If you like LG's style but aren't ready to pay for a top-of-the-line smartphone, AT&T and Sprint would like a word. Both of them have announced carrier-customized models of the LG G3 Vigor, which was launched this summer in international markets as the G3 Beat. The 5-inch phone is decidedly mid-range (stretching to low end for some specs), but it's got the same look and layout as the full-sized G3, complete with rear-mounted buttons.
Alright T-Mobile users, it's time to get flashing, at least if you own an LG G3 or the 7-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Team Win has released their custom recovery build for both of the T-Mobile variants of those devices, enabling power users to easily flash modifications and ROMs or backup the existing system. You can grab the T-Mo G3 recovery here, and the Galaxy Tab 4 recovery here.
Apparently the various unlocked and carrier models of both devices are just different enough to cause difficulty when flashing a modified recovery or ROM, and in both cases these TWRP builds are the first official ones for their respective devices.
Update #2: T-Mobile has started updating support pages with a clarification on those Wi-Fi calling enhancements. The phones now have support for Gogo inflight texting, a feature the company announced as part of Un-Carrier 7.0.
Update #1: The Galaxy S5 got some love, too.
Google isn't the only company lumping big updates on Wednesday. T-Mobile is sending out Android updates to four, count 'em, four phones on its network.
Amid a flurry of news from a certain (ahem) other watch today, it looks like the powers that be at Google have matched Best Buy's price for the LG G Watch. The Android Wear device is now being sold for $179.99 in the United States, a $50 reduction over the initial price. According to promotional text on the Play Store, this reduced price will only last until September 23rd.
At the moment the G Watch is in stock and leaving the warehouse in 1-2 days.
Update: Various commenters and tipsters tell us that the D855 model isn't working on AT&T's LTE network, despite the technical support for the 700Mhz frequency. It's either a band incompatibility or a software lockout. So AT&T users, skip this deal unless you're OK with no LTE support at all.
LG's G3 is among the best Android phones available at the moment, though whether it stands above the rest is a topic for heated comment section debate.
Releasing the L preview was an important leap forward for Android as an ecosystem, but, outside of a single almost meaningless update, we're probably not going to see any new builds up until the final L release. I can sort of see why the Android team doesn't want to put out builds with incremental fixes, saving all the improvements for a grand finale unveiling, so in the meantime, any glimpse at their progress is very interesting to us as well as developers working on porting their apps to adhere to the new Material Design guidelines.
The LG G3 seems to be selling briskly these days, but LG is sweetening the deal a little more for potential buyers in the US. If you pick up a G3 between September 8th (today) and September 22nd, LG will give you a free spare battery and a charging cradle. That's $70 worth of swag, and it only takes a few minutes to get on the list.
The AT&T version of the LG G Flex is getting upgraded! Huzzah! But don't bust out the champagne just yet, G Flex owners: at the end of your upgrade you'll still be using Android 4.4.2, like you have been since April. According to AT&T's update support page, the newest patch for the phone doesn't add very much at all.
G Flex software build D95020f adds the "latest Android security patches," an updated version of LG's built-in music app that you don't use, and some compatibility fixes for the LG G Watch.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
The LG G3 Stylus is, frankly, LG's attempt to hit Samsung below the [pricing] belt for consumers in the market for a Note 4. The G3 Stylus, though, is a hell of lot cheaper, and for good reason: it's not a very impressive device. With a 5.5" qHD display and a quad-core Snapdragon 400 paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, the G3 Stylus panders shamelessly to a price point, down to the capacitive rubber-tipped stylus that feels supremely disposable.