As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
For nineteen years now, mobile manufacturers, software developers, and other innovators have received recognition during the Annual Global Mobile awards. This year's event, held yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, was hosted by comedian James Corden. Of more interest to us, however, are the awards.
LG walked out of the event with the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year title, having released such prominent devices as the G2, G Flex, Nexus 5, and the G Pad 8.3 this year (along with the LGGPGPE).
In AT&T's official blog post, the company outlines what users can expect post-update, including "key enhancements to the user interface, battery efficiency and processing speed." The post goes on to describe some of the visual changes with KitKat's interface, along with other 4.4 goodies.
Following in the footsteps of Samsung, HTC, and Sony, LG has announced a "mini" version of their G2 flagship, and they're showing the phone off here in Barcelona. The G2 Mini uses a smaller screen than the 5.2-inch G2, but it's also got considerably weaker hardware.
At 4.7 inches, there's nothing really "Mini" about this device, but you'll definitely notice the lower resolution on the LCD (960x540). The hardware inside is also less than inspiring, with just 1GB of RAM serving the 1.4Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400.
LG's latest and largest handset was announced ahead of MWC last week in Korea, but for most of the world Barcelona will have marked its public debut. LG's rather unabashed Note competitor is back again this year, although the spec sheet won't exactly blow most people away - a 5.9" HD IPS panel, quad-core Snapdragon 800, 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera with OIS, and 3200mAh removable battery get high marks for high-end components, but do little to separate the G Pro 2 from a growing pack of mega-sized phones.
LG teased the G2 Mini a week ago, announcing that more information would come on February 24th at Mobile World Congress. Well, the company has gotten ahead of itself, pre-announcing the device and confirming a few specs. The "small" version of LG's flagship, unfortunately, won't match its power, screen quality, or camera. The G2 Mini will ship with either a Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia Tegra 4i chip, a 4-7-inch 540x960 display, an 8MP camera, a 2440mAh battery, and just 8GB of internal memory (alleviated somewhat by a microSD card slot).
The L series has made up the middle and bottom of LG's lineup for a few years now, and the company is unsurprisingly refreshing the line at next week's Mobile World Congress. The new L90, L70, and L40 phones stretch from the mid-range to the low end of the current hardware spectrum, so they probably won't be getting the same amount of marketing attention from LG or its carrier partners. On the plus side, all three phones run a skinned version of Android 4.4.
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.