Will Nextbit Robin Succeed With Today’s High Speed ​​Internet And Cloud Storage?

One thing I picked up from the launch of the Google Pixel 7 and iPhone 14 series is that the annual major innovations or huge upgrades have slowed down lately.

Gone are the days when new phones would release huge upgrades on a yearly basis and instead OEMs focus more on improvements with some minor tweaks or improvements and software stability.

For example, it is not easy to distinguish iPhone 13 Pro from iPhone 14 Pro if not for the dynamic island. The story is pretty much the same with the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy S21 and S22, and so on.

iPhone-14-Pro vs-iPhone-13-Pro
Click/tap to enlarge (Source)

There are hardly any noticeable physical upgrades between them, which is a testament to just how far the smartphone industry has come. But does that mean stopping there? How far can the industry go?

Some would argue that we’re at a point where annual upgrades don’t have much to add to the overall smartphone experience. But I think it’s just the beginning of a new era.

Indeed, this should explain the emergence of foldable phones, but perhaps the market has more to offer. We’ve recently seen Carl Pei’s Nothing Phone attempt to shake up the “boring” narrative, and I expect more.

Nothing Phone 1-2

And while there aren’t a lot of hardware changes that OEMs can implement to quell the “boring” narrative, software has always provided plenty of opportunities to stand out from the rest.

Be it by offering lengthy software support the likes of Apple, NVIDIA, and Samsung already; or provide devices with exclusive features like what Google does with Pixel phones; Opportunities abound.

I also encountered Tweet By the former head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, calls for a web-only mobile operating system to take over the Android and iOS duopoly.

Jack Dorsey Wants Another Nextbit Robin

While this may seem out of place, we are actually getting close to that goal. Released in 2015, Nextbit Robin was supposed to be the phone that leads the smartphone industry in the cloud-first era.

Sure, Nextbit Robin wasn’t as close to the idea of ​​a full-fledged web-only mobile OS as Jack suggested, but it’s as close to an idea as it comes to fruition.

Instead of having only the web apps, it offered an additional 100GB of cloud-based storage to complement the 32GB of internal storage. With Nextbit cloud storage, the phone had a clever way of ensuring you never ran out of space.

While Google Drive and even iCloud already do a pretty good job of backing up the data on your phone, Nextbit Robin’s cloud-first method was something different.

Cloud first smartphone

Unlike a regular phone where you often have to manually back up files or offload them, you don’t need to free up space to install a huge game or save another huge file, the process was very smooth on the Robin.

For example, apps are categorized according to how they are used. When your phone runs out of its 32GB of storage and needs space, the least used app will automatically be moved to the cloud to save space.

When going to the cloud, the app icons on the screen turned gray. But a simple tap was enough to wake him up from death whenever I felt like using it.

The same was also true for photos you hadn’t accessed or used in a while. Small versions remained on the phone, but the actual photos were backed up in the cloud. Like the apps, clicking on the image was enough to get it back.

Nextbit - Cloud Storage

But since retrieving apps, photos, and other files from the cloud was – and still is – heavily dependent on the internet, it was a bit of a cumbersome process due to the slow internet speeds at the time.

Things can get really frustrating quickly during the downloading process, especially when many photos or files are involved, be it on mobile data or even Wi-Fi.

Sure, back in 2015 when the phone arrived, cloud storage wasn’t as advanced as it is today. Since cloud storage is based on the internet, the slow speeds back in the day didn’t help either.

Today, though, there are faster 5G and LTE speeds just about everywhere. Cloud storage pricing also continues to drop, which makes the suggestion of owning a Nextbit Robin-like phone an interesting one.

Time for Nextbit-Robin-2

But will it be a success or just another failure? This is entirely debatable, especially given the cheaper and more reliable microSD card that still exists, albeit in mid-range and lower-end phones.

Besides expandable storage, smartphone manufacturers have also stepped up their game with internal storage. 32GB is what you’d find on some of the cheapest phones, with 64GB or 128GB easily the sweet spot for most vendors.

Robin’s cloud storage was also limited to Nextbit’s offering. But with so many reliable cloud storage options available, limiting the backup job to a single provider would severely dampen any phone’s odds of success.

There is also a growing concern Security breaches Such as The last case with LastPasswhich should definitely be a problem when it comes to the first smartphone in the cloud that also houses a lot of personal information.

mi-security app

Interestingly, most recent high-end phones have lost support for expandable storage as OEMs push for cloud-based storage, which is what Nextbit aims to deliver with Robin. Indeed, the phone was ahead of its time.

But does that mean the same idea — or a better one — will thrive in today’s high-speed internet and cloud-storage era? Let us know in your comments below.

Featured image: Kickstarter

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