Google hyped up Android One, its initiative to get Android-powered phones into the hands of more people in the developing world, back at Google I/O. They made good on their promises today in India, launching new phones in partnership with local hardware vendors Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn. The first three Android One phones are available today starting at Rs. 6299 ($103 USD at current currency rates) without a contract at major online Indian retailers.
It's my turn to share what items I use to get stuff done each day, but first, I realize that I have yet to formally introduce myself to you guys. Hello, dear readers. My name is Bertel King, Jr., I'm 24 years old, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate. Back in 2012, I graduated from the second oldest college in the US and married the woman whom I dated for all four of my years there.
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The folks over at Laptop Mag have undertaken a test that really piques our interest. The results show that T-Mobile smartphones consistently get the best battery life among the big four US carriers. The difference isn't insignificant either. We're talking about a steady gap of up to three hours, depending on the phone.
In the chart below we see variation between the 2013 and 2014 versions of Samsung and HTC's flagships.
For the biggest of the big manufacturers, loaning out the name of your flagship model to smaller and cheaper phones is a no-brainer. You get potential customers who want the look and at least some of the features of the newest, coolest device, and you also get to reap the rewards of your brand marketing. So it is with Samsung and HTC's various "Mini" models, and now, LG's G3 Beat. Hey, at least they're not trying to call a 5-inch phone "mini."
The G3 Beat downgrades the best-in-class spec sheet of the full-sized G3 with a 5-inch, 720p LCD screen, a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, a mere 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot.
AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.
LG's G2 was one of the most cultishly-loved smartphones of 2013, to an extent that, frankly, befuddled me. It had a terribly ugly software layer, felt cheaply built, and ticked almost no boxes in terms of innovation. The G2 was a specification junkie's wet dream, and that's exactly the sort of buyer the phone ended up attracting. Appearance, software features, and design aren't high on such people's lists.
Even in the face of criticism, though, success with a group like that isn't something you just let go.
You've got a lot of options for high-end Android devices just at the moment, with the HTC One M8 out and the LG G3 coming soon. But if you want something for Verizon right now and your funds are limited, you could do a lot worse than the Samsung Galaxy S5. Amazon's wireless portal has the phone on Big Red for just fifty bones, assuming you're a new customer or you're adding a new phone line.
With today's leak of many of the LG G3's specifications in an internal presentation, it seems all but confirmed at this point that the company's new flagship will sport a 5.5" QHD display. That's big. Like, really big. That's only two tenths of an inch smaller than the display on the Note 3, the current phablet of choice.
This, understandably, has some people hesitant: why is LG going so big with the G3?
Can you make a smartphone without compromise? Is it possible to cram top-of-the-line hardware into a slim phone body, then fit it with well-regarded software, then sell it for about half the price of competing devices, and call the resulting product a "flagship killer?" Can you, as the ceaseless OnePlus promotion machine so succinctly puts it, "never settle?"
In a word, no. The OnePlus One, the maiden Android phone from a boutique manufacturer, is not completely without its shortcomings (or indeed, its compromises).