High on Android Sunday Summary 6/7/15

This week was a fairly quiet one for Android news, at least compared to our giant week of Google I/O coverage last week. The Computex show in Taiwan took place this week. ASUS took the opportunity to show off the new ZenWatch 2, Zenfone Selfie phone, and several new tablets. There have also been rumors this week that Samsung will release a larger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge. We also saw a few great deals on Android devices and accessories, including the newly announced Huawei P8 Lite for the US. Let us run down the week that was in Android, then I’ll hit you with my thoughts after the break:

  1.  ASUS Unveiled the ZenWatch 2, Zenfone Selfie, and tablets– The Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan took place over the majority of the past week. ASUS was the star of the show, unveiling the ZenWatch 2, the follow up to their hit Android Wear device from last year. The ZenWatch 2 features an improved build with new strap options in a variety of leather and steel finishes. In addition, ASUS will now offer two sizes, similar to Apple’s strategy with their watch. In addition to the new wearable, ASUS also unveiled the Zenfone Selfie with improved front-facing camera for selfie perfection, and several new tablets ranging from mid-tier to high-end affairs.ASUS ZenWatch 2 (WI501Q)_Gunmetal + Metal strap
  2. OnePlus wasted everyone’s time with another media event– OnePlus held a media event to supposedly change the tech industry, but instead only offered a $50 flash sale on their 2014 flagship. I don’t really want to waste anymore time discussing it, so I’ll stop there.OnePlus-Time-To-Change
  3. Samsung is planning a 5.5″ Galaxy S6 Edge Plus- We got word from SamMobile that Samsung is planning to release a 5.5″ version of the Galaxy S6 Edge dubbed the S6 Edge Plus. The rumor did not come with a release date or price, but we can expect the model to be even pricier than the already expensive S6 Edge.us-galaxy-s6-s6-edge
  4. Nexus 6 went on sale for $499– The Nexus 6 got a price cut by $150 this week, making the 32GB model on $499. The pricing still appears to be available at the Google Store, but no longer available on Amazon. Hit the link to get yours!
  5. Huawei Announced the P8 Lite for the US- Huawei held a US media event this past Wednesday, and while we hoped to see the their P8 or P8 Max flagships, they instead announced the smaller P8 Lite. The P8 Lite is a solid budget smartphone at $249, and was available for $199 with Huawei’s 72 hour sale this week. In addition to the phone, customers received a bluetooth speaker, P8 Lite case, and a $50 Net10 Wireless airtime card. I actually purchased one of these bundles myself, as you can see in the pic below. I will have an unboxing coming on my Youtube channel soon!2015-06-06 19.20.18
  6. Samsung Pay Coming with Note 5 this fall- Samsung Pay was announced with Galaxy S6 at Mobile World Congress, but has yet to launch to the public. Apparently, Sammy is getting a bit behind with the roll out and will wait until the Note 5 unveiling to launch the service. This is especially disappointing for S6 early adopters, especially considering the Note 5 unveiling is likely 3 months away at IFA Berlin.samsung-pay-02
  7. Nest Holding Media Event June 17– Nest is holding a media event on June 17, their first as an official part of Google. It seems logical that the company will release a new product, or perhaps a few new products. We hope to see a connected home assistant similar to Amazon Echo,  with Google Now services integrated. Stay tuned to HOA for coverage of the Nest event on June 17!nest.0
  8. Is Google Movie Pass a thing?- A rumor started that Google would begin offering an unlimited movie streaming service similar to Play Music Unlimited. This all came about from a question embedded in a Google Opinion Rewards survey about a Google Movie Pass. The rumor seems unlikely to come to fruition, but I’d definitely shell out cash for such a service, especially if it included newer films.
  9. AT&T Galaxy S6 Active Coming Soon- AT&T hinted on Twitter that we will see the release of the S6 Active very soon. We already know everything about the phone, including specs, and what it looks like. The only thing left to find out is pricing and exact release date.

While this week didn’t have any “Awww snap” moments like last week with Google I/O, it did have a few interesting announcements. The ZenWatch 2 looks really nice, but it looks like it won’t come out until late 3rd quarter. By the time ASUS has the watch to market, their will likely be more second generation devices out, like the Moto 360 successor, and the Huawei Watch. Speaking of Huawei, I’m excited to get into the P8 Lite this week, and see what its all about. I’ve been wanting to try out a Huawei phone for sometime now, and while I’d prefer the P8 Max, the P8 Lite should still be a lot of fun. Coming up this week we have Apple holding their World Wide Developer Conference, it’ll be interesting to see if they can top Google’s showing at I/O, I highly doubt it, but thats because I’m a Droid fanboy at heart! That pretty much does it for this week, come back next week to get more tidbits from the week in Android. Give me a follow on Twitter and Google+ to discuss Android with me all week!

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"