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Hottest Android news and rumors for the week ending Oct. 25

Everybody's gearing up for Monday's big announcement - here's the scoop on what to expect.

By , Network World
October 25, 2012 04:17 PM ET
android-roundup

Network World - It's been a big week for tablet news, though most of that was due to non-Android stuff like Microsoft Surface and that other thing ... what was it ... oh yeah, the iPad mini.

MORE: Apple vs. Amazon: Has the iPad mini kindled new competition?

LAST WEEK: Hottest Google Android news and rumors for the week ending Oct. 19 

A word on the latter, even though it's not Android: There's been a lot of media speculation about how the iPad mini is going to affect the Android tablets currently on the market, some of it my own. Briefly, my take is that it's tough to say for certain how Android tablet sales will react, since there are a host of factors at play. Yes, it'll sell a gazillion units within the first 10 seconds of retail availability, because it's Apple, but it's also considerably more expensive than the top Android 7-inchers and doesn't really have a differentiating factor other than the aforementioned "because it's Apple."

Apple gained its reputation - which it more or less deserves - because it continually made products that were simply better than the competition for a long time, justifying the premium prices. Given that neither the iPhone 5 nor the iPad mini are anything like revolutionary products in their respective markets, it's reasonable to wonder how much longer "because it's Apple" will be enough to move devices on its own.

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So yes, the Android world hasn't made a lot of show-stopping headlines of late. It'll be a different story next week, however, with Monday's big honking Android announcement that everyone already seems to know everything about.

However, if you haven't heard, it's more or less generally agreed that Google's going to roll out the LG Nexus 4 smartphone, which will be based heavily on that company's impressive Optimus G. What's more, it'll run Android 4.2, though this is thought to be a smaller update that will maintain the Jelly Bean designation. Not everyone, however, agrees. (Sources also differ on the potential release of a new Motorola Razr Nexus device.)

Optimus

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HTC's supposedly getting ready to bring its Butterfly J smartphone - which boasts Jelly Bean out of the box and show-stopping hardware - to the U.S. as a Verizon exclusive called the HTC DLX, according to Android Central.

This seems like a distinct possibility, though I have to raise what regular readers will recognize as my two standard quibbles with HTC - there's never any rhyme or reason to their naming convention and why, oh why do they never make these great-looking phones available on more than a single carrier?

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Rumors also have Sony getting ready to release the Xperia C650X Odin at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January, though little is known for sure about the design. If, as GSMArena suggests, it does have a 5-inch display with almost no bezel, it could be a real step forward for Android flagships, which have been getting increasingly outsized of late. Being able to pack an enormous display into even a marginally smaller package might be an important differentiator.

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