Google is often accused of having a heavy focus on the United States. That's certainly true, but come on - it's a US company. Nobody seems to mind that Samsung sells a ton of phones in South Korea, or that Japan gets the newest and hottest Canon cameras before anyone else. Can you really blame a company with limited hardware resources for prioritizing a new product launch in certain markets?
Okay, so this isn't the GTKA post you've been expecting - that one's still in progress. This post, Getting to Know Android Police, will introduce you to something you're already looking at - our full redesign, delivered after what has seemed like an eternity of teasing, hinting, and behind-the-scenes work. AP2 is really just the beginning. We have even more awesome bits, pieces, and optimizations planned, but there are already a lot of new things to see around here, so we thought a post like this one might help our readers get acquainted with the new site. Get your itshappening.gifs ready.
Samsung's experiment made consumer product, the Galaxy Note Edge, is already available in international unlocked versions and through AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The next American carrier to bite on the device with the curved screen is US Cellular, which will start selling the Note Edge on Wednesday. A standard two-year contract will get you the phone for a hefty $399 (which is actually in line with AT&T and Sprint's contract pricing), or you can split the payments up into undisclosed bits with no money down. The press release didn't mention a non-contract price, but the unconventional phone runs between $850 and $950 elsewhere.
You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar.
Like previous Huawei devices, the Honor 6 Plus isn't shy about aping trends from other companies. In this case it's taking the metallic border from the iPhone 5 series, adding in a few touches from Sony's rounded and flat industrial design, and then shaving off just about every corner that it can.
Our readers in Mexico probably don't have a lot of sympathy for those of us still ticked that we can't grab a Nexus 6 from the Play Store or Motorola itself. But starting next week they'll have the chance to get their own... or more likely, be just as pissed at Google's lack of foresight for another major phone launch. Google Mexico just posted the Nexus 6's Mexico launch announcement on Google+.
Here's the skivvy: Mexican Android fans will be able to order the Nexus 6 from Motorola.com.mx (not the Play Store, apparently) starting next week. The price for the 32GB Cloud White model will be 9,999 pesos, approximately $710 at the current exchange rate.
Google's pre-order sales of the Nexus 6 on the US Play Store have been, to put it delicately, crap. By my estimate all four storage and color variants of the phone have been available for ordering for a grand total of about twenty minutes over the last two weeks, and Motorola hasn't fared much better selling them on its own site. If you're waiting for the retail release of the Nexus 6... prepare to be disappointed.
A tipster sent us this image of a purported T-Mobile internal memo.
If you're too busy to read the image above, here's the gist: only certain T-Mobile retailers will be getting the N6 on November 12th, and even at those, the inventory will be "constrained." They'll be happy to take your money and ship the phone directly to your home...
According to Android Police's traffic data, less than 1% of the people who visit our site do so from Mexico. But that 1% is having a really good day today: in addition to getting news of the Moto Maxx (a non-Verizon version of the high-powered DROID Turbo) coming to Mexico, you'll soon be able to buy a Chromecast south of the border. I don't know what took Google so long, but you should be able to find one in Best Buy, Liverpool, or Linio retailers starting tomorrow.
Unfortunately Best Buy's Mexican site doesn't have a listing just yet, but this Google+ post from the official Google México account says that the recommended retail price will be 699 pesos.
The LG G Watch R seems to be the best Android Wear device yet, at least in the opinion of our own David Ruddock. But that doesn't mean much if you can't actually buy one. LG has been silent on pricing thus far, but it looks like AT&T just spilled the beans by announcing its plans to carry the G Watch R in its retail stores. You can pick one up this Friday, November 7th... for $299. An AT&T representative confirmed the $299 price for the G Watch in a promotional message to Android Police:
Available online and in AT&T stores on 11/7
Connects to any smartphone running Android OS 4.3 or higher via Bluetooth
1.3 inch circular P-OLED display
It's not exactly surprising that the G Watch R (affectionately known as the GWAR) is so expensive - that circular P-OLED screen has to count for a lot, and LG is probably banking on the fact that its latest Android-powered watch actually looks like a watch.
Today is a good day if you like big, powerful phones, and if you want (or need) to use them on Verizon. The Galaxy Note 4 and the Xperia Z3v, the current flagships of Samsung and Sony, have both launched on Big Red. You can pick up a Galaxy Note 4 for $299.99 with a new contract or a whopping $699.99 without one. The Xperia Z3v is slightly cheaper at $199.99 and $599.99. Both phones are eligible for interest-free financing via the EDGE program.
The Note 4 is the current device to beat, at least in terms of raw specifications.
Google has just launched a new email system, but you can only get on in by requesting an invitation or being sent one from a friend. No, it's not 2004, it's Google's new Inbox system, an alternative to Gmail and a new way to look at electronic messaging in general. We've highlighted the new system before its official release, but now you can get it for yourself... if you're lucky enough to get through the invitation system.
Google has been working on Inbox as "Project Bigtop" for years. In the new system, messages are treated like tasks in a to-do list: the system automatically groups messages into "bundles" based on their content and your own filters.