Yesterday seems to have been one of those incredibly hectic days in general, much less in Android related news and whatnot.

I was planning on getting started on this post yesterday after lunch, just to have it ready for today, but a silly comment made to a buddy sort of clicked in my head and I remembered I had jury duty I was late for! So I ran out of here and showed up late (but still technically on time because I beat the judge into the auditorium by a full 30 seconds or so) and eventually got myself dismissed from that.

So much news to report on for you all today, so I’m just gonna jump into it.

New phones galore and more on the way!

I’m gonna get the two I’m most excited about out of the way and then we can focus on some of the others.

It looks like we are getting two Nexus devices this year for sure, although that’s still not officially confirmed.

The following was shared by @evleaks, who has a pretty good track record for reporting accurate leak related information, and it lines up with what we do know and have heard for awhile now about Huawei making one of the two upcoming Nexus devices.

Now here’s something interesting on top of that. Well, a few things actually.

Note the mention of the Snapdragon 820. That’s a good thing, as the 810 is still plagued by overheating issues, even in the revised version which is better in that regard but only insofar as it throttles the chip even further to avoid getting as hot. (Way to go, Qualcomm! You’ve released a chip that no one in the know wants in their devices.)

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On top of that is the ship date. Q4, which is the last few months of the year. Why is this interesting? Because Android M is set to be revealed/made public in Q3 and there’s one set rule about new Android version releases: they come on new devices. What does that mean and why is this interesting? Because that means Android M has to be released on something else instead of the Huawei made Nexus and that likely means the LG created one instead.

Some of us have been speculating for some time now that the Huawei made Nexus would be the budget friendly Nexus device this year, but the info shown in the tweet above has me thinking that likely won’t be the case. That means it’s likely the LG made one will be the budget friendly (and likely physically smaller) device. Of course that’s pure speculation, it’s possible both will command “expensive!” prices (although that’s only true if you overlook the prices of all Nexus devices since the lines inception, with the exception of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5).

Beyond that, not much else to write about in regards to the next Nexus devices (Nexii?).

The next Moto G might be available for customization via Moto Maker.

Again, this leak is courtesy of another tweet from @evleaks.

One of the original big selling points for me, besides the ridiculously reasonable and low price, was the “customization” factor of the Moto G. Namely because the friend I picked one up for loves a certain color and I could get a back cover in said color.

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On the flip side, the biggest selling point for me personally for the Moto X has always been the ability to customize the phone to suit my tastes. Even if I do just go black on black (front and back) and throw my username/handle on the back of the device and nothing fancier beyond that.

So to me this seems really cool. A very affordable and decent phone is now being given the same treatment, people can truly make it their own.

That said, this is not all the news I have for you all in regards to the Moto G.

But until confirmed officially please take the following with a grain of salt.

Specs are being stated as the phone having a 5” display, a Snapdragon 410 (which is the chip you really want in a budget device like this), being available in both 1 and 2 GB models insofar as RAM is concerned, being available in 8 and 16 GB models insofar as internal storage is concerned (both expandable via microSD card slots), a 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front facing camera, and a 2,470mAh battery. To be slightly more specific, the 1 GB of RAM model will be the device with 8 GB of internal storage and the 2 GB of RAM model will have 16 GB of internal storage. Pricing will be roughly the same as that of its two predecessors. Oh and it’ll be waterproof! (Which may or may not matter to you personally but hey it’s definitely a nice thing to have. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it I say.)

In additional Motorola leak related news, here’s 4 phones for you.

From left to right these are the purported devices you see in the photo above.

Droid Mini. Moto G (3rd Gen.). Droid Turbo. Moto X (3rd Gen.)

The two Droid devices both have that Carbon Fiber look that we’ve long seen on the Droid line of devices that are Verizon exclusives, so those to me are legit.

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The two Moto devices also appear to be legit based solely on what we’ve already seen leaked so far. The Moto X in particular has hints of the Moto G (3rd Gen.) in there via that metal housing for the camera, flash, and dimple. Plus if you look closely you can see the familiar metal housing around the entire device, which was present in the Moto X (2nd Gen.)

All I know is it’ll take something phenomenal from some OEM to get me to not buy that Moto X (3rd Gen.). And pessimippopotamus, I know you’ll see this, that means you will still have dibs on my Moto X (2nd Gen.) if you can eke out just a bit more life on that Nexus 4 of yours. I’ll give you a deal on it as promised, but you can’t have the phone til I’ve got the next Moto X in my hands.

The ZTE Axo has officially been unveiled

Of course I’m sure some of you are looking at it and thinking “not bad”, but there’s a few things you should know about the phone right off the bat.

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First off it’s an unlocked device that will only work on GSM networks/carriers. So Sprint/Verizon customers are definitely not going to be able to pick one up. It’s also got a few specs that for me make it a no go.

It’s rocking the Snapdragon 810, which despite likely being the revised version is still prone to overheating. Although it doesn’t get as hot as its predecessor, but that is only because it throttles the chip even more than the original version. So basically it’s a trade off and not one you want. Seriously, anything with an 810 in it is just flat out not worth even considering given all the issues with the chip.

On top of that the devices has one potential other spec feature that might make it a no go for other people. It comes with as much storage as you want, so long as it’s 32 GB and non-expandable (because there’s no microSD card slot).

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It does come with Android Lollipop 5.1 out of the box though and 4 GB of RAM to do your worst with. It’s also got “HiFi audio playback”. Which is nice, especially since the phone comes with a set of decent JBL in-ear headphones. In addition to that it’s got “HiFi recording”, courtesy of and I quote, “twin microphones, along with some of the best in noise suppression technology”.

Additionally, it’s got a 5.5” display, which is powered courtesy of a 3,000mAh battery that is Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 compatible.

Oh, one thing definitely worth mentioning is that this phone seems to be aimed at the U.S. and supports LTE on Bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 17, 29, and 30.

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So yeah, it’d be a great phone overall in my opinion if it weren’t for that damn Snapdragon 810.

HTC is set to release four LTE Desire line phones in the U.S.

The phones are the Desire 626, 626S, 526, and 520. They will be budget friendly phones and are headed to basically everyone.

The best of the bunch is the Desire 626, which is going to be available on Verizon (and likely remain a Verizon exclusive cause of course it is). It will sport a 5” 720p display, a Snapdragon 210 (which is just really bad in that it’s likely not going to play well with HTC’s Sense skin, so expect some lag and/or stutter on the phone more than likely), 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card), 8 MP rear facing camera, and a 2,000mAh battery.

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From there screen sizes go down with 626S, 526, and 520 having a 5”, 4.7”, and 4.5” display respectively.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about these phones is that they will all come with Lollipop out of the box. Why is that interesting? Because the HTC One Mini 2, which has better specs than any of these devices, was deemed as to low specced to be worth upgrading to Lollipop and as such has pretty much reached its end of life support from HTC and is stuck on Kit Kat.

The Turing Phone, the world’s first truly “unhackable and unbreakable” phone

Excuse me while I suspend my disbelief momentarily to tell you more about this... well, this...

I can’t put together the words to describe how I feel about the look of that device. I guess the best I can do is say: I look at that [waves hand towards picture of phone] and think I bet I could stab someone or injure them at least with the sides or corner.

There is nothing sleek or anything about the design of that phone.

So how much does it cost and what’s it got inside/what’s it made out of?

For the former, seppa. Which is how we say “fuck if I know” or “who knows” or “your guess is as good as mine” locally.

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As for what it’s got inside, well I can give you vague ideas since I’ve read nothing solid confirming anything at all to be honest. It’s definitely got a Snapdragon chip inside, albeit an older one, which is all I’ve read and nothing more specific beyond that. It’s also got a 5.5” display, although what specific type of screen it is I haven’t the foggiest. RAM? Seppa. Internal storage? 16 GB on the entry level model. Expandable storage? Seppa. Android version is Lollipop 5.1, albeit with a catch. The software is entirely customized and beyond that it’s “a masterpiece” according to Syl Chao, the CEO of Turing Robotic Industries which is the company creating this monstrosity. It also has a 13 MP rear facing camera and an 8 MP front facing camera.

Security is basically the selling point of this phone and that’s done via two interesting things. The majority of core apps will have end-to-end encryption built into them. Additionally the phone lacks to distinctive things: no micro USB port and no headphone jack. Instead you’ll find a proprietary jack for what is likely the device’s charger. Cause if there’s one thing we all love is proprietary chargers.

See obligatory XKCD to the left on what we get when people decide to make changes for the sake of making changes.

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Hover over text reads as: Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we’ve standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.

Obligatory and relevant XKCD indeed. (Side note: I have a great XKCD related app for you all to check out! See somewhere below for it.)

Oh yeah, not to be outdone in regards to gimmicks no one asked for, the phone even has a “Turing coin” inside, because why not at this point? And yes, that is yet another new cryptocurrency, which in this case the CEO hopes catches on BECAUSE REASONS!

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So how is this phone unhackable? Well, aside from the lack of traditional and standardized ports, everything is activated via a fingerprint reader that’ll be found on the side of the device.

How is it unbreakable? Quoting from the Wired piece I found out about this phone from, “It’s made of a material called liquidmorphium. Liquidporhium is stronger than steel or aluminum...” When I originally read about this I was half asleep and I misread that as “liquidmorphine” and my first half asleep thought was, “What idiot decided it would be a great idea to make a phone out of liquid morphine?” Sometimes I think my brain/subconscious sees what it wants to see and just takes the rest of me along for the ride until I realize the mistake.

Oh yeah, it’s waterproof too.

But seriously, my thoughts on this phone can be summed up as follows: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Refresh for XKCD

Let the record show that I freaking love this app, which is available for free in the Play Store, has a nice Material inspired design and is completely free (but there is a $0.99 in-app donation which will get you unlimited favorites, as well as any additional future added functionality).

The hover over text is seen by scrolling down once you click on a comic. Just FYI.

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The app is a great way to get your daily dose of XKCD in and the developer is absolutely responsive about any issues or suggestions you might have. (And yes, I did in fact put in a suggestion for a potential feature. Also I totally just realized I tend to talk to a lot of developers.)

I know most people here are XKCD fans, so be sure to check out the app. Highly recommend it.

Redden is a new game that looks absolutely amazing and interesting

I won’t say I recommend the game just yet, as I’ve yet to purchase it (and I still owe you all a write-up of the third episode of Tales from the Borderlands which I’ll get to writing tomorrow).

The game is available for $2.44 in the Play Store.

If you’d like to read up a bit more on the game itself check out Android Police’s quick write-up on it.

And last but not least is Droid Life’s piece on 2015 phone design

Which I thought was hysterical. Here’s a link, cause I’m not spoiling it for any of you in the least.

And that’s all I have for you today

It feels like it was a lot though.

Completely unrelated note, I recently got into an argument with my friend because I told him that a ZZ Top song comes out in The Santa Clause and he refused to believe it did. Well, bam! I was right, fool!

And yes, Bernard (that’s the elf’s name right?) is played by a young Mr. Universe from Serenity. Also, let the record show that while I do not at all have a problem with Christmas music Christmas would be much better if ZZ Top was also added to the mix every year. Although as a Texan born and raised I just might be completely biased on that, it’s a rule of the state. You live here you have to like ZZ Top. That’s one of the few hard and fast rules in general I am totally okay with. (And it reminds me of one of the videos from Clapton’s Crossroads festivals, he’s basically there just talking and he mentions visiting a bar in Texas back in the day and the one thing he noted across any jukebox he went up to in the state is that no matter where it was located they all had one thing in common: You could find at least one ZZ Top album on there and usually it was their Greatest Hits.)

On a ZZ Top related note, I found this really sweet video of Billy Gibbons playing “La Grange” with Dary Hall, who I have no idea who that is. I do, however, recognize the guitar Billy Gibbons is playing and that is one sweet looking Gibson SG.

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And if you ever get the chance to see the band play I highly suggest you not pass it up. They’re one of the few big bands I’ve seen and they absolutely blew everyone away. Skynyrd played that night too and they got booed. ZZ Top basically got nothing but good laughs (Gibbons is hilarious!) and applause the entire time, they absolutely kill it live.

On that note, I’m done for the day with this post. I hear a notebook calling my name from the other side of my desk. (I started practicing sketching people as of two nights ago and I’m really eager to try and do at least one drawing a day until I reach what I consider to be an acceptable level of being able to draw people fairly accurately. My skills thus far I’m are improving slowly but sure and once I finally have a drawing that I absolutely am proud of I’ll share it with the Odeck.)