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.
Following the HTC One GPE and Galaxy S4 GPE updates that rolled out over the weekend, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE is now receiving its first OTA. Rumblings about the update started as early as Friday, but we decided to wait until we had the OTA zip link. The new firmware version is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H, which brings it up to date with current Nexus devices.
There is no official changelog with the update, so it's currently unknown what, if any, device-specific bugs may have been fixed.
The LG G Pad 8.3 entered the Play Store nearly a week ago, becoming the first Google Play Edition tablet and the closest thing you can get to an 8-inch Nexus. Unfortunately, this model is no cheaper than the original, and at $349 for 16GB, it's over $100 more expensive than the Nexus 7. But here's the deal - if you don't mind using a G Pad 8.3 with LG's less-than-stellar custom software, or you're up for installing a custom ROM yourself, then you might like to know that you can get the original G Pad 8.3 for $299.99 from eBay and Best Buy.
Earlier this week, Google rather unexpectedly announced two brand-new Google Play Experience devices (for the US only, of course) - the LG G Pad 8.3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The G Pad 8.3 will set you back $350, while the Z Ultra is $650, though both devices rather undeniably fill niches in the Google device ecosystem. The G Pad acts as a mid-size tablet, a la iPad Mini, something a lot of enthusiasts have been asking Google to build for years now.
It's not uncommon for Google (or other hardware manufacturers) to make subtle changes to devices post-release to fix problems that went unnoticed before the device hit hundreds of thousands users. That's exactly what happened with the Nexus 4, and it looks like the Nexus 5 is getting some hardware modifications of its own, as well.
As pointed out by XDA user shinral, the updated model has more rigid power and volume buttons, the SIM tray fits flush with the body of the phone, and probably the most visually noticeable difference, the speaker grill holes are now larger.
There's no need for a full review of the new Google Play Edition of LG's G Pad 8.3 - you're familiar with the software thanks to LG's own Nexus 5 and other AOSP devices, and you can check out Cameron Summerson's review of the retail version of the G Pad 8.3 for a look at the hardware. Aside from the "V510" badge on the tablet's legal tiny type, this is the same device, and there's not so much as a Google logo to tell the two apart.
Would you look at that. Just one day after the Google Play Edition of LG's G Pad 8.3 went on sale, the CyanogenMod team gets an Android 4.4 build out for the standard retail version. A new CyanogenMod 11 nightly is available for the "LG V500."
But if you're planning on flashing this to your shiny new Google Play Edition tablet, you should hold off. CyanogenMod team member Ricardo Cerqueira says that the retail V500 build won't work on the G Pad 8.3 GPE, model number V510.
Following on the heels of the white 32 GB Nexus 5, the black 32 GB version is now in stock on the US Google Play Store, leaving the warehouse in 1-2 days. If you weren't able to get your hands on a black 32 GB Nexus 5 originally, now's your chance. If you're in the market for a new phone, the Nexus 5 is certainly an attractive option with its hefty hardware specs and comparatively low price.
LG G Flex is just like a lot of modern, high-end smartphones. It has a fast processor, lots of RAM, a big battery, and a large display. Using it isn't particularly different from any other Android smartphone. And yet, hand the G Flex to almost anyone, and they will immediately notice there is something very different about it, and I'm not talking about the buttons on the back.
The G Flex is one of two phones currently on the market to use a flexible OLED panel, the other being Samsung's Galaxy Round.
Just this morning it was discovered that the long-rumored LG V510 isn't actually a Nexus tablet, but a Google Play Edition of the LG G Pad 8.3. Since the cat's basically out of the bag, LG decided now would be a good time to go ahead and make it official – the G Pad 8.3 will be the first Google Play Edition tablet.
For those who may not be familiar with the G Pad 8.3, it's a fantastic piece of LG hardware with an 8.3-inch display, 2GB RAM, a Snapdragon 600 processor, and 16GB of internal storage.