Backing a Crowdfunded Smartphone is a Terrible Idea. [Opinion]

If there is one, almost guaranteed to be terrible, financial decision you could make in tech today, it would be by backing a crowdfunded smartphone. That includes those from random companies you have never heard of that open up “pre-orders” for break-through devices that have features never seen before. We’re, of course, talking about the campaigns run by companies like Saygus, Turing, Comet, and maybe even Nextbit, to a certain extent.

Why would I tell you to automatically back away from what could be the next big thing? For a number of reasons.  (more…)

Nextbit: CDMA Robin Shipments Delayed a Couple of Months

Nextbit is pushing back the shipping date of the Robin smartphone for CDMA networks, the company announced through its Kickstarter page. In an update to backers, the company admits it was being a bit, “optimistic,” and “got a little carried away,” in the excitement of a successful campaign.

The CDMA Robin was previously estimated to ship to backers in February, but now, Nextbit states that April is more realistic. While the company has no concrete date set, as there are a “number of factors outside our control,” Nextbit claims that they will keep all backers informed on what is taking place.  (more…)

Official Kickstarter App Finally, Finally Launches for Android

On the verge of being almost too late, Kickstarter has launched an official Android application onto Google Play. I say almost too late because, you know, Kickstarter is sorta lame these days, am I right? Back in the day, a few interesting ideas would pop up here and there, but now it’s nothing but folks looking to fund food carts and PC games. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, if you don’t already know, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that has been helping people fund their ideas that a traditional bank or investor would never touch. Over the years, Kickstarter has given us a few cool products, but it has also given us a ton of crap. And now, finally, an Android app can navigate you through the world of crowdfunding.  (more…)

Nextbit Robin With Verizon Support Hits Kickstarter Tomorrow

Kickstarter’s darling device, the Robin from Nextbit, now supports Verizon. Starting tomorrow on the official Robin Kickstarter page, you can pick up a US-only, Verizon-supporting Robin device, for the same pre-order price of $349. For those who get to the page super early, an early bird edition will be available for just $300, but the deal is limited to the first 300 backers.  (more…)

Don’t Miss These Android Stories: September 4, 2015

Just as we expected, it was a really big week for Android Wear fans, as a ton of new devices were announced and shown off during Berlin’s annual IFA. Not only was Android Wear at the center of the news, but Moto X Pure Edition, Moto 360 (2nd Gen), and Huawei Watch pre-orders kicked off, plus a report claims we might see two new Nexus devices later this month.

Beyond IFA news, Google and Verizon changed their logos, we reviewed the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, and we took a look at a Kickstarter phone called Robin that might actually be kinda cool.

If you missed any of the craziness, see all of the news below.  (more…)

Wow, a Crowdfunded Phone That Might Not Suck

Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Oh, wait, it’s only hate. You see, I don’t exactly believe in the idea of crowdfunding. I get that it can be a great thing for a large variety of products, but for smartphones, I have not seen much that would lead me to believe the idea of backing a smartphone, then waiting months to receive it, is a good thing. And since many of the devices don’t get reviewed by the usual tech circles, how am I supposed to know if what I am buying is any good? To keep it short, I have yet to fund a smartphone project through these avenues.

But today, a new device called Robin popped up on Kickstarter, headed by a few familiar faces that I could see myself getting behind and supporting. Created by Nextbit, the Robin looks to reinvent the way we handle storage locally on a smartphone. Instead of relying on microSD slots and set amounts of built-in storage, the Robin utilizes Smart Storage, powered by the cloud.  (more…)

ZNAPS Racks Up $400K on Kickstarter in Days, It’s Like MagSafe for Your Phone

What happens when you love Apple’s MagSafe technology so much that you decide you must apply it to charging a phone? You get ZNAPS, a Kickstarter funded product that wants to make charging your phone easier than ever. It’s basically a MagSafe like charging plug that sits in the charging port of your phone, so that you can quickly charge a device without having to think about it or actually plug anything in.  (more…)