ZTE likely isn't the first brand that comes to mind when you think of premium Android handsets, and that isn't a surprise. The company's footprint is largest in Asia, and it typically releases budget handsets on this side of the Pacific. But ZTE has been working to change things, and today it's announced that two of its high-end smartphones are ready to compete in the US market - the Grand S and the Nubia 5.
Frequent Android gamers know that the newest AAA titles are insatiable power hogs, and more than a few are made infinitely better with the addition of hardware controls. Until someone comes out with an Xperia Play MAXX (seriously Sony, get on that), the MOGA Power series might just be the best way to address these issues. The controller/external battery combos have been a long time coming, but now they're finally available for pre-order on Amazon.
The Galaxy Note 3 is set to launch on T-Mobile on October 2nd, but if waiting that long causes you too much anxiety, you can now head over to their website and call dibs on one of your own. That's right, Samsung's latest phablet is now available for pre-order on T-Mobile, and while the company may not believe in subsidizing their phones anymore, you're probably going to want to stick with the payment plan when placing that order.
Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have all gotten their houses in order for the launch of LG's new flagship, but Sprint seems to be a bit behind the curve. The carrier has only just announced a pre-order for the G2, and it's October 11th - almost a month after AT&T and Verizon will have the phone on shelves, and a solid two weeks after T-Mobile. Sprint doesn't even have an official launch date for the phone, instead stating in the press release that the G2 will come "in time for the holidays," and that more availability information will be available at a later date.
If you've already made the decision to give someone your money for the Galaxy Note 3, Verizon is more than happy to take it. You can now put down $299.99 to pre-order the Note 3 on a two-year contract, a whopping $699.99 for an unsubsidized phone, or reserve a no-money-down phone on Verizon's Edge upgrade plan.
Verizon will also be selling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch directly. You can reserve one along with your Galaxy Note 3 for $599.98 (the same price as a $300 Gear and an on-contract Note 3).
Back in February, we detailed the specs of the the Neptune Pine, a strangely-named smartwatch that doubles as a smartphone. If you've been chomping at the bit in anticipation of wearing this monstrosity's 2.5" display on your wrist, the time has come. The Neptune Pine is now available for pre-order at NeptunePine.com, lightening your bank account to the tune of $335 for the 16GB version or $395 for the 32GB model.
The new Nexus 7 is pretty awesome in all respects, and it should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a 7-inch tablet. But if your budget won't stretch up to $230, ASUS has a more low-end model that's perfectly respectable. The Memo Pad HD7 (ME173X) is an upgrade to last year's budget tablet, and it's up for pre-order at no less than four, count 'em, four US online stores.
If you've ordered the 2013 Nexus 7 model from Best Buy, check your email - at least one Android Police staff member has received confirmation that the new tablet is ready for in-store pickup. Twitter was alight last night and this morning with some retail customers who managed to snag one off the shelves as well. Both 16GB and 32GB models are apparently being sold freely at at least some brick-and-mortar locations, at the standard $229 and $269 prices.
Prospective second-gen Nexus 7 buyers, you've got one more option for when the Play Store is (probably) overwhelmed on July 30th. Staple has already posted pages for the 16GB and 32GB WiFi versions of the new Nexus 7, though of course you can't buy one just yet - they're both marked as out of stock. Staples was one of 11 retail partners mentioned in the Google announcement. The prices are the standard $229.99 and $269.99, respectively.
After a last-minute delay for NVIDIA's risky SHIELD gaming device, the company has just sent out an email to those who pre-ordered it. The delayed launch date is next Wednesday, July 31st, just barely making the company's revised commitment to a July launch. Pre-order hardware will be shipped out to customers on Wednesday, and NVIDIA's retail partners will have at least some units that day as well, at the new $299 price tag.