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PSA: Yes, your Rabbit R1 still needs a subscription

You just don't have to pay it directly to Rabbit...

Published onApril 28, 2024

Rabbit founder Jesse Lyu made a pretty big deal out of the fact that his company’s first AI companion, the R1, costs just $199. Even better, you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription to use the R1, so the price you see is the price you pay. Only that second part isn’t entirely true. If you want to use the Rabbit R1 outside of the comfort of your home Wi-Fi network, you do indeed have to pay a subscription fee… just not to Rabbit itself. So, let’s talk about the actual cost of the Rabbit R1.

Would you buy the Rabbit R1?

2472 votes

Don’t forget your data plan

rabbit r1 sim tray and usb port
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The easiest way to make sense of the Rabbit R1 in real life is to look at it like a connected tablet or smartwatch. Sure, you can get by with your in-home Wi-Fi and any number of networks while you’re out and about, but that’s not always the case. If you’re out on a hike and want to use the R1’s eye to identify a plant, you’ll need something with a little more range than even the most powerful router. That’s where the real cost of the R1 comes in: It’s not very useful without a data plan.

Granted, you can probably get by with your carrier’s bare-bones data-only option, but it’s still an added cost. And even then, your carrier’s data plan might offer more than the R1 needs. Rabbit’s debut AI companion runs on MediaTek’s Helio G35 chipset — a mid-range LTE-only chip from several years ago, so whatever 5G speeds your carrier promises are beyond the Tamagotchi-inspired device’s capabilities.

You might not pay Rabbit, but you've got to pay someone for that sweet, sweet data connection.

For better or worse, the Rabbit R1 doesn’t support eSIM profiles, either. While this makes it easy to swap data-ready SIM cards in and out, it also means you’ll probably have to wait a little longer to get up and running. Unless you order your SIM ahead of time or head into a local brick-and-mortar store, you might be looking at a Wi-Fi-only R1 for a few days until your nano-SIM ships out.

At this rate, you might be slightly put off by the extra hurdles to set up your Rabbit R1, but fear not. There are more data plans to choose from than you can shake a stick at; it’s just a matter of finding the right one. If your default carrier offers (or charges) more than you need or want for an unlimited plan, you can also check out some of the best MVNO operators instead. These carriers, like Mint Mobile and US Mobile, are typically more affordable than the big guns while offering essentially the same network support. As always, we have a few favorite MVNOs that we turn to, so check them out.

Services like Spotify and Midjourney count, too

rabbit r1 spotify interface
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

On top of the monthly hit for data, you’ll also wind up paying for specific apps and services as part of your overall Rabbit R1 cost. While yes, you’re probably already paying for your Spotify Premium membership, and no, it won’t cost any more to add the R1 to your account, other services are a little bit trickier. The R1 can generate images through Midjourney and send them to you via the Rabbit Hole, but only if you pay for the service. That alone means at least an extra $10 per month, and potentially closer to $30 if you jump from Midjourney’s Basic Plan to the Standard Plan.

If we sit down and do the math, the actual cost of Rabbit’s $199 R1 looks a little something like this:

  • Rabbit R1 – $199
  • Monthly data plan – $15-$40 per month (varies by carrier)
  • Spotify Premium – $11 per month (individual plan)
  • Midjourney – $10-$120 per month

And don’t forget; Rabbit plans to add more app integrations in the coming months (many of which you can see in this roadmap from the launch event), which means more paid services finding their way onto your final bill — whenever they actually launch.

So, while it’s true that you’ll only pay Rabbit $199 at the end of the day, that’s far from your actual final price. The sky is still the spending limit; your money is just headed elsewhere.

Rabbit R1Rabbit R1
Rabbit R1
Lightning-fast responses • Eye-catching design • Approachable price
MSRP: $199.99
Push-to-talk AI computing
Powered by Rabbit OS, the Rabbit R1 is a compact personal assistant with a custom personalized operating system and a natural language interface. Enjoy voice-powered AI computing by allowing the R1 to interact with websites on your behalf.

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