The first thousand Kickstarter backers of Nextbit's cloud-first Robin smartphone are set to receive their new devices on February 16th, the company's chief designer Scott Croyle revealed at CES today. These first handsets will be only of the GSM variety, with the CDMA model following later in the year. Croyle brought the latest iteration of the Robin — which is more or less the final shipping version — to the Verge lounge at CES, where he talked about the thinking behind Robin and what makes it stand apart from all the very aggressive and difficult Android smartphone competition out there. Stay tuned for our interview with Scott, which will be posted later today.
The cloud-first smartphone is taking flight
As to the Robin itself, it's not markedly different from the device I saw in London back in December. The rough parts of the design have been smoothed out and everything feels cohesive now, though that's to be expected with the usual evolution toward a shipping product. I was more impressed by the improvements in the Robin's software, which was much smoother and more pleasurable to use on this occasion. Nextbit still has a tall task in trying to convince people that its intelligent offloading of apps and photos to the cloud is a thing they truly want and need from their smartphone, though the first step on the way to that goal will be satisfying the early supporters. That process begins next month.
Nextbit Robin hands-on photos from December 1st