I finally got my Nexbit Robin yesterday, so figured I'd start an owners / discussion thread, and share my first impressions. :)
Included in my Kickstarter Edition pack:
- The Robin (midnight edition), a USB Type-C cable and a SIM ejector inside a snazzy book/box
- A spare SIM card tray (not sure why it needed its own box - with 8 layers of cardboard, enclosed in another box. Talk about overkill!)
- A free T-Shirt depicting the Robin's logo and sync LEDs
I love the flat USB Type-C cable. It's tangle proof, and feels like it could take a lot of abuse.
A bit of cheeky humor on the cover:
The Midnight Edition, in all its glory:
Build / Feel:
The phone is pretty lightweight and sturdy. It sat comfortably in my hand, in spite of the boxy design. The material is a soft-touch plastic which feels pretty nice and grippy. Unfortunately its a smudge magnet, and I was unable to get rid of the smudges with a cloth - I had to resort to using a cleaning spray! I'll definitely be ordering a dbrand skin for this reason.
I've got small hands, so I was really looking forward to going back to a smaller sized display (from my G3's 5.5" to 5.2"). However, the experience is about the same as my G3 - although the screen is smaller, the Robin's bezels and boxy build negates any benefits of the smaller screen. Mind you, I'm still able to use it one-handed, just not as comfortably as I originally imagined.
Software / OS:
The OS is Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it's kept mostly stock - except for the cloud integration (which I've turned off), some colour-scheme and icon changes. There's not a single bloatware app installed - the default apps are almost exactly as what you'd find on a Nexus device.
Nextbit has promised to push OTA updates as soon as possible - and I'm inclined to believe them, since their ROM is mostly stock Android, and they have only one device to worry about. Also, all their proprietary apps (like the camera) are on the Play Store, so they can update them directly - without having to patch the whole OS.
There's only two things I dislike about Robin's OS:
The notification shade, which is blindingly bright
And the default launcher...
... which simply dumps all your apps on the homescreen, like iOS. Ugh.
After the initial setup was done, there were about nine pages of apps restored from my Google account. Yikes. Anyways, this is a moot point since Android allows you to change the homescreen, so the first thing I did was switch back to my favourite homescreen app - Smart Launcher.
The Robin's bootloader can be unlocked with a single command. TWRP recovery is already available and SuperSU works too.
Nextbit have explicitly stated that rooting or flashing a custom ROM will not void the warranty. They are also actively helping the dev community to bring custom ROMs to the Robin. All this is a very refreshing change from mainstream players like Samsung, who continue to make it increasingly difficult to root and customise your device.
Hardware / Performance:
The Robin packs a Snapdragon 808 with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, along with a fingerprint scanner and NFC. Although the 808 may seem a bit dated, it's still pretty fast - in fact, it's the same SoC that's in the Nexus 5X. Actually, all the specs are identical to the 5X, except that the Robin has an extra gig of RAM.
The overall performance is good - it's what you'd expect from a flagship device. Of course, it's not as fast as a Nexus 6P or a Galaxy S7, but there's nothing to complain about either. All my apps opened and performed well, without any noticeable lag or stutter.
The display is a 5.2" IPS LCD @ 1080p. The colours seem fairly accurate, with good contrast and brightness. Other reviewers have said that that the display is not very bright, however, it's definitely a lot brighter than my previous phone, the G3 (admittedly not a good comparison, since the G3 has a pretty dull display).
The fingerprint scanner is fast - not Nexus-fast but still pretty fast and accurate. Unlocking is nearly instant and works pretty well. One advantage the Robin has over the Nexus is the scanner is on the side, so you can unlock the device without having to lift it first.
Memory management is good - after a fresh boot, there's still about 1.4 GB RAM free. I'm able to switch between several apps and didn't experience any reloading.
The front-facing speakers are excellent. The audio is pretty loud and clear even at the lowest setting.
Battery - Although it's a bit too early to judge the battery life, it's already looking quite promising - the Robin is able to last an entire day, with 6 hours of screen-on-time (moderate usage, automatic brightness, sync on). This is way more than what I was getting on my G3 (~ 4.5 hrs SoT), even though it had a larger battery.
Camera - I'm reserving my judgement on this for now. Nextbit will be releasing an update next month, which is supposed to significantly improve the camera quality, although, the current quality level is still adequate for my use case - which is to be able to take photos in a pinch.
Although the Robin has it's flaws, overall I'm quite happy with the device. It's got decent specs for it's price ($400 USD), and with stock Android and a developer-friendly nature, it's a great alternative to the Nexus 5X.
That's it for now! Please feel free to comment, and if you have any questions I'll be more than happy to answer them. :)