RIP Nextbit

I have a Nextbit Robin. Nextbit was bought by the gaming company, Razer, and all warranties were set to end on July 31st, 2017.

My fingerprint reader stopped working. Not a huge deal as I don’t use Android Pay, so I just disabled all lock screen security. Inconvenient though, as I’d gotten used to the convenience of being able to log in to online banking apps with my fingerprint instead of having to type in the complicated passwords banks often they require (YOU NEED TO USE 5 CAPITAL LETTERS AND 3 SYMBOLS).

Shortly after that, power button stopped working as it should (power button IS the fingerprint reader on this phone). To turn the screen on, I’d have to tap the lower edge of the button and it would work. Then after a few days, I’d have to tap the top edge of the button and it would work. Every few days, it was something else, until I pretty much just had to bang my fingers against the button 5-10x to turn the screen on or off.  [10 second video clip of trying to unlock screen]

Irritated, I was getting ready to buy a new phone (this phone is only 7 months old). Then I thought about alternative ways to turn the screen on/off, and I remembered my mom’s old LG G2 had a knock to unlock feature, where you knocked on the screen twice and the phone unlocked.

I ended up finding an app called Smart Screen, which allows you to turn the screen on or off through a number of different methods. I chose to use the “wave” feature (basically, covering and uncovering phone’s proximity sensor), where I wave my hand in front of the screen to toggle screen on/off. [smart screen settings screenshot]

So screen toggling was taken care of, but screenshots were still problematic. Then I found out Google Assistant can take screenshots. So you just long-press the home button, then Google Assistant pops up, and you just tell it “Take Screenshot” – and voila, you have a screenshot. [taking screenshot video]

It’s certainly not ideal to be forced to use workarounds for some of the most simple tasks required of a mobile phone. However, this lets me continue to use the phone until the day that I run out of battery, plug in the phone, but get no response when I try to power on the phone (or basically, when the power button completely fails).

Hoping to make it to the one-year mark (January 2018), but I’d be surprised if that actually happens.

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