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LG makes portable sound stronger

LG’s small but mighty PK3 speaker delivers amazing sound from a rugged, waterproof casing. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the speaker.

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Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers seem to be a dime a dozen these days. More often than not, they sound distorted – mainly because manufacturers install louder speakers instead of higher-quality speakers. LG’s XBoom PK3 flips this convention on its head – without breaking the bank.

The PK3 is a wonderful speaker that hides many great features in a good-looking enclosure. It’s ergonomically shaped, featuring a rectangular design that minimises the size while maximising the internal use of space. We didn’t get to tear it down, but one can feel the speaker is packed with electronics in a small package.

It’s light enough to be carried in one hand and weighs under 1kg, so it won’t be a burden to carry along. That said, it’s not small enough to fit into small-to-medium sized handbags, so taking it along in a backpack would be the ideal carry method.

A pool party is where this speaker belongs because it has a sharp-yet-loud output that works well in filling an outdoor space. It’s also waterproof for up to 1 metre for 30 minutes, meaning it can take a dunk and come out functional.  
What makes this speaker shine is LG’s partnership with Meridian Audio to make the insides of this speaker perform at that loud and sharp level. Meridian Audio is an expert in high-performance and high-fidelity audio experiences, and is best known for producing the industry’s first audiophile-quality compact disc player and provide audio equipment to McLaren and Jaguar Land Rover.

The Bluetooth software in the XBoom Go is Qualcomm aptX HD compatible, meaning that 24bit vinyl-quality audio can be played through this speaker over Bluetooth instead of standard-fidelity audio.

The major phone assistants feature on these speakers, with tethered Google Assistant or Apple Siri functionality from one’s smartphone. This makes it very convenient to use the voice assistant button to skip tracks and change music when one’s hands are wet.

The one thing I’m against on this speaker is the proprietary charging port. Carrying around a very specialised charger isn’t ideal. If the speaker’s battery dies while away from the charger, the speaker becomes useless because nobody has the charger.  

LG says the battery lasts for around 12 hours, but that depends on how loud the user sets the speaker. We managed to output 14 hours of non-stop music at around 25% volume. At a pool party, performing at maximum volume in a shady spot, we got around 9 hours of non-stop playback.

From flat, the unit charges in around 3 and a half hours. This is a pretty good charging time, considering it charges around 4 times faster than it takes to discharge. For the techies out there, it houses a 5200mAh battery, which makes it really efficient for the long time it operates for on a single charge.

Overall, LG’s XBoom PK3 speaker is a mighty contender in the portable speaker space that’s ideal for those who want to take their speakers out into the world.

Product of the Day

Second chance to get discounted Xbox One

Last year’s Black Friday deals for the Xbox One were epic, and this year they return to being heavily discounted.

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With 9 days to go until the shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday (29 November 2019), Prima Interactive has revealed its Black Friday deals for Xbox One. 

The deals remain roughly the same as last year’s Black Friday prices, suggesting that these are the absolute minimum at which retailers can sell the consoles.

Xbox fans won’t have to wait until 29 November but will be able to purchase the following deals from 25 November to 2 December 2019 from all leading gaming retailers:

Xbox Box S (1TB) Console for R 3 599.00

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Xbox Box One S + Wireless Controller for R 4 699.00

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Xbox One X for R 6 999.00

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Nokia 7.2 gets triple camera system

The latest handset from Nokia packs a 48MP triple camera system with Zeiss optics, as well as a PureDisplay screen.

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HMD Global, maker of Nokia phones, has announced the Nokia 7.2, the first Nokia smartphone to combine a triple camera and PureDisplay. It features a 48MP triple camera with Quad Pixel technology and Zeiss Optics. It also introduces a range of Zeiss bokeh styles, exclusive to Nokia smartphones, that recreate the way legendary Zeiss lenses produce high visual impact and signature blur. 
Alongside more AI-powered features such as night mode, users can get more creative with their photography. Building on the strengths of its predecessor, Nokia 7.2 combines PureDisplay technology and always-on HDR.

Shaun Durandt, GM of HMD Global Southern Africa, says: “With the Nokia 7.2 we aim to push the limits on what consumers can get from one of our popular Nokia 7 series smartphones. The Nokia 7.2 offers consumers advanced tools to express their creativity. Everything from the Zeiss Optics, exclusive Zeiss bokeh modes and powerful AI imaging, to its breath-taking PureDisplay technology, makes the Nokia 7.2 a device that truly stands out. In combination with the beautifully patterned satin glass back, Nokia 7.2 packs design innovation and stunning imaging performance, with a two-day battery life, into a smartphone for aspiring creators across the world at a truly incredible price.”

Nokia 7.2 is the first in the Nokia smartphone portfolio to feature a triple camera set up with Zeiss Optics. This is a combination of a highly sensitive 48MP sensor with a Quad Pixel technology main camera with ZEISS Optics, an ultrawide camera and a depth camera. The Quad Pixel technology combines four pixels into one for enhanced images in most conditions. 

The new bokeh styles include a portrait mode, which uses powerful image processing to recreate the way Zeiss lenses produce high visual impact. These blur effects are called Zeiss Modern, Zeiss Swirl and Zeiss Smooth modes. Add beautification to improve skin tones for instantly shareable portraits. AI-powered night mode allows users to capture the moment in low light, combining image fusion and explosion stacking to deliver good low light performance.

It comes with an ultrawide camera, which has a 118-degree field of view that means users can fit a lot more in one shot. The selfie camera also features Zeiss optics with a 20MP.  

With a dedicated Pixelworks visual processor, Nokia 7.2 upscales video content to HDR quality in real-time, with up to a billion shades of colour, higher contrast and expanded dynamic range. This means users can enjoy more contrast and deeper colours when watching TV shows, compared to other displays.

Crafted from polymer composite that is twice as strong as polycarbonate and half the weight of aluminium, the device is light, yet super strong and rigid. 

Nokia 7.2’s light-diffusing satin glass back honours the Finnish glass making heritage and results in a premium finish. Using a multilayer coating system with vacuum metallisation, the result delivers bright colours, a smooth finish and offers durability. 
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform, the device offers balanced performance, making sure the phone is ready when users need it the most. The Nokia 7.2 also comes with the signature two-day battery life promise.

As part of the Android One partnership, Nokia 7.2 is Android Q ready and will receive guaranteed monthly security updates for three years and OS updates for two years, so it is claimed to get better performance over time.  
Pricing and availability

The Nokia 7.2 comes in Charcoal and is available at Vodacom stores on 20 November from R6,299.

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