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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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Samsung unleashes the beast

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Most new smartphone releases of the past few years have been like cat-and-mouse games with consumers and each other. It has been as if morsels of cheese are thrown into the box to make it more interesting: a little extra camera here, a little more battery there, and incremental changes to size, speed (more) and weight (less). Each change moves the needle of innovation ever-so-slightly. Until we find ourselves, a few years later, with a handset that is revolutionary compared to six years ago, but an anti-climax relative to six months before.

And then came Samsung. Probably stung by the “incremental improvement” phrase that has become almost a cliché about new Galaxy devices, the Korean giant chose to unleash a beast last week.

The new Galaxy Note 9 is not only the biggest smartphone Samsung has ever released, but one of the biggest flagship handsets that can still be called a phone. With a 6.4” display, it suddenly competes with mini-tablets and gaming consoles, among other devices that had previously faced little contest from handsets.

It offers almost ever cutting edge introduced to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones earlier this year, including the market-leading f1.5 aperture lens, and an f2.4. telephoto lens, each weighing in at 12 Megapixels. The front lens is equally impressive, with an f1.7 aperture – first introduced on the Note 8 as the widest yet on a selfie camera.

So far, so S9. However, the Note range has always been set apart by its S Pen stylus, and each edition has added new features. Born as a mere pen that writes on screens, it evolved through the likes of pressure sensitivity, allowing for artistic expression, and cut-and-paste text with translation-on-the-fly.

(Click here or below to read more about the Samsung Galaxy S Pen stylus) Samsung Galaxy S9 Features)

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SA ride permit system ‘broken’

Despite the amendments to the National Land Transport Act, ALON LITS, General Manager, Uber in Sub Saharan Africa, believes that many premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.

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The spirit and intention of the amendments to the National Land Transport Act No 5  (NLTA), 2009 put forward by the Ministry of Transport are to be commended. It is especially pleasing that these amendments include ridesharing and e-hailing operators and drivers as legitimate participants in the country’s public transport system, which point to government’s willingness to embrace the changes and innovation taking place in the country’s transport industry.

However, there are aspects of the proposed amendments that are, at best, premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.

Of particular concern are the significant financial penalties that will need to be paid by ridesharing and e-hailing companies whose independent operators are found to be transporting passengers without a legal permit issued by the relevant local authority. These fines can be as high as R100 000 per driver operating without a permit. Apart from being an excessive penalty it is grossly unfair given that a large number of local authorities don’t yet have functioning permit issuing systems and processes in place.

The truth is that the operating permit issuance system in South Africa is effectively broken. The application and issuance processes for operating licenses are fundamentally flawed and subject to extensive delays, sometimes over a year in length.  This situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is very difficult for applicants whose permit applications haven’t yet been approved to get reasons for the extensive delays on the issuing of those permits.

Uber has had extensive first-hand experience with the frustratingly slow process of applying for these permits, with drivers often having to wait months and, in some cases more than a year, for their permits.

Sadly, there appears to be no sense of urgency amongst local authorities to prioritise fixing the flawed permit issuing systems and processes or address the large, and growing, backlogs of permit applications. As such, in order for the proposed stringent permit enforcement rules to be effective and fair to all role players, the long-standing issues around permit issuance first need to be addressed. At the very least, before the proposed legislation amendments are implemented, the National Transport Ministry needs to address the following issues:

  1. Efficient processes and systems must be put in place in all local authorities to allow drivers to easily apply for the operating permits they require
  2. Service level agreements need to be put in place with local authorities whereby they are required to assess applications and issue permits within the prescribed 60-day period.
  3. Local authorities need to be given deadlines by which their current permit application backlogs must be addressed to allow for faster processing of new applications once the amendments are promulgated.

If the Transport Ministry implements the proposed legislation amendments before ensuring that these permit issuance challenges are addressed, many drivers will be faced with the difficult choice of either having to operate illegally whilst awaiting their approved permits and risking significant fines and/or arrest, or stopping operations until they receive their permits, thereby losing what is, for many of them, their only source of income.

As such, if the Ministry of Transport is not able to address these particular challenges, it is only reasonable to ask it to reconsider this amendment and delay its implementation until the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure it does not impact negatively on the country’s transport industry. The legislators must have been aware of the challenges of passing such a significant law, as the Amendment Bill allows for the Minister to use his discretion to delay implementation of provisions for up to 5 years.

Fair trade and healthy competition are the cornerstones of any effective and growing economy. However, these clauses (Section 66 (7) and Section 66A) of the NLTA amendment, as well as the proposal that regulators be given authority to define the geographic locations or zones in which vehicles may operate, are contrary to the spirit of both. As a good corporate citizen, Uber is committed to supplementing and enhancing South Africa’s national transport system and contributing positively to the industry. If passed into law without the revisions suggested above, these new amendments will limit our business and many others from playing the supportive roles we all can, and should, in growing the SA transport and tourism industries as well as many other key economic sectors.

What’s more, if passed as they currently stand, the amendments will effectively limit South African consumers from having full access to the range of convenient transport options they deserve; which has the potential to harm the reputation and credibility of the entire transport industry.

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