For dedicated Android users, there's a certain feeling of comfort that comes from seeing Google Play gift cards line the shelves of their local convenience store. The visibility serves as a sign of the platform's popularity and reach, a little reminder that the OS we've come to rely on isn't going away anytime in the near future. Now those little cards are appearing in two more countries: Turkey and South Korea.
Update: An LG representative has informed us that the Tab Book can be purchased with both Windows and Android in an optional dual-boot configuration. There are no plans to release the product outside of Korea, at least for the time being.
LG's current Android tablet strategy is a little baffling. They jumped back into Android tablets with the admirable G Pad 8.3 last year, a well-equipped device with a premium build and a premium price.
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.
Google's little media streaming dongle has managed to take off, and now it's time to further leave the nest. The gadget that launched in the US has already expanded to Canada and countries all through Europe. Now the dongle has made its way across the Pacific to South Korea, the first country in Asia to receive access.
The Chromecast is going for 49,900 won, which roughly translates to fifty bucks. That's a little bit pricier than it its $35 tag stateside, but even that isn't all that much to ask for a product that's proven to be rather nifty and is only becoming more so with each new app update.
Samsung is slowly but surely sending its Android 4.4.2 update out to more and more regions and variants of the Galaxy Note 3. This morning SamMobile reports that both the LTE Snapdragon (SM-N9005) and the 3G Exynos (SM-N900) versions of the Note 3 are being updated over-the-air on networks in India, South Korea, and Switzerland. As usual, the rollout is staged, but users in these countries can try a manual update check via the Settings menu.
This is the point in Google's product cycle where the leaks start falling like rain. Earlier today a Korean site named UnderKG (in case you couldn't tell through the obnoxious watermarks and bloom) posted photos of what appears to be the retail packaging of the LG Nexus 5. The boxes depart a little from the design of the previous Nexus devices, but still follow the basic pattern.
What's more interesting is that the device itself seems to be a white variant that we haven't seen before.
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.
Manufacturers are continuously pushing out improvements to their latest products, but many of the new selling points require a minor in mathematics to keep up with. Should you get the phone that's four times faster than last year's offering, or merely two? Is a 1080p display really necessary on a 5-inch screen? Well, Samsung's planning to roll out an innovation that even non-enthusiasts will be able to pick up on. The electronics giant will launch a phone with a curved display in South Korea sometime next month, and we can reasonably expect them price it lower than their $9,000 curved OLED TVs.
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.
Korean readers, there's good news tonight... or more accurately tomorrow afternoon. The new Nexus 7 has gone on sale in the South Korean Google Play Store, or at least the WiFi version has. You can pick up a 16GB tablet for 329,000 won, which works out to just over $300 USD. The 32GB model is going for 369,000 won, about $340. According to this page, the LTE version that just launched in the US is coming soon, though there's no price.