The Nextbit Robin, a crowdfunded project from hardware startup Nextbit, is a community-driven phone that was competitive in its price bracket. Nextbit was acquired by Razer last year and development on Robin came to a close in January, but that didn’t stop the developer community at XDA from doing what it does best. Folks in the Nextbit Robin forums requested an application that’d make turn the LEDs on the back of the Robin into notification lights, and XDA Member Prospero.X-3 was able to whip up something that accomplishes just that: Nextlit.
It’s a work in progress, but it lets you preview the five patterns programmed into the Robin’s LP5523 LED and select one that’ll activate when a notification comes in. You’ll have to give Nextlit notification access and manually re-enable the service between reboots, and if you’re running a custom ROM that supports battery pulse, you’ll have to turn it off if you want to see the LEDs while charging. You’ll also need root access. But as long as you meet those prerequisites and you’re running a Marshmallow or Nougat-based ROM, Nextlit will work perfectly.
When Nextbit was developing the Robin smartphone, one of the unique selling points was going to be the unending storage space available. The plan to make this happen was to provide all the space a user would need by having storage handled by a cloud service. Like the Robin phone and Nextbit itself, those servers […]
Ever since Razer acquired Nextbit back in January 2017, support for the Nextbit Robin has been fading out. Now the last bit of support finally has a sunset date.
Confirmed by emails sent to Nextbit Robin owners, Razer will officially shut down support for the Robin’s cloud storage feature on March 1. When Nextbit unveiled the Robin, it also announced Smart Storage, a feature that would store apps and app data in the cloud so that they could be easily retrieved when needed but not take up any room on the device’s built-in storage when the user didn’t want it.
Here’s part of that email to customers:
“If you haven’t signed out of Smart Storage, you will be automatically logged out of our servers. Images (thumbnails in gallery) and apps (cloud icons on launcher) that are archived and are not local to the phone will not be accessible through your phone anymore. This includes Apps in the FAB tab. All the images that are backed up until that point will be available on our tools https://cloud.nextbit.com. Only the content that is local will be accessible from the phone at that point.”
The email reminds Robin owners that if they don’t want to lose any of their data, they will need to download their apps from the Smart Storage and make sure that they aren’t offloaded at a later date by pinning them. Anything that gets lost in the cloud storage after the March 1 cut-off date won’t be retrievable.
It is possible to get your stored pictures off Nextbit’s cloud storage if you visit Nextbit’s official site. You will be able to either download individual pictures to your computer, select groups, or get all of your stored pictures as a large zip.
That tool will be active until April 1, 2018. Once that date passes, “all the personal information and data that has been collected from you will be purged and we won’t be able to recover your data.”
Considering that support for the Robin has been waning as Razer focuses on its own smartphone, this next step isn’t surprising in the slightest. Either way, it’s good for Robin owners to be aware of what’s happening and to be able to take the necessary steps to keep what they want.
It’s not easy for new companies to enter the smartphone market — the competition’s fierce, and it takes really unique features to stand out from the crowd. When startup company Nextbit announced the Kickstarter-backed Nextbit Robin, one of its standout features was Smart Storage, which dynamically expanded the phone’s local storage by syncing photos, applications, and other content to the cloud. Nextbit’s servers made it all possible, but they won’t for much longer — Nextbit announced this week that they’re shutting down on March 1, 2018.
In an email to Nextbit Robin owners this week, the company said that on March 1, users who are still logged into the Smart Storage service will be automatically logged out, and that all personal information and data will be purged from the servers. Images (the thumbnails in Nextbit Robin’s gallery app) and applications that aren’t stored locally won’t be accessible through phones anymore, including apps in the FAB tab.
Nextbit’s created a download tool that lets current Robin owners retrieve any data stored on its cloud servers, which will be available until April 1, 2018. And Razer, Nextbit’s parent company, says it’ll continue to offer hardware support for Nextbit Robin customers for the next sixth months and software updates for 12 months.
Nextbit turned a lot of heads with the talent it had on board, the Nextbit Robin’s hardware, and the close work it did with the developer community. The smartphone maker attracted the attention of Razer, which acquired Nextbit in January 2017 and put the team to work on the Razer Phone. Soon after, Nextbit stopped selling the Robin through its official channels and shut down its social media accounts.
It seems it was only a matter of time before Smart Storage bit the dust, too.
The Razer Phone is the first smartphone from the gaming company, but technically it’s the second from Nextbit. Razer bought the company out and it’s easy to see the resemblance of the Razer Phone to the Nextbit Robin. Everything from the speaker grills to the buttons are nearly identical.
The Razer Phone survived Zack’s usual tests, including the bend test. Unfortunately, the Razer Phone succumbed to the same problem as the Robin. With the body being made out of metal instead of plastic, it proved to be much more resilient but the device still suffered a major kink when bent, as well as a big bend in the area near the power button and a crack at the volume buttons. The camera lens and anodized finished back are also a lot more delicate than most phones, with a razor blade scratching the glass camera lens and keys leaving permanent marks on the anodized back.
Inside he found a very messy design, though this won’t affect usability, and a tiny, weak vibration motor. Taking the device apart also means ruining the speaker grills, which need replacement after repairs.
None of this makes the device bad. It survived the bend test while remaining perfectly functional so it’s not a huge concern. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how similar the design is to the Nextbit Robin and how Razer made the new device stronger. Let us know what you think in the comments!