Nextbit Robin XDA Review: The Cloud Phone That’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Have we found a new Nexus?
Like the Nexus 5X, the Nextbit Robin is powered by the Snapdragon 808 SoC. Unlike the Nexus 5X, however, the Nextbit Robin features an additional 1GB of RAM. Besides that, the two devices are very similar on paper. But how does the Robin perform in benchmarks and the real-world? We took the Robin through a gauntlet of benchmarks, stress tests, and real-world tests to find out.
The Nextbit Robin scores pretty much how you would expect with respect to its specifications. It performs better than most Snapdragon 801 devices but performs below the level of Snapdragon 810 devices.
CPU & Web
There are no major surprises to be found here either, thankfully. If you’re alright with how the Snapdragon 808 performs, then you won’t be disappointed by the processing power of the Nextbit Robin.
GPU & Gaming
To test the Adreno 418 GPU performance, I used GFXBench. The device scored surprisingly close to the newly released Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which I would assume is due in large part to the lower screen resolution. Interestingly enough, the device outperformed the Nexus 5X on the benchmark by a decent amount.
To test the real-world gaming performance, I installed Game Bench and played through a couple of high-end, modern mobile games from a variety of genres. Though the device did run hot, I didn’t notice any major slowdowns due to throttling. In addition, thanks to the design and size of the device, the heat generated doesn’t really cause much discomfort while holding the device as the heat is mostly localized near the upper middle part of the back, which escapes my grip when holding the device in a landscape position. Overall, I would say the graphic performance of the Nextbit Robin is more than adequate to tackle most games on the Play Store. This is important considering the reality that smart storage will be most helpful for users who utilize a large amount of their phone’s capacity, which includes mobile gamers.
Storage & Memory
Nextbit’s Robin features 32GB of onboard storage and 3GBs of RAM. The storage speed of this device is about on par with that of the OnePlus 2, which is pretty decent in and of itself, but is slower than the new Samsung flagships. Still, the storage speed is nothing to scoff at, and should definitely be quick enough to handle most I/O operations that even the heaviest of users throw at it.
Thanks to its 3GBs of RAM and absence of bloatware, the Nextbit Robin is able to multi-task pretty efficiently. Rarely do apps close in the background when you need them. Compared to the Nexus 5X with its 2GBs of RAM, the Robin is better able to switch between many apps without redrawing.
The Nextbit Robin is fairly smooth and responsive when undergoing basic UI navigation. Even when updating apps I did not notice any significant slowdown in the operation of the device, something which has plagued many devices in the past. For the Nextbit Robin, being able to utilize the device while the device is performing network and disk I/O requests is really important considering the fact that the device may archive apps in the background to free up space. The Snapdragon 808 performs quite well under daily use, and you won’t generally experience the phone getting hot unless you start gaming. I haven’t noticed any odd CPU spikes while using the phone, either.
Although not as fast as the Nexus 6P I’m used to (understandable), in my experience the device outperformed my Moto X Pure in basic daily operations. The device did not suffer from microstutters which I’ve seen on my Moto X Pure, and which users have complained about on the Nexus 5X. In addition, the Robin usually shows at least 1.7GBs of free RAM in my experience which is a major boon over the Nexus 5X. Although 4GBs of RAM seems to be becoming the new norm, the Robin is still very competitive in this regard thanks to few preinstalled apps eating away at your memory in the background.
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