• The Rabbit R1 is an AI-powered, handheld gadget that seems to run Android under the hood.
  • Many reviewers have criticized the utility of AI gadgets like the Rabbit R1, noting that they do little to supplant the smartphone and should just be an app instead.
  • In fact, the R1’s entire UI seems to be handled by a single Android app.

When startups like Humane and Rabbit first unveiled their AI-powered gadgets a couple of months ago, early backers were hopeful that these AI companions would usher in a new era of wearable AI. Unfortunately for them, both products launched half-baked, leaving tech reviewers with no choice but to harshly criticize them.

The Rabbit R1, for example, does almost nothing that your Android phone can’t do. In our hands-on, we noted that the gadget lets you do things like talk to a large language model (LLM) to get answers to questions, take a photo of an object to get info about it, play music from Spotify, hail a ride from Uber, or order food from Doordash, but that’s basically it. If everything an AI gadget like the Rabbit R1 can do can be replicated by an Android app, then why aren’t these companies simply releasing an app instead of hardware that costs hundreds of dollars, requires a separate mobile data plan to be useful, and has terrible battery life? It turns out that’s exactly what Rabbit has done…sort of.