As if the smartphone scene wasn’t crowded enough, come September 1 a new contender will join the game. Trying to play with the big guys by timing it with the IFA 2015 show, Nextbit will be unveiling its first ever smartphone, moving away from its once purely software business. Heavy on the promies but light on the specifics, Nextbit has a spiel that sounds almost like OnePlus’, trying to upset the current ecosystem by putting out a “friggin’ awesome” at almost half the price of other awesome smartphones.
Of course, for now it’s all promises. It might, however, be hard to take Nextbit seriously immediately. The company’s name only came a few times in the media because of the association of its execs with tech giants and when its file and settings backup service Baton was announced. Baton is one of the apps that Cyanogen, Inc. has chosen to include in its commercial Cyanogen OS offering, though since then there hasn’t been much word about it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t dream or even speak big. The still unnamed smartphone is promised to be many things. It will supposedly be different. And, more like wine, it will supposedly get better as it ages. That’s definitely defies current conventions and practices but Nextbit thinks it has the key. That key isn’t something like the modular Project Ara smartphone but software. Improvements in software delivered over time will supposedly improve performance, something that indeed very few manufacturers are able to pull off.
One thing that might worry some people is how Nextbit plans to address common storage limitations on today’s smartphones. No, it’s not by having a 128 GB internal storage plus microSD card. It will be by harnessing the near infinite capacity of the cloud. We’ve heard that spiel before, of course, particularly on Google’s low-storage Chromebooks. Suffice it to say, it’s not the most popular feature. of the product line.
Nextbit is no stranger to Android and smartphones, with key execs coming from the original Android team as well as from HTC’s design team. It will, of course, take more than that to put out a successful product, especially in this already saturated smarpthone market. But has OnePlus has proven, even a no-name startup from yesterday can become today’s hot topic. We await to see if Nextbit will be likewise.