Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

Started by ex-Googlers through crowd­fund­ing, Nextbit has a cloud-first ap­proach for data back-up that has not been used for a long time. But does it live up to its claim of ad­dress­ing the is­sues of lim­ited in­ter­nal stor­age on smart­phones?

While I should have straight­away talked about the cloud stor­age Nextbit of­fers and how smoothly it works, the Robin is wor­thy of praise in the looks depart­ment as well.

With all smart­phones look­ing alike, Nextbit Robin pro­vides a fresh lease of life. It doesn't have a uni­body de­sign and has been made of poly­car­bon­ate (which means plas­tic), but it still looks pretty. My re­view unit in turquoise was soft on the eye. The straight line de­sign makes it good to hold. The edges aren't sharp and it is easy to slide in the pocket as well. It has a straight line de­sign, which does not feel un­com­fort­able to hold.

There are two cir­cu­lar speaker grills – on the top and be­low the 5.2-inch full HD dis­play. The power key has been placed er­gonom­i­cally on the right edge, which also hosts a fin­ger­print scan­ner for unlocking the phone. And it works well. There is a cloud-shaped Next- bit logo with four white-coloured LEDs at the rear, which start to blink when the data is be­ing backed up on the cloud. Nextbit Robin has a Type C Charg­ing port at the bot­tom and the ca­ble in the same turquoise colour looks nice. There isn't any power adap­tor added to the box as Nextbit be­lieves that a con­sumer buy­ing the Robin will be up­grad­ing to this smart­phone and will have an ex­ist­ing adap­tor with them.

Com­ing back to the USP of the Nextbit Robin: this de­vice will never run out of stor­age space. While it comes with 32 GB of in­ter­nal stor­age, it also of­fers 100 GB of cloud stor­age for a life­time. So, when­ever the de­vice is run­ning out of stor­age, it au­to­mat­i­cally deletes the im­ages and apps that have not been used for long. By de­fault, the im­ages and apps are backed up to the cloud only when the Robin is con­nected to a Wi-Fi net­work and has been plugged to charge. The com­pany

has en­sured that au­to­matic back­ing does not con­sume mo­bile data or drain bat­tery, which is good in a way.

How­ever, the de­fault set­tings can be al­tered by vis­it­ing the set­tings app. When the im­ages are deleted from the de­vice, a small thumb­nail icon is cre­ated in the gallery. The same im­age can be fetched by sim­ply tap­ping on the icon (when con­nected to the In­ter­net). In case of apps, while you can pin the apps that pre­vent them from get­ting deleted, only the APK files are deleted and the data files con­tinue to re­side on the phone. This means, when the app is re­in­stalled from the cloud, the app will pick up from where you left it. For in­stance, if you are on 15th level of Candy Crush when the app was backed up on the cloud and re­moved, you will be able to con­tinue to play it from the same level when it is re­trieved from the cloud. It's just like link­ing your Face­book ac­count with the game to re­sume it from the same level on any other de­vice.

It runs a cus­tom ver­sion of An­droid OS, built on Marsh­mal­low, known as Nextbit OS. The UI has been kept sim­ple and neat, and did not take much get­ting used to. The over­all per­for­mance of the Robin was good. It runs on Qual­comm 808 pro­ces­sor and is paired with 3 GB of RAM. There were no heat­ing is­sues but the speaker was just about av­er­age. The 13-MP cam­era also cap­tures de­cent im­ages. But the bat­tery strug­gled to last me a day with heavy us­age.

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