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Posts tagged ‘LG’

2
Dec

LG promotes its Home Appliance boss to Chief Executive


After a couple of rough quarters for its mobile phone division, LG announced today that it will promote Jo Seong-jin, the head of its profitable Home Appliance business, to the role of Vice Chairman and CEO of the company. While the company’s new flagship phone, the LG V20, appears to be selling well, the mobile division as a whole has been dragging the company down since Q3 2015 despite record numbers from the the home appliances division.

Despite those losses, LG’s mobile division boss Juno Cho will have another opportunity to help his group bounce back from flops like the LG G5. Cho is keeping his position for now, but the South Korean company also promoted 57 other executives this week, compared to the 38 it promoted in last year’s yearly restructuring.

Also worth noting: Mr. Jo only holds a high school diploma and no bachelor’s degree, but he’s been with the company since 1976 when he helped develop LF’s first automatic washing machine. (Earning him the nickname “Mr. Washing Machine” in the process.) Since taking over LG’s Home Appliance and Air Solution company in 2015, Jo helped roll out the high-end LG Signature brand which is responsible for smart home and IoT devices like this smart fridge with whopping 29-inch tablet built-in.

Via: ZDNet

Source: LG Newsroom

24
Nov

Apple Exploring New 3D Dual-Lens Camera Hardware for iPhone 8


Apple is working with LG on a new dual camera module capable of 3D photography effects for potential use in its 10th anniversary iPhone, according to a brief report in The Korea Economic Daily.

The article is short on details, but states that the “LG Innotek” dual-lens camera will likely be used in Apple’s new products in the latter half of 2017.

Sources close to the situation said, “Apple is now studying how to apply its 3D camera technology into LG Innotek’s smartphone camera,” adding, “Since LG Innotek also has its own 3D camera and related technologies, such joint efforts will likely to bear fruit sometime within next year.”

The article mentions the LinX Imaging company Apple bought last year. In acquiring the Israeli startup, Apple took ownership of LinX’s enhanced camera technology, which included 3D depth mapping and lighting enhancements, likely used to create features such as Portrait Mode seen in the iPhone 7.

It’s unclear what other “3D photographing” features the sources are referring to that would be hardware-based, although Apple does own old patents for face and biometric recognition. Otherwise, Apple has patented inventions in the past for high-end image analysis techniques such as object recognition, but these largely rely on software. Apple is also said to have a team of people working on integrating augmented reality functionality into the iPhone’s camera app.

Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned for 2017, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor, front-facing camera. The new iPhone may be sold alongside upgraded (but standard) 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones, and could potentially feature wireless charging.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tag: LG
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21
Nov

The 11 best tech gifts for movie buffs


We’re guessing this person on your list already owns a TV. (And if they don’t — or you just love them very much — we have a couple suggestions.) But there are other ways to help your movie-loving friend round out their home theater setup. If money is tight, why not go for one of Roku’s recently released media streamers? They come in at different price points, but we ultimately recommend them all. Alternatively, perhaps your friend could use a sound bar or a 4K HDR receiver for better audio, or a projector to make movie nights at home feel that much more cinematic.

Or, you know, you could just get them some Blu-rays. Just make sure you exercise good taste. Here at Engadget, we recommend Lone Wolf and Cub, the Horace and Pete digital box set and the Mad Max “High Octane” edition.

For our full list of recommendations in all categories, don’t forget to stop by our main Holiday Gift Guide hub.

20
Nov

LG V20 review: Great for audiophiles, but who else?


After the unabashed wackiness of its G5, LG had a real conundrum on its hands: Does it keep up the modular streak for its 2016 V-series flagship phone and risk lousy sales, or try something a little more traditional? As it turns out, LG chose the latter and built a more conventional kind of powerhouse: the V20. None of that means the phone is boring, though. Between its stellar audio, a neat dual-camera setup and a second screen, there’s theoretically enough charming weirdness here to help the V20 stick out from the competition. The bigger question is whether all those disparate bits come together to form a compelling whole. As is often the case, the answer depends where your priorities lie.

Hardware

LG V20 Review

It’s funny how little the V20 ($672+) looks like its predecessor. Last year’s V10 all but shoved its rugged design in your face, with its rubbery DuraSkin rear and a pair of stainless steel bars flanking its display. The design looked better in person than I thought it would, but it definitely wasn’t for everyone. The V20, meanwhile, is more subdued in its style, even though it’s rated to handle 4-foot drops, just like the V10.

Now, don’t go confusing “subdued” with “attractive” — the V20’s aesthetic is best described as utilitarian, and I’d be surprised if anyone felt the blow-to-the-gut pang of attraction that sometimes comes with seeing finely crafted gear. In fact, when I first laid eyes on the V20, I couldn’t help but point out visual similarities between it and the BlackBerry Z10 — not exactly a comparison LG should be proud of. Regardless, the V20 is plenty sturdy: It’s made of 6013-series aluminum capped on the top and bottom with a tough polycarbonate to help it deal with drops.

It’s also huge. The 5.7-inch Quantum LCD display is a handful as it is, but the V20 also has a tiny secondary display above the main screen. For the sake of comparison, the V20 is just a hair longer and thicker than the iPhone 7 Plus, which is itself a whopper of a smartphone. Both of these phones also coincidentally share a dual-camera setup (which I’ll dive into later), but the V20 is noticeably lighter. It’s too bad that the V20 isn’t water-resistant like some of its rivals, but the trade-off might be worth it to some people. You see, LG is one of the few flagship smartphone makers who still let users remove their batteries. To that end, there’s a button low on the phone’s left side that pops off the V20’s metal battery cover, revealing a 3,200mAh battery and a combination SIM/microSD slot. The phone takes memory cards as large as 2TB, by the way, though the 64GB of included storage will probably be enough for most.

Sitting directly above is the standard rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is among the fastest I’ve used on a smartphone. Many people seem to appreciate its placement on the back of the phone, and I’m slowly becoming one of them. Sure, it would be nice to be able to unlock the V20 with a touch while it’s sitting face-up on a table, but I like that the sensor is in the perfect spot for my finger to rest on it when I pull the V20 out of my pocket.

Displays and sound

As mentioned earlier, the main screen is a big ol’ 5.7-inch IPS LCD running at Quad HD, and it’s noticeably brighter than the panel on the G5. As a result, legibility and color reproduction are also better under direct sunlight than on the G5 or the V10, though I’d be shocked if they weren’t. Speaking of colors, they’re rendered well across the board and look surprisingly natural, thanks to LG’s Quantum display tech. When LG first embraced quantum displays in the G4, it claimed it offered a more accurate take on colors. That may be true, but the V20’s screen might not be for everyone right out of the box; it’s quite cool, so there’s a tendency for whites to look a little blue. You don’t get the visceral vividness and deep darks that come with AMOLED screens, but hey — it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference.

More important, the secondary display is back. To be clear: It’s not actually a separate screen — just an extra bit that juts out from the top of the main panel. In theory, the 1040×160 overflow area is a neat idea: It acts as a dedicated zone for the time and notifications when the main display is off, and offers shortcuts to apps and actions when the main display is on. I have a few issues with LG’s multiscreen implementation, but let’s just get the big one out of the way first: As with the V10 and even Samsung’s Edge line, very little about this second display is essential.

Most of the shortcuts — like toggling WiFi and Bluetooth and grabbing a screenshot to mark up — exist in the Quick Settings tray above the notifications shade anyway, so you’re rarely saving time. Ditto for app shortcuts: I’ve found it much easier to leave my most used apps on the bottom row of a home screen rather than scoot up my hand (or use my other one) to tap on an app icon in the overflow area. Still, it’s not like the second display is without merit entirely. The best part is having a set of music controls available while the phone is locked. Your mileage may vary, but I’d have given up on the second screen completely were it not for that.

So yeah, the second screen is of dubious value. The V20’s audio performance more than makes up for it, though: The phone is kitted out with a Quad DAC and support for 24-bit high-resolution audio. I’ve been a little dismissive of this stuff in the past, but the V20 has helped me turn a corner. With the DAC enabled and headphones plugged in, your audio will automatically sound at least a little richer and fuller. The differences can be harder to suss out with certain songs — particularly ones you stream — but the changes stemming from the DAC are almost universally welcome. LG’s choice of DAC also means the V20 supports 32-bit audio and lossless formats like FLAC, if that’s something you’re down with, though it goes without saying that the V20’s single speaker won’t come close to doing them justice.

Chances are you won’t see them, but the V20 also plays host to a trio of microphones for high-quality audio recording. They’re technically what are called acoustic overload point microphones, and I’ll spare you the drawn-out explanation — just know they’re designed to keep distortion to a minimum in very loud situations. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how crisp and clean the resulting records have been, and while these microphones would really shine at concerts and right next to musicians, they’ve also been great for recording interviews and conversations for work.

Software

LG pulled off a neat coup with the V20: It’s the first smartphone that shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat preloaded. Google made that victory a hollow one when it launched the Pixel and Pixel XL with Android 7.1, but whatever: Nougat is still surprisingly hard to come by, and I’ll take it where I can get it. (You can check out our full Android 7.0 review here, by the way.) All of the new little — and not so little — Nougat tricks are here and ready to play with. Even LG left some facets of Nougat almost completely untouched, like the notifications shade and the quick-settings panel above it. Nicely done.

That said, not every Nougat feature works as Google intended. Android 7.0 lets you play with the display size, for instance, allowing you to adjust the size of text and app icons. When left untouched, Nougat gives you five display options to help you find the perfect size, but LG’s implementation gives you only three. Fine, that’s probably not the biggest deal, but it’s a sign that Google’s word still isn’t gospel for OEMs. At least the horsepower on display here makes the V20 an efficient multitasker; not every app works with Google’s new multiwindow mode, but the ones that do run smoothly.

Of course, Nougat is only part of the equation — LG painted over it with an updated version of its custom interface, called LG UX 5.0+. For the most part, it’s a rehash of the interface on the G5, but there’s at least one big change to keep your eyes peeled for. By default, the V20 doesn’t have a traditional app drawer; all of your stuff gets splashed across your home screens by default. Seeing a flagship Android smartphone ship in the US without an app drawer is a little unusual because these setups are more popular in Asia, but it’s easy enough to revive the launcher if you miss it.

The rest of LG’s custom skin is as bright and inoffensive as always. I do wish LG would pare back its paint job to let stock Android shine through, especially since there’s a tendency for some of the company’s first-party apps to feel clunky. It doesn’t help that my review unit is a Verizon model, which means it’s loaded with bloatware I couldn’t wait to uninstall or disable. At least Verizon was kind enough to shove most of its apps in a folder for easy decimation.

The cameras

Remember the G5’s fascinating dual-camera setup? The one that was eventually overshadowed by the iPhone 7 Plus even though they aspired to the exact same thing? Well, LG tweaked the formula for the V20, swapping in different sensors. All told, the 16-megapixel main sensor and 8-megapixel wide-angle camera next to it are fun to use in tandem, even if the resulting photos aren’t as good as what competing devices are capable of.

Most of the time, you’ll be using that 16-megapixel camera with its f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization and more often than not you’ll get photos that look pretty good. Other phones do better with color representation and detail — here’s looking at you, Galaxy S7 and Google Pixel — but the V20 puts up a decent fight. The larger problem here is one of consistency. When shooting in Auto mode — which many people will be doing — the V20 often gets the exposure a little wrong or gets a little too ambitious when it tries to automatically reduce noise. Low-light performance is decent too, but not even a wide aperture, image-stabilization and multiple autofocus methods can prevent grain and ghosting.

The smaller, 8-megapixel sensor has to grapple with these issues too, plus the barrel distortion that becomes prominent when you’re shooting from a distance. It also would’ve been nice if LG tightened up the transition between the cameras when you’re zooming in and out on a subject. There’s still about a one-second pause while the phone makes the switch, which could make the difference between nabbing the shot you wanted and missing it completely.

As far as off-the-cuff shooting goes, the V20 could be much, much better. Ironically, the manual-shooting mode LG included might be my favorite on any smartphone. Familiar settings like ISO, shutter speed, white balance and more can be found at the bottom of the screen, but they’re joined by a tremendously helpful manual focus mode that highlights parts of the image when they’re nice and crisp.

The tragically vain will be glad to know that the 5-megapixel front-facing camera is perfectly adequate, and offers a wide enough field of view that squeezing a few friends into the shot should be no trouble. While we’re talking about the perfectly adequate, shooting video with the V20, even in 4K, yielded footage that was pleasant enough. If only LG were better at playing the expectations game. The company spent a decent chunk of its V20 launch event talking about how awesome Qualcomm’s built-in video-image stabilization is. And while it’s certainly helpful, it’s hardly the miracle-worker I was hoping for.

Performance and battery life

For all the V20’s quirks, the stuff under the hood is very familiar. Like the G5 before it, the V20 packs a quad-core Snapdragon 820 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and an Adreno 530 GPU. It would’ve been nice to see LG give the V20 another edge in the form of the newer Snapdragon 821 chip, but alas, we probably got a little screwed by the intricacies of supply-chain management. Either way, we’re still working with a phone that keeps pace with the best of ’em; the slowdowns I experienced were thankfully rare, even when running graphically intense games.

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14,941
16,164
13,030
13,172
Vellamo 3.0
5,343
5,800
4,152
5,266
3DMark IS Unlimited
28,645
29,360
26,666
27,968
GFXBench 3.0 1080p Manhattan Offscreen (fps)
46
48
47
39
CF-Bench
30,997
39,918
46,290
32719

That’s great, but horsepower doesn’t count for much without a good battery to back it up. Alas, the 3,200mAh cell here fails to impress. Sure, it’s more capacious than the one that shipped with the G5 earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the V20 lasts any longer on a charge. In my nearly two weeks of testing, the V20 typically powered through 12-hour workdays full of Slack messages, emails, podcasts and the occasional Hearthstone match, and came out on the other side with about 10 percent charge remaining. For those keeping count, that’s almost exactly the same usage I squeezed out of the G5 and its smaller battery.

Now, 12 hours of continued, mixed usage on a single charge isn’t bad, and Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 tech means topping up the V20’s battery takes very little time. And if that’s not fast enough, you could always carry around a spare battery and just swap it in as needed. Even so, there’s no denying that devices like the Pixel siblings and Samsung’s Galaxy series tend to last longer with their sealed batteries.

That was also true in our video rundown test, where we loop an HD video with screen brightness set to 50 percent while connected to WiFi. The V20 stuck around for 11 hours and 10 minutes — that’s a bit better than the 10.5 hours I got on the G5, but hours behind devices like the Galaxy S7 and Google’s Pixel phones.

The competition

I’ve been making not-so-veiled references to Samsung’s current line of Galaxy phones and Google’s Pixel family, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a new flagship and the V20 is on your shortlist, these devices need to be too — after all, they offer similar horsepower for around the same price. For those who like the idea of the V20’s second screen, there’s always the Galaxy S7 Edge. It packs just as much horsepower as the V20 and an always-on display you can rub to peek at your notifications and the news without having to unlock the phone. In general, its battery life is much better too, though you’ll have to deal with a custom interface and a lack of Android Nougat.

Then again, if it’s great photos you’re after, you won’t do much better than the Pixel or Pixel XL. Both pair impressive 12-megapixel cameras with really impressive (not to mention instantaneous) HDR image processing, which add up to the best point-and-shoot camera experience on an Android device. It doesn’t hurt that the Pixel phones run a clean version of Android 7.1 Nougat, offer access to Google’s clever new assistant, and offer speedy performance.

By now, though, it’s clear the V20 isn’t your average Android flagship. There’s an underlying emphasis on creativity here that extends way beyond what other device makers have attempted. In that regard, no clear competitors come to mind.

Wrap-up

LG has done a fine job choosing top-tier components and focusing on things like audio quality and manual photography. On paper, that sounds great! In practice, there’s an underlying lack of cohesiveness between these parts. Audio nerds will find a lot to like here, the swappable battery is nice, and there are some great shots to be captured if you’re comfortable tinkering with the shooting settings. If what you need out of smartphone matches LG’s vision, the V20 is a great choice. But for people who value power and polish over a highly specific set of tools, there are more well-rounded options out there.

18
Nov

Bloomberg: An OLED iPhone is coming next year


OLEDs make for better displays because they draw less power and provide much nicer color reproduction. The only thing stopping them from being on every smartphone in the world is that they’re a hassle to make. It’s one of the reasons that an OLED iPhone remains as much-rumored as Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Bloomberg, however, believes that we’ll see the device hit store shelves in limited quantities by next year. At least, that’s what Apple is planning, but like the sapphire crystal display that never was, these things can always change.

The story claims that the change will coincide with a radical new design for the iPhone to celebrate its 10th anniversary. It will be “all glass,” with an edge-to-edge design and a virtual home button in place of the physical one we currently have. But Bloomberg also says that Apple wants to push an OLED iPhone in 2017, despite there being some obvious supply constrains that it can avoid if it just waited a year. It’s believed that suppliers like Samsung, LG, Sharp and Japan Display will only be able to meet Apple’s demand by 2018.

The report says that, in a rush to get OLED out of the door, it will release one device with the specification rather than across the whole line. It doesn’t seem likely that Apple would so radically bifurcate its iPhone product line beyond the two different sizes it already offers (not counting the iPhone SE). The only main difference between the iPhone 7 and its larger sibling is display size, battery capacity and an improved camera. To introduce an OLED display (and a new design) on one and not the other seems uncharacteristic.

Then again, looking at Apple’s strategy with the new MacBook Pro: keeping a lower-priced version with function keys around since the Touch Bar hardware itself is too expensive. Although it seems like it would annoy more customers than it would delight, especially since the company makes a big deal of introducing new technologies across both of its devices. It would also muddy the sensible “Small,” “Big,” “Bigger” philosophy that the company has going on across its mobile range, and make things much more like the cluttered iPad landscape.

Source: Bloomberg

1
Nov

LG V20 review: a premium phone that will delight audiophiles


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco has left a big gap in the market and one company that is primed to fill that space is LG, with the latest addition to their V series that was first introduced only last year. The new flagship features an all new design and build quality, while retaining some of the features that made its predecessor unique.

This year has seen the company struggle with its attempt at modularity in the LG G5 and the V20 drops this in favour of a more traditional smartphone experience. What does this smartphone bring to the table, and can LG take advantage of the opening in the high-end large display segment?

We find out, in this comprehensive LG V20 review!

Design

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The LG V20 may be succeeding the V10, but the former features a complete redesign and new build that makes it more alike the company’s other flagship, the G5, instead of its predecessor. Gone are the stainless steel rails and the DuraSkin material, with LG instead favoring a mostly metal build with polycarbonate found at the top and bottom chin.

The unique look of the V10 may no longer be available, and in fact, quite a few people I know who have come across the phone have mistaken it for an HTC device, but the V20 is still a good looking smartphone nevertheless, and feels great in the hand.

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Despite the change in build material though, what LG has retained is the MIL-STD 810G certification for impact and shock resistance. It’s great to see that LG has managed to keep the durability that the V series is known for, without it being obvious just by looking at it.

At first glance, it is easy to think that the LG V20 comes with a unibody construction, but that isn’t the case. There is actually a button on the lower right side that releases the catch mechanism for the metal back plate, and allows for access to the removable battery, the SIM card slot, and the microSD card slot that allows for expandable storage up to an additional 256 GB. When the back plate is in place, it sits completely flush with the body, and looks and feels just like any other metal unibody smartphone.

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The build quality is absolutely fantastic, and LG really deserves to be commended for managing the always figure out a way to offer a removable battery. LG has realized that there is still a big demand for this feature, and when it comes to high-end smartphones, the company’s flagships are the only options available. LG has shown that there is a way to have a removable battery with a metal phone twice now, and it would be great to see this available again from other smartphone OEMs as well.

Taking a look around the device, the headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and single speaker unit are all found at the bottom. The power button remains on the back, but as was the case with the G5, the volume rocker has been moved to a more traditional position on the left side, which I personally prefer.

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The power button and volume keys are easy to press and offer a nice tactile feel, and the former also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. There is also an IR blaster up top, which is another feature that is rarely seen nowadays, but allows for a nice way to control your TV and other peripherals.

Display

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Just like its predecessor, the LG V20 also comes with two displays. The main display a 5.7-inch IPS LCD screen with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 513 ppi. The display is bright enough to allow for easy outdoor visibility, features good viewing angles, and the high resolution means that sharpness is of no concern.

The only complaint would be that the colors aren’t quite as vibrant as I would like. That said, it’s still a pretty good looking screen, just as you would expect from a flagship smartphone.

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The secondary display, which is a 2.1-inch screen with a 160 x 1040 resolution, is still at the top, and features a few improvements when compared to what was available with the V10. It is now slightly larger and brighter that makes it a bit easier to see outdoors, but not a lot has changed as far as functionality is concerned.

The secondary display shows a variety of different things like app shortcuts, recently opened apps, media controls, upcoming calendar events, your favorite contacts, and quick toggles for basic settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. When the screen is off, information like the time date, and battery life will be on this display. You can also set a custom signature, but because the screen is wider now, you can set signatures that are much longer, and you can also include a custom signature wallpaper to match.

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The second screen isn’t an entirely necessary feature, and it something that you may not use all the time. It is nice to have however, and if you do want to use it, it will prove to be really useful. There is a lot to like about the features it provides, with one of my favorites being the app shortcuts. You can customize up to five of your most commonly used apps, and the shortcuts will also show notification badges any time you receive a new notification, which is a really nice touch.

A minor issue with the secondary display is that because it is an LCD screen, it is really easy to notice light bleed coming from it when the main screen is turned off. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but is something that you will see, particularly when in a darker.

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I do however wish that the screen was AMOLED instead of LCD because it’s really easy to notice light bleed coming from the second screen when the main display is turned off. It’s not a huge deal but it is something you will see when you’re using the phone in a darker environment.

Performance

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Under the hood is what you would typically expect from a 2016 flagship, with the LG V20 also featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that is backed by the Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. Even with LG’s somewhat heavy skin, the performance has unsurprisingly been excellent, and handles everyday tasks with no issues.

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Apps open quickly, the touch responsiveness is great, and multi-tasking is very smooth. The V20 also handles gaming extremely well, and because the device is running Android 7.0 Nougat, you get to take advantage of better graphics and gaming performance with Vulkan supported games.

Hardware

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As mentioned, the power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and it works extremely well. As expected, it is fast and accurate, and takes a short amount of time to set up. Unlike other smartphones that feature physical buttons with integrated fingerprint sensors, you don’t have to press the button down in order to unlock the device, which makes it feel much faster.

The LG V20 comes with a single bottom-mounted speaker, which isn’t going to be compared favorably to front-facing dual speaker setups. That said, when considering single speakers, this is certainly one of the better ones out there. The real audio experience with the V20 however is on the inside.

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The LG V20 has got a quad DAC built-in, and you can find out more about the specifics here, but what this basically means is that you are going to get much higher quality audio with less distortion and noise, and much better dynamic range. As long as you have a decent pair of headphones, you are going to hear a huge difference in how your audio sounds.

Because of the built-in DAC, the device is able to power much higher impedance headphones. It makes a pretty significant difference even with streaming audio, and you also have support for lossless audio like FLAC files, and 75 stage volume control with left and right balance controls, that let you really fine tune the audio to your ears.

lg v20 drop test 7Read more: A closer look at the LG V20’s audio capabilities40

Something to be aware of is that the audio tuning for the LG V20 in Asian markets is done by Bang & Olufsen, while the audio tuning for the device in other markets like the US is done by LG. It’s difficult to gauge what the differences are exactly, or even if there is a difference at all, and while I haven’t heard the audio with the B&O version, I’ve had no complaints with LG’s audio tuning.

Not only is the LG V20 able to playback much higher quality audio, but it is also capable of recording it. The built-in HD Audio Recorder lets you record audio in 24-bit FLAC files, and it can handle really high inputs, which means you can capture audio in really loud and noisy environments like sporting events or concerts, without the audio clipping or sounding distorted.

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The LG V20 comes with a 3,200 mAh battery, and for a phone that has two screens, a Quad DAC, and is capable of doing so many things with photos and videos, you would certainly expect a much larger battery than that. Of course, you do always have the option to swap out the battery and carry a spare around.

Despite the battery not being as big as expected, the capacity proves to be enough to allow a full day of usage that involved texting, email, social media, music streaming, a few hours of gaming, and watching videos on Youtube. There isn’t a whole lot of juice leftover however. The battery life should be good enough for most people, but don’t expect this phone to last all day if you plan on using its ivdeo and audio capabilities extremely heavily.

Camera

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With this being an LG flagship, the camera experience on this is going to be a pretty big deal. The V20 comes with a dual camera setup like what is also available with the LG G5, with a 16 MP main sensor with a f/1.8 aperture and OIS, that is coupled with an 8 MP wide angle secondary sensor with a f/2.4 aperture.

As was also my experience with the G5, I absolutely love the wide angle lens on the V20. Granted, the quality is not as good as the main sensor, but the wide angle lens is just a lot of fun to use, and works perfectly in a variety of situations, such as when taking group photos or capturing landscapes.

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It makes a huge difference over the standard angle of the main sensor, and not only can you fit more into the frame, but the wide angle effect just makes the shot appear to be more dynamic. Making the switch between the two cameras is also very easy. You can do so by tapping on the two icons found at the top of the camera interface, or the device will automatically make the switch for you, as you zoom in or out.

LG’s camera app is packed with features, especially when it comes to manual controls for photos and video, and it’s actually quite amazing how much they’ve been able to pack into this camera. You have granular control over every aspect, including white balance, ISO, exposure, shutter speed, and focus, just as you would on a DSLR.

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One of the most useful additions to the camera is that it now has built-in focus peaking which makes it a lot easier to tell if your subject is in focus, and if you are a content creator, you will know exactly how useful focus peaking can be.

There is a plethora of of settings that you can change on the video side of things as well. You can pick between a wide variety of video resolutions, including 4K, adjust the frame rate and bit rate, add film grade effects, and record Hi-Fi audio while recording videos for improved sound quality.

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The control isn’t limited to just video, but also the audio capture while shooting video, all of which you can adjust live while recording.  These include built-in controls for gain, a low cut filter, a limiter, a wind noise filter, and the ability to change the direction of the microphone’s sensitivity, and you can even monitor the audio levels directly through the viewfinder.

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The camera does come with optical image stabilization, but it doesn’t work very well when it comes to video recording, with casual walking also causing a lot of jerks. Smoother looking footage is possible with LG’s “Steady Record” software stabilization, which does make a significant difference, but is far from perfect. You will see some warping or the “Jello” effect, especially around the corners, and is far more noticeable when using the wide angle lens.

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Having all these manual controls at your fingertips is fantastic, but if you are purely looking to shoot in Auto mode, the picture quality is good, but unfortunately not great. There is plenty of color, saturation, and sharpness to be had, and you will be satisfied with the shot the majority of the time. Dynamic range isn’t the best though, and the camera always the tendency to overexpose the shot and blow out highlights. It also doesn’t handle bright colors like red, orange, and yellow all that well.

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Low light shots will show some noise, which is not unexpected, and the camera isn’t too aggressive with noise reduction, which helps preserve some sharpness and detail. The camera’s white balance is heavily influenced from surrounding light sources though, especially when using the wide angle lens. Shots will appear too cold or too warm, and just like in most shots, it doesn’t do well with properly exposing highlights.

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Wide angle

It is pretty obvious that the real strength of the LG V20 camera lies in its manual controls, and as is the case with any camera, whether it be a smartphone or a DSLR, you will always get a much better shot if you are willing to take the time and dial in the settings yourself.

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Wide angle

The front-facing camera is a 5 MP unit with a wide angle lens, and unlike last year, LG opted to stick with just one camera up front this time around. Even though there is only one camera, you do still have the option to switch between a wide angle and a standard angle.

LG V20 Camera Samples:

However, because only one lens is actually being used, switching to the standard angle essentially involves the image just being cropped, which deteriorates the picture quality. For the best results, it is definitely better to just keep it on the wide angle setting at all times, and if you want that close up shot, you can always just crop the image yourself after the fact.

Software

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On the software side of things, the LG V20 was the very first smartphone to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, which is something that Google generally reserves for their own devices. This is definitely a big selling point for the V20 right now, given the fact that there aren’t many phones running Android 7.0 at the moment, but that is hopefully going to be short lived.

The V20 comes with all the latest Android features that were included with the update, including built-in Multi-Window support, the revamped notifications, direct reply, customizable Quick Settings toggles, and Doze on the go, just to name a few. The only Nougat feature that appears to be missing is the System UI Tuner. It is a useful feature on other devices like the Nexus devices and the Google Pixel smartphones, and is a rather surprising omission.

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On top of Android 7.0 Nougat is LG’s custom skin, and it looks and feels a lot like what was found on the G5. It is still really bright, colorful, and somewhat cartoonish, and the app drawer is missing by default, but now, LG has at least made it easy to get it back. There are built-in themes available that have been made specifically for the V20, which is useful if you aren’t a fan of the default color scheme. There aren’t a lot of choices right now though, but that is something that will hopefully change in the upcoming months.

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The latest version of LG’s UI is a lot cleaner than previous iterations, and a lot less intrusive as well, but it would have been nice if LG had done more with it to make it flow better with Android 7.0 Nougat. Aside from the fact that we know that it is actually running the latest version of Android, the experience remains largely the same as before, similar to what was on the LG G5.

Specifications

Display (main) 5.7-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi)
Display (secondary) IPS Quantum display (160 x 1040 / 513ppi)
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM 4GB LPDDR4
Storage 64GB UFS, microSD
Rear cameras 16MP, f 1.8, OIS, Hybrid Auto Focus, 75-degree angle;
8MP, f 2.4, 135-degree angle
Front camera 5MP, f 1.9, wide angle
Battery 3,200 mAh, user removable, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
Connectivity X12 LTE (up to 600 Mbps LTE Category 12 with 3x Carrier Aggregation) / Wi-Fi (802.11 a, b, g, n, ac) / USB Type-C / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / NFC
Features Hi-Fi Video Recording
Steady Record 2.0
HD Audio Recorder
Studio Mode
High AOP Mic
32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC
B&O Collaboration
Finger Print Scanner
Dimensions 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm
Colors Titan, Silver, Pink

Gallery

Final thoughts

So, there you have it for this in-depth look at the LG V20! The V20 may share some similarities with the G5, like a metal build and a dual camera setup on the back, but the former does offer and feature a whole lot more. What makes the V20 so great is that it isn’t trying to do anything too different or crazy, but instead, focuses on being a good smartphone.

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The device comes with a new metal design that is great to look at, and comes without compromise in terms of durability, a big beautiful display, a very feature rich camera, and a fantastic audio experience. LG managed to do all this while still retaining staples like expandable storage and a removable battery, with latter being something you can only count on an LG phone to have in the high-end segment.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 out of the picture, the LG V20 will have the entire spotlight to itself as the best big screened productivity powerhouse, and if that is what you are looking for, the LG V20 is primed to fill that Note 7 shaped void.

28
Oct

LG’s latest 5K screen is Apple’s new flagship display


If you’re eyeballing Apple’s new MacBook Pro line, but you need even more screen real estate than 15 inches of Retina display — LG has already got you covered. Taking the place of Apple’s own, discontinued Thunderbolt Display, the LG 27-inch UltraFine 5K and 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K displays are stepping up as the new go-to companions for the MacBook Pro’s sharp new screen and limited port variety.

The biggest selling point for both models is the ability to charge your new MagSafe-less laptop over the same Thunderbolt 3 connection that delivers video, audio and data. That, plus the three USB-C ports on the back led Phil Schiller to describe them as “the ultimate docking station” during today’s presentation. Both models also bring an additional FaceTime-ready camera and microphone setup with built-in speakers. At the pixel level, the 27-incher brings 5120 x 2880 resolution with 218 ppi, while the smaller model has 4096 x 2304 4K resolution with 219 ppi. One Thunderbolt 3 advantage: you can adjust settings like screen brightness and speaker volume without the need for a separate cable or dedicated buttons on the monitor itself.

The larger model will run you $1,299.95 and the smaller is selling for $699.95. Only the smaller model is available for pre-order today, but it should ship in late November, with its big sibling coming sometime in December.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

Source: LG Newsroom, Apple Store

28
Oct

The new 15″ MacBook Pro can push four 4K monitors at once


Thanks to that discrete Radeon graphics chip in the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, users can run nearly 43 million pixels worth of lag-free screen real estate from their laptop. Tucked into the tech specs for the new notebook is the clarification that Apple’s new top-of-the-line portable machine can power four displays with 4096 x 2304 4K resolution with zero lag at 60Hz and full color. If you’re in the market for a 5K flagship monitor, the new MacBooks can still power two of them alongside the built-in retina display as well.

As 9to5Mac points out, the little 13-inch sibling doesn’t have quite the same graphics horsepower due to its integrated Intel Iris GPU, but it can still run a single 5K monitor or two 4K monitors simultaneously with zero lag and no drop in resolution on the built-in screen.

Of course, that much resolution won’t come cheap — although 4K monitors are widely available at this point, your 5K options are still relatively limited. And a new laptop, plus a pair of LG’s successor to the 5K Apple Thunderbolt Display will cost a wallet-flattening $5,400 total.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Apple Tech Specs

27
Oct

LG would make more money if it wasn’t for smartphones


You know it’s bad when your mobile business gets trounced by the rival that sold a smartphone that actually blew up in its customers pockets. That’s the situation over at LG, whose mobile communications division contrived to lose $389.4 million across the last three months. In the company’s latest financials, it’s revealed that LG shipped 13.5 million devices and saw US sales increase by 14 percent quarter-on-quarter. But that’s pretty much the same thing the company achieved in every quarter since the start of 2014, and that plan stopped making a profit partway through 2015.

The cause of this mobile malaise isn’t exactly a surprise with problems inside and outside LG contributing to the problems. First up, the LG G5 was a flop and the V20, which previewed very well, is going to cost $120 more than the comparable Google Pixel. Then there’s the fact that the smartphone market ain’t what it used to be, and upstart Chinese brands that don’t need to worry about profit are undercutting everyone across the board. Earlier this year, we asked when LG’s smartphone patience would run out, and on this evidence, it won’t be long until some accountant asks what the value is in losing $300 – $400 million a quarter.

Ironically, while its mobile division flounders, the rest of LG’s actually doing pretty well, selling $11.8 billion worth of gear and coining a healthy $252.7 million profit. But that cash comes from areas where LG’s arguably much stronger, including home appliances, air conditioners and TVs. In fact, that latter division recorded a record profit, raking in $340.4 million to help offset those other losses. The firm’s nascent vehicle components arm is also growing, although it’s yet to turn a profit, but that’s been attributed to R&D spending and investing for the future.

17
Oct

LG’s new flagship V20 will retail for $769


We got our hands on LG’s Android Nougat-equipped V20 last month and found a solidly built (if somewhat conservative) new flagship device. Now that the V20 is getting ready for its public debut on October 28th, we can finally nail down how much this thing costs: at launch, a full retail price V20 can be yours for a cool $769.

That price comes from T-Mobile’s pre-order page so your mileage may vary depending on your carrier and plan. On AT&T, for example, it’ll end up costing around $830 total if you go for the AT&T Next Every Year plan and pony up the $35 monthly installments for 24 months.

The V20 packs a 5.7-inch Quad HD main display (plus a second display for notifications), Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and a two-camera setup that combines an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor with a second 16-megapixel sensor. So, at the lower end of the pricing options, that puts LG’s first Android 7.0 Nougat phone roughly on par with a 64GB iPhone 7 (and, for what it’s worth, the V20 comes with a headphone jack). On the other hand, it’ll cost you about $120 more than a baseline Google Pixel with comparable specs. Either way, expect that $769 price to translate to the rest of the market and look for Engadget’s full review when we’ve had a chance to play around with a final production model.

Via: 9to5Google

Source: T-Mobile

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