The Rabbit R1 appears to be headed to a junk drawer

An illustration of the Rabbit R1 in a junk drawer.
(Image credit: Future photo illustration)

The Rabbit R1, that pocket-sized AI assistant that was all the rave a few months back at CES 2024, might not be as revolutionary as it seems. The consensus among reviewers in a wave of recently published takes is it is essentially an Android app in a wonderfully cute case.

This begs the question, why would you need $200 on an R1 when it does the same stuff your smartphone does in a different form factor? Additionally, since you need to add a data plan for it to work, that's $200 plus monthly data fees, which add to the cost. 

Lastly, considering its competitor, the Humane AI Pin, hasn't exactly set the world on fire either, we have to ask ourselves: 

What is the actual point of these devices that replicate apps that already exist within your current smartphone? 

Rabbit’s denial (wascally wabbit)

A CGI rabbit holding the Rabbit R1 device in New York City.

(Image credit: Future)

Rabbit CEO Jesse Lyu swats away claims that the R1 is just an app, saying the R1 runs a custom version of Android with some special sauce mixed in and that a simple phone app wouldn't work: "[R]abbit r1 is not an Android app. We are aware there are some unofficial rabbit OS app/website emulators out there," Lyu said, responding directly to a critical story published this week on the R1 in Android Authority.)

We should add that using unofficial Rabbit OS apps could be dangerous. Hackers love this stuff, and these bootleg apps could steal your data. Yikes! So, stick to the official channels, folks.

Now, the R1 can do some cool things — booking Ubers, identifying earworms, and whipping up recipes based on your fridge contents, just like any good AI assistant. Lyu has shown it off by generating images with the Midjourney AI app. However, once again, I must point out that your smartphone does all of this already and has thousands more app options. 

Mark Spoonauer, Global editor-in-chief at Tom's Guide, reviewed the Rabbit R1 and told readers to "Avoid this AI Gadget" in the headline. Spoonauer writes that the R1 feels "unfinished and broken."

The Rabbit R1 is starting to look like just another tech fad that will collect dust in a forgotten drawer. 


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Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.