Google's Nexus 5 takes a break, has a KitKat

1st Nov 2013 | 12:30

Google's Nexus 5 takes a break, has a KitKat

And wearable tech wears on, plasma TV dies a death

It's OK, you can come out now. Halloween is over, all the trick-or-treaters are gone, and we hid all the really cool gadgets from the zombies.

Let's all relax. It's November. Christmas is coming and the tech is getting PHAT (can we pull that off? We probably can't pull that off).

The KitKat's out of the bag

Yep, the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, after months of teasing, has finally launched - so obviously we had to play with it as soon as possible. Our hands on Nexus 5 review is coming but we all chipped in with our two cents in TechRadar Reacts.

Generally, the consensus was good - we liked the Nexus' screen size, processor and LTE, found the casing satisfyingly glossy, and were impressed by the specs, but the lack of microSD and the mediocre camera let the device down a little.

Android KitKat was a mixed bag, too: it looks clean - and we're interested to see how combining texts and Google hangouts will work out - but the features didn't quite blow us away.

However on the whole we found the Nexus 5's high-end specs excellent value for its mid-range price, and gave it a solid 4 out of 5 knee-jerk rating.

Google Glass gets some goodies


Before Google dropped the Nexus 5 on us, it let slip some details about Google Glass 2, nevermind that hardly anyone's been able to try Glass 1.

The upgraded hardware will come with a sleeker frame and earbud component after some people found the bone-conduction strategy to be, well, not really audible.

You'd be forgiven for hanging back from getting a pair for fear of looking a bit Geordie from Star Trek: TNG. But worry no more - Google, along with several third party companies, will be introducing stylish Google Glass accessories to make the look more customisable.

There will be coloured caps for the earbuds, various styles of attachable sun glass shades and shields, and the option to swap frames, finally making this epitome of wearable tech more individual. Sort of. A bit.

Bendy LG screens for iWatch?

While sir is parading around town in his fancy new computer-specs, would sir consider completing the look with a fabulous new Apple iWatch in 2014? Because the latest word is that LG, and not Samsung, may provide flexible OLED screens for the thing.

Could this be one of the "significant opportunities" that Tim Cook hinted at during Apple's Q4 2013 earnings call?

"We obviously believe that we can use our skills in building other great products that are in categories that represent areas we do not participate in today. We're confident in that," he said.

According to an "expert", "LG Display has been in talks over flexible light-emitting diode panels for quite a while and it looks like it will be sealing the deal with Apple." We "watch" (geddit!) with interest.

While we're talking wearable tech, Oculus Rift's CEO Brendan Iribe this week revealed that we can expect a lighter mobile virtual reality headset and, at some point, a mobile version with the PC headset next year.

However, there is currently no support for Apple - although this didn't seem to worry Iribe:

"We have some exciting plans on the mobile VR side as the PC VR side," he said. "It's pretty incredible what [John Carmack has] been able to do."

RIP Plasma

And finally, it's official - Panasonic will stop producing plasma TVs by 2014.

"Due to rapid, drastic changes in the business environment and a declining demand for PDP in the flat panel display market," said the Panasonic statement. "It was judged that continuing the business would be difficult and a decision was made to stop production."

In other words, as our Steve May puts it, the future's bright, the future's 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs.

He writes, "My advice to plasma fans is doff your cap in respect, celebrate past triumphs, maybe grab a Panasonic panel while you can – they are bloody good after all – but then look unflinchingly toward to a new era of OLED and 4K Ultra HD, both areas in which Panasonic seems very intent on pursuing."

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