Kickstarter is a great place to take groundbreaking ideas that go mainstream. One of the latest projects from the site pertains to former Google and HTC executives that are working towards producing the first cloud-based smartphone on the market.
Called “Robin,” and produced by startup company Nextbit, Robin provides 32GB of local storage but then offers an additional 100GB of cloud storage – free. The cloud storage will hold both apps and files, and it will place apps and files you haven’t used or don’t use regularly on cloud storage. Whenever you need to access them, The Robin smartphone will download what you need at your request. Files and apps will retain icons and thumbnails on the phone to help you access them (with a press) when you’re ready. The phone can learn your habits over time, Nextbit says, so as to know when to move apps and files to cloud storage or keep them on the phone’s local storage. Nextbit executives say that Robin will only move apps and files while on Wi-Fi, though users will always have the option to upload files over 3G/4G/LTE. When moving apps to your free cloud storage, a “grayed out” app icon will remain on your phone, and when uploading photos, Robin will offload the high-resolution images (as you took them) to your cloud storage while retaining low-resolution images locally on the device.
Robin will come with the following specs and features: a 5.2-inch, 1080p display (Full HD) with 3GB of RAM, a hexa-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor (the same as the LG G4’s), 32GB of onboard storage, Near Field Communication or NFC, USB Type-C charging, a 5MP front camera, 13MP back camera, a 2,680mAh battery, and a home button-embedded fingerprint scanner. Robin will run Android 5.0 Lollipop right out of the box, but Nextbit intends to update the Robin to Android 6.0 Marshmallow as soon as it can (though you’ll likely receive the Robin before that time). There’s even a cloud logo engraved on the back of the Robin that alerts you by way of four LED lights whenever the device uploads files and apps to cloud storage.
Robin will come in two colors, mint green and midnight blue. Robin will come with AT&T and T-Mobile compatibility, though Nextbit says it’s working on bringing Robin to both Verizon Wireless and Sprint (both carriers run on CDMA technology instead of AT&T and T-Mobile’s GSM technology). If you want to pick one up, you can head over to Kickstarter and purchase the early-adopter special for $299, or pay $349 as a later adopter. Just as a heads-up: the $299 early-bird special is no longer available.
The Kickstarter project has already been successful, with Nextbit having raised over $500,000 from early adopters, but the company is leaving the Robin on Kickstarter with less than 27 days remaining to back the project. As for the shipping date, you’ll have to wait until January-February 2016.