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Summary:

They’re finally here! All of the rumored devices from the past few months broke cover this week, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Nexus 5 is still just a unicorn but one we might have seen twice this week.

android-this-week

This week saw not one, but two possible sightings of what appears to be Google’s Nexus 5. There’s no official word from Google just yet though; that will likely coincide with the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat. A Google YouTube video first showed a new phone with Nexus branding in landscape early in the week. That video was quickly pulled down, which is telling.

LG Nexus 5

Then, just a few days later, FCC filings showed an LG-built phone with a very similar form factor to what was seen in the video. The overall phone shape in the filing looks identical to the handset in the video and the both case cutouts for the camera sensor and flash are in the same spot. Based on the FCC documents the phone has support for 7 different LTE bands, some of which cover AT&T, T-Mobile and even Sprint.

Until Google makes an announcement, there effectively is no Nexus 5, but the facts do appear to be lining up to indicate this is the real deal. We’ll see in the next two to three months.

We won’t have to wait that long to see Samsung’s newest devices though. This week, the company finally proved the rumors true by introducing its Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, as well as a 2014 edition of its Galaxy Note 10.1 with high-resolution screen.

Galaxy Note 3 back

The Note 3 is exactly what we all expected: An upgrade from the prior model with a larger screen but the same width. The 5.7-inch1080p display looks crisp to my eyes and Samsung did away with the boring old plastic backing. Instead, it uses a leather-looking plastic for texture. The phone’s 3GB of memory and 2.3 GHz quad-core processor bring plenty of performance but the star of the show is the S-Pen and new software. It truly boosts the productivity factor of the Note 3.

Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear

And if you buy that device, you can also use the $299 Galaxy Gear. At launch, just the Note 3 and new Note 10.1 work with Samsung’s smartwatch. I found the watch more impressive than expected: A bright, vivid touchscreen with both a camera and microphone / speaker combo built into the watch band.

Galaxy Gear camera

I don’t really see this as a step forward for smartwatches though. The feature set is basically the same as any number of others on the market. And I’m not thrilled that it only works with Samsung devices. The company says it will bring compatibility to other Androids eventually, but I’m highly skeptical.

One device that has intrigued me, however, is the Asus Transformer Book Trio introduced in Berlin this week. Or rather, re-introduced: it was shown off in June at the Computex show. This looks like a traditional Asus Transformer, complete with an 11.6-inch touchscreen display that docks with a keyboard. The unique feature is a pair of chips: One in the display and one in the dock.

asus transformer trio

The keyboard dock is actually a full Windows 8 PC, complete with an Intel Haswell chip inside. It connects to an external monitor or you simply dock the display. The display hides its own Intel Atom chip, however. So at the press of a button, you can switch between Windows 8 and Android, effectively making this a three-in-one device. Asus hasn’t set a price yet and I suspect it won’t be less than $750. Still, for those who like both platforms, this could be a smart choice.

  1. From these the Galaxy Gear watch seems to be revolutionary. It will surely change the traditional watches business.

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    1. Nikhil,

      I agree, I guess the prediction of us all being like Dick Tracy are coming true. I personally do not wear watches or rings (I’m a 36 year old guy) just don’t like feeling confined. Wouldn’t even wear my wedding ring which doesn’t matter anymore (she waited until I wasn’t home, changed all the locks & filed for divorce with no reason or warning. 13 years apparently didn’t mean much) but I am such a techno geek I would make an exception for a “smart watch”. It’s funny if you think about it, 5-7 years ago we thought people looked stupid and/or crazy because Bluetooth made it hands free. Now we are going to have people talking, texting & video chatting to their wrist. I love the rapid pace of tech innovation! I just bought a Google Chromecast not because I am using it, but because it’s new, cool, made by Google & it’s rumored to be the eventual replacement for Google TV. It also replaces the massive fail of the Nexus Q, don’t know what the engineers were smoking with that one. I currently have a Nexus 4 & as soon as the 5 goes up for order or pre-order I’m buying the 32GB model. I am hoping like hell its available before 11/06/2013, I am going on a “regain peace & sanity away in solitude” trip to London, UK for a week. So I need the improved camera & storage. Then I’m just going to give my Nexus 4 to my mom to replace her training wheels smartphone aka T-Mobile Prism 1.

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  2. Whatever the Nexus 5 is, one fact is true. There was a Nexus 5 that appeared in the kitkat video, so one way or another I’m going to get a new NEXUS 5 DAMN IT….. Oops, too much? :)

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