As you may have noticed, your friendly neighborhood Android Police writers have been more than a little busy in the last couple of days. Google had the odd notion of launching a new flagship device and a major operating system update on a holiday, so it's understandable if you haven't been able to keep up. If you spent most of last night escorting your kids around the neighborhood (or if you don't have kids, and you spent most of this morning nursing a Halloween hangover), here's everything we've got on KitKat, the Nexus 5, and anything else you want to know.
Tablets are in a bit of a rut as far as form factors go. Aside from ASUS' Transformer models and imitators, they're basically all monolithic slates with very little in the way of variation. Lenovo is trying to buck that trend with its new Yoga tablet line, which borrows the name from the company's flexible and well-received convertible laptops. These tablets feature an exaggerated curve on one side of the case (sort of like a more pronounced version of the Notion Ink Adam).
It's been leaked more than a few times, but early this morning HTC finally took the rather large wraps off the One max. The new phone is essentially a supersized version of the HTC One stretched out to a massive 5.9 inches. HTC hasn't been sitting on its hands for the last few months: the One max (little "m") also includes an oh-so-trendy fingerprint scanner beneath the camera.
From a hardware perspective, the One max and the older One have quite a lot in common indeed.
Don't let the name fool you - the LG G Pro Lite isn't a small phone. This handset has a 5.5-inch screen, a 3,140mAh battery, dual SIM slots, and its own stylus. That means the G Pro Lite is just as large as the Optimus G Pro itself. What makes it "lite" then? The specs. The new handset drops from a quad-core processor to a dual-core processor, and with a 960 x 540 resolution, you can forget watching the 1080p content the original device could handle.
We saw the usual leaks earlier today, but Samsung has just officially revealed their curved-screen device on Samsung Tomorrow. The phone goes by the name Galaxy Round, which is almost surprising, considering Samsung's pathological need to tie things into the Galaxy S line as of late. In addition to the unique curved screen, it's basically a Galaxy Note 3 minus the S-Pen.
The screen is the star of the show here: with a size of 5.7 inches and a 1080p resolution, it's similar to the one found in the Note 3 plus a bit of curvy Super AMOLED magic.
Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been teasing its N1 flagship for some time, and the phone finally became official this morning. At 5.9 inches it sits squarely in the "phablet" category, though there are certainly enough other hardware highlights to turn a few heads. The most interesting is probably the 13MP camera, which sits on a case-mounted hinge and rotates to serve as both the rear and front cameras. It's a design seen before in some laptops and earlier camera phones, but this is the first time we've seen it on a modern smartphone.
LG's Vu series is a bit of an oddball thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio, an idea that even Apple has abandoned on its phones. But the company seems intent on making it work for at least one more device, and so we get the LG Vu 3, shorn of Optimus branding like the flagship G2. And that's not the only thing that the Vu 3 has in common with the G2.
Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airbone hasn't even cooled down from its launch marketing blitz, but the developer has already moved on to its next racing game. That would be GT Racing 2, a sequel to the original GT Racing from 2011 and a more simulation-style affair, very much in line with EA's Real Racing and games like Gran Turismo. GT Racing 2 has no firm release date and few details, but Gameloft says it will come out this fall.
Those of you looking for a cheap, small phone running Android will have one more option on AT&T starting later this month. The company issued a press release this morning finally announcing the release date for the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini. That's Samsung's cheaper, smaller version of the GSIII which actually has very little in common with the GSIII in terms of hardware. It will launch on AT&T on September 27th for $.99 on a two-year contract.
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.