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.
Verizon sure took its sweet time when it came to getting LG's latest flagship phone out. But if you're on Verizon and you've been salivating at the admittedly awesome G3, Big Red is now ready to your money. The G3 will go on sale next Thursday, July 17th, but you can pre-order it on the website now. The two-year contract price is $99.99, the off-contract price is the usual $599.99, and Verizon will let you split that up with its EDGE system if you'd like the option.
Google's recently launched Android Wear platform had a bit of a rough weekend when it ran into an unexpected snag regarding paid apps – it couldn't install them. It turns out that the behavior could be traced to a Play Store security feature that was responsible for encrypting paid apps to make them more difficult to pirate; but in doing so, it had also made it impossible to extract and install any micro-apps contained within the apk. Tuesday night, Google responded to developers with an apology and a set of steps to reconfigure development projects to circumvent the installation issue.
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.
AT&T is treating the G Watch like any other accessory online, which means you can potentially get a pretty good deal. See, AT&T has an ongoing deal offering 25% off if you buy three accessories. That brings the cost of the watch down to $171.75.