Meet the Nextbit Robin: A cloud-based smartphone made by former Android phone gurus

Nextbit Robin

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A new startup called Nextbit — a new company led by a former head of partnerships for Android back in the day, a power-management engineer and one of the lead industrial designers behind some of HTC’s most iconic smartphones — want to bring the cloud to your phone in a whole new way.

The Nextbit has been launched today on Kickstarter — for $299 for early adopters; it’ll retail at $399 — and will be available early next year. Robin definitely is a new concept and rocks the HTC like polycarbonate that we last was in the first HTC One smartphone— something Nextbit’s Scott Croyle, the former HTC designer, is good at. The phone has 5.2-inch display inside, the circular front-facing stereo speakers that stand out, as do the huge sensors and front-facing camera.

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On the back of Robin you’ll find four LED lights that look like they’re straight off some weird external battery and will light up when Robin’s doing its cloud magic.

How the Cloud will work on Robin

The Cloud is all about storage for now. Robin comes with 32 gigabytes of internal storage, it will look at your apps and  when it spots something that you haven’t used in a while it’ll back up the APK data to its cloud, leaving your personal application data locally on the phone. At this point it will gray out the app icon to show that the app is backed up. Relaunching the app again will mean re-downloading it as the backed-up app is a snapshot of one point in time. The big selling point is that you don’t lose any of your data. You don’t have to log back in.

And that smart way continues into photos as well, as Robin will back up your images to its cloud, and then serve back more resolution-appropriate versions (keep in mind that this is FullHD display) until you tell it to download the whole smash. So all this is done in the name of saving space on the device. This is another device that roams between the mid-range and high-end spectrum.

Spec Sheet

Nextbit Robin specs