That's a wrap!

We gotta go. Thanks for all your great questions! Join us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates as they come.


Hello! We are building Robin, the first and only cloud-based Android phone. We want to bring affordable, unlocked innovation direct to customers without the carrier middleman. Check it out!

Here today is our CEO Tom Moss, who served as Worldwide Head of Business Development and Partnerships for Android at Google until 2010, our CTO Mike Chan who was a Google Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead Power Management for all of Android from 2006-10 and shipped the G1, HTC Magic, Droid and Nexus One, and our Chief Product and Design Officer Scott Croyle who led design at HTC and launched several phones including the Evo, Incredible and HTC One M7 and M8.

We're here to answer any questions about design, development, Android and the smartphone industry until 5pm EST.

Proof: Our CTO Mike http://imgur.com/2r4Ff2d

Proof 2: https://twitter.com/nextbitsys/status/644201977371586560

Note: Answers directly from Tom will be signed -tm, answers from Mike will be -mc and answers right from Scott will have -sc. Answers without a signature have been answered by our awesome community team. :)

Comments: 340 • Responses: 92  • Date: 

kymnaimo35 karma

How long do you plan on supporting and providing software updates (new android versions, security patches etc) for Nextbit/Robin devices?

NextbitDev34 karma

The plan is to support for at least 2 years -sc

Sigvard23 karma

Why should I leave my cozy Apple ecosystem for this phone and your ecosystem?

NextbitDev27 karma

We are trying to build something new, both in the short term (a stand-out design, great specs at a great price, and solving the storage issue) and in the long term (making smarthphones smarter, having them adapt more to you, leveraging the infinite resources of the cloud to make your phone perform better). If that excites you, join us! - tm

bdangles11 karma

This is kind of a compelling answer. Sure gonna be rooting for you guys.

NextbitDev2 karma

Thx! -sc

0kpkp021 karma

Hi, I have a question/suggestion.

What do you think about localizing the cloud storage on a SD card and use the same smart algorithms to manage space but localy and instead of bundling cloud storage bundle a SD card. This would make your product way more appealing for regions of the world where it's hard to get reliable, fast internet at accessible prices.

You could also implement a 3 way thing, internal (emmc), external (sd) and cloud, you know like L1, L2, L3 cache :-)

You gave any thoughts about that?

NextbitDev11 karma

We believe the cloud is a much more viable solution for phone storage, for a couple of different reasons. First, it's pretty common to lose or damage an SD card. Second, SD cards provide finite storage. We want your data to always be available to you and expand with your needs - hence the idea of cloud storage.

abechung16 karma

I'm surprised this question hasn't been brought up.

The battery capacity is listed as 2,680, which is pretty standard for a 5.2" screen phone. Nextbit has promised that all is being done on the software optimization side to ensure a "full day's use." What are some different ways (compared with other android devices) Nextbit is optimizing their OS to ensure a full day's use for this phone?

Also, as I previously asked about some anticipated teasers of camera's pictures, will we be able to witness some benchmarks or SOT's/Standby Time on the phone's battery life? Will this also be expected to show around November/December?

NextbitDev17 karma

Great questions abechung!

Like other OEMs we do power tuning on drivers and hardware configurations. One big takeaway from my days on Android working on Power Management was that it was not enough to just focus on the device. You have to optimizing the full end-to-end system, which includes the device and servers. We're doing this at Nextbit, and designing our syncing solution from day one to be power efficient.

We hear your concerns about battery life, and its an area we want to tackle in the future! :)

I would expect benchmarks around early Jan.

-mc

ajfinken16 karma

The Robin will have an unlocked bootloader and will be ROM-friendly. Do you ever anticipate providing Robin features in a ROM, app, or launcher that works on other phones, e.g. the Nexus 5/Nexus 5X?

NextbitDev10 karma

Unfortunately no plans right now for bringing Robin features to other phones. -MC

abechung15 karma

Hi, Nextbit. Thanks for working hard to provide an awesome phone with a hopefully awesome experience. I have a couple questions concerning the camera sensor and the software optimization:

(1) How do you plan to mitigate the camera's hardware limitations during low-light settings, using the software optimization?

(2) How does Nextbit Robin plan to differentiate themselves from DOOGEE F Pro and Oppo R7, which house the same camera sensor, Samsung 3M2 ISOCELL 13MP f/2.2 Sensor?

NextbitDev16 karma

Hey Abe. Good question about the camera. We are doing everything we can to get the best performance out of our camera module. Some specific things we are going: 1. We are doing the camera driver development and tuning outside of Foxconn with a third party. While Foxconn is a great partner, we want to deliver the best possible performance so recognize the need to invest here. 2. the hardware engineering team behind the DXO One, Design Shift, is also supporting us in the engineering of Robin. -sc

abechung7 karma

Awesome answers. Thank you. Follow up question is: When do you anticipate some sample pictures for the finished camera sensor with software development (by the way, I'm super excited how you plan to address a lot of Android's problems of bad camera software optimization)?

NextbitDev10 karma

Abe

unfortunately, the tuning process takes about 3 or so months. the initial camera drivers are up and running but now we begin the process of tuning. My guess is we can share something in late nov but in the worst case, it will be December.-sc

TheCommentAppraiser3 karma

This. I'm still on the fence about backing it only because of the camera. I love everything else about the phone. Especially the sweet ass design and colors.

NextbitDev9 karma

Understand the concern. Try and be one of the first to get it in Feb! -sc

Lovecore10 karma

I'm curious on the teams take on Android Security. It seems to be a fairly popular topic in recent news.

What type of patching time line can we expect should another critical vulnerability popup?

How long do you plan on supporting the gen 1 devices?

Can you elaborate any on the cloud storage interface? Also, the security plan for that medium.

Are you on target for release?

NextbitDev9 karma

We take security patches very seriously. Guaranteeing timeline is always tricky without knowing what the actual fix is, but this is a priority for us. We will support Robin for at least 2 years with software updates.

We use AWS S3 for our backend storage, all data is encrypted during transit and also encrypted at rest. We use Google Auth for your login so we never store your password, and it offers 2 factor authentication. -mc

megamaster29 karma

I saw you worked on the Evo. The 4G LTE (terrible name) was my favorite phone ever. Extremely well built kickstand and I loved the color scheme! Can you talk about what went into the design of the phone and if you have any ideas what future models may look like? (WOULD LOVE A KICKSTAND AGAIN) :)

NextbitDev7 karma

Thx! Evo was a while back but I remember a few things. First, EVO was the first 4G phone so we want to tell a story about watching videos. that led us to try a kickstand.

Kickstands are a real challenge today due to the way all of us use our phones now. Battery life has now jumped way up because we're all on our phones all day long. Because kickstands take up so much room, they are a bit of a challenge to accommodate. I'm not saying it won't come back but for now, we don't believe the tradeoff is worth it. -sc

abechung9 karma

Also, you mentioned that this phone plays nice with others, with an unlocked bootloader from start.

If developers start to make custom ROMs for this device, how will the cloud integration "play nice" with the other ROMs? Is it even supported with other ROMs?

NextbitDev8 karma

Robin's cloud features will only be in the ROM that ships on the device. -mc

abechung4 karma

Thanks for the quick answer. I guess, I'll have to stick with stock, which is totally fine for me! However, that makes me curious about the pre-unlocked bootloader, if adopting other custom ROMS remove the support, which differentiates this phone from the rest of android phones. I guess this is to reduce any risk of compromising security data.

NextbitDev3 karma

the cloud features will work with other launchers but when somebody puts on a custom ROM, it basically wipes the phone so our SW is no longer on the phone. -sc

de_redditor8 karma

Why does the phone rely only on cloud storage and no microSD card option? Wouldn't cloud storage be unnecessary if you added expandable memory?

NextbitDev7 karma

Answered this above, but for a couple of different reasons. It's pretty common to lose or damage an SD card and they only provide finite storage.

de_redditor7 karma

Thanks for the response. I'm not sure I buy the finite storage reason. Isn't your cloud storage limited to 100GB, while the cards go up to 128GB?

About cards getting lost, I'm not so sure. Most people I know just keep it in the phone and leave it there instead of constant swapping or taking it out. I accept some people might lose them but it seems like a less common problem.

I guess I feel Robin is trying to solve a problem that wouldn't exist as much if expandable memory was supported. It doesn't help that in many parts of the world internet access is spotty and/or limited and relying on cloud is a terrible idea in such areas.

NextbitDev4 karma

(Tom here) If we see a majority of users running out of space, we will increase the amount of free space ... we also have a stretch goal for growing the space to 129! We will also figure out a paid tier if we need it for power-users, probably a single tier of up to 1T or something. I wrote a super long answer to this on Technobuffalo comments section, I know its super long, but hopefully it covers all the concerns:

For me, there are both short term reasons and longer term reasons. The short term reasons are that an SD card has certain disadvantages vs the cloud (not to mention that when we started working on this Google had stopped officially supporting SD cards, though this has now changed with M doing it right for SD support). The disadvantages vs the cloud are that: (i) it's much easier to lose an SD card or accidentally leave it in your jeans pocket while doing the wash; (ii) the storage size is finite, you can't scale it to grow if you need more space, you have to instead swap cards, which means its unlikely you will always have everything with you in case you want to access it while on the go; and (iii) cloud storage is always getting cheaper way faster than SD cards or internal memory.

More important for us though is the long term. One of the core reasons we started Nextbit is that we believe that there is a growing asymmetry between the amount of digital "stuff" we have in our lives and what will fit in our phones, wearables, tablets, etc. Not to mention that if your important stuff is only saved locally, you will eventually lose it or have to go through the hassle of transferring it. Long term, we believe the solution is that your stuff lives in the cloud, and you can use any smart-device to access the appropriate subset of stuff that you need right now, in its latest state. We call this long term vision "you, on any piece of glass". We want to start building this tech now, since we believe it will take years to perfect (not to mention we need to wait for better networks). We also want to start building tech around your phone adapting to you. One reason we think smartphones are not very smart yet is that they don't yet adapt to the user for things like storage, battery life, performance (CPU, GPU), etc., and we believe the combination of cloud and an intelligent agent on the phone is the right solution for this long term. Robin is the first step for us towards a much broader vision. We hope that you all will be as excited about this as we are.

One last point - we understand that some folks will never be comfortable with the public cloud, and that is OK ... however, we think we can still serve those users eventually by offering them the ability to host everything on their own machines ... we can't promise anything yet, but it is something we are doing very early investigations of. Our goal is to use cloud to let you exceed all of the specs of your device, it doesn't have to be our cloud!

tombuben8 karma

Is there a possibility of using my own server for the cloud backups?

NextbitDev9 karma

We're looking into ways for people to use their own backend. Won't come at launch but we think the idea of a private cloud is pretty cool.

-sc

andoic8 karma

Why didn't you guys include OIS in the camera and how much will the cases cost?

NextbitDev10 karma

For us it came down to OIS vs PDAF (which provides faster auto-focus) and we decided to go with faster auto-focus. There were no camera modules that supported both. -mc

NextbitDev8 karma

Fixed a typo, we could only have one or the other when it came to camera modules -mc

TheRealKidkudi7 karma

I suppose this is mostly for Scott, but I'm curious about the design. How did you decide on such a "wild" design? Did you take any inspiration or ideas from other products? It's a very different look than any of the smartphones we see right now. I'd just like to hear about the thought behind it or the process that it went through.

NextbitDev17 karma

When did you start spelling your name with a K instead of C?

with the current smartphone market, if i were to layout apple along with all the android phone on a table, nothing stands out. nothing. it's a sea of stuff but because everybody is able to now to metal (thx to htc and apple), it's generally meant that the construction quality has gone up but the overall design has become very static.

with robin, i started from a very personal standpoint. i really couldn't imagine a world where we're all carrying around the same stuff...sounds boring, no?

i wanted to jettison some of the known paradigms (black sells, silver sells, gotta do metal, brushing is more valuable, silver chamfers make it look more shiny and expensive, need to round corners to make it look smaller) and find value elsewhere. it might seem little odd but robin's premium design comes down to three things....reduction of details, simplification of form and use of color. by tackling these 3 items, we were able to arrive a new design paradigm that i believe is original and fresh. -sc

andddlay6 karma

Having the Chief Product and Design Officer of HTC is super exciting. The m7 was, in my opinion, a revolutionary device in terms of hardware. How comparable are the speakers to the m7/m8/m9?

Could you please upload a video of a closer look at the different colored devices? Can't decide between Mint and Midnight Black :p

NextbitDev12 karma

Sounds should be competitive to the best in the market. We not only have 2 speakers but also 2 amplifiers. Not only will it be loud but should sound great.

For the video, join us on @periscope tomorrow at 10AM PST. We'll have lots to show during this time. -sc

Azeem2595 karma

Hey Scott I am a big fan of your work and fortunate enough to be one of the first thousand backers. What are your views on htc's current situation?

NextbitDev8 karma

Thx for the props and the support. I have a lot of fond memories of HTC and I believe most of us wish them the best. I've still got a bunch of friends that work there so I know they are capable of creating great design. Hopefully, they can figure out the business side of the business. -sc

morehidden5 karma

How did you guys go about protoyping a phone? How can someone order a small batch of phones if they wanted to protoype one themselves?

NextbitDev6 karma

For the look/feel of the phone, you can work with companies that make cosmetic mock-ups that give you a good sense of how it looks in real life (with some limitations). For the actual hardware, it is much more difficult, unfortunately. There is a good article here: http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/13/factories-arent-dying-to-take-your-order-and-other-hardware-startup-follies/

bdangles5 karma

Please answer honestly: do you think the Robin is a good fit for anonymous-driven, privacy-minded users?

NextbitDev10 karma

I hate to give you this answer, but "it depends". Here is why:

  1. we unlock the bootloader and honor your warranty if you flash different ROMs, so for the price/specs and design, it's a great phone even aside from the software if you want a privacy focused ROM

  2. our cloud software is optional even on our ROM

  3. if you do user our Smart Storage, we don't remove your app credentials off the phone, and we encrypt both in-transit and at-rest on the AWS servers

  4. Long-term, we want to figure out how to let you run your own backend for our services, so it can be completely closed loop

So the answer is that it depends on how you use it. We take privacy seriously, but there are better ROMs for that if that is your primary concern. -tm

Colinmay5 karma

Assuming my phone is synced up to date with the cloud. Say I lose my phone, if I get a new robin, will I be able to restore all my apps and photos and videos back from the cloud meaning my phone is the same as it was before? Even game progress will be restored, and also spotify login for the app?

NextbitDev4 karma

Multimedia (like Photos) yes right away, App Data/Credentials, later on.
In the software we will first ship with, app data/credentials will not get restored to a new device, we have a solution for restore (we built it out as part of Baton) but are waiting for M to be finalized because M has updates that we will use that make our software better but change our architecture, so look for an optional restore solution to be delivered via update not too long after we launch our phone (it will be optional because you might prefer to keep all credentials and app data local for privacy, for example). - TM

Agsandboys4 karma

First off, thank you Nextbit, I love what ya'll are doing!

I use my current phone as a tethering device for my computer to play online games that need faster ping. Are you able to tether the Robin to a computer? If so, what kind of ping (I get about 80-120 ping in games currently with HTC M7 - Thanks Scott, I love it) would I expect to get with tethering my Robin to my computer?

NextbitDev4 karma

You should expect bluetooth and USB tether support. Also similar ping times as what you're getting now. -mc

CoopNine4 karma

Is it really that cost prohibitive to build a device that works on all US networks like Motorola has been doing with the Nexus 6 and Moto X?

Seems like this should be a no-brainer today, it seems like it would be much more difficult to support two or more versions, from hardware to software to logistics.

NextbitDev3 karma

Good question, it actually is not a cost issue, it comes down to choices about size of hardware, the actual physical design (what fits), and whether or not you care about having an international SKU (for roaming and also for sales in those markets) ... I believe that Moto phone is U.S. only, and they have a international version .. so it's still 2 SKUs to manage, it's just cut differently. - tm

VI510N4 karma

You guys are doing an awesome job! really looking forward to a Robin but need CDMA support for Verizon. Ill probably still back by end of September either way.

Anyways Can you elaborate on Phoenix? ;)

NextbitDev4 karma

Thanks! Stay tuned for CDMA news.

Happy to elaborate on Pheonix! Per Wikipedia: "In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Greek: φοῖνιξ phoinix) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn" ;o) - tm

CjMalone4 karma

Nextbit has said that they will allow users to unlock the bootloader and flash custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod. Will you be open sourcing the device tree to make the porting of ROMs easier or leave the developers to re create the device tree like normal OEMs?

NextbitDev8 karma

We will be providing source and binary drivers needed for developers to build their own ROM! (Just like Nexus devices) -mc

NextbitDev3 karma

We will be providing source and binary drivers needed for developers to build their own ROM! (Just like Nexus devices) -mc

proteinum4 karma

I like the Kickstarter video :) "It's not smart, it's S#%!"

Is that the CEO's voice in the video?

Are you planning on offering Nextbit internationally?

NextbitDev3 karma

Haha thanks! Glad you like it.

And yes, Robin is available in: US, UK, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, India, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

NextbitDev3 karma

it is not my voice :) - tm

roundbagel3 karma

Will the nextbit have frequent updates enough to not need any form of rooting or ROM changing?

NextbitDev10 karma

Being android enthusiast ourselves, we recognize this as an important issue to all of us. We are not going through the carriers which eliminates bloatware but also removes the hurdle to a quick update. We also have our not-so-secret weapon (CTO Mike Chan) who was at android though Honeycomb. He's super intimate with how to manage our SW to make sure we minimize the effort to the SW when Android releases an update. We're already working on Marshmallow and will either have at launch or within 2-3 weeks after. -sc

pyler23 karma

You have Marshmallow sources from Google? :P

NextbitDev3 karma

Preview sources code is available so we're able to assess our changes. in addition, our chipset partner (Qualcomm) and our manufacturer (Foxconn) are already moving it forward. -sc

poptartkang3 karma

What's been your favorite part about bringing this to life?

NextbitDev6 karma

This is the most personal project any of us have worked on ... we've all been involved in many wonderful projects, but this time this really is 100% us, as we are, and we are putting it out there. It's terrifying, but it is so liberating and so fun. -tm

Andry01k3 karma

is the cloud storage hacker proof?

NextbitDev8 karma

We use Google Auth for your login so we never store your password, and it offers 2 factor authentication. Encryption is used for all data during transport and when your data is at rest. We are also working with a 3rd party on a system-wide security audit. -mc

workshy683 karma

Was there any particular reason(s) for choosing an LCD screen instead of an AMOLED screen?

NextbitDev6 karma

a couple of reasons. LCD looks better outside. There are limited suppliers for AMOLED which can lead to supply issues. For those that remember, there was lots of news about Incredible on Verizon regarding this issue. -sc

workshy682 karma

regarding the looking better outside.. i have a lumia 735 and a nexus 5 and the lumia screen is far better both indoors & outdoors :)

NextbitDev2 karma

agree. nokia amoled are usually awesome. -sc

0kpkp01 karma

Can you give as any insight about the pricing difference between a comparable LCD and AMOLED?

NextbitDev3 karma

honestly, i don't remember the precise details. AMOLED is more expensive but it's not prohibitively so. -sc

KTT16163 karma

What has been the most difficult part of Nexbit's journey?

NextbitDev8 karma

With any startup...or any company for that matter...there are lots of difficulties that have to be overcome. The biggest challenge for us as a small company (less than 25 people) is trying to forecast demand and purchasing components. Inventory can be a killer but KS has helped us understand there is strong demand (yeah!). Also, foregoing the carriers, helps minimize the inventory needed and helps us deliver lower cost to people. -sc

daavm983 karma

Hi again NextBit (1) have you protected Robin of Stagefright? (2) have Robin any IP protection to water or dust? (3) does the rom of Robin have any "very special" or "innovative" function? Thanks for doing that ;)

NextbitDev3 karma

1) We're taking the latest stragefright patches from Google 2) No IP water/dust protection 3) Yes! Robin intelligently adapts to you so you don't have to worry about running out of storage.

-mc

Shiningc3 karma

Hi, I am from Japan and I am interested in Robin being released here, and I have read that you have experience in the Japanese mobile market and you have an interest in getting into the Japanese market. As you may already know, this country is somewhat unique in that smartphones are primarily dominated by iPhones (60% market share). Do you have plans on getting into the Japanese market, and if so, what are your plans on breaking into the market, and when do you plan on releasing it? Do you hope to disrupt the sluggish sales of Android phones and the iPhone dominance?

(Also worth mentioning is that the MVNO and cheap SIM card plans are getting big here, which may be that the time is ripe for a good unlocked smartphone).

NextbitDev3 karma

Yes, absolutely. Given the recent changes in Japan telecom regulations supporting more sim-free phones we see Japan as a great opportunity for Robin. When we first launched Android at Google, Japan was our second focus market after the U.S., and it continues to be a great market, despite the difficulties presented by the iPhone being the only phone given away for free in Japan for years and years! - tm

efleming213 karma

There was mention of CDMA support. Will this be available right off or will it be Robin 2.0? Also, will early adopters have the chance to trade in for a CDMA enabled device once it's available?

NextbitDev5 karma

We are currently looking into whether or not we can offer a CMDA SKU of this first device, but haven't gotten it all sorted yet. Stay tuned to our kickstarter and social media for updates on this one, we understand how important it is for the community! -tm

Colinmay3 karma

Hi, there's been a lot of confusion regarding if the total storage is 100 gb or 132gb.

to put it another way, Will the phone data always be a subset of the cloud data, or can the phone data be in addition to the cloud data?

Can you clear this up?

NextbitDev3 karma

We will provide you with 100GB of cloud storage, some of that will be used up by things that we backup from your phone that are still on your phone, and some of that will be used up by things that we removed from your phone and only store in the cloud. We do not backup the stock image (Android OS plus default apps), so we can't say exactly, but the maximum is probably around 104GB in total between the two.

So, most of your phone will be a subset of the cloud data, though not all. Hope that makes sense? -tm

SteveJobstookmyliver3 karma

Will this phone have a stagefright fix from the get go?

NextbitDev3 karma

yes -mc

LAW922 karma

What was the inspiration for the quirky mint and white colored version of the phone? The darker version looks great but the mint is different than anything out there. Also the edges of the phone seem very pointed. Are they going to be rounded at all for a nice feel in pocket?

NextbitDev3 karma

The mint just feels fresh right now. That color was on the original concept and while we looked at a bunch of others, this one just feels right.

Regarding the form, people that have held that phone love the crispness. The corners are rounded (we did about 5 or so different mockups to make sure it not only looks good but also feels great).

It's feel good in the pocket but honestly, if you wear tight jeans, no phone really feels that great.

-sc

wat_klet2 karma

how soon can we expect the product to be available commercially, Indian market in particular?

NextbitDev3 karma

Kickstarter backers will get their phones in January. Commercially available from our online story is February. -sc

never4ever672 karma

Robin OS, is based on a google stock rom or a custom rom ?

NextbitDev3 karma

Robin's OS is based off of AOSP (stock android), we have made slight enhancements -mc

NextbitDev2 karma

Robin runs a slightly modified version of Google stock. - tm

wicket05112 karma

Hey Scott, How many pairs of Adidas do you have? Just noticed on Instagram it seems like you have a bunch. LOL

NextbitDev6 karma

too many. i think i currently had 12 pairs of adidas originals. most are gazelles, sambas or campus II.

-sc

kopirat2 karma

Hi, I asked this earlier when you announced in /r/Android: Why do you feel that cloud storage is worth centering your phone on when most of the cloud storage capabilities you advertise and are proud of are already offered by existing, well-established apps, many of which come from Google and are pre-loaded on most Android phones? In other words, why should somebody buy your phone just for cloud storage when they could just as easily install Google Drive and essentially be done with it? Seeing as contacts are already synced through Google, as well as photos, videos, music and other files (Either through Google or third party apps that are well established like Dropbox or Spotify), what makes Nextbit any different? I appreciate how hard you guys have worked and I have nothing personal against you or your product, I think the hardware looks great and I absolutely respect you for the monumental task you've accomplished, but I feel like the cloud storage aspect that you market so primarily is a bit gimmicky and unappealing. I would prefer to just buy the phone based on specs and design alone at a lower price point by not having spent so much time and money on a cloud feature I have no use for.

NextbitDev3 karma

Two things:

  1. While there are plenty of cloud storage solutions, none of them solve the problem of running out of storage. To put it another, you could have 1 terrabyte of storage on Dropbox and still be constantly running out of space on your phone. Today's cloud storage solutions are not solving the mobile storage problem, they are legacy PC solutions.

  2. (cutting and pasting here) One of the core reasons we started Nextbit is that we believe that there is a growing asymmetry between the amount of digital "stuff" we have in our lives and what will fit in our phones, wearables, tablets, etc. Not to mention that if your important stuff is only saved locally, you will eventually lose it or have to go through the hassle of transferring it. Long term, we believe the solution is that your stuff lives in the cloud, and you can use any smart-device to access the appropriate subset of stuff that you need right now, in its latest state. We call this long term vision "you, on any piece of glass". We want to start building this tech now, since we believe it will take years to perfect (not to mention we need to wait for better networks). We also want to start building tech around your phone adapting to you. One reason we think smartphones are not very smart yet is that they don't yet adapt to the user for things like storage, battery life, performance (CPU, GPU), etc., and we believe the combination of cloud and an intelligent agent on the phone is the right solution for this long term. Robin is the first step for us towards a much broader vision. We hope that you all will be as excited about this as we are.

-tm

NextbitDev2 karma

thx for the feedback. It may not be for everyone.

if people prefer to not log into our services, then Robin remains a great deal...great specs, fresh design and great price.

-sc

nkbailly2 karma

Will Robin fit well in the front pocket of the average guy's jeans? Do the hard edges make it uncomfortable at all?

NextbitDev6 karma

how skinny are your jeans?!

-sc

muddy462 karma

Nextbit started out testing software "Baton". Was a cloud-based phone the plan from the start? Was Baton abandoned?

NextbitDev3 karma

Hi, Baton is still part of our broader long-term vision for the company/future, but it really only comes into play when you use multiple devices with our software on it, which is why you don't see it on Robin. We do use a lot of the Baton technology to power Robin's Smart Storage, and we learned a lot from launching Baton to our alpha community and then more broadly with Micromax's Yureka device in India. - tm

NextbitDev2 karma

Baton was our product for CyanogenMod. It was licensed and released on some Micromax phones in India. Many users it is still in use and being supported by a partner of ours in Asia.

eallan2 karma

I don't really have a ton of questions, I've already reserved (?) mine, but how about the fingerprint sensor, is it a unit used in other devices that you're aware of? Or comparable?

NextbitDev5 karma

I don't know which phones use our sensor but our supplier is the preeminent fingerprint sensor vendor in the market. here's a blurb from them:

http://www.fingerprints.com/blog/2015/09/02/fpcs-touch-fingerprint-sensor-fpc1145-in-nextbits-smartphone-robin/

-sc

flatulentgypsy2 karma

Hi guys, another quick question. I'm an industrial designer and I'm always interested to see how the final product differs from the initial concept. How much has your design changed, and were there any features (out there or otherwise) that you had during the design process?

The physical design of the Robin is so fantastic, it ticks all the boxes for me. I just want to say well done on creating something so stylish and timeless.

NextbitDev3 karma

hard to describe here on Reddit but see us tomorrow on Periscope at 10AM PST. I'll be sharing the original mockup and describe some of the differences.

thx for the props! -sc

mnp812 karma

1) Why did you choose to launch on Kickstarter having already had significant ($18m if I'm correct) VC funding from Google Ventures and others? Was this to test market demand before further funding/expansion? 2) What is the future business plan and strategy with regard to launching further handsets and devices?

NextbitDev3 karma

Good question. We had two motivations.

  1. The formula of company makes widget, pretty person holds widget on TV, people watch TV and realize they will be pretty or pretty people hang around them if they buy widget....it just seems outdated and lame. We wanted to build a new type company where we could have a two-way conversation with people. KS is a great platform to jumpstart this convo.
  2. The press response and consumer response helps with both demand planning and funding.

regarding future devices, we will absolutely be launching other hardware. Step by step...though. first, we have to stay focused on Robin and deliver a kickass phone and experience.

-sc

nicloutier2 karma

Does the phone require a service provider? & will it require a change of phone number?

ajfinken2 karma

You could use it over WiFi without cellular, but it would lack standard phone/SMS support. If you're coming from a provider with supported band, you will likely just need to pop in your SIM and it will work.

NextbitDev3 karma

That's right. if we support your carrier bands, pop in the SIM and start using it. -sc

never4ever672 karma

First revolution is cloud storage, have you other innovations ideas for the robin ?

NextbitDev5 karma

Good question. one of the great things about kickstarter is that we've been getting lots of ideas from our supporters on where they'd like to see us focus. We hear that lots of people want better battery performance. We also hear that everybody (and I mean everybody!) wants better photos. Other problems we've heard about include setting up your phone (takes up to 2 hours!) with all the app downloads, logins, etc. These are all areas where we believe we can make a difference. -sc

QT08432 karma

Is the phone be able to do wireless charging? Why Nextbit don't use Snapdragon 820 since the phone will not be ready next year?

NextbitDev3 karma

Robin does not have wireless charging but does support qualcomm quickcharge 2.0 along with USB type C. -sc

andddlay2 karma

If a user would like more than 100GB of cloud storage (likely not me, but just curious), will this be available to purchase?

NextbitDev4 karma

  1. If we see a majority of our users needing more space on their phones, we will actually up it for free ... we really want to solve storage as an issue.

  2. For power-users, we will offer a way for them to upgrade to more storage. I think for simplicity we will only offer one paid tier ... how much space do think it should be? 250? 500? 1T?

-tm

flatulentgypsy2 karma

Congrats on passing $1 mil! Bit of a dumb question, but are you guys planning on releasing a flip case? I don't trust myself with not cracking phone screens, even with tempered glass screen protectors. I've seen today that you have the scrapes, bumps and bruises cases, but I'd love to get an official flip case eventually.

NextbitDev2 karma

Hi Flatulent Gypsy.

Good feedback. We've heard this from a few people. I don't think we'll get one done by launch but i will kick off the evaluation.

-sc

sgteq2 karma

Recently VoLTE technology has become mandatory on T-Mobile US network if LTE band 12 is supported (like in your phone). Do you plan to support VoLTE?

NextbitDev4 karma

We're planning on getting certification for band 12 on T-Mobile.

eatriceeveryday2 karma

How is warranty/customer service going to work?

NextbitDev5 karma

We provide a one year warranty on manufacturing defects. We'll have three service centers in Asia, Europe, and US - and we'll provide prepaid shipping :)

NextbitDev2 karma

Our 1 year warranty covers manufacturing defects. We'll have three service centers in the US, Asia, and Europe to help you out.

daavm982 karma

Could you explain a bit "deeper" how does the fingerprint sensor work? I say, it's a 2mm piece (or less?), how does it recognize the fingerprint? It can't use the whole fingerprint, do it?

NextbitDev2 karma

The setup for the sensor has your scan the finger (or thumb) mutliple times...just like on iphone or other phones. What's happening is we are actually capturing different areas and then pieces together the entire map in software. When you later try to login, we compare the image that we see to the entire map.

Many people don't realize this but the sensor on an iphone and samung phone are pretty small...they do not fill up the whole zone that they reside below.

-sc

BleedCeleste2 karma

Other than the Robin, what is your favorite phone ever and why?

NextbitDev2 karma

So many to choose from.....One of my favorites while i was at htc was Incredible 2. I also really liked the original Lumia. Iphone 1 remains a classic.

-sc

Andry01k2 karma

how's the fingerprint scanner?

NextbitDev5 karma

Scott's response on this: "I don't know which phones use our sensor but our supplier is the preeminent fingerprint sensor vendor in the market. here's a blurb from them: http://www.fingerprints.com/blog/2015/09/02/fpcs-touch-fingerprint-sensor-fpc1145-in-nextbits-smartphone-robin/"

nkbailly1 karma

Who do you like more, the PR team or the social team?

NextbitDev1 karma

Good thing we picked a PR team and social team that love to work together.

teamnowak1 karma

Will there be a way to limit which wireless networks the phone will use to connect to the cloud? Let's say I only want it to update over my home network and don't want it to use my work network.

NextbitDev3 karma

While there is way to limit which type of network Robin will use to back up your data to our smart storage server (wifi vs wifi + cellular), there is currently no way to specify exactly which network(s) Robin should and should not use. That's a great suggestion for future software upgrades.

daavm981 karma

What you like more of working now on a startup instead of at big companies (Google, Motorola, Apple...)?

NextbitDev2 karma

Speed (startups can move much faster) Freedom (we can build what we want, without needing a million approvals from random folks) Rebellion (it's fun being the underdog, and having that "us against the world" feeling with your team ... it's scary as hell, but totally worth it!) -tm

daavm981 karma

Will root or rom change "break" the guarantee(or does 8t become rooted?)? I say, will Robin have a treatment with it like OnePlus One had in its moment?

NextbitDev3 karma

Rooting and changing your rom will NOT void your warranty. -mc

jamasha1 karma

Hi, I have 2 questions :)

a) How many concepts did you go through before choosing the final design and how much was the placement/size of internal parts a limiting factor?

b) How many languages will Robin support?

NextbitDev2 karma

believe it or not, i actually made 1 mockup and pitched it to the company.

With the development of a phone, i typically design the initial concept (sometime we refer to this as a concept car because it sets the target and goal), review with engineering, prioritize what's important to hold the initial concept, and then iterate with engineering. this usually takes 3-4 months.

regarding languages, we will support language in most countries we ship to but i don't know the exact count at launch.

-sc

QT08431 karma

Most of the android phone only last one days of use. What you expect the battery usage of Robin since it have a small battery compare to other MFG?

NextbitDev3 karma

You should expect Robin to get you through your day. Robin's battery life will be competitive with other devices. Its not the size of the battery its how you use it :p -mc

nopace11 karma

Providing unlimited (or at least smart) storage seems like a great and obvious idea - how come iPhone and Samsung are lagging behind Nextbit here?

NextbitDev3 karma

I think certain OEMs basically decided that it is way more profitable to make you run out of storage so you buy more phones, and also to make the decent memory SKU seem not too expensive (only $100 more!). I don't think they are really trying to solve this problem, I think they are trying to spread it! iCloud in general seems almost intentionally designed to make you run out of space on multiple devices by needlessly pushing down stuff to your other devices. - tm

never4ever671 karma

Cloud storage is encrypted ? Where is located the storage ? Storage is replicate ? Have you a plan for QOS ?

NextbitDev4 karma

User data is encrypted at rest. We use AWS S3 for our storage [and data replication]. Datacenter location will depend on your geographic location. We already have plans for QoS, load balances and content caching to name a few. -mc

NorbitGorbit1 karma

how would you approach things differently if your business model were to give the phone away plus free data/voice?

NextbitDev2 karma

That future is coming, but it's not here yet. The price of smart devices is dropping, and I think we will see it with tablets first being given away (for example, Netflix, or your bank, or you cable provider will give you a tablet for free when you sign up for service). - tm

spicypepperoni1 karma

What type of coffee are they drinking in the background of your proof picture?

NextbitDev3 karma

99% chance it's Sightglass Blueboon -sc

Wulgaren1 karma

Will it be available in Poland?

NextbitDev3 karma

it is available in poland. -sc

4ice1 karma

I would like to start of with thanking you for a great campaign and a very interesting phone! I am looking forward to receive mine! My question is how the encryption is handled, I would prefer if all data were being encrypted on the phone BEFORE it was being sent out from the phone. What is your thoughts on this matter?

NextbitDev3 karma

We never transmit data in plain-text. All data in transit is encrypted, as well as when data is at rest on disk on our backend. You can still use Android's full disk encryption. -mc

Nuke48691 karma

What kind of warranty do you offer on hardware?

NextbitDev1 karma

1 year warranties against manufacturing defects - tm

ASongOfAssOnFire1 karma

Do you plan on selling your phone in any Asian markets, particularly India? While the internet infrastructure over in my country (India) isn't the best, I'm sure most people would see the value in your phone considering the price!

NextbitDev2 karma

Yes, we are currently shipping to India!

nycsantana1 karma

Will Robin support portable mobile hotspot? And will the Robin have its own photo gallery?

NextbitDev2 karma

Robin supports a portable mobile hotspot. Robin will have its own gallery. -sc

nkbailly1 karma

Are there going to be other colors for Robin?

NextbitDev2 karma

Magical 8-ball says ... "stay tuned" - tm