Razer just jumped into the smartphone business with the acquisition of Nextbit

razer acquires smartphone startup nextbit robin 0003 2 1500x1000
Did Razer just get into the smartphone business? The popular gaming peripheral maker said on Monday that it acquired Nextbit Systems Inc., the company responsible for the cloud-based Nextbit Robin smartphone. Robin is based on a forked version of Android called Nextbit OS that seamlessly merges local and cloud storage so users never run out of space. It also continuously adapts to how it’s used to provide a smartphone environment that evolves with the owner’s changing needs. The phone is no longer for sale from Nextbit, in light of the acquisition.

According to Razer, it now owns the majority of Nextbit’s assets, and has brought the firm’s management and employees under Razer’s roof. However, Razer will remain as a parent company, enabling Nextbit to operate as a standalone division using its own management. Nextbit will not become part of the ongoing business of parent company Razer.

“In order to reach a wider audience and continue our mission, we decided to join with a larger brand,” said Tom Moss, Nextbit Systems Inc. co-founder and CEO. “We’re lucky to have found a company in Razer that shares our value of pushing the boundaries of what our devices can do.”

The Nextbit Robin smartphone was originally a Kickstarter project that generated $1,362,343 from 3,611 backers, overshooting Nextbit’s $500,000 goal. The company set out to create a cloud-first device so that end users would not be continuously worried about the local storage on their device. Nextbit also wanted a bloat-free product that reduced clutter and increased usability for the ultimate smartphone experience.

Here are the hardware specs:

Screen: 5.2 inches (IPS)
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Processor: Snapdragon 808 (six cores, 1.8GHz)
Memory: 3GB LPDDR3
Storage: 32GB on-board
100GB online
Cameras: 13MP (back)
5MP (front)
Audio: 2x front-facing speakers with dual amplifiers
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy
NFC
GPS
GSM
Security: Fingerprint scanner
Storage encryption option
Battery: 2,680mAh
Size: 5.86 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Launch date: May 30, 2016

The fingerprint sensor is built into the power button so that when users wake up the device, it’s automatically unlocked, eliminating the need for swiping or entering passwords or PINs. Nextbit went with a square design sporting slightly rounded edges to make the smartphone easy to grip and comfortable in the user’s hand at all times. One speaker resides on the face of the device in the spaces above and below the screen.

Moss said on the Nextbit community forums that the company will do “exactly what we’ve been doing all along,” but backed by Razer’s resources. However, the acquisition means that sales of the Robin smartphone and all accessories have ceased. All warranties will be supported through the next six months, and software updates and security patches will continue to roll out through February 2018.

“More than anything we want to preserve the community we’ve built on our forums and our social streams, we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” Moss said. “We would not be the company we are today without our backers, our supporters, and our community.”

Amazon Nextbit

Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Mobile

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Deals

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.
Deals

The 5 best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…