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IFA 2013's Hot Five - #5 LG G Pad 8.3

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Not to be outdone LG has some big products up its sleeve at IFA most notably the G Pad 8.3. It has released a quickie video that gives a preview of the device but is very low on the detail.

All we really know is that will be an Android device and that it is going to sport an 8.3inch screen. LG seems to be majoring on its lightness and thinness too. There is also a suggestion that it will come in white as well as black and be available in 4g (LTE) and Wi-Fi versions.

It has been rumoured too that the device will pack a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of RAM and that users will be able to make voice calls with the device as they can with the ASUS Fonepad.

Click here for #4 Panasonic's 20inch tablet

valev.jpgLG's Bulgarian head of mobile communications, Dimitar Valev has been talking about what the company has lined up for the future, and unless the Korean maker is going to solely focus on the Bulgarian market there are some exciting products in store.

In an interview with Bulgarian website Dnevnik.bg Valev confirmed that a tablet and smartwatch are on their way but also that LG will have a Firefox OS phone on its books by the end of 2014. He did clarify this by adding that it was dependent on how the Firefox OS which debuted recently on the ZTE Open fared, but so far the response for that mobile has been phenomenal.

As for the tablet, there have been lots of rumours of a 10 inch tablet from LG recently, and the smartwatch has long been assumed to be an LG project as they seek to take on Apple and Samsung in that market. Valev did let on that the watch will use flexible LCD technology.

lgd-qhd-panel.jpgWe are only just getting used to Full HD displays on mobile and now LG has come and upped the ante even further. The Korean maker has just announced that it has developed the world's first Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) smartphone display - this makes it four times higher res than standard HD. It also boasts the highest pixel density of a mobile device, coming in at 538ppi.

The panel is a fully fledged Phablet coming in at at 5.5-inches and it is slim too at just 1.21mm - which LG claims makes it the world's slimmest.

Another key difference is that the LG panel will apparently 'enable users to enjoy a full view of PC-version web pages at a single glance without image distortion; a contrast to current Full HD displays which only realize 3/4th of a full screen. '

LG also claims that even when the screen is enlarged users will be able to see undistorted and sharper text.

"LG Display, which pioneered the high resolution mobile market with introduction of the world's first Full HD smartphone panel in 2012, again opens new possibilities with the successful application of QHD technology," said Dr. Byeong-koo Kim, Vice President and Head of LG Display's IT and Mobile Development Group. "With this breakthrough, LG Display will continue to raise new standards for mobile resolution and lead the mobile display market."

It will be interesting to see which phone gets it first.

LG G2 - the basics, pics, UK availability

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Last night LG finally took the wraps off their heavily-leaked top-end Android smartphone.

And so far the reaction has been pretty positive. It seems that LG has chosen to focus on usability and has come up trumps with a phone that has some clever and very useful facilities. It is the kind of re-invention of the smartphone that we would expect from Apple.

It is certainly going to have Apple, Sony and Samsung looking over their shoulders

Here then are the basic, plus a few pics.

Screen - 5.2inches 1080p Full HD IPS display, so that makes it a full on Phablet with a very high res screen

Processor - A speedy 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, backed by 2GB of RAM

OS/connectivity - It runs Android 4.2.2 and is of course 4G compatible

Camera - The G2 packs a 13 mega pixel rear camera

Other stuff - It is available in 16GB and 32GB storage sizes and black or white case shades. It also has a 3,000mAh battery.

The Rear Key - Oddly there are no physical buttons on the phone with the exception of a rear key which can adjust volume levels, or long press to launch a QuickMemo app or the camera app.

Other features

There's also a range of unique, and in some cases surprisingly useful, UI features.

Answer Me - Automatically answers the call after lowering the ringtone when the phone is raised to one's ear. Sounds useful!

Plug & Pop - Recommends options or related features to choose from when the earphone or USB cable is detected

Text Link - Information embedded in text messages can be selected and easily saved in memo or calendar and searched on a map or the internet

QuickRemote - Not only can LG G2 be used to remotely control popular home entertainment devices, it can also learn from conventional remote controls and be customised to operate multiple devices with flexible layouts and keys.

Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Mobile said...

"It's the most ambitious phone of the smartphone era. Technology without empathy cannot be considered innovation. Innovation for the sake of innovation is old school. Innovations must resonate with consumers. We do our very best to understand the needs of consumers, their behaviours and habits. Our smartphone better detects, learns and adapts to human behaviours and needs."

It will be on sale in eight weeks time - so October then. So far only Three has confirmed a UK launch.

Sylvia Chind, head of devices at Three said, "LG has created a true powerhouse smartphone in the G2 that combines their technological expertise from design through to features.

"We believe this phone will encourage greater use of more demanding data applications which makes Three the perfect partner."

LG optimus G.jpgIt seems that international media events in New York are the big story at the moment in the mobile world. And here is another one. LG has announced that it will be holding a shindig on August 7th in that US city. But what will it launch?

The clever money is on the latest of its high-end Optimus G mobile range which will compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, Apple iPhone 5 et al. The original version was announced well over a year ago so it is clearly due an upgrade.

We know that the new phone, if it is a high-end model, will almost certainly feature a state of the art Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor that was confirmed yesterday. There are also solid rumours that LG is working on a always on voice control facility, so you can shout at the mobile and its works for you. Unlike on similar systems now when you have to press a button to get the voice control to kick in.

Or maybe LG has a high-end camera phone to compete with the likes of this?

We will find out soon enough.

lg_optimus_2x_android_1.jpgInteresting stuff coming out of the Gotta Be Mobile blog which claims that in 2014 LG will release a smartphone that is always listening out for voice commands.

At the moment if you use Siri, the iPhone voice assistant, you need to hold down the home button to launch it. The key issue here is that it isn't exactly hands free.

If the LG phone (a high-end Optimus is the likely place for it) does materialise then it would be excellent for driving or other situations where you need voice control but your hands are busy doing something else.

Gotta Be Mobile even suggests that LG's phone will be able to navigate the Android UI by voice, and even zoom in and out of Google Maps on command.

If there is a sensor constantly listening out for your commands a few things come to mind. How does it differentiate between your voice and other people's for one? What is likely to be the effect on battery life too?

It does however sound like a real breakthrough that will shift voice control from a bit of a gimmick to a feature that really is fundamentally useful. I can't imagine that it won't be on a 2014 iPhone either.


One of the big developments in smartphone technology over the next few years is likely to be the introduction of flexible displays. Not that they will enable us to have smartphones that bend - not until they patent flexible internal components anyhow. But it will mean that displays will be a lot less breakable than they are now and those £50 cracked screen upgrades will be a thing of the past. But which maker is likely to get there first with flexible displays? It was always assumed that Samsung would have the edge over its rivals in this sphere but apparently not. A report in the Korea Times states that LG is working on flexible displays and it "aims to ship its first batch of flexible displays later this year." The company has been investing heavily in flexible displays, but not many industry watchers expected it to deliver something as groundbreaking in 2013. Samsung is also working on flexible displays - and it paraded its Youm concept at CES 2013, but it has always as said that the technology if not yet ready for mass production.

optimus-l5ii.jpg
LG took the wraps off its LG's Optimus L5II and L3II smartphones just before the MWC in Barcelona In February.

Since then we have been waiting for a UK network to confirm whether they are taking the phones, and now it seem that O2 has got there first.

It will offer the Optimus L5II and L3II smartphones later this month. There's no word yet on pricing.

Kudos to The Inquirer for spotting the arrival of the smartphones on O2's Coming Soon webpage today.

In case you missed the launch the handsets are mid range smartphones with the L5II packing a 4inch WVGA touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, 4GB of internal storage and a five mega pixel camera,

The cheaper LG Optimus L3II has a smaller screen that its sibling at 3.2in 240x320 and a three mega pixel camera, but the rest of the specs are fairly similar.

55-lg-optimus-3d-camera.jpg

I'll say it straight out - I'm not convinced by 3D cameras or 3D screens. I liked watching Avatar and of course 3D cameras were involved there, but outside several select films in the cinema I find the technology to be more hype than performance. More ow than wow. My eyes are naturally squinty and 3D screens just send my optic nerves into spasms as they try to compute what is real, and where those real bits are. Kind of like a rollercoaster, it's fun for 2 minutes and then you start regretting your lunch and clutching your head.

Enough of me moaning about my eyes. Suffice to say that when I was given the LG Optimus 3D to review, I was coming from a position of prejudice.

But you know what - I kind of liked it. With a few reservations. Read on to get my verdict.

55-LG-Optimus-3D-handset-007.jpg

Good Points
> Pleasant to use. The screen is big, bright and attractive. At 4.3 inches there's a lot of it, and it's nice for photos and film. The capacitive touch screen is responsive, and the backlit buttons flush with the screen at the bottom of the phone have a little buzz of haptic feedback when you touch them. I like that.

> Okay - that 3D does have a wow factor. If you get your head in the right place and concentrate, it really does look like there's depth behind the screen. It is kind of amazing. It's got a "wow" out of everyone I've shown it to. It's fun for games, but best for your own videos where suddenly your friends pop out of the screen all glossy and 3-dimensional. Maybe there is something in this 3D lark.

> Fast. A racy dual-core 1Ghz chip speeds through any command you give it. Apps open instantly and the 3D film streams very quickly.

55-lg-optimus-3d-back.jpg

Bad Points

>Battery - of course the battery was going to be bad - powering that big bright screen and processing 2 streams of film footage. But any 3D play takes a serious toll on the power and this blew the battery out in less than a day for me, without me even using much beyond email and some camera work. That's a pain.

> 3D viewing doesn't work if your hand is moving. Don't even think about playing a 3D game in a jolting bus - you will do your head in. This limits how useful the games centre is.
You need to keep your head in an optimal place too, meaning that only one person can view the screen at at time, and that you need to hold your phone up in front of your face.

> 3D filming doesn't work if your subject moves fast. If someone moves slowly into the picture, this works pretty sweet. Anything fast makes the camera jump and you get doubled-up images.

> Phone is big. Some people don't mind this, but you'd struggle to fit it into your jeans.

Conclusion
A nice solid Android smartphone with the 3D camera being the blow-out feature. Is it worth it? Umm there's a serious ooh factor to the 3D. But bear in mind, that while you can watch your videos back on the device you'll need a 3D TV to view them on anything else (it has a mini HDMI port). The 3D is still a gimmick, but admittedly quite a beautiful one that really brings videos of friends and family to sharp vivid life.
Up to you if you want to pay extra for that.

Key specs:
4.3-inch LCD screen
480 x 800 screen resolution
Capacitive touchscreen
Glasses-free 3D effects

128mm long x 68mm wide x 11.9mm thick
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Pair of 5 megapixel stereoscopic 3D cameras
Built-in speakers

1GHz dual-core ARM chip
Micro SD card for additional storage
Android 2.2

Sold as the Thrill 4G in the US

£422 on Amazon
Available from £30 a month on contract, see Carphone Warehouse


17-Wikitude_3D.jpg

LG have released the world's first 3D enabled phone - the LG Optimus 3D - and now it's getting three dimensional augmented reality.

That means that the objects hovering in your field of vision will now fit more seamlessly into the three-dimensional world rather than sitting flatly on top of it. Pretty lush. It also means you can see more because entries don't overlap.

LG have done a deal with Wikitude - the Augmented Reality browser - to build a three-dimensional browser into the phone.

Not great for the battery we imagine - but still - dreamy.

Users will be able to download Wikitude 3D from LG World for free, in June this year

[via OneMobileRing]

1_lg-optimus-2x.jpg

The first dual core phone to go on sale in the UK will start retailing this month. The LG Optimus x2 was slated for a release in February but that's slipped back a few weeks to March.

We're excited: Gerald saw the Optimus 2X at CES and really fell for the speediness

The LG Optimus 2X will be released initially with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and will be upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread. That's less than we expected..

.No details on the official price yet but SIM-free models are available online for £500.
Pre-register your interest at the CarPhoneWarehouse

Key Features of LG Optimus 2X
 NVIDIA Tegra 2 Processor with 1GHz Dual-core Processor
 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 Recording and Playback
 HDMI mirroring
 4-inch WVGA screen
 8-megapixel rear camera / 1.3-megapixel front camera
 7.1 multi-channel virtual surround sound
 8GB memory
 microSD memory expandability (up to 32GB)
 Micro-USB connectivity
 1,500 mAh battery
 Supports Adobe Flash Player 10.1

Uh, yeah no word on when this Android tablet is going to hit the UK, but LG just emailled us to say they're now accepting pre-sale orders and that the device will hit shelves on 14th March

The Optimus Pad has a lot of people excited as a serious rival to the iPad, though apparently LG's other tablet device - the G Slate is even better. Still this one seems to pack the kitchen sink in terms of functionality with a dual-core chip and even a 3D camera thrown in.

Here's Gerald's look at the device at MWC 2011:

And here's the LG write-up of the 'pad:

The new device supports Honeycomb, Google's latest platform optimized for tablet devices with an optimized and intuitive PC-like interface for running tablet applications. LG's tablet runs on a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor for unmatched performance and power management.

A departure from the trend toward tablets featuring 7- or 10-inch screens, the LG Optimus Pad features a unique 8.9-inch display, offering users one-handed portability with no compromise in viewability. The 8.9-inch display offers native 1280x768 resolution and 15:9 aspect ratio.

Enhancing the multimedia experience, the LG Optimus Pad includes an array of advanced features such as a 3D camera and Full HD 1080p video capability for starters. With dual 5MP cameras, users can for the first time capture images and video in 3D right on the tablet itself. The LG Optimus Pad also allows for easy transfer of 3D content to TVs, PCs and other devices via HDMI.

9LG_OPTIMUS_BLACK_CREATES_ART_WITH_KEITH_HARING500.jpg

LG are funking up their new flagship phone the LG Optimus Black by giving it a graffiti makeover. Special editions of the phone will feature drawings by Keith Haring on the back of the cases.

Keith is a graffiti artist who did stick men, animals and weird surreal landscapes on the walls of New York before his death in 1990 from AiDs. His art grew a cult following and it's been a popular feature in industrial design and tech products - available on a whole range of cases and covers.

Launched at CES, smooth new smartphone LG Optimus Black was promoted for its super sharp screen.

3lg-optimus-3d-phone.JPG

LG will unveil a full 3D smartphone at Mobile World Congress in April. It will be able to record in 3D, show 3D and send 3D stuff to other devices.

LG say:

"The LG Optimus 3D addresses the lack of 3D content issue -- one of the biggest problems facing the 3D market -- with a complete platform for a one-of-a-kind experience on a mobile device. LG's most advanced smartphone to date will feature a dual-lens camera for 3D recording, a glasses-free LCD panel for 3D viewing and diverse connectivity options such as HDMI and DLNA for 3D content sharing anytime, anywhere."

Sounds pretty hot, but they're going to need a serious processor in there to deal with all this..

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