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IFA 2015: LG expands audio

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At last week’s IFA conference in Berlin, LG unveiled its Music Flow P5 and SoundPop 360 portable music systems, designed to give users a good music experience at an affordable price.

LG Electronics is expanding its wireless audio collection with two new Bluetooth speakers which where unveiled at IFA 2015 in Berlin. LG Music Flow P5 and SoundPop 360 were both developed “for consumers who want the convenience of portability but are uncompromising in their expectations for high sound quality”.

LG provided the following information on the products:

The LG Music Flow P5 is an extremely portable speaker that belies its powerful sound. As part of LG’s smart Music Flow series, the P5 supports LG’s Auto Music Play feature which automatically begins playing music when the audio source comes within range. Its rechargeable battery allows for 15 hours of continuous playback, more than enough for a full day of use on a single charge. The P5 and its previously announced sibling, the P7, represent LG’s commitment to expanding its wireless audio category to offer the most advanced products with compelling design and versatility.

LG-Music-Flow-P5

Meant to appeal to today’s active listeners, LG designed the SoundPop 360 to be extremely portable. The speaker’s unconventional design was inspired by a coffee tumbler, helping it fit naturally into listeners’ daily lives. The easy to use LG SoundPop 360 is a perfect fit for any interior decorating scheme, blending in seamlessly with the user’s other furniture and appliances.

The strong sound quality and small body of the SoundPop 360 are the result of close collaboration between LG’s Home Entertainment and Mobile Communications Companies. The cylindrical speaker has a 360 degree range so music sounds great regardless of the listener’s relative position. It’s perfect for listening in large groups and the party can go well into the night with 20 hours of battery life. With LG SoundPop 360, you can add music to any setting at any time.

Both new devices offer advanced features only found in LG advanced wireless audio products. With Multi Point, the speakers can be connected to multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously allowing two users to simultaneously control the devices and share music. Conversely, Dual Play allows listeners to connect two LG Bluetooth speakers to one mobile device, offering even more customization options such as stereo mode. Additionally, the TV Sound Sync feature allows either speaker to be connected to a Bluetooth-compatible TV so that users can have a private viewing experience or go the other way and create a personal home theatre.

“As a leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), we want to help kick off the Internet of Audio (IoATM) era by launching an innovative audio ecosystem. In order to achieve this, we incorporate the highest quality audio technology as well as advanced networking systems that connect our full range of wireless audio products,” said Min Byung-hoon, senior vice president of the LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio-video division. “Innovative new technologies that change how listeners experience music are found in LG’s Wi-Fi connected Music Flow speakers too.

LG’s expanded Bluetooth speaker line-up and a special edition of Music Flow P5 will be on display at IFA 2015 from September 4-9 at LG’s booth in Hall 18. Additionally, the company’s new wireless range-expanding capabilities will be demoed on Music Flow networks without a router.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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