This week in your world of Android: Samsung launched the new Galaxy S5 and Gear smartwatches, LG introduced the G Pro 2 and the G2 Mini, the attractive Desire 816 broke cover, the first Nokia Android phone was made public, Sony refreshed its high-end Xperia lineup, Google made its Now launcher publicly available in the Play Store, and we learned more about Project Ara.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s Android Weekly.
Galaxy S5, at last
And… it’s official. Following weeks of rumors and speculation, Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy S5 on Monday, showing the world an unexpectedly familiar design and a handful of interesting new features. And then, there are the new Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 officially announced: here’s what you need to know
- Samsung Galaxy S5 – Specs Explained
- Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and first impressions
- Samsung Gear 2 Hands-on (MWC 2014)
- Samsung Fit hands on (MWC 2014)
LG: from Mini to Pro
Announced last week, but only properly shown off just before the MWC, the G2 mini and the G Pro 2 are rounding up LG’s three-pronged strategy for the first half of 2014. Check out our hands-on posts to see what the fuss is about.
Sony addressed some of the issues that users raised about the Xperia Z1 and brought a new iteration of the series to the market a mere six months later. The Xperia X2 is lighter, faster, has a better screen and is packed with new software features. Tablet lovers are in for a treat too, with the impossibly thin Xperia Tablet Z2 launching at the same time.
- Sony Xperia Z2 hands on (MWC 2014)
- Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 hands on (MWC 2014)
- Sony Xperia M2 hands-on (MWC 2014)
The hybrid: Nokia X
Nokia introduced not one, but two Android devices at MWC 2014, confirming the reports that, in the beginning, seemed crazy. But it’s not the Android we all know and love on the Nokia X and Nokia XL, but rather a strange cross between Android and Windows Phone. See more in our hands-on posts.
A highly desirable Desire
HTC did not have a big device launch at MWC this year, but the Desire 816 was an excellent appetizer for the main course to come later this month. Packing a sleek design and good specifications, this device is a notch above your average mid-ranger.
Google Now Launcher is out now
Non-Nexus Android users, you can stop looking in envy at your Nexus-toting brethren, as the Now launcher that used to be exclusive to their devices is now available for all to try out in the Play Store.
Project Ara is becoming reality
Many have dismissed it as just a wild thought experiment, but this week showed that Google is dead serious about Ara, the modular smartphone built with true customization in mind. The first developer conference dedicated to Project Ara will happen in the next months, and the first devices could cost as little as $50.
- Project Ara could arrive next year for just $50
- Google will hold the first Project Ara developer conference on April 15-16
What are the top Android news this week? Tell us in the comments!