With many in the market ready to get their hands on an affordable foldable, LG’s G8X ThinQ Dual Screen provides an excellent convertible compromise between a great Android phone and foldable device.
While the device folds open and closed like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, it does not feature a folding screen. Instead, the G8X clips into the Dual Screen case to create a neat dual screen phone that can run two apps simultaneously in full-screen mode.
The device opens like a book and features a small front screen when closed, to check the time and to read notifications. It extends the 6.4” display with another 6.4” display to give users a second screen on which to operate.
It was extremely useful for multi-tasking. We ran Instagram with Twitter, Gmail with Google Calendar, and Facebook Messenger with WhatsApp, all thanks to the dual screen.
The dual screen becomes especially useful with the built-in apps from LG, which have had a lot of thought put into them. For example, when one opens the camera with the dual screen attached, it makes the second a full-screen preview of the most recent photo taken.
It also becomes a gaming device with the LG Game Pad. It features a fully kitted out virtual gamepad on one screen, while the other displays games like Asphalt 9 and Fortnite. This enables players to get into the game without having to touch the display where the game is being shown.
While remaining in camera mode, the case also folds back on itself to enable selfie mode, which can be seen from both screens. This allows users on both sides of the phone to decide how photos look and how they should be taken, during the moment.
While the Dual Screen case is great, it’s an option of the device and thankfully so. The case makes the device quite thick, putting it in the same league as those who buy ultra-thick phone cases. It makes the phone resemble a Nintendo DS, and its form factor is likely to turn heads. While the Dual Screen case features the word “case” in the name, we don’t think it will be drop-proof.
That said, the LG G8X ThinQ is an excellent device on its own. It features water resistance, space for an SD card, wireless charging, excellent battery life, and – wait for it – a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Out of the box, it features the device, a power brick, a USB Type-C cable and earphones. A nice addition was the soft-shell case, which comes at no extra cost.
The camera itself is really great to work with. It features a 12MP standard lens with a 13MP ultra-wide angle lens. These pair up to create some of the best-looking photography on the market, especially when looking at the sharpness of the photos taken.
Video recording is also impressive. They record at a maximum of 2160p, with 24-bit 192kHz audio. LG has put a very impressive microphone set-up in the G8X to enable not only high-quality recording, but also to pick up the softest of soft sounds while recording. This is why they have an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) mode, which enables users to create ASMR content that can be played back later. ASMR content is audio that’s supposed to produce a tingling sensation that usually begins on the nape and moves down one’s back.
In terms of performance, it uses the Qualcomm 855, which is a 7nm chip, and an Adreno 640. It plays graphically intensive games with virtually no frame drops, and runs multiple apps on its dual screens without a problem.
One of the best points about this flagship is the price. The device with the dual-screen case is pretty affordable for devices in its class, and costs between R15000 and R16000, depending on where you buy it. This makes it, by far, one of the most affordable devices of its form factor on the market.
TikTok takes on COVID-19
The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK
The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.
Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.
Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.
The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.
One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.
“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”
The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf
TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.
If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.
Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.
On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup
It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.
The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.
This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast.
“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”
According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.
“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”
Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure.
“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”
Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.
“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day,
Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is
said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and
companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing
criminals to line their pockets.
“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data. So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals. The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.
“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers. They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.
“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.
“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands. That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”