Reviews

Nextbit Robin Review : Costly affair in India : Unique Selling point is the Drawback

Robin-chargercable

NextBit Robin

Rs 19,999
NextBit Robin
7.75

Design

9/10

    Display

    8/10

      Performance

      9/10

        UI

        8/10

          Camera

          7/10

            Sound

            7/10

              Battery

              8/10

                Price

                8/10

                  Pros

                  • - Design
                  • - Storage
                  • - FingerPrint Scanner
                  • - Warranty - Rooted Device
                  • - Nearly Stock Android
                  • - Front Cam

                  Cons

                  • - Display
                  • - Sound
                  • - Slow Camera
                  • - Rear Cam
                  • - Battery
                  • - No Accessories

                  From A Startup to Mass Production, From Android to A Business Venture, Till now, Nextbit has done well and created certain Mile Stones for the Company.

                  Before, We talk about the Smartphone, Let’s have a look at the Company and Promoters.

                  Nextbit started by Tom Moss and Mike Chan, Both working with Google at different positions. Tom Moss served as Worldwide Head of Business Development and Partnership for Android at Google until 2010. Mike Chan worked as Software Engineer for Android from Version 1.0 ~ 3.0.

                  As far as Credentials of Company and Products are concerned, No two doubts, the Product has been designed and developed by one of the Best Team in the Industry.

                  Nextbit Robin is designed to break the Storage Barriers and to an extent, Company has managed to over come the solution of ” Low Storage “. At what cost, that we will discuss later. Another key factor of Robin is the Design. Unique, Simple and elegant.

                  Specs of Nextbit Robin

                  • 5.2″ FHD Display 1080p IPS LCD Gorilla Glass 4
                  • 3GB RAM + 32GB Onboard Memory + 100GB Cloud
                  • 1.8 GHz Snapdragon 808 Hexa Core Processor
                  • 13 MP with f/2.0, PDAF Dual Tone Flash
                  • Selfie 5 MP
                  • NFC, Fingerprint scanner, Encrypted Storage, Dual front facing speakers with Amplifiers, Android Pay,
                  • Single Sim LTE
                  • Non-removable 2680 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
                  • 7mm Thickness
                  • Colors : Mint and Midnight
                  • Box Contents : Nextbit Smartphone, USB Cable, Sim Ejector Pin, Quick Start Guide

                  Accessories

                  • Bruise Case
                  • Bump Case
                  • Scratch Cases
                  • Screen Protector
                  • Quick Charger
                  • Charging Cable
                  • TMA-2 Headphones

                  Design & Display

                  This is what I love to speak about Robin. Nextbit Robin is elegantly designed, simple, squarish and colorful Smartphone. The moment you see the smartphone, The first wish is ” I want it “. Specially Mint Color, Choice of all the users.

                  Firstbit Robin is Designed to Kill.

                  Company has used Polycarbonate for the body and you feel like holding the smartphone for ever. Key placement has been done thoughtfully, offcourse need to give the Credit to the Designer.

                  Looks like a Modular Smartphone, or rather I can say, neatly divided in Portions. Back of the Smartphone is of Dual Color, Mint on top and bottom, center been occupied by White. What you will love is the Logo and the LED Lights on the back ( which illuminate to show the sync Process ). On the Top back, is the Camera and LED Flash.

                  The front of the Smartphone is slightly different, Top and bottom you will find Mint color and the main portion for Display with black outline. Top and bottom center is kept for Speakers. The beauty of Smartphone is on the sides, whether the center panel is white and again, top and bottom as Mint.

                  On the right side, you will see a Power button, which also works as fingerprint scanner and just below power is the Sim Slot. On the left side you get Volume Rocker. Nextbit has designed the Sim slot key in Cloud shape. This shows that Company has designed every part with care.

                  Nextbit Robin sports a 5.2″ FHD Display. For me, 5.2″ is very small. I was slightly disappointed with the Display brightness. The screen Display is not stunning, but at par with the standard smartphones coming in the Low / Mid Range. This is one part where Company needs improvement. Viewing Angles are good, but what you may not like is the Black lines on the Display. When your smartphone Color combination is light, you do not expect to see much of Black color. I think Company can look at iPhone White , where in iPhone has managed the black outline in a decent way.

                  If you see the Smartphone carefully, you will notice some thing very pleasing ” Design is Square, but the key elements like cam or speakers or jack, they make a symmetry with Round.

                  Hardware

                  I am not a big fan of Snapdragon 808, but using it with right UI makes it powerful. Snapdragon coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB Internal memory, is one of my second favorite options, off-course first is 4GB RAM / 3GB RAM + 64GB Internal memory ( using Gionee E8, so kind of habitual of high memory ).

                  I think my first experience with Snapdragon 808 was with LG G4, and lately Nexus 5x, but I have a feeling 808 / 810 do heat up, though Qualcomm has rectified the Thermal issues.

                  Nextbit, has not given any issues whether it’s gaming / Multi-tasking / Video Playback on Wi-fi. But, You can sense the smartphone getting heated up slightly. ( It may be in my mind also ).

                  But the fact is, Nextbit Robin is not a leader in Benchmarks ( you need to compare the price with Flagship Models also )

                   Software and UI

                  Nextbit gives the True User experience of Stock Android. It is supposed to be the best experience after Nexus, As the Core Team is from Android. Another great experience is 100GB Cloud Storage, but there is a smart catch in storage. You can definitely store Apps and Pics in Cloud, but when it comes to Video files, it’s a Big NO. Videos you need to back up in manual Mode.

                  Good point is Cloud Storage is Integrated in the OS itself, and you can download apps and images ( Speed is not that great on Wi-fi as expected ).  The major issue here is What about the Data consumption if you are not on Wi-fi and youw ant to Archive something.Good point is you can differentiate between apps on Phone and Archived Apps, as Archived apps will be in Grey scale.Robin automatically downloads apps and pics not used for some time, when your device is running out of Memory.

                  Nextbit Robin will sync with the cloud and save you space by archiving the high-resolution version of your images and leaving a lower resolution thumbnail in the Gallery for fast viewing. Company has taken care of Excess Data Usage as Robin syncs only when its connected to power and on Wi-fi.

                  The company’s launcher is key to the cloud storage experience as apps that have been offloaded to the cloud are represented by a grayed out icon and restoring an app is as simple as tapping on it (although, there’s no way to offload a particular app or an app you’ve restored by accident). The launcher also supports pinned apps, which will never be offloaded to the cloud and there’s also an omnipresent menu button, which gives you quick access to various lists: your pinned apps, apps that you have archived to the cloud and all your apps.

                  One more point which is in favor is Robin comes with an unlocked bootloader and open source drivers, you can load Cyanogen (or your other favorite ROM) and the Smartphone is still covered under warranty.

                  The Good point is Accessing the Cloud storage is very simple and can be done in easy Steps given below :

                  • Tap Settings on your home screen.
                  • Scroll down to the Device section and tap Smart storage.
                  • Tap the Sign in button.
                  • When prompted, sign in with your Google Account or create a new one.
                  • Smart storage will then ask for permission to “Know who you are on Google” and “View your basic profile info”. Tap Allowto complete the setup.

                  Camera

                  Robin got a 13MP Rear Camera with Phase Detection Auto focus and f/2.0. On Papers, for sure these specs belong to a Mide Range Smartphone, but when it comes to Reality, The camera is not at all impressive.

                  The Camera is slightly slow in Start, Camera UI is very simple to use and gives very few options. By Default, its on Auto Mode and you can convert it on Manual Mode also.  Manual mode lets you adjust focus, white balance, ISO and exposure.

                  Another delay happens in Clicking the picture and camera shooting an Image. Off course, there is always a delay in HDR Mode, but it happens in Normal Mode also, which is quite irritating.

                  There are certain missing features in Camera like Panorama Mode, which may be available with the Next Update. and yes not to forget, Camera is also missing OIS.

                  Daylight shots are always good, even in a low end Device, so not a big Deal. The main issue is pictures are missing sharpness and details. In my Personal Opinion, Xiaomi camera operates far far better and much faster.

                  Battery

                  Nextbit Robin is powered by a 2680mAh battery, which infact comes with a default feature of Doze Mode in Marshmallow, should offer ample power for a full day’s usage. In actual practice however, the Robin does fail to deliver in the battery department.

                  This is the point where Nextbit needs to work harder. Battery life is not at all impressive. You have to carry a Powerbank with Nextbit Robin. You can not sustain for one working day even. 

                  The battery life is not consistent, some times you may consume 50 % of the battery within 4 hours and do nothing. Actually, Doze Mode is not that effective ( I am sure, Nextbit has already taken up this issue seriously ).

                  Though Robin supports Qualcomm fast Charge 2.0, but the mistake made by the Company is ” No Power Adapter ” provided with the Device, for which you may land up spending $ 15 or Rs 1000 for a Original charger. So talking about fast charge is useless. I have no idea why the charger is not provided, Is it a way of cost cutting ? If yes, Wrong strategy.

                  Final Opinion

                  The fact is you get lot of Options below 20k in Smartphones, whether we talk of Oneplus / Xiaomi / LeECO / Asus / Motorola. The list is countless. Another point which I always mention is , Small display of 5.2″, for me any phone below 5.5″ is not worth if priced above 15k ( Personal opinion 10k ) if it comes to FHD Display.

                  I have to say this, if Robin was not so beautifully designed and not supported by 100GB storage, it would have been another Smartphone in the List. But the fact is, If ever I have to buy this smartphone just for Style, I will surely buy it. It’s worth it. But, if you talk to me regarding camera and battery, My answer is NO.

                  Being a Photographer and a hardcore user, for me specially Three features Memory, Camera and battery matters a lot. Some times, I don’t carry my Nikon D90 and rely purely on Smartphone. At least it’s a good relief from seeing the Traditional message ” Please remove some apps to free storage “. This happened a lot with me when I was using Galaxy Note 2. ( I still use it )

                  Oh yes, Sound is based on Dual speakers with Amplifiers, which gives a good loud sound, but not crisp.

                  In fact, It’s a good start by the a New company ( Though less than Oneplus ), If Nextbit works out a patch for Slow Camera and battery life, The phone is definitely worth a Try.

                  Before buying, Do not forget the Bandwidth speed and Data Cost ( even if you are on Monthly scheme ) in India, and I really do not know if Nextbit charges for Extra Space in case if you need it. Be ready to spend on a good pair of headphones and Charger, which may come to another Rs. 2500.

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