back to article The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

A motley crew of ex-google engineers is crowdfunding the “Robin” smartphone, which claims a whopping 100GB of storage. In fact, what makes the device special is its reliance on always being connected to dynamically provide off-loaded storage. The company behind the phone, Nextbit has developed some memory management software …

  1. Douchus McBagg

    windows does something similar with one drive.....

    yeeeesssss. yes it does. a mate what's app'd me a photo of some Bulgarian airbags. my phone then dutifully uploaded that to my one drive, which my home pc then sync'd with, and added the aforementioned to my desktop backdrop slides.

    cue a huffy missus asking who the fudge that is next time I log in to check my mails.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cue a huffy missus asking who the fudge that is next time I log in to check my mails.

      "it" does, with your permission. You've allowed What's app (and presumably your email inbox, any other social meeja) open access to your on-line storage and your PC through (I presume) default or intentionally weak privacy settings.

      Whilst unlikely, imagine if some berk of an acquaintance sent something well dodgy, or a misaddressed email achieved the same thing? By default the dodgy document or image sits on the mail (or social meeja) servers, and that's a tiny risk we all take. But you've then copied that to your phone, your cloud storage and your PC. Not only will the Stasi have open door access to all the major cloud storage providers, but the damned thing would be replicated on your had disk, and your phone. If it were an unsolicited communication and just on the mail/social meeja server you might just get away with a plea of ignorance, but once it's been copied round all of your devices you'd be in a right old pickle.

      Just think of the missus reaction if one of those images had appeared on your screen...

    2. N13L5

      A phone that won't work outside of permanent and perfect internet coverage

      A few reasons why this is a load of crap:

      - Even if I live in an area of near total internet coverage, I might actually travel elsewhere some times!

      - A phone that will fail to spit up your data if the NSA's outsourced backup systems ever have a hickup.

      - duration of not having accessed certain data has no bearing on its potential importance or simply a sudden need for it.

      - Its sooo much easier to just stick a nice, big Micro-SD card in it.

      - Its also generally better to keep control of your own stuff, once you are 18 years old. Its called self-determination or something along those lines.

      - Telcos wanting to sell bigger data plans where the first to put up funding for this?

      - If I want to offload my music library and swap in the book library, am I supposed to wait for strained networks to take hours, rather than just switch Micro SD cards in 5 seconds, without any hit to my data cap?

      Go die in a fire. This is making everybody dependent, not independent.

  2. Don Dumb

    A 'whopping' 100GB

    So if I understand correctly that's 28GB less than my iPhone and the storage is not actually connected to the phone?

    So if I want to get hold of anything that isn't on that phone I'll have to hope it's connected to a decent signal (and I have enough data allowance) or a good trustworthy wifi (increasingly rare outside my house).

    One of the apps I use that holds a lot of data is the Sat Nav, I don't use it that often but when I do, I'm rarely near a good signal.

    I understand many don't need large storage but like me many also do. Considering that everything else datawise seems to be growing why is it so difficult to put storage in (or allow additional in) mobile devices?

    This seems to be using an amazingly complex solution to solve a very simple problem.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: A 'whopping' 100GB

      @Don Dumb - So if I understand correctly that's 28GB less than my iPhone .... why is it so difficult to allow additional storage in mobile devices?

      Yes, apple - SD cards *do* exist, and are useful...

      Quote note: (Took the second option in the second quoted sentence)

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: A 'whopping' 100GB

        @John Robson - "Yes, apple - SD cards *do* exist, and are useful..."

        I agree it's really annoying that Apple don't just put in an SD card slot and SD cards (in non-Apple phones) were what I was I was reffering to. But then at least Apple do give an option for decent storage. I wanted the Nexus 6 but alas Google assume everyone can simply use the cloud all the time for everything.

        1. VinceH

          Re: A 'whopping' 100GB

          "Google assume want everyone can simply to just use the cloud all the time for everything."


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A 'whopping' 100GB

      And you better pray to your deity of choice you don't need access to any of that information while abroad with no free wifi available, because the roaming invoice will be quite spectacular.

    3. N13L5

      Re: an amazingly complex solution to a very simple problem.

      Well put...

      But of course, there are excellent reasons for this:

      Android phones have made people annoyingly independent at first, as Google needed to provide some kind of advantage over iPhones.

      Now that Android is king of the hill, all this independence needs to be reigned in. Hence Google forbidding any manufacturer wanting to produce the next NEXUS phone to include a MicroSD card slot.

      We're supposed to consume content (distraction) and advertising (inducement) on these devices and we're supposed to let ourselves be conveniently tracked.

      In modern slavery, Money is the whip and Mobile phones are the chains. That is the intended design. Its a lot less obviously wrong when compared to older, less advanced systems of slavery. Matter of fact, obviousness is decreased so much, most people aren't even aware that they are slaves.

      The slave owners found this system is a great improvement, because the slaves work harder and with less resistance. Money *looks* more like a carrot than a stick, even though it is 100% stick, considering you can't actually live without.

  3. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "reliance on always being connected"

    So, not much use in a typical English south coast resort B&B that don't know how to configure their WiFi correctly, and where even a reliable 2G connection is a luxury.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: "reliance on always being connected"

      We know how to configure the WiFi down here. The problem is there are to many tourists all trying to use the "Free" WiFi and our huge fat pipes (not really Openreach is still no where to be seen) cannot handle everyone trying to upload GB's of holiday snaps over the ADSL connection.

      Joke Icon because it is meant as a joke, but is actually mostly true.

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: "reliance on always being connected"

      Yeah and what about the terrible mesh networks that never work at these places and you can barely get a signal from run by some local amateur bloke who set it up presumably as a hobby and to make a bit of cash and then forgot about it or stopped caring.

  4. Ru'

    so it's 5+ years late as far as storage issues go, but 5+ years early as far as mobile bandwidth goes? Brilliant.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just what I need!

    Another device that automatically trawls through my private data and decides which should get uploaded to God knows who in the cloud.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just what I need!

      Agreed, haven't we already got enough privacy worries without actually encouraging the bastards...

      I really can't believe just how damned "ignorant" the great unwashed truly are...

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    And with one Play Store update this phone is superseeded...

    When it runs out of memory it uninstalls your least used app but keeps the data on the phone. When you want to use the app again it re-installs it and runs it again.

    Very good idea which will work until Google updates Play Store to do the same.

  7. mrdalliard

    Battery Life?

    I know the article mentions that battery life will be good, but I can't see how. The constant shoveling of data through a mobile connection (and a poor one if you live in Cornwall like I do) just spells for appalling battery life. No thanks.

    And when the mobile network goes down? (Like O2 have regularly done)

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Battery Life?

      "and a poor one if you live in Cornwall"

      You don't expect a bunch of jerks in California to design something that works in the third world not-California do you? Or even a couple of hundred miles out of town?

      Quite clearly they think this is some huge new breakthrough idea.

      'The 100G phone - Wow, you just, like, blew my mind, man.'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Battery Life?

        You don't expect a bunch of jerks in California to design something that works in the third world do you?

        Well Google Maps showed the way. It worked a couple of times in the car park at Mountain View, and when tested on Rodeo Drive, so they unleashed it on the world, where it turned out to be entirely adequate for slurping the movements of peasants for targeted marketing, but sadly lacking as a reliable navigation product outside of well served urban area.

        We expect that Silicon Valley are up their own bottoms, but apparently in those capacious bottoms they've got a reliable 4G service. Only this can explain the three way love affair between app designers, the cloud, and mobile devices.

      2. N13L5

        Re: 'The 100G phone - Wow, you just, like, blew my mind, man.'

        +42 for chuckles :)

        Corporate foam whippers.

        They can't help it. Surrounded by Dilberts all day, inane soaps on TV in the evening, horrifying dreams all night.

        This can only lead to rapid-fire idiotic ideas

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Stunned..... less than my £50 windows phone, that has 128gb on the phone + 50gb with one drive.

    Wow I'm almost as underwhelmed with this phone as I am with the new Google logo.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: Stunned.....

      Have Google got a new logo? You would have thought someone would have mentioned it

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: Stunned.....

        Have Google got a new logo? You would have thought someone would have mentioned it

        Oh several people have but I think they got away with it :D

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have to laugh

    "our CTO, Mike (the guy who lead the power management team at Android) wouldn’t have it any other way"

    Guess he's never owned a 6310i where battery life is measured in weeks, not hours.

  10. phil dude

    like fitting wheels to a tomato....

    "...time consuming and pointless".

    As a few have said, I have 128GB inserted into my phone to do with as I please - and costing much less than getting a phone with it.

    When are manufacturers going to realise that charging more $$$ for memory is a losing card.

    We all want better and/or removable battery, SD card slot, decent screen, and something to stop the ports degrading (e.g. wireless charging).


    1. Mike Bell

      Re: like fitting wheels to a tomato....

      We all want ... removable battery, SD card slot

      No we don't. Some people do.

      I personally have no need for a removable battery (and attendant case design compromise) or SD card slot on my phone. I suspect the same is true for most users.

      SD slots take up space, provide an opportunity to collect dust, don't guard against poor quality cards, and don't partake in the hardware encryption that is imposed on every other file on my phone. I'm glad my phone doesn't have such a slot.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        "we all want"

        If that was true, no one would be buying the GS6 or Note 5. While I've heard some whining on techie forums like this about Samsung removing the SD slot, some people will just never understand that their needs/wants aren't shared by everyone else and in many cases are in a minority.

      2. Steve Knox

        Re: like fitting wheels to a tomato....

        SD slots take up space - 15 mm × 11 mm × 1 mm for a properly integrated microSD slot -- smaller than most adults' smallest fingernails.

        provide an opportunity to collect dust -- not internal ones

        don't guard against poor quality cards -- presumes the alternative (preinstalled storage) guards against poor quality flash chips. If you believe you're smart enough to purchase a phone from a quality manufacturer, why don't you believe you're smart enough to do the same with a storage device?

        don't partake in the hardware encryption that is imposed on every other file on my phone -- only if you choose not to enable it:

        I'm glad my phone doesn't have such a slot.

        I'm glad neither myself nor any of my friends need your advice or approval for our tech decisions.

  11. BlartVersenwaldIII

    This sets a fantastic precedent for the next round of the housing market bubble!

    This delightful seventh-floor flat in a lively community near to local authority amenities comes with 478 sq. ft of storage space readily accessible from the main living space*, a palatial garden** and a hugely popular conveniently open-plan kitchen-cum-dining-area design***!

    <font size="0" colour="$same_as_background" straightface="true">

    * via Access Storage Solutions less than ten minutes drive away down the dual carriageway

    ** National Trust membership gets you access to the nearby Flinteflorp Palace in the next county

    *** there's a 24hr McDonalds down the road


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nice idea but storage is cheap

    To quote their blurb "Robin is the only cloud-first smartphone. It gets smarter every day and makes running out of space history."

    Nice idea, but since buying a 32GB Blackberry Passport I've not found running out of space an issue. If it was an issue I could add 128GB of always available local storage for £60 with a SD card. Now a phone that could take an m.2 drive, that would be interesting...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: nice idea but storage is cheap

      Now a phone that could take an m.2 drive, that would be interesting... It would indeed. Even a tablet would suit. I've got north of 500 GB of "Cloud" (mostly due to betas and loyalty gifts), several 128 GB sticks, and two huge portable hard drives, it be far more convenient with an M. 2 inside. Preferably encrypted. Oh, and that whole phone is my computer desktop* computer idea?

      * I can already do that, but messy conglomerate involved.

  13. Tom 7 Silver badge

    For a lot less you can have a TB of storage in your pocket

    and connect via that there wireless stuff. Should it ever catch on...

  14. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    So when I REALLY need that satnav or map program, which I haven't used for months, it's nowhere to be seen? And I'm in the sticks somwhere with no signal. Great idea.

    Flash is cheap, just stuff more (much more) in. But then Google can's spy quite as much on us.

  15. Innocent-Bystander*

    Just throw in 128GB of built in storage and charge me an extra $50

    Enough Said. For those who can't afford the extra money for built in storage they will most certainly won't be able to afford the data charges that go with the cloud pipe.

    Looks like a dud from where I'm sitting.

  16. Micha Roon

    a software solution would have been nice

    the only data most anyone can produce to take up that much space are photos and videos and for the 4 of you who do audio recording, maybe those too.

    I have north of 1TB of photos and videos on my computer and the unlimited cloud solution which spies on me. My issue is that I have to remove the local copies myself. That would have been a useful functionality.

    I never tried but my guess is that if you install 32GB of apps on a phone it will get sluggish because a proportion of these apps will have background tasks and your device will grind to a halt.

    Anyhow, does someone know of an app that synchronizes media files (photo, video, sound) to the cloud and deletes the least used ones when a threshold is reached?

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