Explained: What is Nextbit’s Smart Storage?
And, is it a successful USP in countries like India?
The Robin has a very unique feature that helps make sure you never run out of room. It’s called Smart Storage, and it’s basically 100GB of secure cloud storage where your phone can offload apps that you don’t use very often. When you do need to use one of the offloaded apps, you tap the icon and it reinstalls. Everything is right where you left off the last time you used it.
If you have an app you never want removed and archived, you can “pin” it. This simply marks the app to never be backed up, no matter how low your storage gets. When an app is backed up into the cloud, not all traces are removed. As mentioned above, your user data is still on the phone, and a greyed out version of the application icon also gets left behind on your home screen — the Robin has no app drawer in its launcher. If you need to use the app, you tap on its grey icon and your Robin tells you it’s restoring the app as it downloads to your phone.
Nextbit’s CTO also happens to have worked on Google’s Android security team, so the client-side software has the right eyes looking at it. When your data is being sent to Nextbit’s AWS servers, it’s fully encrypted. While it’s stored on the server, it’s also encrypted and 2FA is used in conjunction with your Google account to make sure you, and only you, have access.
- Wi-Fi only: you can toggle this option on and off, and it does exactly what you think it does. When it’s on, stuff is only backed up while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- While charging only: When this setting is on, backup only happens while the phone is plugged in and charging.
- Back up my applications: this is where you basically opt in or out of Smart Storage. When this option is on, apps you haven’t used in a while get backed up to the Nextbit cloud and deleted from your device.
- Back up media: Smart Storage also backs up photos to your Nextbit cloud. It’s worth noting that you share the same 100GB of storage for photos as you do for applications, so things can fill up faster if you use this option. Toggle it off if you use another service to backup your photos, like Google Photos or Dropbox.
- Report metrics: the most important option, that many people are going to shut off right away. This is where you decide if you want to share information about how you use Smart Storage with Nextbit. This will help make future versions better. This will tell Nextbit some usage statistics about you. Only you can decide if you want to enable this one, I’m just here to let you know it’s there.
When it comes to archiving your photos and videos, there’s no quick way to identify what is stored locally or in the cloud.
The Robin will keep low-resolution copies of the photos on your device, and can download the full image on demand.
you can view your Smart Storage levels on the Robin. Open Settings on your device, then scroll down and select Smart Storage. The top storage meter is for your cloud account, while the bottom is for local storage on your Robin.
When you need an app that’s been archived, you can restore it by tapping on the icon. A progress bar will show up just below the icon, and a notification will be put in your notification shade.
Once the app is reinstalled, you won’t have to log back in to the app or go through any setup process. If everything worked as it should, you will be able to pick up on the exact screen you last left the app on.
The Robin has been launched in India for a very tempting price, and people often ask me regarding the practicality of Smart (Cloud) Storage in Countries like India where Internet Speeds are very slow and often in kbs.
Well, I have a 10 MBps WiFi connection at Home and Office, hence I never encountered any problems, plus I have been actively using Cloud Storage for two years now. As a normal Indian Consumer who does not have access to high speed WiFi, Smart Storage is non existent.
It’s going to be of no use to them. Mobile Data is very expensive to keep syncing data on the go. The absence of a SD Card slot further is a huge let down. With just 32GB Internal Memory, users will often feel suffocating after a few months of usage. We should keep in mind that the Robin has to stand against a wide array of mid-range devices in India which are specially designed keeping the Indian Consumer in mind.
But the other stand out features at this price point, a very unique design, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 808, Close to Stock Android Experience and Fingerprint Sensor are worth considering.
Info From: Nextbit and Our Usage Experience