The Nexus 5 probably doesn't deserve all this hype

Google Android phone is finally – FINALLY – out. Now can we all just take a deep breath?

This was starting to get a bit silly. Google had been teasing its new Nexus 5 for so long that it hardly even qualified as teasing any more. It was more like cruel mockery.

Most pertinent information about the device leaked well in advance – everything from pictures to specs to pricing. The estimable EVLeaks Twitter account correctly posited a slightly less than 5-inch phone, with a Snapdragon 800 processor, 1080p screen, and 8MP, optical-image-stabilized camera.

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Nexus

Google really went all-out leaking information about the Nexus 5, “accidentally” revealing its appearance in a YouTube video announcing the similarly not-yet-released Android 4.4 KitKat, posting it momentarily on the Play Store, and posting a slew of teaser images to Google Plus. Seriously, people were puzzling over these things like they're Fermat's last theorem.

(Oh, and stop the presses – the camera is the big selling point. Never seen that one before.)

And there's the rub – while the aforementioned superfans inarguably fanned the flames, the fire was started in the first place by astute media manipulation from Google, who doubtlessly recognized a mobile press corps casting about for a big story in the wake of Apple's iPhone announcement and dutifully filled the void. Heck, there have even been flirtatiously mysterious press events that turned out to be entirely unrelated.

Again, it's not all Google's fault – the press is at least as hype-hungry as the fans, and has been collectively dashing after every minuscule revelation like an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever crashing into the side of the fridge.

Frankly, it's worth questioning whether the Nexus 5 justifies this degree of hype. The specs are excellent, but no more impressive than many other devices already on the market. The no-contract price of $350 for a 16GB handset is competitive, sure – but hardly game-breaking. It's a top-shelf phone, for sure, and arguing otherwise is folly – but this got hyped to the heavens and beyond.

So, so long and thanks for all the leaks, Google – I guess we should just be grateful you didn't drag it out into November, huh? We await the inevitable next time.

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Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch isn't exactly wowing buyers – according to a report from Geek.com, about a third of the Gears sold at Best Buy retail locations are being returned. A leaked internal Samsung document also revealed that the company is trying to find out the reasons for the high return rate, and detailed plans for broader Samsung device support, which will allow users to pair the smartwatch with the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S 3, S 4, and S 4 Active.

(H/T: The Inquirer)

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In much scarier news, a Florida convenience store clerk was shot by a fleeing robber, but saved when the HTC Evo 3D in his shirt pocket stopped the bullet. The clerk suffered only bruises, and apparently didn't even realize he'd been shot until he took out the phone to use it.

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Credit: Winter Garden Fla., Police Department

That's one lucky clerk, I think we can all agree. I'm willing to bet that a lot of this had to do with the fact that the shooter hit the battery rather than something more fragile. Close call.

(H/T: Android Authority for the phone ID)

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold. Also, the Red Sox are world champions.

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