Like other Google I/O attendees, I picked up an Android Wear device at the conference. I went with the LG G Watch. What follows is not really a review so much as my experiences and thoughts about Wear thus far, having lived with it literally every day since picking it up. I'll include some of my opinions on the platform (ignoring for now the hardware), and what I think might be relevant insights and comparisons to Google's other efforts (like Glass).
LG announced the new G Pad tablets a while back, but they're still hard to come by in the US. However, the largest member of LG's new mid-range family is probably in stock at a Best Buy near you (or shipped), and it's pretty cheap at $250. It's no Shield Tablet, but no one would blame you for picking one up.
Rooters and ROM flashers of several devices have new options today, as the developers behind the popular Team WIN Recovery Project have added three new Android devices to their growing list. The somewhat dusty LG Optimus 4X HD (from when phone names were crazy long), the LTE version of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (because Samsung never really got over the crazy long name thing), and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S all get access to the touch-based recovery software, with downloads available from the website.
One of the features LG pushed hard with the announcement of the G3 was its Knock Code screen locking feature. While the device is asleep, you can tap on the screen in predefined locations to wake it and unlock instantly. Knock Code actually debuted on the G Pro 2, but now Sprint's G2 is getting it as well.
Manufactures have been scaling back the included extras that come with hardware for a while now - you won't find included headphones or cases with any of the latest flagship phones. But you can generally rely on getting a USB cable and a wall-wart charger at least. Such is the case with the current Android Wear devices, the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. But if you have one, you'd better hold onto that charger like it's made of gold, because it might as well be.
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 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.
We've already seen a short video where Android Wear is used to do simple things like toggle lamps and open a garage door, but Armando Ferreira took that concept and applied it to all the things. In this video demoing home automation with Android Wear, he toggle lights, a popcorn maker, and a PC, but doesn't stop there. He also uses his G Watch to adjust his home's thermostat, turn on the TV, and get a notification if any of the doors or windows in his house are opened.
Looking to pick up a G3 on a US carrier of the non-magenta variety, and looking to do so on the cheap(-ish)? Best Buy may have the deal just for you - they're offering LG's latest flagship for $100 off the normal 2-year agreement price of $199, meaning you'll be paying half of what the carriers are asking if you walk into one of their stores today.
Granted, this probably means we'll be seeing the G3 at a discount a good amount over the course of its life, but if you just can't wait, this Best Buy offer is pretty good.
Sprint previously said today was the day for LG G3 preorders to start, but checking out the Sprint site seems to show the device ready for purchase right this moment. Sprint's store finder tool even reports it in stock all over the US. Oh, and you can get that snazzy (some might say gaudy) gold version of the G3 exclusively from Sprint.