Google officially pulled the HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices from the Play Store not too long ago. Since then we've seen a couple of them pop up on sale across various distributors. When an eBay seller offered the Galaxy S4 for $499 ($150 off) last month, we considered that a deal. Before that, Expansys USA offered the Z Ultra for the low price of $349, $100 less than what Google last asked for it.
Last month, we reported that the Xperia Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, HTC One M7, and Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition devices were all appearing as out of stock on the Play Store for several weeks. Today, Google officially removed the Z Ultra, G Pad, and M7 from the Play Store, and they no longer appear under the Google Play Edition devices section.
The remaining three phones are the One M8, Moto G, and Galaxy S4.
Google took its sweet time updating the Nexus-style Google Play Edition of the G Pad 8.3 to Android 4.4.3, but it looks like they had a good reason. The tablet has been zipped straight to 4.4.4, and the over-the-air update should be going out now. If you're not willing to wait - and it might be a few days, considering the staggered rollout - we've got a link to the update ZIP file below.
Customers who want Android tablets on Verizon's admittedly excellent LTE network tend to have only a few options, but there are two more this morning. Flagships from both LG and Samsung, the G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro (or NotePRO) 12.2, are now available as branded Verizon devices. You can pick both of them up on the carrier website, and they should be available at retail stores either today or soon after.
We received a tip last week suggesting that Verizon Wireless planned to release the LG G Pad 8.3 with LTE (or the LGGPLTE for short, differentiating it from the LGGPGPE) on March 6th. Today, that leak's been confirmed. Verizon has announced that the tablet will launch on said day for $99.99 with a new two-year activation, with this price lasting for the first four days of availability. After that, it will go up to $199.99.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is a capable tablet with a great form factor. The bummer when it launched was the price. It has come down a bit since then, and with a new sale at Newegg, you can get it for a solid price – just $224.99 in black or white.
In case you're not familiar, the G Pad 8.3 has a Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and an 8.3-inch 1920x1200 LCD.
Verizon may have taken forever to offer the current Nexus 7, but if this leak is to be believed, the carrier won't take nearly as long to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. According to a leaked internal document, the tablet is scheduled to become available on March 6th. It's not alone, either. The LG G Pad 8.3 is set to launch on the same day.
LG's flagship tablet (and currently the company's only one) is certainly making headlines today. Just this morning we saw an impressive $100 off deal for the WiFi version, and now it looks like there's a carrier variant in the works. The reliable Evleaks posted photos of a G Pad 8.3 with Verizon's telltale branding, indicating that the tablet will be coming to Big Red sometime in the future.
LG G Pad 8.3 for Verizon.
Looking for a good mid-sized tablet? You can't do much better than the LG G Pad 8.3, the company's first tablet in two years, at least in terms of hardware. The price is a bit high at $350 retail, but today you can get some relief from that sticker shock. Newegg has the G Pad 8.3 on sale for just $279.99, plus a $30 discount with a code at checkout, bringing the total price down to a very reasonable $249.99.
In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.