1.3million the company raised on Kickstarter.

nextbit robin unboxing aa (12 of 18)

Both, me and Josh, have been looking forward to this smartphone, and ahead of our full review, we thought we’d treat you to a very brief look at the smartphone, coupled with our first impressions on the hardware. We won’t be touching on the performance or software yet – that’ll be in our full review, which will be out next week – but rather, whether it still has the magic that initially appealed. Let’s unbox… the Nextbit Robin.

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In the box:

  • Nextbit Robin
  • USB Type-C cable (charger sold separately)
  • SIM pin

The Robin is certainly not at traditional smartphone and the experience begins with the box, which is as understated as the smartphone itself. Nextbit has sent out the Robin to reviewers in a special box so you won’t see the retail packaging here, but head over to our interview with Nextbit at CES and you’ll be able to see it in all its glory there. The special box we've been sent is fantastic but sadly, the cases and lovely little sheep won't be included in the retail box.

nextbit robin unboxing aa (5 of 18)

The Robin is available in two colours – the uber-chic Mint colour seen here, and a midnight blue variant for the more conservative – and if you ordered from Kickstarter, you’ll also have the choice of an Electric Blue version. My favourite option is the Electric Blue model, while Josh prefers the midnight blue, but we both agree that the Robin design is unlike any other.

One of the leadership team at Nextbit is former HTC design chief Scott Croyle, who previously designed some of the most striking smartphones on the market, and the Robin is no different. The distinctive boxy design is complemented by equally-unique circular design elements - like the front-facing speakers which are symmetrically placed – and a flat back and sides means the Robin is comfortable to grip in the hand.

The circular elements continue to the left of the phone, where you’ll find the volume buttons and onto the back, with the camera and flash. One of the only square elements on the devices is the recessed power button on the right, and while it does take getting used to, you’ll find it comfortable to use quickly enough.

To the bottom and you’ll find the USB Type-C port which, like certain past HTC devices, is offset to one side of the phone. Some of you may be surprised the Robin doesn’t come with an actual wall-charger (which is available to buy separately), but the USB Type B to Type C cable included in the box certainly performs well enough with the chargers we’ve tested so far.

nextbit robin unboxing aa (13 of 18)

There’s no doubt that the Robin’s hardware lives up to its early promise and both, Josh and I, are certainly impressed with the design of the smartphone, but what about the rest? Is the camera on par with other handsets? How does the 2680mAh battery hold up and is the cloud-first approach the future of mobile devices.

We can’t spoil the fun and tell you that yet, so stay tuned for our review next week and be sure to check out our unboxing gallery below. Have you ordered the Nextbit Robin and if so, what feature are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to let us know if there’s anything you want to see in the review.

  • Marc Perrusquia

    What the hell is up with the charger being sold separately? This isn’t an ultra budget device.

    • s2weden2000

      that’s the trend now..many brands do it now …

      • Marc Perrusquia

        Name one major flagship device.

        • s2weden2000

          bing it and you shall find..this ain’t a hotel …

          • FrostyPL

            Bing it? Dude, this is Android Authority. All we do is Google stuff.

          • s2weden2000

            i guess you didn’t get it…

          • FrostyPL

            Oh, now I see it. :<

      • NexusKoolaid

        Most cable types are ubiquitous and in the interest of cutting down on electronic waste a separately available charger is quite forgivable. USB-C, on the other hand, is nowhere near as common and the absence of an included charger is just so… cheap.

        • Nextbit Khang

          We included a Type A to C USB cable, and the chargers we sold separately have the Type-A port.

          • NexusKoolaid

            That is enough to get people up and running, but in comparison where Google went all-in with USB-C for the Nexus 6P (type-C charger, C to C cable, A to C cable), a single A to C cable seems considerably less generous.

          • Nextbit Khang

            Type-C isn’t as ubiquitous yet, but we’ll definitely keep that in mind for the future as the technology becomes more adopted across the board.

    • Nextbit Khang

      We didn’t include a charger because we’re environmentally-friendly and we know most of you already have a charger you can use. Robin is also Quick Charge enabled, so we’re even ready for new chargers if you have one. And if you don’t have one, we have a Quick Charger available for you to purchase.

      • Max

        ”Environmentally-friendly”. Bullshit, you just needed a poor excuse to over price the damn thing. That is just a shameful marketing tactic. Also, please do explain how it makes it more environmentally friendly if you sell it separately.

        • Nextbit Khang

          Initially, and with the environment in mind, we didn’t make chargers because we didn’t think people needed or wanted an extra charger lying around. That’s why the box that Robin comes in doesn’t have the space for the charging unit. But during our kickstarter campaign, we listened to the community, and they told us they really wanted one. Robin is quick-charging capable so that’s the type of charger we made, but can charge fine on any other existing one you have.

          • Chris James

            Who honestly says “oh I don’t have any space for a charger” or “no I don’t need a charger” don’t be so tight. This has absolutely nothing to do with the environment it’s like profiteering. Don’t bullshit your potential customer base.

            “But we listened to our community” Well put one in the bloody box for free with the phone!! who the hell in the “community” on kickstarter says “no please don’t include a charger I want to buy one separately”. Don’t be so absurd. I like the phone but with nonsense like that you can keep it.

          • Phoofyface

            …So you don’t have a charger already?

          • Josh Gilman

            …I buy phones outright every couple of months. When I sell my current phone, MOST people want you to include the OEM charger and cable that came with the phone. I technically wouldn’t ‘have a charger already’.

            I don’t normally argue over minor points; but this was a misstep by the Nextbit folks.

          • Nextbit Khang

            I can understand your perspective as you’d want to include your original OEM charger with the phone you’re selling. Thanks for the feedback!

          • netanil

            No. Most do not have a Nextbit charger already.
            Look, it seems that a very important part of the Nextbit mission is a focus on design. They seem to have spent a good amount of time on the design of the phone, the packaging and the brand. Even the SIM ejection tool is custom.

            Most Robin buyers therefore do not want to plug their cool looking Robin and its cool looking flat USB-C cable into a glossy black generic crap charger from China. Especially one that’s not a fast charger. Kind of defeats the purpose. The Nexbit experience should be top-to-bottom. It’s pretty lame not to include a Nextbit fast charger as part of that experience.

            Customers, in the end, still want value for their money.

          • Nextbit Khang

            Backers actually got the quick charger included as part of our stretch goal.

          • netanil

            Then why don’t ‘regular’ customers as well?
            Very odd decision making.

          • 3165dwayne

            Include the charger and increase the price or make shipping free with the charger you sell

          • Chris Eager

            Yeah, this no charger thing is definitely not a good way to start out. If I was a buyer that didn’t know you didn’t supply chargers beforehand, I’d be angry enough to return the phone. Honestly, bad decision on your part.

          • Mian

            How can I order phone.

          • Nextbit Khang

            Hey Mian, you can order the phone (and quick charger if you need one) online from our store on 2/18!

          • CJ

            I like this! The electronical waste is really becomming a problem in our world, all brands should do this! The boxes can be smaller, no need to ship millions of cables with millions of smartphones to people who already has 3-4 in their junk drawer. There also really should be some sort of “law” that all electronics chargers should be the same type.

          • jinikari01

            What about all the waste that goes into just to create a separate box for a charger and to have the damn things delivered to the people that are willing to spend another $20 – 40…. idk how much it cost, but what about that total waste to mother earth….
            I’m not a tree huger but that is not the way of being environmental friendly imo.

          • jinikari01

            This isn’t truly explaining how you are saving mother earth by not including a charging block to the customers that are purchasing your fine device.
            Is there some sort of facts and figures, perhaps?

            Wouldn’t it make more sense to consider adding the damn charger with the initial purchase of the phone rather that having to design (electricial waste), manufacture (don’t know how much more pollution creating a little tiny box for a charger is depense to the environment), and deliver (well someone has to driver a truck just to deliver the damn charger)…

            I wish companies would just be honest and say.
            We need to make more money and this is one of those schemes to get people to send a little so we can gain a little more….

        • myprecious27

          Apple-like tactics to suck some more money. Environmentally-friendly bullshit;)

        • ajftl250

          lol exactly

        • jinikari01

          You’ve got a valid point and I couldn’t help but rolling on the floor laughing after reading your comment. (laughing at Nextbit of course and not at you)

          Yes, Nextbit how are you being more friendly to mother earth?
          That was a terrible thing to say. I really want to know, how selling a separate charging block is environmentally friendly. I work for a manufacture and I know just little about package engineering and so forth, so please do enlighten my ignorance.

      • Brandonuts

        Look at the amount of potential customers you just lost. This is probably not the only thing you’ve bullshit so far.

        • Nextbit Khang

          Before I began working at Nextbit, I was a backer. It’s amazing to me from both backer and employee standpoint how transparent they’ve been with the community – it’s really unlike some of the places I’ve been previously where things were kept “hush hush”. Now, if you weren’t a backer like I was, or followed from Day 1, you might not understand the goals and strategy they’ve taken. If Robin, or Nextbit for that matter, don’t meet your needs as a consumer, you always have other choices. We’re proud of the things that we’ve been able to accomplish so far, and we’re always taking the feedback – good, or not so good – with the hopes of making your experience as an Android enthusiast and consumer better.

          • netanil

            Cool brand, cool packaging, cool phone, cool cable, cool SIM tool, cool fast charger – except customers do not actually get the cool fast charger.

            Very odd.

          • Jbox

            Listen, I get why you did it and that is fine with me. I know working for a company you cant really say what you want to your potential customer base.

            The idiots on this thread don’t get that this is a pure start up initiative and every dollar counts. In order for you to be a viable company you need to turn a profit asap. I love what your company is doing with basically no budget.

            I will def support your company’s effort because what you’re doing is what America is all about. A small company with a unique idea going up against businesses with a billion dollar budgets. If you guys make it and a company like HTC goes down shows that it’s about your idea rather than whonhas the bigger budget. You guys built something everyone will like and HTC has no clue on how to build something someone likes and market it correctly.

            My one question is, can I get one on in Feb or will there be a huge backlog?

          • Nextbit Khang

            There will be a limited supply initially. Around 3000-6000 units.

          • Jbox

            Well you need to save me one. And if I order I would like it in Feb, if possible.

            Good luck with your launch!

        • Phoofyface

          “Look at the amount of potential customers you just lost” lol….
          Don’t think you’d ever be a customer if a $10 charger turned you off. The charger isn’t the focus. It’s available to anyone that wants one but should not be considered as a necessity when the majority of people will already have a perfectly fine charger at their disposal. This attitude sucks. Expecting things to be included “just because..” just because YOU want it. Selfish, needy, wasteful. Included headphones died out for the same reason, chargers should rightly follow suit. There’s no such thing as a free charger, they’re covered in the prices of phones anyway but without the manual thought process of buying one as an extra, you’re oblivious to it. And to the “nobody wants a glossy black generic crap charger from China” guy…. most chargers will have been made in china with the same internals anyway, regardless of how cool they look. If you’re so aware of the way your charger looks against your phone for the very few times you actually get a glimpse of it then that’s an incredibly absurd first world problem you have there.

          • Brandonuts

            wtf. Damn you made up way too many assumptions here. First of all, this is just bs. Having no charger is an extra thing to do now and is more inconvenient. Idc if they’re made in china. I know what a generic is and what is not. Yeah many chargers of phones are made in china as well as the generic, but it’s there for a reason. The generics are copying from the good ones. They’re good for a reason. And don’t you ever fucking call me selfish, needy or wasteful bitch. I know what I said and you can’t judge me for my facts. You can see the amount of disappointed people. No one wants to buy a charger separately. What if your damn last phone charger wore out and doesn’t work? Where’s my fucking charger now? I’m not gonna buy a phone just to wait for my charger to come in the mail. And dying headphones included? What company you on that takes them away? As far as I know, Apple and Samsung are there to include headphones. And I don’t care how my charger looks to my phone, I want GOOD quality and one that won’t burst my damn phone into flames!

          • Phoofyface

            You still sound needy and selfish.

            A $10 charger bro… Chill.
            I dont need a charger so why should I get one? Waste. The world has limited resources so if you need a charger… Just get one. Everyone who doesn’t need one shouldn’t be provided with one just because the angry, ignorant folk who do need one cry if they have to spend an extra 10 bux (or less). Funny how you also think putting headphones in the box is still also a great idea. Consumerism is gross. The bigger picture is painfully obvious and you’re here kicking up a fuss like a spoilt brat.

          • Brandonuts

            You’re the one replying. Notice. You still think I “Sound needy and selfish”. Selfish of what? What am I holding back? Nothing. You’re the one undermining my statements. So what if having headphones included is a good idea? What does it matter to you?

          • I agree. A lot of people down-right don’t want the phone and just don’t understand or care for Nextbit’s type of smartphone. The charger is just a way to find a reason to “legitimately” nag/criticize Nextbit about something. I mean, It’s only a $10 charger. Like you can literally find some dang good charger’s on Amazon. I should know because I’ve been racking plenty lately. The phone is only $399, I doubt it would kill most techie’s (whom actively visit this website) pockets.

            And it’s one thing to disagree, but the kind of attitude in the responses was really rude and unnecessary. Could’ve just disagreed, and left it at that.

        • jinikari01

          People need to know how bad news travel/spread quicker and greater vs good news. As a consumer we tend to be more emotional about the bad product/service we’ve received vs good/fair product/service we’ve received.
          And its cons the biggest point/review we research more than the pros?

          • Brandonuts

            what

      • wesley degville

        That is the such a bad reply having a charger should be standard,even more so when quick charge is available.

      • Filly Jnr

        Robin uses USB type c… Most people do not have these lying around…

    • paxmos

      It is like self cleaning oven and voice activated…just say “may the charge be with you” and it will recharge itself.

    • Krackle, Puff’s Cousin

      Relax, it comes with a type-C cable, which is all that most people need anyway…

  • Ah yeah! Just when I’m about to give up on Android I see this unboxing – thanks for the great article

  • maxwell brigenza

    Thank god… an Indian without a strong south Indian accent… JEEZZZ!! CHEERIOS!!!

  • poka

    best looking android phone ever. at last !!!!!

    • 3165dwayne

      Lol, no. Thats all subjective. The m8, z5 premium and S6 and note 5 look better to me.

  • Armand Bernard

    It kind of looks like what I imagine material design would look like in the form of a phone.

  • David Griffiths

    Is battery removable?

    • Nextbit Khang

      Hey David, the battery isn’t removable.

  • Sueb

    Not interested

  • abazigal

    Sweet looking device, and it’s always nice to hear about a successful Kickstarter project delivering.

    • Nextbit Khang

      Thanks! We’re really proud of the design and can’t wait to get these shipped :)

  • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

    I’m disappointed they didn’t include a charger… Why??

    • Nextbit Khang

      Hi Chauntella – TL;DR – We care about the environment. You probably have one already. If you don’t, you can buy one! :)

      • Juschan

        its something like headphones … i am expecting them to be included .. i’m using an iPhone at the moment so if i want to switch and profit of robins quick charging capabilities i am forced to pay the extra bucks and with that greedy thinking i can stay at apple … got the same here but at least already 3 chargers😂

  • Lawstorant

    But that’s type A to C

  • Traaace

    Who has Type C chargers laying around? No one that’s who.

    • Nextbit Khang

      It’s a Type A to C cable…so a typical charger will work.

    • Yeah, it’s Type A to C. So literaly if you have a charger, it basically supports the included cable.

  • Nice

    It looks amazing. The phone really has it’s own personality. You can see that some thought has been put into it. Congratz on getting ready for public eyes.

  • SnakeSplitskin

    Did I miss it? I saw two videos but neither of them was an unboxing video. I always thought that unboxing means you get video of an actual unboxing, not still photos. I’m disappointed. You could have just said “here are pictures of a phone” and left out all that unnecessary text.

  • Andrei Peter Petrinca

    Just sell the charger for the price of the phone and the phone for the price of the charger. Same inteligence, just reversed.

  • trwb

    I mean this in a constructive way nextbit, and apologize ahead of time for my crudeness. Why is there yet another company that makes the customer the product. Tell me you aren’t combing customers cloud data for ad revenues, and using customers personal data in intrusive ways. Doesn’t anyone know how to make money in any other way?

    • Nextbit Khang

      No offense taken here! We aren’t using your data for ad purposes at all.

      • trwb

        That’s good to know. I am glad to hear that. Thanks for the reply. Is the data stored with your cloud services used for any other reasons than for storage for the customer?

        • Nextbit Khang

          How you use your phone allows the algorithm to determine which apps and photos get archived. That’s the only data that matters for the OS. Amazon web services (aws) maintains the servers for full encryption.

          • trwb

            Thanks! I also looked at your privacy policy and it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would be.

      • ajftl250

        when is going to be available to none kick starters

        • Nextbit Khang

          Robin will be available in limited quantities on the website on 2/18!

  • Mirpuri

    My Moto G 2015/3rd gen recieved Marshmellow update yesterday via Manual checking software update in UK.

  • Karly Johnston

    This is basicaly an overpriced Mi4c with automated cloud storage.

  • Brodie Yg

    It looks like a nokia lumia with its borrowed box design, and how dumb not having a charger as usb chargers are made device specific so one charger does not fit all. Epic fail on there behalf an I won’t ever touch there phone because of it. I no in my country its illegal to ship without the required cables and goes against government guidelines for safety.

  • Carl Williams

    I have a nexus 6p with 128gb on board with any number of free cloud options for backup if I want. My on board memory is available out of WiFi or cellular range (like with flying) and accessing it doesn’t mean an additional hit against my data plan. So, I don’t understand this phone’s allure.

  • DAZ

    It’s hilarious seeing all you guys cry and lose your s**t over a charger! ahahaha get a grip of your lives. If you were an original backer (like me and many many others!) then you’ll get the charger… If not, then its like $10… If $10 is too much trouble for you, then by all means, go and buy yourself another handset that comes with one, like some cheap knockoff Chinese branded handset? or maybe a nice $800 Samsung?, because clearly you’re not that interested enough in the hardware, design, software etc etc. of the Robin to start with, otherwise you wouldn’t be crying over a $10 charger! lol… It’s not like you don’t get a charging cable… I assume you all have access to a USB port? other brand charge adapter? or even quickcharge adapters? No?… Someone is bound to have some sort of smart comment about this, but I really don’t care… Mine’s coming WITH a charger! =D

  • John Doe

    It’s ‘Josh and I’ NOT ‘Both, Me and Josh’ .. lol

  • Jav Carr

    I jumped from a Oneplus one to a Nexus 6 because Oneplus just started to behave erratically in their decision making and their customer support is the worst that I have experienced. Now Im looking for my next phone for my collection. The Robin is definitely in my sight, but, I’m worried about you decision making with the charger. That kind of thinking can lead to other controversial decisions. Lets say that I use a third-party charger and it burns my Robin, Will you honor warranty or will it be voided since it was a third-party charger? Since you are a new company, on the phone side anyway, How fast will you deal with customer service requests? It took oneplus 72 Days to replace my One because of a charger problem, I want to make sure I will not go thru that again. Your answer will help me decide. You are the Only ones that wowed me this past CES everything else was more of the same.

  • Brandonuts

    meh

  • David Timms

    already killed the handset by using a new type of usb connector, means my like 6 chargers all over the house that have charged every android phone in the family as micro usb are now obsolete. Also when at work or a mates their chargers will all now be a waste and i cant just go, “you got a micro usb i can borrow as my phones getting low on battery?” poor poor choice, goodbye lastbit not nextbit

  • Flavio Roberto Ferreira

    Trocaria meu Lumia 920 por um desse, fácil!