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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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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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