Nextbit Robin Mobile review: Nice results from integrated cloud deviceBy Paul Carroll - Tuesday April 19 2016 Mobile Review
With an overall DxOMark Mobile score of 81, the Nextbit Robin records well-exposed images in many situations. Featuring a 13Mp rear camera, good detail is preserved in both outdoor and low-light conditions, with indoor shots displaying a fine but visible grain noise. Combine that with well-exposed flash pictures and fast autofocus, the Nextbit Robin is a good choice for smartphone photographers seeking quality indoor shots.
Outdoor pictures with good target exposure
Shooting outdoors, the Nextbit Robin is better-suited to low-contrast scenes, where it delivers excellent target exposures. Details are very well preserved too, making it a good choice for intricate street scenes or tighter framing of complex textures. In uniform areas of color, such as a clear blue sky, a grain effect is visible, together with a little noise in shadows. We also observed some slight white balance failures in outdoor images (pink or blue colorcast), but overall the Nextbit Robin records well-saturated, bold colours.
TIP: Shooting on overcast days, or seeking out compositions that avoid extremes of brightness, will ensure more accurate and well-balanced exposures. Converting images to monochrome via an app or filter is an easy fix for any images with slight color casts, making the Nextbit Robin well-suited to street or documentary photography.
Only a fine luminance noise on indoor shots
Low-light exposures retain high levels of detail with only a fine luminance noise visible. Under a tungsten light source, white balance tends to display a slight pink color cast, but it isn’t strong, and overall color remains bright and pleasant. In extreme low light images are a little under-exposed, but this isn’t uncommon for smartphone cameras, and images remain exploitable if you’re happy to do a little post-production editing to increase brightness.
TIP: When photographing parties or occasions in low-light conditions, seek out the brightest areas of the venue for your important portraits and group shots for better exposures, and don’t be afraid to use the flash, which works well on the Nextbit Robin.
Excellent flash results in all conditions
Featuring a dual-tone LED flash, the Nextbit Robin is able to balance the color of its flash with the color temperature of the ambient light, resulting in successful flash pictures with good color. This is demonstrated in the results for flash-only and flash mixed with tungsten light, where accurate color balance and good skin tones were recorded in both scenarios. Flash pictures are also very well-exposed, and although some light attenuation in the corners is apparent compared to the center, flash uniformity is pretty good.
Video overview and highlights
Video image quality on the Nextbit Robin is very good overall, and particularly successful in bright lighting conditions, where it scores an excellent 82. In these conditions white balance and noise reduction are stand out results, so videographers can be confident of movies with vivid color and low noise when shooting outdoors. For sharp video focus, the Nextbit Robin also boasts a very good autofocus system, which is accurate and responsive in all lighting conditions. Video stabilisation is also reliable and effectively corrects minor movement in bright light.
Details: Explaining the score
Exposure and Contrast (85)
A solid overall performance ensures that images are mostly well-exposed, with good levels of contrast. A bright light score of 87 is excellent, with the only minor concern slightly limited dynamic range. A low-light score of 76 was affected by under-exposure in extreme low light.
A respectable score for color reproduction, thanks to strong and bold rendition of color on outdoor scenes and well saturated color in moderate low light. We did observe the odd white balance failure outdoors, and slightly under saturated color in extreme low light, which is to be expected on a darker image file.
A standout performance for autofocus, which receives one of the highest scores, thanks to its fast and accurate performance in both bright and low-light conditions, as well as barely noticeable oscillations in preview.
Texture (86) and Noise (68)
Texture scores well in both bright light (4.8) and low light (3.8), with high levels of detail preserved in both conditions.
Overall sharpness is strong, scoring 4.4 out of 5 in both the subjective and natural scene analyses. Although some loss of edge sharpness in noticeable, compared to the center of the frame, this isn’t uncommon on mobile devices. Fringing and demosaicing effects are very noticeable when shooting high contrast scenes or towards a bright light source, with color artifacts also visible in shadow areas, and moiré in high-frequency textures that the 13Mp-resolution sensor cannot capture.
Flash is another strong point thanks to the dual-LED unit ensuring well-exposed pictures, and good flash results are very repeatable across consecutive frames. Flash pictures also display accurate color in both flash-only, as well as in mixed-light conditions, which is a big benefit for better indoor party or event pictures.
The Nextbit Robin scores almost as well for video as it does for stills (82), and boasts fairly consistent scores in each video sub-category. Exposure & Contrast, Autofocus, and Noise all score in the low 80’s, boasting well-exposed videos with only occasional blown highlights, as well as reliable autofocus with good tracking capabilities.
In bright light, a high texture score of 85 shows that under the right conditions, capturing rich and detailed videos are possible. Video artifacts scored 75, with some tremors apparent on videos.
|DxOMark Mobile Photo|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Details are well preserved in outdoor and low-light conditions.
- Autofocus is fast and generally accurate.
- Colors are vivid and pleasant.
- Noise is visible in some exposure conditions.
- In outdoor conditions, the white balance is sometimes inaccurate, mostly with a blue cast.
- In high dynamic scenes, details are lost in the darker parts and some bright parts are blown out.
|DxOMark Mobile Video|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Good autofocus behavior.
- Generally good noise reduction in bright light.
- Good stabilization in bright light conditions.
- Loss of detail in low-light conditions.
- Occasional oscillations with exposure adaptation.
- Tremors and jitter artifacts sometimes visible.