Summer may traditionally be the slow season for Android launches, but you wouldn't know it by watching the wave of hot devices about to splash onto shore.
Aye, me maties: We've got some exciting stuff on the way. Here are seven sizzling devices you'll want to watch for over the weeks ahead:
1. The Moto X
If you haven't heard of this thing by now, you've either had your head in the sand or have been too busy ogling shapely people in small swimsuits to follow tech news.
No question about it: Motorola's making sure its upcoming Moto X phone is the topic of many a conversation with a steady stream of
intentional product placements high-profile "leaks" and "sightings." The Moto X may be nearing the point of overhypedom, but it's no insignificant device: It's the first phone designed by Motorola since Google's acquisition of the company and should give us a glimpse of what Google has in mind for its future.
From the looks of it, the phone will show off a decidedly atypical approach to Android technology -- one in which the emphasis is on good hardware and meaningful feature-oriented additions instead of the arbitrary UI modifications so many manufacturers love to make (imagine that!).
The Moto X is said to use a stock or near-stock Android user interface along with a series of "always-on" sensors that allow you to interact with the phone anytime by speaking to it. We've also heard that the phone will sense and respond to your environment -- it'll know when you're driving, for instance -- and automatically adjust its behavior accordingly.
The rumored specs may not be mind-blowing, but it looks like the newly Google-owned Moto is going for an overall experience sort of thing over any awe-inspiring numbers or set of gimmicky add-ons. If it manages to pull it off, this could grow into a very interesting new branch on the tree of Android.
The Moto X is expected to arrive sometime in the late summer window.
2. The new Nexus 7
We've been hearing about this one for a while now, right? The next Nexus 7 didn't show up at Google's I/O developers' convention, as many of us had expected, but it's almost certainly still out there and inching closer to its release.
The latest rumors peg the second-gen Nexus 7 as being set for arrival this summer -- maybe even within the month of July. With the popularity of the first Nexus 7 and the amount of evolution we've seen in mobile technology since its debut, we can only hope the sequel gets here soon.
3. The HTC One Mini
The HTC One is still one of the hottest Android phones around today, but hey, some people prefer something smaller (insert inappropriate joke here).
No big surprise, then, that HTC is supposedly working on a scaled-down midrange version of its flagship phone known -- thus far at least -- as the "HTC One Mini." While HTC has yet to say anything official about the device's existence, it's been dropping some pretty strong hints over the past few days.
Rumors suggest the fun-sized One could arrive in early August.
4, 5, and 6. A trio of new Droid Razr devices
Last year's Motorola Droid Razr phones -- the Razr HD, Razr HD Maxx, and Razr M -- had a lot of good things going for 'em. The devices offered outstanding rugged designs, awesome battery life, and a user interface that didn't make you want to gouge your eyes out.
The phones were always a bit behind in terms of hardware, though, and at this point, they've grown pretty long in the tooth. So it's welcome news that a more current range of replacements could be on the way -- replacements that would likely keep the Razr line's trademark elements while adding in some spiffier specs and some of Moto's newer software innovations.
The new Razr phones are rumored to be called the Droid Ultra, Droid Ultra Maxx, and Droid Ultra Mini (think new versions of the Razr HD, Razr HD Maxx, and Razr M, respectively). They may or may not have the word "Razr" in their names, too, depending on whom you ask.
While there's nothing official on these devices yet, the rumors point to August as the month to watch.
7. The LG Optimus G2
LG is quickly becoming an underdog worth watching in the Android race. Aside from working with Google on the top-of-class Nexus 4 phone, LG's own Optimus G and plus-sized Optimus G Pro have been some of the best Android devices we've seen over the past several months.
There's plenty of reason, then, to be intrigued by the company's upcoming follow-up to the original Optimus G -- the phone unofficially known as the Optimus G2. The device is expected to take some design cues from the Nexus 4, with a more rounded design and a transition to virtual on-screen buttons.
LG has a media event scheduled for August 7th; if the company's teases about the event are any indication, we'll get more specifics about the phone then.
All in all, it's shaping up to be an eventful summer, gang -- one that's bound to keep our eyes open wide and our bellies rumbling for a fresh slice of Key Lime Pie.