The Nextbit Robin is a fascinating phone. In a sea dominated by massive corporations pumping out devices that are differentiated by the minutest of hardware and software differences, the Robin is a legitimate fresh take on the modern smartphone. It combines a slick, angular design with serious smarts regarding storage.
We got our hands on a Robin and the early returns are impressive. Here’s a quick look at our first impressions.
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The first thing you notice about the Robin is its distinct, pastel, angular design. It isn't the most premium device, made entirely of plastic, but stands apart with a look unlike anything else in the smartphone market.
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Robin sports a 13MP rear-facing camera with phase detection autofocus and dual-tone flash.
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The power button, which also serves as a fingerprint scanner, sits flush with the side of the phone. It's a bit awkward at first, particularly because you have to press the button in order to use the scanner, but it does give the phone crisp, clean lines.
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The volume buttons add to the overall whimsical design, reminiscent of candy buttons. While they are nice and clicky, their shape and size is not ideal and makes a simple, common act that everyone does on their smartphone a little more frustrating.
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Nextbit is ahead of the curve in many ways, both in software and hardware. Following in Google's footsteps, the fledgling company opted for USB Type-C to charge the Robin, though it oddly did not include a charging brick in the box.
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The screen is 5.2-inches, 1080P LCD. Overall, it's bright and crisp and, while certainly not in the running for best screen on a smartphone, a solid panel that does not disappoint.
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An impressive, an uncommon, feature on the Robin are its dual front-facing speakers. They not only give the phone a nice symmetry, but pack a serious punch as well. It's unfortunate more OEMs don't include worthy speakers in their absurdly expensive phones and Nextbit deserves a pat on the back for doing so in its $399 Robin.
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