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Topic # 193674 20-Mar-2016 01:54
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I finally got my Nexbit Robin yesterday, so figured I'd start an owners / discussion thread, and share my first impressions. :)


Unboxing:

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.



Much better!

Rootability:

 

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.


Conclusion:

 

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. :)


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  Reply # 1516269 20-Mar-2016 06:26
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Thanks for sharing!

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  Reply # 1516309 20-Mar-2016 09:21
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Good review - thanks.

1. Does it utilizes fast charging?

2. Sample photos (I know you are waiting for software updates but it is usually close enough and won't be far off)

3. How much does the cloud cost? Is it free forever?


Thanks!







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  Reply # 1516426 20-Mar-2016 14:40
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nakedmolerat: Good review - thanks.

1. Does it utilizes fast charging?

2. Sample photos (I know you are waiting for software updates but it is usually close enough and won't be far off)

3. How much does the cloud cost? Is it free forever?

Thanks!


1. Yes, it has Quick Charge 2.0

2. I've uploaded some unaltered images here. Also, I just discovered that the Robin supports Camera2 API and thus RAW images - I'll test this out later and see if I can eke out better results.

3. The 100GB cloud storage is free for lifetime. There aren't any options at the moment to purchase more storage.


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Reply # 1527102 6-Apr-2016 15:59
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d3Xt3r:

 

Conclusion:

 

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. :)

 

 

Hi d3Xt3r,

 

Just wondering if that $400 USD included New Zealand Import Duty Charges?

 

Very interested in buying one as well!




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  Reply # 1527361 6-Apr-2016 22:29
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Nope - there's no charges. Nextbit have specifically said that we don't have to pay any import charges when we buy the phone thru them.

Also, they showed a preview of the new update which should be released in the next week or so - it looks pretty awesome - better camera, battery, outdoor visibility and speaker quality. They've already released a minor update which fixes a few issues. Btw, I've discovered that the camera does indeed support full Camera2 API and capturing RAW images!

I'll update my review in detail once the new 6.0.1 update arrives. But so far, I'm really happy with my purchase. It's been getting a *lot* of attention too - from work colleagues to randoms on the bus - everyone's curious as to what this phone is and how cool and different it looks. :D

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  Reply # 1528331 8-Apr-2016 12:14
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d3Xt3r: Nope - there's no charges. Nextbit have specifically said that we don't have to pay any import charges when we buy the phone thru them.

Also, they showed a preview of the new update which should be released in the next week or so - it looks pretty awesome - better camera, battery, outdoor visibility and speaker quality. They've already released a minor update which fixes a few issues. Btw, I've discovered that the camera does indeed support full Camera2 API and capturing RAW images!

I'll update my review in detail once the new 6.0.1 update arrives. But so far, I'm really happy with my purchase. It's been getting a *lot* of attention too - from work colleagues to randoms on the bus - everyone's curious as to what this phone is and how cool and different it looks. :D

 

 

 

Thanks for the info!

 

I was hoping you would say that :-)

 

Will place my order now!


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  Reply # 1563000 31-May-2016 13:56
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Hi guys. Finally joined after d3Xt3r referred me here.

 

I received my Mint robin beginning of March as a early backer. So far I've been pretty happy with it. Performance has been smooth and fluid.

 

Audio was quiet at first then with the 29 Apr 6.0.1 update it became too loud and rattly but found its different with what audio your playing.

 

Camera was pretty bad when I received it. But has largely improved with the 29 Apr 6.0.1 update.

 

Last night I rooted and flashed Cyanogenmod 13 nightly. I found CM13 more fluid overall than stock in general. Also found audio more averaged out in CM13.

 

When I reflash next, I want to try viper4android for more sound improvement and control. Also would like to try AICP rom.

 

 

 

@d3Xt3r How's your robin going?

 

 




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  Reply # 1563267 31-May-2016 19:30
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@cyanisblue Yay, you're finally here! Welcome to one of the coolest sites in NZ. :)

 

My Robin is going great. I'm still on stock, and for the first time in many many years I haven't felt a need to use a custom ROM! Of course, Xposed+GravityBox+ Android N-Ify has helped too.. 

 

 

 

Nextbit have kept their promise with 6.0.1 and have fixed most of the issues, and my only issue is, like you mentioned, the speakers are too loud and can distort. But it's not a big deal for me since I mostly use headphones anyways.

 

 

 

Device satisfaction wise, I'd say this has to be one of my most favorite devices I've used so far - second only to the Nexus 4 (a Nexus is still a Nexus ;-)).

 

 

 

Also, pretty much everyone I've shown my phone to were impressed with it - the design, simplicity and performance. They thought the phone was worth  $600+ but were shocked to hear I got it for only $430. A couple of them have even placed an order on the store after having a play with my phone. I still find it surprising that you and I are the only ones here with the Robin, a phone which I though would have attracted the attention of geeks, given its geek/developer friendly-ness.

 

 

 

I have high hopes for Nextbit and I can't wait to see what they do next. Their customer support, developer support and user-feedback-integration has been top-notch, so I support them 100% and would like to buy my next phone from them - even if it can't compete with the other established flagships. I'd rather invest in a company that actually listens to its users as opposed to doing what they think is the best and forcing their ecosystem and services on the users. It's a very refreshing change and I wish more companies would be like that (*cough*Samsung*cough*). 


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  Reply # 1563281 31-May-2016 20:00
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I was looking at this few days ago. Although I am primarily an iPhone user, I am thinking of getting an Android device for app development and been tossing between 5X, 6P or Robin. I do like the sound of Robin and it's pretty funky looking.

 

The thing I do/am look at is the purity of Android OS, so if Robin can be as pure as 5X and 6P, it could be a good alternative. So what's the full price tag to get it into NZ?





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  Reply # 1563285 31-May-2016 20:24
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chiefie:

 

I was looking at this few days ago. Although I am primarily an iPhone user, I am thinking of getting an Android device for app development and been tossing between 5X, 6P or Robin. I do like the sound of Robin and it's pretty funky looking.

 

The thing I do/am look at is the purity of Android OS, so if Robin can be as pure as 5X and 6P, it could be a good alternative. So what's the full price tag to get it into NZ?

 

 


Hey chiefie, good to see you here at the Nextbit thread! :)

At the moment - the Robin is officially priced $399 = ~$600 NZD, which is a bit high due to the exchange rates.. :( It does include import duties though.

 

Alternatively, could buy cheaper "used" ones Amazon/eBay. Most of them will still have almost an year of warranty left, and they'd be in mint condition (pun intended). :)

However, if you're looking at purely from an app development view, I'd still recommend a Nexus over the Robin. Although the Robin is basically stock Android, one of the main advantages a Nexus currently has is that you can run preview versions of Android (like Android N) - this means that you can prepare your app and be ready for Android N when it gets released, so that you won't get 1* ratings from angry users... :P With regards to 5X vs 6P, I'd highly recommend the 6P - given that you're coming from an iPhone, you'll appreciate the premium, no-compromise experience all round. :) Mind you, the 6P is a big device and as an iPhone user, it might take some getting used to. Personally I would have gone for the 6P myself if it weren't the size.

 

The 5X isn't worth it due to the 2GB RAM, but from an app development perspective it's fine - and should give you a good idea of how your apps would perform under lower memory constraints, and maybe force you to optimize your app better. :)


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  Reply # 1563296 31-May-2016 21:00
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Thanks, I am using iPhone 6s Plus now and it will be my phone full time. As for Android, it will be used for app development only.

If the price for 6P isn't too horrendous, I would have considered it without a doubt. 😵

Well thanks for your insight.




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  Reply # 1563481 1-Jun-2016 09:15
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d3Xt3r:

 

@cyanisblue Yay, you're finally here! Welcome to one of the coolest sites in NZ. :)

 

My Robin is going great. I'm still on stock, and for the first time in many many years I haven't felt a need to use a custom ROM! Of course, Xposed+GravityBox+ Android N-Ify has helped too.. 

 

 

 

Nextbit have kept their promise with 6.0.1 and have fixed most of the issues, and my only issue is, like you mentioned, the speakers are too loud and can distort. But it's not a big deal for me since I mostly use headphones anyways.

 

 

 

Device satisfaction wise, I'd say this has to be one of my most favorite devices I've used so far - second only to the Nexus 4 (a Nexus is still a Nexus ;-)).

 

 

 

Also, pretty much everyone I've shown my phone to were impressed with it - the design, simplicity and performance. They thought the phone was worth  $600+ but were shocked to hear I got it for only $430. A couple of them have even placed an order on the store after having a play with my phone. I still find it surprising that you and I are the only ones here with the Robin, a phone which I though would have attracted the attention of geeks, given its geek/developer friendly-ness.

 

 

 

I have high hopes for Nextbit and I can't wait to see what they do next. Their customer support, developer support and user-feedback-integration has been top-notch, so I support them 100% and would like to buy my next phone from them - even if it can't compete with the other established flagships. I'd rather invest in a company that actually listens to its users as opposed to doing what they think is the best and forcing their ecosystem and services on the users. It's a very refreshing change and I wish more companies would be like that (*cough*Samsung*cough*). 

 

 

 

 

I also had a Nexus 4! Also a great phone, still got it. Then I had a Note 4 for just over a year. Became annoyed of Samsung software lack of updates, and development wasn't really worth rooting for. Then it was refreshing to come back to a near stock android experience with the Robin. 

 

Sounds like a software setup I need to try out. I've used xposed and gravitybox before on the Nexus 4. First I've heard of Android N-ify but sounds like a awesome module.

 

What I liked about Nextbit's pitch was their stance on software and design. They all have the experience from working for bigger OEMs. Also to not only keeping the software updated but keeping it smart and optimized. 

 

I'm curious to know how it would take to get the next bigger update though. N etc when it drops later this year. 

 

Before I ordered my Robin, my pick of colorway changed about 3 times. Mostly between Mint and Midnight. The reason I went with mint was it was the colorway they were pushing the most just when they were showing it off in social media. Also because my Note 4 was dark so I wanted to change it up.

 

@d3Xt3r Have you received your wall charger. Only thing I'm waiting on right now, I need message them again about that.




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  Reply # 1563878 1-Jun-2016 21:10
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I'm curious to know how it would take to get the next bigger update though. N etc when it drops later this year.


Nextbit have said that they plan to push out major updates as soon as they can. Personally, while I'm in no rush for N, I think they'll do a much better job than the other OEMs because the OS is mostly stock, and that they don't have any other devices in the pipeline yet and are focusing solely on the Robin.

Btw, you should check our the software ForceDoze - implements aggressive Doze mode, so your device entered into Doze as soon as the screen is off - and the sensors are turned off for even more battery life.

Before I ordered my Robin, my pick of colorway changed about 3 times. Mostly between Mint and Midnight. The reason I went with mint was it was the colorway they were pushing the most just when they were showing it off in social media. Also because my Note 4 was dark so I wanted to change it up.


I'm really jealous. I didn't want to go for the Mint version as it looked a bit too bold in the pictures, but after seeing the real-life videos, it actually looked pretty cool and I really wanted to get one, but I'd already ordered the Midnight. Anyways, it's not too dull either - why even today my phone received a compliment from someone else saying that "it looked very pretty", and then I went on to explain the philosophy behind Nextbit and the Robin. :)

Have you received your wall charger. Only thing I'm waiting on right now, I need message them again about that.


Actually I haven't ordered the charger since I've got too many already. :)

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  Reply # 1563973 2-Jun-2016 09:21
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d3Xt3r:
I'm curious to know how it would take to get the next bigger update though. N etc when it drops later this year.


Nextbit have said that they plan to push out major updates as soon as they can. Personally, while I'm in no rush for N, I think they'll do a much better job than the other OEMs because the OS is mostly stock, and that they don't have any other devices in the pipeline yet and are focusing solely on the Robin.

Btw, you should check our the software ForceDoze - implements aggressive Doze mode, so your device entered into Doze as soon as the screen is off - and the sensors are turned off for even more battery life.

Before I ordered my Robin, my pick of colorway changed about 3 times. Mostly between Mint and Midnight. The reason I went with mint was it was the colorway they were pushing the most just when they were showing it off in social media. Also because my Note 4 was dark so I wanted to change it up.


I'm really jealous. I didn't want to go for the Mint version as it looked a bit too bold in the pictures, but after seeing the real-life videos, it actually looked pretty cool and I really wanted to get one, but I'd already ordered the Midnight. Anyways, it's not too dull either - why even today my phone received a compliment from someone else saying that "it looked very pretty", and then I went on to explain the philosophy behind Nextbit and the Robin. :)

Have you received your wall charger. Only thing I'm waiting on right now, I need message them again about that.


Actually I haven't ordered the charger since I've got too many already. :)

 

Right now I'm using greenify which has a aggressive doze option but it that sounds like ForceDoze does more so might try that. Might go back to stock tonight with all these mods you've mentioned. Should give me more battery then CM13. 

 

I'm kinda jealous of your midnight. But they are both nice in their own way. Mint is bold but Midnight is simple and elegant. 

 

I have only have 1 wall charger, I think it came with my Nexus 7 but it has no fast charge. That's why I want the Nextbit wall charger. Also it'll match my Robin's cable.


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  Reply # 1568675 9-Jun-2016 13:55
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Has anyone tried using semble on nextbit robin?


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