Smart phone makers are trying to find ways to appeal to the youth market. The standard approach is usually to make a smart phone that’s available in a wide spectrum of colours. But beyond that candy colour shells, the phones are pretty much the same underneath. To give the phones a little bit more character, literally, LG has introduced its new AKA smart phone line up that comes with a hint of Tamagotchi.
The four distinctive models – Eggy (Yellow), Wooky (White), Soul (Blue) and Yoyo (Pink) has its own colours and unique character to it. The LG AKA smart phone itself is a full touch screen candy bar device but it gets a plastic shell cover with an exposed top, which reveals the eyes of each character. The eyes are interactive too, so if you’re listening to music, it will animate with a pair of headphones around its eyes. The digital eyes are always on and it can be used for notifications and alerts, which is similar to the cut-out smart covers we’ve seen in recent smart phone models.
Android 5.0 Lollipop is the latest Android software overhaul that promises better performance and a new fresh material design interface. While other smart phone makers are declaring how soon they will update their existing models, LG decides to declare that the wait is over. Their LG G3 flagship smart phone will be updated officially this week starting in Poland and then followed by other countries.
What’s funny is that the current Nexus line such as the Nexus 4 and 5 has yet to be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Even the Moto X 2014 Pure Edition is said to be receiving the update officially very soon.
If LG can deliver Lollipop in record time, why can’t the rest of the smart phone makers deliver the update by end of this year? Samsung is expected to update their current Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 to Lollipop by end of this year. Meanwhile Sony, ASUS and HTC are only rolling out theirs in 2015.
When it comes to smart phones, we have the mainstream processors such as Qualcomm which powers most flagship models and MediaTek that offers affordable performance in the low price segment. Several brands do have their own in-house developed processors which includes Samsung’s Exynos and Huawei’s very own Hi-Silicon. Now joining the list of having home-grown processors is LG where they have introduced its new NUCLUN processor that comes with 8 cores using ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture.
The LG NUCLUN (pronounced NOO-klun) consists of 4 cores for high performance (ARM Cortex-A15 @ 1.5GHz) and another 4 cores for power efficiency (ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz). With 4G LTE being crucial in any new device, it also supports LTE-A up to 225Mbps downloads.
The debut device for the NUCLUN is the LG G3 Screen, which is an up-sized phablet version of its LG G3 flagship. It gets a bigger 5.9″ display but pushes a more standard Full HD instead of a higher Quad HD resolution. The new NUCLUN Octa-Core processor is mated with 2GB of RAM and it comes with 32GB of storage that’s expandable with microSD. The rest of the specs are similar with a 13MP Optical Image Stabiliser camera for the rear and a front facing 2MP shooter. It is also juiced up with a similar sized 3,000mAh capacity battery.
Without LG’s official mobile presence in Malaysia, don’t expect this to come to Malaysia with local warranty. Perhaps we might get a chance if our local grey importers decide to bring them in.
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Apple’s Bendgate issue has been a hot topic this week as the iPhone 6 Plus claims to be easily deformed when placed in a pocket. Apple is dismissing the whole issue as nothing but an over-exaggeration and they reported to have only received 9 complaints so far.
To put some credible light into the matter, Consumer Reports has conducted a more scientific test using an Instron compression test machine. For the experiment, they have compared the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M8, LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The machine will apply 10 pounds (about 4.53kg) of pressure for 30 seconds, and then repeat it with additional pressure until the phone gets deformed.
Before this, the same guy from UnboxTherapy has shown that anything else is stronger than the iPhone 6 Plus based on his physical bend test. The actual test results from Consumer Report is surprisingly different. Watch the video after the break.
If you love the flip phones from the early 2000s, LG is bringing it back with its new LG Wine Smart. Instead of targeting tech hipsters, apparently LG is looking to sell this retro looking device for the elderly, who is likely to prefer the tactile feel of buttons. This isn’t the first flip phone that runs on Android. Samsung has been making them for the Chinese market including the W999 and Galaxy Golden.
The Wine Smart runs on Android 4.4 and the specs is quite a mid-tier affair with a 3.5″ IPS display that does 480×320 pixels resolution. It runs on 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor with 1GB RAM and it comes with just 4GB of storage that’s expandable with microSD.
There’s also a 8MP main camera, a VGA front shooter and a 1,700mAh capacity battery. Also supported is 4G LTE, DMB, FM Radio, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Overall it weighs 140 grams with a thickness of 16.9mm. LG will be selling the Wine Smart in South Korea beginning 26 September and it is available in either black or white.
Check out its promo video and official photos after the break.
LG didn’t want to wait until next week’s IFA 2014 and they have announced its LG G Watch R, its answer to the Moto 360. The design looks pretty good and it blends in like a normal day to day watch without shouting that its smart. This is their second Android Wear device after its original LG G Watch.
While the Moto 360 is a looker with its thick steel frame and round display, we are not fond of its black band at the bottom of the screen. The folks of LG seems to have a better technical know-how and managed to deliver a full active round display on the G Watch R. It does look premium with a stainless steel frame and has a classy looking bezel.
LG will be taking on the Moto 360 with a round smart watch of their own. To give a peek of its new wearable device, LG has just posted a new teaser image showing off its more traditional watch design.
The new device is said to be called as the LG G Watch R and it is likely to be running on the same Android Wear operating system as its current rectangular G Watch. It will be officially revealed at the upcoming IFA 2014 which is happening next week. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out its earlier video teaser after the break.
The LG G Watch is their first smart wearable device and the South Korean company is not letting the Moto 360 have all the attention. In a world where most smart watches are square in shape, LG has released a teaser indicating that they are introducing a round smart watch of their own at the upcoming IFA 2014 in Berlin.
For the Moto 360, it comes with a solid stainless steel frame that surrounds a circular display. Let’s see if LG can deliver a watch with full rounded display without the black gap at the bottom.
Watch the 30 second teaser after the break.
The LG G Watch is like most other smartwatches in that you can get notifications alerts on messages, phone calls and emails, among other things. Essentially, the G Watch is the Google Now feature on your Android phone installed in a smartwatch but it is pretty basic when you compare it to Samsung’s Gear smartwatch, that you can use to make calls, take pictures and even monitor your heart.
Details on the LG G Watch from DirectD here. Both the stealth black and champagne gold are available.
If you want to find out more about the LG G Watch, check out the hands-on video right after the jump.
If you want to capture moments with greater detail, most new smart phones today lets you record videos at a higher 4K resolution. Not only it takes up bigger file size, taking a video in 4K is more hardware intensive and generates significantly more heat than standard Full HD 1080p formats. To find out which is the coolest, some folks at Btekt had compared the Samsung Galaxy S5 , Samsung Galaxy Note 3 , Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G3 heat generation by applying ice cubes on top.
It is interesting to point out that all smart phones except for the Xperia Z2 have 5 minutes recording limit for 4K mode. So after 5 minutes, they just left the screen on for the remainder of the test while the Xperia Z2 camera continues to roll. Considering the Xperia Z2 is able to take 4K videos without restrictions, storage was the only barrier as the video was uncompressed and it quickly takes up the remaining space on the device.
After the experiment, the LG G3 surprisingly came out on top as the coolest device as it was the last one to melt the ice completely. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 tied in the last spot and it is suspected that it could be due to its AMOLED display which could be warmer. Considering both the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 being water resistant devices, it is strange that they need to shrink wrap them for this experiment. Check out the ice melting experiment after the break.