Google's Nexus line has long stood as the company's ideal vision of its widely adopted, open-source Android operating system. The devices, be they smartphones, tablets or even one-off media streamers, are built in conjunction with select hardware partners and represent an ideal marriage of tech specs with an unadulterated version of Android. It's Google's way of dealing with fragmentation (read: skinned versions) in the mobile OS market it created; a reference mark for manufacturers to aspire to, so to speak.

On the tail of the original Android handset's sixth anniversary and in the run-up to whatever new Nexuses come next, we take a look back at the hardware path that's been Google's gold standard for Android.

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For the first time in ages, I'm intrigued by a BlackBerry device.

That's rather unusual these days, but it wasn't always this way. I remember when I first saw the Pearl eight years ago; it was one of the most beautiful devices I'd ever seen. The Curve and Bold series didn't disappoint either. But the magic has been missing from the Canadian phone maker for a long time, evidenced by its struggling sales. Only one in a hundred smartphone owners use a BlackBerry, and the company's older-generation hardware is still outselling current BlackBerry 10 handsets. Now it's putting much of its hope in a unique-looking squarish device called the Passport, which launches today in five countries (with 30 total by the end of the year). The $599 off-contract/$249 on-contract device ($699 in Canada and £529 in the UK, off-contract) is designed to appeal to fans of physical keyboards and large displays. It may not restore the magic BlackBerry's lost in recent years, but my initial experience with the Passport has been more positive than I expected. At least that's a start, right?

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BlackBerry may have fallen out of favor with the majority of mainstream smartphone purchasers, but the company has always held a certain appeal with the, erm, super-rich. That's why it's no surprise to see the Porsche Design P'9983 getting unveiled here at London's Harrods, a department store where personal submarines and gold-plated Xbox Ones sit side-by-side. The phone is the latest collaboration with the German design outfit, which crams BlackBerry hardware into its own chassis, and we got some time to find out how this thing feels in our hands.

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Out with the old, in with the new. That was the theme of last year's iOS update, known as iOS 7, which ushered in a flat new design. Although Apple threw in some new functionality as well, it was clear the company was mainly focused on giving its mobile OS a face-lift and setting the stage for future updates -- the first of which is coming out tomorrow. iOS 8 builds on last year's software with a plethora of new features, including third-party keyboards, camera controls, widgets, home automation, health and fitness tools and the ability to interact with other apps. (Yes, it's hard to believe these are just arriving on iOS.) Here's what to expect.

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To say that Apple's doing things differently would be an understatement. With the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company introduced two new high-end phones at the same time, both with a complete redesign and a much larger screen size than any iPhone that came before. Gone are the days of 3.5-inch and 4-inch phones that, at one time, seemed to provide more than ample amounts of screen space. Now, the new iPhones make their predecessors look like the tiny handset Ben Stiller used in Zoolander. The market has changed, and it was high time Apple did the same.

Even though this is Apple's first attempt at building large phones, it's not breaking new ground -- in fact, it feels more like the company is catching up than innovating. To be fair, finding a fresh take is a difficult thing to do in this crowded space: Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which started out at 5.3 inches and is now up to 5.7, is selling by the millions, and most competing flagships aren't much smaller. Basically, Apple would be leaving money on the table if it didn't address this segment of the market. So how did the company do on its first try at large phones? Pretty well -- mostly.

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When it comes to wearables, fashion trumps function. That's the mantra Motorola went by when it designed and developed the Moto 360, and judging by the enthusiastic response the watch received when it was unveiled earlier this year, plenty of people agree. The Moto 360 is undoubtedly the best-looking of the three inaugural Android Wear watches (the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live are the other two), with its premium leather strap, chamfered glass and circular design. As Motorola designer Jim Wicks said in an interview, "We wanted to hit that 'Whoa!' mark." And so it did. But is that enough? In the past few days, I struggled to like this watch, even though it's the best Android Wear device available today. Allow me to tell you why.

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We've seen LG flaunting the self-healing coating on its rather peculiar G Flex, but wouldn't it be nice to have this on other phones? Well, Innerexile's Hydra plastic case for the iPhone 6 offers a similar feature. We say "similar," because the hard yet resilient Hydra is apparently able to recover from a heavier bronze brush scratch test -- 1kg instead of the G Flex's 750g -- as well as strong bending in the lab. I received a couple of samples to play with and while I don't have the same testing equipment, I can still attest to the cases' impressive build quality, glossy finish and flexural strength -- as shown in my hands-on video after the break. But as with the G Flex, the Hydra's patented self-healing coating is meant for light scratches only.

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T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling

If you're a T-Mobile customer, your company just gave you a very unexpected gift at yesterday's UnCarrier event: a wireless router. Yes, a fully functioning, magenta-branded, ASUS-built router, which can do essentially everything your current router can do -- and if yours is old, this will likely do even more. The device, which would cost roughly $200 if you purchased it on Amazon without T-Mobile's tweaks, only requires a $25 deposit, which gets returned to you once you're done using it. The company is going all-in on its commitment to providing every subscriber and every carrier-branded smartphone with free WiFi calling, and the router -- called the T-Mobile Personal CellSpot -- is the icing on the cake. But, you may ask, why is this a thing that's happening in the year 2014, especially when most of us already have access to a router (and thus, WiFi calling) nearly everywhere we go?

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Can you name them all? It's been merely a year since Samsung revealed its first smartwatch to the tech press crowds in IFA, Berlin. Then, roughly six months later, the company switched software -- and, ugh, gear -- with three new wearable models, the Gear 2, the (possibly most forgotten) Gear Neo and the fitness-oriented Gear Fit wearable. Now Apple's shown off its (already divisive) offering, the race towards the definitive wearable is on. To its credit, Samsung continues to tweak, bend and experiment on each subsequent smartwatch, and appears to be taking on customer (and reviewer) feedback along the way. However, you're likely still pissed if you were one of the few to plunk down cash for the company's first attempt. Let's start there. `

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Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

So it finally happened -- after seemingly ages of rumors and speculation, Apple has unveiled larger iPhones (the 6 and 6 Plus) that are really, truly bigger than the 3.5-inch original. It's no doubt a welcome move if you're a fan who has been craving a big display, and it might even reel in people who have held off on an iPhone until now. However, this isn't just an instance of a company tweaking its product line to accommodate changing tastes. That happens all the time. For Apple, it's an acknowledgment that the very definition of a smartphone has changed over the years.

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Rumors of Apple working on a wireless payment service have been droning on for years, so when the company introduced a mobile wallet-like feature called Passbook more than two years ago, it seemed at the time that such a service was inevitable in the very near future -- perhaps the iPhone 5 would have it? It took a while, but come October Apple will be ready to utilize the Near-Field Communications chip built inside the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The service, simply known as Apple Pay, wants to do exactly what every other payment service on the planet wants to do: Make it possible for you to ditch your wallet (aside from Driver's Licenses and other forms of ID).

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One iPhone model. Two sizes. Aside from a suite of feature and software improvements, the iPhone 6 is also getting upgraded in screen size -- the smaller version at 4.7 inches, with the Plus option at 5.5 inches. The more petite iteration is what I'll focus on here, though you'll be able to take a look at the larger size here. Aside from the difference in diagonal screen size, there's very little to tell these two versions apart until you start looking deeper; the Plus comes with a bigger battery, better display, one-handed mode and an extra stabilization feature on the camera, but everything else is essentially identical. Take a look at the photos and video below, along with a few thoughts from my first encounter with the new iPhone.

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In order to properly appreciate the brand-spanking-new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you first have to examine its lineage. 2007's OG iPhone introduced iOS to the masses, and 2013 saw the release of two separate models for the first time. Today, the long-rumored successors to those 5s and 5c handsets was unveiled, and with them comes new aesthetic tools that continue Apple's lineage of design prowess. Let's take a gander back at the full line, and examine the finer points that made each one unique.

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The rumors, flying for many moons now, have turned out to be true. Meet Apple's first wearable, the aptly, if uncreatively, named Watch. While the name's a bit mundane, Apple's making a big effort to make the thing as customizable as it can, with two sizes, three materials and a slew of different watchbands. We didn't get to put our fingers on every permutation of the Watch, but we did get to try on a couple of them. Join me after the break, won't you, and find out what they're like.

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An iPhone with a 5.5-inch display? A few years ago, it seemed as though Apple would never relent to doing such a thing -- after all, a 3.5-inch display was more than sufficient at the time. In 2014, however, it's a bit of a different story. There's a wide variety of phone sizes out there, and a lot of different markets that Apple could appeal to by offering a large device. With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is now able to address those who don't mind using a big phone for its extra screen real estate and larger battery. We had the opportunity to play with the Plus for a spell after Apple's keynote this morning, and it's got a bright future ahead. Check out our photos and video below as we continue to bring you our thoughts on the giant iPhone.

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