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Rabbit R1 - An AI smartphone killer?

Rabbit R1 - An AI smartphone killer?

The Rabbit R1 aims to be your pocket-sized AI companion. The idea being that you carry a separate device with you that can perform actions for you by simply talking to it.
It would be an AI-powered replacement of your smartphone. In our review below, you'll find out if that's really the case!

  • The assistant
  • The camera
  • Integrations
  • Translation service

Our experience with the Rabbit R1

The Rabbit R1's looks are eye-catching. It has a flashy orange, plastic exterior with a small touchscreen -you won't use for interaction- on the left, a large scroll wheel on the right and a button on the edge of the device. There's a camera in the top right corner that can rotate front- and backwards. You do need to add your own SIM card (with data) or connect to wi-fi to use its capabilities.

The assistant

When you want to interact with the rabbit assistant you have to push and hold the side button to ask it a question. Rabbit will process your request and give a response. We found that the R1 really takes its time to respond. This would be normal, as this is the case with all virtual assistants, but in the case of Rabbit R1 it sometimes feels like an eternity. Also, more often than you’d like the device just stops. You don’t get a response to your question and zero feedback on if it is still working on it or not.

The camera

One cool feature about this device is its camera. One motorised camera is in charge of the front and back camera angle. With a turn of the dial the camera is rotated 180 degrees to give you the other perspective. The recognition features and image AI are acceptable for today's standards. Although it could never compete with the services of OpenAI for instance. This AI image service is also used to transform your taken images to an AI creation called a Magic Photo. A cool gimmick at first but rather annoying when it becomes clear that every photo you take will become an AI generated one. What we also noticed is that the magic photo AI seems to be more biased towards Asian facial resemblance. The majority of the pictures we took came back as a ‘cartoony’ version of the image, with the people in it featuring Asian resemblance. The people in the original picture, however, were Caucasian.


There are only a few services that can be paired with the Rabbit R1 as of testing the device. The one we tested was Spotify. The available features for it are however limited, we can ask to play a song or songs from an artist but that is about it. Nothing more than Alexa or Google Assistant would be able to do. When asking to add a song to our favorites to see if there are predefined actions available, it responded that such features are not available and we should use the Spotify app or website for that. This is really unfortunate as this was one of the core features that was advertised. Even more mind-blowing: the Rabbit R1 is just asking us to move away from its device and use our smartphone.

Translation service

Another feature that seems useful at first is the built-in translation service in the Rabbit R1. Just ask the device to translate from language x to language y and the translation service is launched. The concept is simple, press and hold the button, speak in either one of the two languages and rabbit will display its translation in the other language. However we noticed a couple of drawbacks. The first one is the time it takes to translate is a lot slower than other services on the market. The second one is that we found the device to just give up after a few translations, we then just received “thank you” back as translation, not at all what we had prompted as input.

LAM not found

While the current tech landscape is being flooded by new Large Language Models (LLM) every day, the rabbit r1 promises to deliver a Large Action Model (LAM). Where LLMs are about analysing and creating text output, an LAM is more about performing actions. It’s a framework that learns how an app works so it can use the app on your behalf.

However upon receiving the device and using it, it became very clear that this functionality is not readily available. The only functionalities available are a camera with OCR and vision AI.

It has a voice assistant that is able to inform you about the weather and can display the first picture and tagline from a website. Its cloud service can also transform your taken photos into an AI created copy.

A lack of security

A major concern is the security risk that is posed when connecting to any service via the Rabbit platform. When you want to connect to one of the available services, you are not redirected to the authentication page of that service. Rabbit embeds this view into their site with an HTML canvas and lets you log in that way. However, this also means that the data that is put into the fields of the authentication service like username and password are filled in through the rabbit website. With bad intentions, Rabbit could easily capture the username and password. This sign-in experience feels kind of like dictating your username and password to a random person so that they can log you in.

Another thing to note is that you are not connecting to those accounts on your rabbit device. You are connecting a server somewhere in the world to your account. All actions performed with your Spotify account are going through a Rabbit server that performs them for you. Depending on how Rabbit keeps those sessions alive it is hoping that they are not storing your password in plain text somewhere in a database. This could mean that a leak or vulnerability in the Rabbit cloud infrastructure would become a doorway to all your services connected to Rabbit.

For testing purposes however, we connected a Spotify account to the Rabbit R1. The connection with Spotify however did not last long, only a few minutes after logging in we got an email from Spotify telling us that our account had been locked for security reasons. We needed to reset our password before we could access the services again.

Rabbit R1 vs Smartphone

Is the Rabbit R1 a smartphone killer? No, not at all. The Rabbit R1 offers an underwhelming experience and simply can't beat the jack-of-all-traits that is our smartphone.

We simply don't see how this dedicated AI form factor could outperform smartphones infused with AI anytime soon. We definitely do see a future in heavily integrated AI in smartphones and are excited to see a more integrated, seamless experience across mobile apps.

For now, the Rabbit R1 will just be a gimmick to play around with.

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