While the first few years of the tablet’s life as a new consumer product category were rife with various screen sizes as the market was still being established and our demands and habits weren’t as well understood and stable as they are now, manufacturers have currently gravitated toward two different sizes or segments of tablets: the 7″-7.9″ small and compact one, and the 9″-10″ bigger and more couch-oriented one.
That left the whole 8″ bracket of the spectrum almost untapped, which is exactly where LG decided to focus their first tangible effort at the tablet market. At 8.3″, the G Pad sits comfortably in the middle between the two segments, but does that make it an ideal one-size-fits-all tablet or a neither-this-nor-that tablet? I’ve had the G Pad for review for a few days, and I tried to answer that question.
For almost two years now, I have owned both an Android phone and tablet but I have almost never felt like the two devices were working together. Notifications plague them both and still don’t get dismissed from one after I’ve checked them on the other, I have to install third-party apps to get notified on my tablet of new SMS and calls on my phone, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of smart communication between both devices.
Well, that was my opinion until yesterday. I was given an LG G Pad 8.3 review unit and I saw something called QPair on it. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to manually install the app on my own LG G2 to get it to work, but once that was done and the initial setup completed, I was pleasantly impressed. QPair is what I’ve dreamed should happen when I switch between using my phone and tablet. It is not perfect, but it is the most seamless integration I’ve seen so far between two separate Android devices.
For the past couple of months, my biggest technology dilemma was whether I should get the LG G2 or wait for the Nexus 5 to be released. I had previously had an LG Optimus 4X and I wasn’t at all averse to LG’s Optimus UI, but I had also tried the Nexus 4 and I recently purchased a Nexus 7 so I knew the advantages of a pure Android experience.
As fate would have it, I won the LG G2 at the launch event in my country, and I have been using it for over two weeks as my main device. The screen, the camera, the battery life, the processor and speed,… everything about the phone is mightily impressive and the best of Android at the moment — and probably for months to come. But I’m not the first person to say that.
The opinion discordance comes into play when you mention LG’s Android skin, with some reviews calling it the G2′s Achilles heel. For as many mobile enthusiasts who appreciate this skin, there is an equal amount who dislike it and I have seen it described with a lot of colorful adjectives from “a poor man’s Touchwiz” to “cartoony”, “rainbow-like”, “tacky”… So for once, I would like to dispel the misconceptions about this topic. Join me after the break as I tell you why you shouldn’t dismiss LG’s Android skin so quickly.
Leaks, leaks and more leaks. That’s the word of the week in the Android world over the past seven days. This one-time run of week 42 of 2013 has hosted Nexus 5 leaks on the Google Play store, giving us a glimpse of the design and pricing of the device. We’ve also had a sneak peek at the future of SMS in Android post-KitKat and an unofficial glimpse at a redesigned Google Play Store for Android. Let’s jump in and take a look!
Despite how much I am involved with Android now, and my ever-growing addiction to the platform over the past couple of years, I was surprised to reckon a few weeks ago that I have never experienced Android like it was created and meant to be — ie. on a Nexus device. I have owned and used an HTC Desire Z, an Iconia A100 tablet, a Samsung Galaxy S3 and an LG Optimus 4X HD, but never a Nexus device. That’s because I live in Lebanon, where Nexus devices are a black market rarity and Samsung is everywhere.
However, I eventually managed to convince the local LG team to lend me a Nexus 4 for review. And *insert expletives* I’m blown away.
It’s been a very Samsung-oriented week these last seven days, with the company holding their ATIV/Galaxy event to show off the latest developments in their Windows and Android businesses. And if you were hoping this week was going to bring even more variants of the Galaxy S4, you won’t be disappointed.
Let’s jump in and take a look at This Week In Android! (more…)
Are you one to sit and look at the HTC One and think, “boy, i’d much prefer this handset to be running stock Android and available for all to buy on Google Play for $599″? Ever get upset your Nexus 4 did not have the option to feature a decidedly glamorous white back? Sit and ponder no more! You’re in luck.
This week we’ve seen a range of announcements from new phones hitting the Google Play store in the coming weeks to new phones hitting different stores. It’s been a very hardware-oriented week to throw us into June, so let’s take a look!
We’re into the third week of 2013 and the 62nd day of the year. You might know it as the birthday of Brian Cox, but it also happens to be the culmination of another week of Android news.
Since last week’s instalment, we’ve seen hardware announcements at Mobile World Congress, the release of Photoshop Touch on iOS and Android and more. Let’s dive in and take a look…
For the past three months, I have been using an LG Optimus 4X along with my Samsung Galaxy S3. To be honest, I came to LG with a lot of reticence and excitement. After all, when you consider the spec sheet, they always seem to have winner devices on their hands but somehow this fails to translate into real blockbusters. Part of it is probably due to their Android skin: while you might find a few people who love HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz / Nature UI, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’ll blatantly tell you that they favor LG’s Optimus UI.
I’m here to debunk that myth. Three months in, I’ll easily proclaim that if I were to run a non-stock Android device as is, without any mods, I’d pick LG over any other OEM. Actually, if it weren’t for custom ROMs like FoxHound, the S3 would be unusable for me. By comparison, I use the Optimus 4X as it came out of the box and I love it. Below are five reasons why.
Android has had yet another big week with a bevy of app updates making their way onto the platform, some new device announcements thrown into the mix and interesting developments with Android’s main competitors. In our This Week in Android roundup for the past 7 days, we’ll take a quick look at all of this. (more…)