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MWC: LG G6 offers new 18:9 phone format

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At this year’s Mobile World Congress, LG unveiled its latest flagship smartphone – the G6. Among other features, the device offers a 5.7” QHD+ display with an 18:9 screen aspect ratio.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, LG Electronics revealed that its latest smartphone, the G6, has a new display format with an 18:9 screen aspect ratio.

“Designed in response to consumer feedback and user opinions, the G6is a back-to-basics approach to premium smartphones, with a focus on the features consumers want, most notably a big screen that actually fits in one hand,” the company said in a statement..

LG provided the following information:

The LG G6 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD+ (2,880×1,440 resolution) Full Vision display, and for the first time ever in a smartphone, an 18:9 screen aspect ratio. Compared to conventional 16:9 aspect ratio displays, the 18:9 format offers more viewing space and more immersive experience when streaming videos and playing games. In a G6 Game Collection promotion for G6 buyers, in-game content with a retail value of up to a total of US$200 for six games – Temple Run 2, Spider-Man Unlimited, Crossy Road, SimCity BuildIt, Cookie Jam and Genies & Gems – on Google Play, are offered for free. The games take full advantage of the G6’s immersive Full Vision display and single-handed ease of use.

Even with the large screen featured on the G6, the smartphone is easy to hold and unlike other phones with a similar screen size, the LG G6 fits comfortably in one hand, giving you a big screen experience without the inconvenience of a big phone. In fact, ergonomics research teams led by Dr. Andris Freivalds at Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Ji Yong-guat Yonsei University tested the LG G6 for stability when holding the phone, comfort in various postures and actions, as well as muscle fatigue when using the smartphone for long periods. The LG G6 received the highest marks in all test categories.

Sculpted from aluminum and glass, which comes in platinum, the LG G6 features a minimalist design that’s sleek all-round and perfectly smooth to the touch. The metal frame that wraps around the perimeter of the phone imparts solidity in style with a soft matte finish and the back is perfectly flat, with no camera bump to avoid or protect. Complimented by narrow bezels, the upper bezel was minimized by rearranging the camera, sensor and speaker in a row on the front upper side. The rounded corners of both the body and display not only unify the design but also dispersing the impact if the phone is dropped.                           

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The LG G6 is the first smartphone to feature Dolby Vision technology. But not only does it support Dolby Vision, the G6 also supports HDR 10, both of which are standards for High Dynamic Range (HDR), the picture quality technology which allows for a wider range of color and luminosity, wherein both the darkest and the brightest areas are more vivid, revealing greater detail for a truly immersive viewing experience.

With smartphone screen sizes getting bigger and the speed of the Internet becoming faster, LG decided to support two HDR standards for viewers to have access to as much content as possible. With HDR content from Netflix and Amazon on the rise, watch popular shows in stunning HDR quality on the LG G6. Amazon will also increasingly create 18:9 content for a cinematic viewing experience on the 18:9 QHD+ display.

With the LG G6, you don’t need to ask people in the picture to reposition, cram together or find another place to stand in order to get everything in, simply choose between standard and wide angle settings. And with dual 13MP rear cameras, including a 125-degreelens on the wide angle, the LG G6 captures panoramic shots that regular phones cameras can’t. The G6 delivers an outstanding and unique camera experience by creating seamless transitions when zooming in and out between the wide-angle and standard camera lenses even during 4K video capture. The G6 also comes with an expanded 100-degree field of view with its 5MP front camera, which means users can take selfies or wefies without the need for a selfie stick. Plus, the wide angle camera reduces edge distortion, which makes for more natural images.

Square Up and Share

And to view selfies, wefies, wide angle pictures and even the ones in the new Square Camera Mode, recent LG G6 photos appear in one window in film mode which means users don’t need to move to their gallery to review them. The G6 provides a Square Camera function which divides the 18:9 ratio display into two identical squares. The LG G6 can also take perfectly square photos in 1:1ratio, ideal for Instagram, Snapchat and other social media apps. Users can also choose other ratios such as 4:3, 16:9 and 18:9. Users can also take pictures in 1:1 ratio in one window, while checking, editing and uploading pictures in another window immediately after shooting. What’s more, users can create GIFs by combining between 2 and 100 photos from the gallery.

The LG G6 can go just about anywhere without worry thanks to its IP68 water and dust resistance that makes it safe to be immersed in up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes. You can worry less about accidental drops and other rough environments during everyday use because the LG G6 has been designed and built to be dependable even when the going gets rough.

And the LG G6 not only meets international testing standards but also endures further tests for high temperatures and nail penetration and uses a proprietary technology that dissipates heat via an internal heat pipe, the first in an LG smartphone. To further disperse heat inside the unit, LG engineers positioned the components most prone to overheating as far from each other as possible.

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“The LG G6 offers users new visual and manual experiences, as it marries an expanded screen with the convenience of one-handed use,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “LG will continue to lead smartphone innovation with a focus on convenience and reliability in order to exceed consumer expectations.”

Key Specifications: 

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Processor
  • Display:5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+FullVision Display(2880 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 32GB or 64GB UFS 2.0 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera: Front 5MP Wide (F2.2 / 100°)
    Rear Dual: 13MP Wide (F2.4 / 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8 / 71°)
  • Battery:3,300mAh (embedded)
  • Operating System:Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Size:148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 163g
  • Network: LTE-A 3 Band CA
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / NFC /USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1compatible)
  • Colors: Astro Black / Ice Platinum /Mystic White
  • Other:Water and Dust Resistant /Fingerprint Sensor / UX 6.0 / Dolby Vision™/HDR10 / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 / 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC

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AppDate: Prepare for space

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Space Nation Navigator, Hitman Sniper, Snake Mask, Memrise, WhatsApp Web, and Carrot Weather.

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Space Nation Navigator

Space Nation Navigator is a bit of a strange app. It is part game, part exercise and part educational. On the game side, users have to navigate the Mars Rover, put the International Space Station back into orbit or move their Martians to safety before a sand storm hits Mars. When it comes to exercise, Space Nation Navigator provides users with a range of exercises and Yoga videos to prepare them for space travel and working in an anti-gravity environment. The education aspect teaches users about the planets, and star constellations, and then offers quizzes on what has been taught.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Memrise

Memrise takes a new approach to help people learn new languages. Instead of providing a user with random phrases and words to memorise, the app connects you with a person already fluent in the language you want to learn. In turn, the person you are speaking to wants to learn the language in which you are fluent. Once your profile is filled out and languages selected, it connects you with people around the world who are interested in your language, and then allows you to chat with them in real-time. Memrise also lets one learn new languages through games, chatbots and grammarbots that help with spelling, tenses and pronunciations.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Hitman Sniper

Hitman Sniper is loosely based on the Agent 47 movie released a few years ago. The game offers players the ability to hone their shooting skills through a range of training courses and, once they think they are ready, they can start taking out the bad guys. Things start off easy enough, but they get more and more difficult as one progresses through the 150 missions on offer. One will also have to upgrade various gun components, like scopes, magazine capacities and silencers, to make the missions a little easier. Hitman Sniper lets users buy 16 to tackle each of the missions – either with real money or via the points accumulated by completing missions. Money and points can also be used to upgrade firearms.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: R7 – with a range of in-app purchases.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Snake Mask

The iconic Snake game that was preinstalled on most older Nokia phones has had a complete make-over. It now uses Facebook’s AR technology, meaning that you have to navigate the snake around obstacles in your home or office, all the while collecting coins and stars that change the snake’s speed and length. Unfortunately, Snake Mask is only available on Nokia’s new range of smartphones. However, it should not take long before it slithers onto other devices.

 

Platform: New Nokia smartphones running Android.

Cost: Free to use through the Facebook app installed on the device.

Stockists: Available through the Facebook app.

 

WhatsApp Web

Although this is by no means a new app, it is an extremely useful one, and one that not many people know about. Tapping out WhatsApps on your phone is easy enough, but thanks to WhatsApp Web it can be even easier. Open the WhatApp Web page under WhatsApp and you will see a QR code. Scan this code through WhatsApp on your mobile and you will be shown a replica of what you would normally see on your phone. You can then type and reply to messages using your computer instead of having to stop everything and unlock your phone every time a message comes through. WhatsApp Web is great if you share your computer with other people as it automatically disconnects when the browser is closed. However WhatsApp also offers an app that when installed will stay connected to your phone unless you manually remove it.

 

Platform: Any up-to-date Internet browser

Cost: Free to use and install

Stockists: Visit www.WhatsApp.com

 

Carrot Weather

There are thousands of weather apps on the Internet these days and all of them do the same thing – inform you of the weather in your area. However, Carrot Weather has taken what is just another app and turned it into something fun. By fun, I mean sarcastic, rude and completely politically incorrect. A user starts off by selecting religious and political views. It then asks about personality, ranging from friendly to homicidal to overkill – which includes profanity. So, for instance, instead of waking up to to the standard partly cloudy forecast, Carrot Weather will display something like: “It’s only partly sunny, the sun is a total effing failure.” It also has a range of insults that it throws at you whenever you open the app – some of them downright insulting, so it is definitely not for those who are easily offended. The app’s user interface is very simple, displaying a week’s daily forecast and hourly forecasts for the day selected.

Platform: Android and iOS

Cost: Free to download but with adverts. The premium, advert free version costs R12 per month.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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SA Start-up reinvents PABX

For any South African business, the idea of setting up or changing a telephonic switchboard system is the stuff of nightmares. Dealing with expensive hardware and hearing things like QSIG and VOIP is not what you’d call exciting.But now there is an app.

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Enter BuzzBox (www.buzzboxcloud.co.za), a web-based telephone switchboard that is aimed at small and medium sized businesses wanting to take the hassle and cost out of the company switchboard. Whether you are a small one-man operation or a larger organisation with staff working remotely, BuzzBox is the best switchboard solution.

What sets BuzzBox apart from anything else on the market is its easy-to-use dashboard. It puts you in control of everything from picking your phone number to setting up voice prompts and managing your business-hours schedule.

BuzzBox was developed when the startup behind it, Jini-Guru, needed such a service for its own use across multiple continents. “When we started Jini-Guru we could not find a seamless online process that would allow us to set up a full web-based switchboard, so we decided to build one for ourselves,” says Mike Smits, Director at Jini-Guru.

He says a lot of startups today are tech savvy and know how to use apps and the services that go with it. “It’s the uberisation of services and its driving demand for instant service activation.”

BuzzBox works as an app on both iOS and Android but users wanting a desk phone option can choose from a variety of devices on offer or use their existing VOIP phones.

Setting up a BuzzBox account takes 5 minutes. During registration your FICA documents are uploaded [ID and proof or residence] and you get to pick your phone number before the account is created. Companies that want to keep an existing number can do so too.

The real magic happens when you log on to the BuzzBox Dashboard. The main screen displays a summary of statistics for your account while the left-hand menu provides you quick access to various configuration settings and reports.

Setting up new extensions or external numbers is done with a few clicks and you can even set up various departments which is a great way to route a call to various people in a department, like sales or support.

The intuitive user interface also makes it easy to set up hold-music and voice prompts. You can add voice prompts by recording them straight to your phone, just make sure you use a clear voice with quiet surroundings for the best customer experience.

One of the main features of BuzzBox is its call recording feature that allows an organisation to record calls for legislative purposes, such as a lawyer, or for customer service purposes such as support. Recordings are stored securely online, and you have the ability to download recordings for playback. Companies can opt-in for this service and it’s free to use. Recordings are stored online and are fully encrypted so only you can listen to, or download them. Storage costs R1 for every 1000 minutes of stored recordings.

Other features include call forwarding and scheduling. The latter allows you to set office hours for your organisation which will divert calls to an after-hours messaging service. You also have the option to enable routing to an employee who is on call after hours.

BuzzBox also has a reseller program for companies wanting to offer this as a switchboard solution to their existing customers.

The costs for this service is R89 p/m for the first phone number which includes your first extension for free. Thereafter you’ll pay R89p/m per extension. Calls between extensions are free but you pay per second for all outgoing phone calls. More info on pricing can be found here: https://buzzboxcloud.co.za/pricing/

BuzzBox is offering a Launch promotion where they are offering the first line and extension free for 12 months. Only pay for calls. Use promo code “feoifyaa” during sign-up to apply your discount.

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