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.
Huawei launches P40 in virtual event
While Huawei usually makes a big splash in Paris with its P-series flagship launches, it had to host its event virtually on a YouTube live stream from an undisclosed launch venue.
Yesterday, Huawei announced its latest P40 flagship devices amid the coronavirus pandemic, by hosting a virtual launch to distance fans from each other. Tens of thousands of viewers followed the event live.
The new devices include the P40 Pro+, P40 Pro, and P40, which feature new camera innovations that focus on better videography from the devices.
This is thanks to a large 1/1.28-inch sensor that boosts light intake for enhanced low-light performance, while a new periscope design adds 10x optical zoom. P40 Series is powered by Kirin 990 5G and supports 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Plus, which is Huawei’s faster Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said “The Huawei P Series has always been about innovative aesthetics and making premium imaging hardware accessible, representing the very best of industrial design and technology. With an outstanding sensor, camera systems that we co-engineered with Leica, powerful chipset and Huawei XD Fusion Engine, the Huawei P40 Series exemplifies our focus and offers an all-day Super Definition experience to help consumers realise their creative vision.”
The P40 Pro and P40 Pro+ feature a Quad-curve Overflow Display. The display takes on a curved edge on all four sides, while the super narrow bezels and streamlined round corners provide an ergonomic hold and near borderless look. An enhanced in-screen fingerprint reader offers 30 percent faster biometric authentication.
The P40 and P40 Pro are available in three glossy glass finishes – Ice White, Deep Sea Blue and Black – and two refractive matte glass finishes – Blush Gold and Silver Frost. The P40 Pro+ features a nano-tech ceramic back panel that is kilned and polished to ensure its durable and scratch resistant. This design comes in two colours: Ceramic White and Ceramic Black.
Embedded in the P40 Series is the advanced Ultra Vision Leica camera system, available in triple, quad-camera and penta-camera configurations. The P40 delivers features the triple-camera setup with ultra wide-angle, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The P40 Pro features a Leica Quad Camera with a more powerful Ultra Wide Cine Camera and Time-of-Flight (ToF) Camera alongside 50x SuperSensing Zoom. The P40 Pro+ lets consumers see the unprecedented with the SuperZoom Array, which supports 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, like the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The P40 and P40 Pro will be available in South Africa in May, while no date has been set for release of the P40 Pro+.
Sony releases smartphone-ready in-car display
One can enable an existing car with smart technology, with Sony’s new XAV-AX8050D in-car media display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sony has launched the XAV-AX8050D in-car media display, its newest and most advanced media display for cars yet. Designed to deliver immersive quality that features anti-glare touchscreen technology, Sony’s high-end display promotes safer and smarter driving habits for South African road users, thanks to the easy-to-read screen.
Sanjay Panikar, Head of Car Audio Marketing, Sony Middle East and Africa, said: “Without doubt, the use of a larger, more vibrant screen on in-car dashboards enables drivers and passengers to tap into the convenience of having the ultimate entertainment and navigation experience while on the go, without compromising road safety. Sony’s newest media display also features a range of exciting connectivity options like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and WebLink Cast to ensure that drivers are always connected to their favourite devices and apps.”
The XAV-AX8050D display is designed to minimise distractions so that drivers can focus on the road ahead. Sony has placed safety and innovative design at the heart of its display design, resulting in convergence of lighter touch operation and improved visibility so information is easy to see at a glance.
The 8.95-inch, anti-glare display hovers over the dashboard, and the sturdy mount can be adjusted in three directions to allow for flexible installation in a wide variety of vehicles.
Apple CarPlay integrates an iPhone with the car audio’s display and controls. Read more about support for third-party navigation apps at www.apple.com/ios/carplay
For more on the Google Assistant on Android Auto, visit www.android.com/auto
The rear-view camera-ready function displays visuals from the connected rear-view camera and can be accessed when the vehicle is put in reverse or by tapping the “Rear Camera” icon on the home screen
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