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Samsung Finally Allows Users to Disable the Bixby Button

Samsung Finally Allows Users to Disable the Bixby Button

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Samsung initially really wanted to force users to use Bixby their new AI platform which has been mapped to that Bixby button on the left side of the S8/S8 Plus/Note 8 below the volume keys. Many third-party apps attempted to work around this but Samsung also tried to stop this from happening. However, it seems that Samsung is finally lowering their guard and is enabling users to disable the Bixby button via a new option in your settings.

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The update is still being rolled out to all handsets and is distributed in stages. It may be some time before you can gain access to this option. Many users have lodged complaints against Samsung stating that they keep accidentally hitting the Bixby button when in fact they were trying to hit the Volume Keys instead. Also accidentally launching Bixby while pulling the phone out of your pocket is a common issue. Bixby is not going anywhere, however, because the company is pouring resources into this AI assistant. This new option should be a welcome change in allowing users to disable that hardware Bixby button.

Bixby is still quite too young to be the most useful assistant available today as it still has too many holes in it’s capabilities. It certainly will mature into the future and there are still a lot of features that we hope to see very soon.

The Apple iPhone X is Worth the Upgrade

The Apple iPhone X is Worth the Upgrade

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Apple just uncovered the wraps on the brand new Apple iPhone X, the most talked about smartphone immediately during and after the Apple Keynote today. This is a beautifully crafted iPhone with beefy specs, amazing technology and a hefty price tag. Let’s quickly dive into what Apple is giving us for the holidays. Is the Apple iPhone X worth the upgrade for users who already own the iPhone 7 Plus? Is it worth switching over from Samsung’s S8 and Note 8? Let’s find out.


 

Quick Tech Specs:

  • Dimensions:
    • 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm (5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)
    • Weight: 174 g (6.14 oz)
  • Body Design:
    • SIM: Nano-SIM
    • IP67 Water and Dust Resistant
    • Apple Pay enabled
    • Strong Glass on front and back with Stainless Steel wrapping around the sides
  • Display:
    • Super AMOLED (Super Retina Display) touch screen
    • 5.8 inches (~458 ppi pixels per inch) 2436 x 1125 resolution
    • Edge-to-Edge Display Panel
    • 3D Touch Display
    • Dolby Vision / HDR 10 compliant
    • True-Tone Display
    • Display Zoom
  • System Specs: 
    • OS: iOS 11
    • Apple-Designed A11 Bionic Processor (64 Bit Architecture)
      • 6 – Core processor (2 high performance + 4 high efficiency cores)
      • Embedded M11 Motion Co-processor
    • microSD: NO
    • 3.5mm headphone jack: NO
    • Internal Memory: 64GB / 256 GB
    • RAM: 3 GB
  • Camera Specs:
    • Primary:
      • Dual 12 MP , f/1.8 & f/2.4 phase detect autufocus lens.
        • OIS in both lens’
        • 2x optical zoom on telephoto f/2.4 lens
        • Quad-LED True-Tone Flash
          • Video:
            • Able to record 1080p @ 240 fps for ultra slow motion
            • 4K video recording @ 24/30/60 fps
    • Selfie:
      • 7 MP f/2.2 with Face Detection
        • Portrait Mode / Portrait Lighting Mode
          • Video:
            • 1080p @ 30 fps
  • Wireless Communication:
    • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
    • USB 3.0 (Lightning) Reversible Connector
  • New Features and other Features:
    • New: Face ID
    • New: Animoji
    • New: Augmented Reality Implementation
  • Battery:
    • Unspecified: Claimed to have 2 hours More than the iPhone 7
    • 30 minutes of charging provides 50% battery life (Fast Charging)

 

What is the iPhone X?

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The iPhone X is Apple’s celebration for their 10th anniversary by providing the best components and the best product they can at this point in time. The iPhone X or the iPhone 10 was unveiled at the Steve Jobs Theatre alongside the more traditional iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone X matches up with most of the leaks and rumors we have already seen with that edge-to-edge bezel-less display that resembles a cross breed of the LG G6 and the Essential Phone. What is most exciting, however, is not in the design of the phone but the hardware and software that Apple presented. It comes with AR (Augmented Reality) capabilities backed by powerful hardware and professional software engineers who put it all together into a cohesive package that, so far, does not feel like a gimmick. The iPhone X also comes with a chock full of senors at the top of the display within that tiny strip of black bezel which can measure the depth of your face and shoot 30,000 invisible dots to create a security image based on your face. This is so advanced and I have not seen such a thing launch with a smartphone yet. Samsung’s face recognition is full of holes and can be bypassed with a printed picture of the owner of the iPhone. The new Apple-Designed processor is the A11 Bionic which is a 6 core processor with 2 high performance and 4 high efficiency cores. There is also an M11 Motion coprocessor and a Neural Engine that processes the new Face ID feature. There is so much more to cover about the iPhone X so read on below and we will try to explain what we witnessed in each category of the phone.

So far, the iPhone X is shaping up to be Apple’s best offering as many people are already raving about the innovations of Apple and this new refreshing design choice that brings the already well received breath taking AMOLED display panel that goes edge-to-edge.

Lets Break it down…

iPhone X: The Display

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Apple calls it the Super Retina Display which is basically the leaked Edge-to-Edge near bezel-less Retina Display now built on an OLED display panel for the first time for an iPhone. OLED panel’s have been around for a long time and Samsung and LG are the primary manufacturer’s of said display technologies. It provides deeper colors, deeper blacks, high brightness levels and more. We are happy to see that the iPhone X boasts a 5.8 inch Super Retina Display with a (~458 ppi pixels per inch) 2436 x 1125 resolution, The display panel curves around the edge’s of the display. There is only a tiny piece of bezel that sticks in from the top and center which contains an impressive array of sensors and cameras.

The display is quite beautiful to look at. Period. We are already deep in an age of high end smartphones that provide amazing display experiences so though we are not utterly blown away we still greatly appreciate Apple joining the bezel-less wars. The 5.8 inch display is awesome to look at and to have more display real estate is always welcome. With true blacks, and awesome colors popping Apple also engineered the device to provide accurate color gamuts.

iPhone X: The Specs, Battery Life and the removal of the Home Button

As mentioned the new iPhone X is powered by Apple’s newly developed A11 Bionic processors which is a six core 64 bit processor with an M11 motion co-processor and a Neural Engine. The A11 Bionic CPU is 25 percent faster than last year’s A10 chip and it the four core high efficiency component is 70 percent faster than the older model. The new Apple-Designed GPU is 30 percent more efficient than last year making it on par with the A10 at half the power.

The flagship is rated at IP67 which is water and dust resistant. The iPhone weighs about 174 grams which is quite light compared to the Galaxy note 8 and the phone itself is not that big in the hands with a spacious 5.8inch AMOLED (Super Retina) display.

The Processor is not slow at all but rather the opposite. IT is fast, powerful and speedy. Gaming will never be an issue as the new GPU also supports Metal 2 API and console quality gaming. Heavy duty apps won’t be an issue either as the processing power can handle up to 600 billion operations per second. Apple hasn’t been clear on a few front’s though; we have still yet to figure out what the battery capacity is. Apple simply dismissed any comments about battery specs with a simple statement that the iPhone X will last 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7. So far we have heard that the iPhone X should have 3GB of RAM but this is not officially confirmed yet.

The iPhone X is running on iOS 11 at launch so it will come with all of the awesome perks the operating system brings.

71f76490c7da1e03f06ca371a41154d8Face ID works very well.

The Home button is now gone, instead it is replaced by a tiny on screen tab at the bottom of the phone which you must swipe up to go home, tap and swipe to the center to go to your multitasking cards and also swipe left and right on that little tab to switch between apps. This seems a bit strange to us and though the process is smooth enough it will be a bit of a transition for people who are used to the famous iPhone button. If that traditional button placement is still preferred we recommend you check out the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 8 Plus instead. To unlock your phone with Face ID will require you to pick up your phone, look directly at it to see that white lock icon switch to the Unlocked position, then you must slide up to get rid of the lock screen. It sort of feels like the android lock screen with all that swiping and sliding.

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To get to your Commands just swipe down from the top right corner of the phone and to get to your notifications you will need to swipe down from the left side of the iPhone.

The iPhone X has been certified with an IP67 water/dust resistant rating. This is perfect for the time where you accidentally spill water and you have no need to worry about dust.

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iPhone X: The Camera & Augmented Reality:

Main Camera:

The iPhone X comes with a Dual Camera configuration both of the lens’ will be 12 MP in sensor size. True to the leaks, rumors and the dummy units the iPhone X’s dual camera layout is vertical (up and down) compared to the horizontal placement we see on the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus. Between the two len’s sits the Quad-LED True Tone Flash which illuminates subjects 50% farther and brighter. The Dual 12 MP sensors have larger pixels that are deeper and have new color filters. The iPhone X will be the second flagship phone to have Dual-OIS (optical image stabilization) in both lens’ (the first being the Galaxy Note 8). Optical Image Stabilization will provide clearer and sharper images even in low light situations. Especially during video recording OIS will come in handy as it stabilizes your video shots a great deal compared to devices that do not have OIS.

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A new feature that was announced was Portrait Lighting. This feature uses the advanced cameras, the new A11 Bionic processor with it’s new ISP, Depth Sensing Cameras and complicated software to create artificial lighting on your subject’s face as if there were studio lights in place all around you. We have yet to test this and see how well this works. Just like the portrait mode that came with the iPhone 7 Plus this could be a hit or a miss. The different Portrait Lighting modes include: Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light MONO (black and white).

The 2X optical zoom is found on the telephoto lens with that f/2.4 aperture opening. Sure, the f/2.4 is narrower and lets in less light compared to the f/1.8 faster lens on the wide angle lens but generally portraiture is best used in good lighting. When you tap and hold the 2x ZOOM button in the camera app you have the option to slide it around on a small circle to quickly zoom up to 10x zoom. 6x zoom is highest for video zooms.

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Apple says that because the A11 Bionic chip has advanced machine learning this would help a great deal in taking better photo’s. It seems that the photography system will be able to see more, comprehend the scenes more and execute methods. There are 6 elements (lens’) in the f/1.8 wide angle camera. The company also managed to include OIS in the telephoto len’s via what they call a “state-of-the-art seven-magnet solution”.

Apple also stated that the Portrait Mode is improved so that you can achieve even sharper images and the background blur should be improved even in low light usage.

The iPhone X now supports 4K video up to 60 fps and slo-mo videos up to 1080p up to 240 fps.

Augmented Reality

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AR, Augmented Reality was a big feature presented during Apple’s keynote. The primary dual camera’s on the iPhone X is more than capable. Apple paired up with some well known game development companies to demo a game based entirely on AR. The game was smooth, immersive, and sound and visuals respond to your camera. During the Apple Keynote they showed some pretty cool AR usages. For example, when watch a game at the basketball match or baseball you can use various apps to point your iPhone at the players on the court. The app will use your iPhone’s AR capabilities to pin a name and face and stats on each living player before you.

Another cool AR implementation is using the star apps. Point your iPhone towards the sky above you and the app will apply the starry map with its lines, dots, and names upon the literal sky. No software gimmicks. It uses the advanced AR enabled software and the advanced iPhone camera inside.

The Cool side of the new Selfie Camera: Face ID and the TrueDepth Camera

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The 7 MP True Depth Camera has an aperture of f/2.2. Impressively, Apple integrated Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting mode into this camera. We expect to see some pretty awesome portrait selfies to start popping up online.  The Selfie camera also works with the new security feature Apple calls “Face ID”. Face ID is basically an advanced form of the face recognition unlocks found on other devices. The greatest difference between the two is that Apple’s implementation provides a fast, and an actual secure solution to use your face to unlock your iPhone and also use Apple Pay.

The set up is quick and involves you looking at the screen and rotating your head in a circular motion. This is achieved by the TrueDepth camera, the infrared sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, flood illuminator, dot projector and the A11 Bionic chip with the Neural Engine inside. So your information need not sync with some cloud system far away but directly with the engine integrated inside your iPhone X. The TrueDepth camera projects 30,o00 invisible dots that creates a precise 3D depth map of your face. During the keynote Apple has explained that you no longer can use a simple photo of your face nor can you sculpt a perfect replica of your face and use that to unlock. It needs YOUR face. Additionally, even if you were to grow a beard, your hair, wear a scarf or change your earrings thanks to the adaptive Face ID feature the function changes with you and still recognizes you.

The TrueDepth camera is also able to analyze more than 50 different muscle movements that is then mimic’d by your chosen emoji. It worked fantastically and was super fun to play with. You can send this over Apple iMessages as a sticker or an animated emoji with your voice recording. It is accurate, fun and worked darn well.

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iPhone X Joins the Wireless Charging Front:

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The build of the iPhone comprises of glass and surgical-grade stainless steel. Thanks to the glass back Apple is able to finally incorporate wireless charging. During the keynote various reps introduced their partnerships with various companies who will be providing Qi Certified wireless charging products and service in and around stores, cafes, libraries, and charging pads. They already announced an elegant looking Apple AirPower which is a take on previously presented charging power mats but somehow through this mat the iPhone will be able to show the battery percentages of all of your other Apple products such as the new Apple Watch Series 3, and the optional AirPod Wireless Charging Case.

Conclusion & Thoughts:

The phone comes in either a 64 GB configuration for 999$ or a 256 GB variant which is priced higher. On the Canadian website the pricing is set at $1319.00 and $1529.00 respectively.  So the price is going to be heavy and most may be deterred from this awesome iPhone due to that point alone. Considering that the smartphone market prices are on the rise we should not be entirely surprised with the pricing. If you do end up pouring in your savings into this device outright or on contract remember that you are investing in a fantastic new smartphone with high end specs, new features that look really cool (though we are unsure how the customers will respond into the future). If the price is too high and if you miss the home button we still recommend other high end smartphones such as the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, the LG V30 and others.

The pricing seems to be competing with that of the Galaxy Note 8 which is similarly priced at a high premium.

The iPhone X is undoubtedly a big contender in the flagship premium smartphone arena. It needs to face off with the likes of the LG V30, the Note 8, the S8 Plus, and a few others. Apple, however, seems to have the upper hand in marketing as their commercials and adverts appeal to most people. The Apple brand is also a premium icon statement that have heads turning without much effort. We would not be surprised to see many still go for the iPhone X one way or another as it is indeed the most beautiful and refreshing design change that Apple has brought in a long time. One of the major pitfalls of releasing a new smartphone every year is the challenge of designing a revolutionary device. The iPhone X’s design did not seem unique in itself as it resembled a cross breed of the S8, the Essential phone and the LG V30. I do not believe that design alone is the main reason to buy the iPhone X. The reason is in the Apple brand, the new and awesome features that Apple laid out on us which includes the newly announced; AR, amazing TrueDepth camera with it’s array of advanced senors, and the new FaceID. The Animoji is also a cute and fun addition that breathed life into Apple’s new product.

During the Apple Keynote Tim Cook and his associates did not make any mentions about the 3.5mm head phone jack at all. In Apple’s eyes, it is truly a thing of the past. However, we still see many people and users desire for a flagship premium phone to have all functions available including the 3.5mm headphone jack. How long will the 3.5mm jack last?

Overall the iPhone X is a serious flagship phone with serious specs and exciting new features some of which unseen yet in another smartphone.  Just be prepared to shell out an arm and a leg for it’s premium price.

Preorders for the iPhone X begins on October 27 while the smartphones will begin shipment on November 3.

 

 

 

 

iPhone 8 and iPhone X Rumor and Info Round Up! Launching on September 12!

iPhone 8 and iPhone X Rumor and Info Round Up!

Apple is expected to bring the latest and the greatest in 2017 to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, Note 8, LG V30 and more. We rounded up all the available information that is floating around on the web in this article for your enjoyment.

Update: The next generation iPhone’s are expected to be announced on September 12!

Summary:

It is speculated that Apple is bringing a specialized “iPhone X” alongside the expected iPhone 8. The iPhone X is expected to have a glass body with edge-to-edge OLED displays. The home button will be removed (perhaps in favor of an under the display home button as we have seen in the Galaxy phones). The Touch ID feature is also rumored to being scrapped in favor of Apples brand new face recognition system. The iPhone 8 is expected to have a 4.7 inch display while the iPhone 8 Plus will have a 5.5 inch display.

Expected Specs:

  • 5.8″ OLED display panel
  • 10nm Next-Generation Apple A11 Fusion Core Processors
  • Glass / Metal body
  • Edge-to-Edge Displays
  • Brand New Face Recognition system (expected to replace Touch ID)
  • No more Home Button
  • Wireless Charging
  • Total of Three models expeccted: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X
  • Stronger Water / Dust – Resistance Certification (IP68)

Apple iPhone X – September 12 Launch Date

2017 is Apple’s 10th anniversary of the successful iPhone series. We already know that the iPhone 8 is on it’s way but many have great hopes that the iPhone X will be an anniversary edition that Apple will announce. There has already been a great deal of rumors and leaks about these mysterious devices. A leak inside the iOS 11 golden master edition suggested that there is indeed an iPhone X. The iPhone 8 series will be kept as a traditional release to succeed the iPhone 7.

There were about 10 prototypes that Apple tested. We have already seen leaks from Apple themselves in regards to a new Face Detection system alongside a massive design change. It may seem that the iPhone X will be the device that takes the edge-to-edge display and removes the home button entirely. The Rumored 5.8 inch display panel is said to contain only 5.15 inches of useable space while the other bits of the display will be reserved for virtual spaces to replace the home button.

We know that the iPhone 8 is expected to come with a flexible OLED panel which will be an upgrade from the traditional LCD that Apple has used all these years. This should enable Apple to create a thinner profile iPhone that consumes less power and provides contrast ratio and saturation levels that many have come to love. There will be a slight 2.5D curved display rather than the flat displays we have come to tire of.

Moving away from the aluminum body build Apple is moving into the glass body market as we have seen in the iPhone 4. There will be a polished stainless steel frame that wraps the glass on the front and back.

The iPhone X is expected to come with water resistance improved to an IP68 rating to compete in the market space. This improves protection against rain, splashes, and drop’s into a bit of water.

The A11 processor chip inside the iPhone 8 / iPhone X will be built on a 10-nano meter process which will increase it’s power and efficiency. Finally, we hope to see that Apple will join the wireless market of inductive wireless charging. Apple has been working on a robust facial recognition system for a while now and industry analysts have been consistently quoting that Apple will indeed replace Touch ID in favor of a fancy face recognition program. We have yet to see how that plays out.

The iPhone X will have a 5 inch premium OLED panel alongside the standardized 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhone 8’s.

The Cost of the next generation iPhone’s is also a huge point of talk amongst people. The estimated cost to buy one is around $1,000. This is the most anyone would ever spend on a consumer smartphone and even tops that of the recently released Galaxy Note 8 at $930. However, we are not entirely surprised at this news because the market prices for smartphones are on the rise.

3D Camera

The Front facing camera will come with an advanced 3D sensing capability. This technology was developed by PrimeSense and allows for the detection of depth information around objects the camera is focused on. This enables 3D facial recognition abilities which trumps regular facial recognition functions already seen in todays flagship phones.

The vertically placed dual camera will provide upgraded AR experiences and photographing abilities.

Design Leaks

We have already seen many leaks via pictures of cases designed for the iPhone 8 and schematics that shows an outline as to what the iPhone 8 will look like. What is pretty much confirmed is the edge-to-edge bezel-less design.

In the recent past developers found some interesting details in the code that was included in an upcoming HomePod speaker. The codes revealed the outline of the iPhone X showing a full-front display, minimal bezel’s, and no home button. There is a spot at the top that houses the earpiece and sensors.

Much of the details come from accessory makers, Apple themselves, supply chain leaks and early build leaks.

 

LG V30 Officially Revealed! Check out the Tech Specs and Details!

LG V30 Officially Revealed At IFA 2017

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LG has finally announced the LG V30 at the IFA 2017 event today in Berlin. The LG V30 is a beautifully crafted premium smartphone that eliminates all unnecessary ideas and features and brings out the best of the best. LG has not only included an upgraded display but wireless charging, and video recording features that have never been seen in other ordinary smartphones.

We talked about the secondary display found above the main display on the LG V20 last year. This year the LG V30 sheds this feature off and provides a seemless FullVision display that is just gorgeous, simple, modern and great to look at. The Secondary Display feature has been replaced with a virtual tab that can be moved around on screen and acts as a quick tab for shortcuts whenever you need them. On top of advanced internal specs and features the LG V30 does come with a water resistant body as well which does bring the LG V30 up to speed to compete with the Apple iPhone 8, Galaxy S8+ and the already announced Galaxy Note 8.

The V20 was known to have a quad DAC integrated into its circuitry which amps up the sound and brings out high quality audio when listening to music, watching movies and the such. The V20 was also known for capturing detailed audio through it’s mic making it a media content creator or musicians dream smartphone. The V30 improves on all of the best features LG provided.

Based on its video recording, audio recording and audio output prowess the V30 is indeed geared towards the artist or media creator. Moving away from that the V30 still impresses to be a premium and powerful flagship device. A lot of the tools, however, are quite advanced and rich so it will take some time for users to figure out how they work.

When will it be released?

The LG V30 is announced to be available in South Korea first on Sept. 21 while the rest of the world will follow suit but a date has not been officially provided just yet for that.

What is the Cost?

The cost of the LG V30 is expected to be similar to the V20 or the G6. Expect to see a price tag around 600$ or 800-900 CAD.

The LG V30 is meant for Creative People

If either videography or recording sound is your thing you will definitely enjoy the LG V30. This one stop media shop comes with a dual camera (one ultra wide angle, and one standard angle). The standard angle lens is a 16 MP camera that has a 71 degree range of view while the 13 MP camera is the ultra wide angle lens that has a 120 degree angle of view.

Last year the V20 had a plastic panel that covered the dual camera module, but this time the V30 comes with crystal glass that ensures that images will be clear and accurate colors will be represented. The only downside is that only the 16 MP standard camera will come with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). However, since the ultra wide angle lens is the opposite end of the typical telephoto lens this means this isn’t too much of a con. Ultra wide angles generally do not require OIS as much as telephoto lens’ do. Images should still come out crisp and sharp with a lot in focus.

The Standard 16 MP camera will receive a wide aperture of f1.6 which is a bit wider than the f1.7 found on the S8. This means that the LG V30 will be able to take in a little bit more light and should be a strong low light performer compared to a lot of other flagship phones. The Google Pixel has an aperture of f2.0.

The Ultra Wide Angle 13 MP camera has a narrower aperture of f1.9. Don’t get us wrong, these apertures are seriously large and high end for these tiny camera sensors found on our smartphones. This Wide Angle lens, however, does not come with Autofocus (but usually everything will be in focus, aka large depth of field so no big worries here).

Power House Specs and High End Design

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  • Beautiful 6-inch P-OLED QHD+ FullVision Display
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Quad-DAC
  • HDR 10 compliant
  • 64 / 128 GB internal Storage + microSD expansion up to 2 TB
  • Included B&O Earphones in box

LG finally introduced their own OLED display into the LG V30. This makes the V30 the first LG flagship (the last one being the LG FLEX) to receive this vivid treatment. We are looking at a 6 – inch P-OLED display panel that takes up most of the front side with an approximated 81.2% screen-to-body ratio. The resolution is 2880 x 1440 (~537 ppi pixel density) and the display is protected in Gorilla Glass 5. Furthermore, the V30 will be Dolby Vision and HDR 10 compliant and operate on Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) with the LG UX 6.0+ custom OS on top.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is no surprise. This is 2017’s high end silicon and it gets the job done. Regardless of what tasks you throw at the V30 the smartphone shouldn’t skip a beat. Coupled with the Adreno 540 we know that gaming performance, watching movies, multi-tasking, and the like will all be crunched before you can even bat an eye. The work horse is meant to be used for intense processes as it can take incredible low light photos, process Google DayDream VR, and Vulkan API console quality games quickly and effortlessly.

The LG V30 is undoubtedly the most slickest and well crafted flagship phone of the year. Many are excited for it. The V30 takes things to the next level for LG compared to all of the companies past iterations. The V30 certainly does have that same Infinity Display like quality to it (that of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the Note 8) but LG is taking the V30 to a different approach. The approach is a media power house with hardware that caters to content media creators. The sides of the screen curve ever so slightly which continues on to the back of the device, this makes holding the V30 a joy.

The V30 is incredibly compact and light weight despite it being chock full of high end specs, hardware, and military grade 810G + IP68 protection capabilities. The V30 weighs in at only 158g and it is covered in Gorilla Glass 5 material on the front and back. The only downsides to glass builds is the strong attraction they have to finger prints, oils, and smudges. LG includes a cleaning cloth in the box, however. The finger print sensor is found in the traditional LG spot at the back and center which makes it easy for users to reach for and utilize. The fingerprint sensor on the back can also operate as your lock button as well.

LG V30’s Camera: Photography + Videography

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LG simply upgraded the dual camera on the V30 to the best the company can offer making this iteration quite exciting. First off, the main 16 MP camera comes with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a first-of-its-kind-in-a-smartphone wide and fast aperture of f1.6. This is 0.1 wider than the Samsung Galaxy S8 which should enable the lens to collect a bit more light in low light situations. The wide-angle lens beside it features a 120-degree field of view which is ultra wide. Unfortunately this camera does not come with OIS but it still comes with a wide f1.9 aperture lens.

Many folks prefer wide angle lenses compared to telephoto lenses found on the Note 8 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Sure, telephoto is great for portraits and getting that tight shot but generally smartphone users find most delight in capturing the whole “story”. LG called the “Portrait Mode” found on other flagship phones; “Too Gimmicky that should be reserved for cheaper devices”, however, because wide angle lenses can be a lot more useful we find it a joy to use.

A huge area LG improved upon was smartphone videography. A new feature called “Point Zoom” allows users to simply tap a part of the screen while recording and the camera will smoothly pan and zoom in on that point. This eliminates the whole jittery method of having to pinch and zoom!

LG boasts multiple recording options here one of which includes the LG Cine Log. This mode will enable users to capture video in one of many pre-made filters (pre-color grading). There are options ranging from “Blockbuster” to “Noir” and we found that they actually look pretty good. LG includes 15 filters initially but more will be on their way.

The Front facing selfie camera did not get any love this year as it remains a same old 5 MP sensor. LG has admitted that in order to achieve such thin bezels the selfie camera had to take a hit.

Battery Life

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The LG V30 comes with a 3,300 mAh battery which is the same one found in the Galaxy Note 8. The LG G6 also came with a 3,300 mAh battery and we found that they do last at least one day of good usage. Right now it is too early to judge how good the LG V30’s overall battery life is but we expect it to be pretty good. The only times we can see the battery life drain quickly is when we use the V30’s video / photo capabilities extensively for a project or other outing.

Conclusion

Overall, the LG V30 is an exciting phone. This is LG’s best yet and it includes the best of many worlds from various manufacturers. The phone is beautiful to look at, incredibly light, and built with the best materials available. They did not skimp much on the hardware components bringing in the latest high end processors, RAM chipset’s, internal storages, and that bezel-less P-OLED panel. The box includes your very own B&O earbuds which we found to be the best earbuds one could find included in a box.

The camera functions are a blast to play with and we know many will have great opportunities met to create awesome content with the V30. The fast f/1.6 aperture will assist you greatly in low light situations while the Cine Log filters will add to your creative tastes.

The cost of the LG V30 is expected to be high. However, this device ticks many boxes for many people so we will not be surprised to see the LG V30 to become one of the most anticipated and most popular premium flagship of 2017.

 

LG V30 & LG V30 Plus News, Rumors and When is it coming out?

LG V30 & LG V30 Plus News, Rumors and When is it coming out?

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The Launch date is fast approaching for the LG V30 and much has already been covered. The LG V series is comparable to the LG G series as the Galaxy Note is to the Galaxy S. The V30 has been rumored to be LG’s most powerful premium flagship smartphone to date.

The V30 will be announced soon this year in 2017 (rumors have suggested an unveiling date on August 31).

The current V phone which is the LG V20 received a positive reception for being a sleek and compact metal smartphone with a large display and a heft in its body that people appreciated. It also had a military standard water and dust proofing which made it rugged. The unique feature of the LG V20 from last year was its mini display above the main display on the front screen panel. This mini panel show cases various information, time, date, and app icons which you can launch from. This would be LG’s “Always On Display” feature but in the form of a separate physical display panel above the main one. LG actually confirmed that this secondary display will become a virtual panel that can appear at the top of the FullVision display.

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During the Google I/O 2017 developer conference it was actually confirmed that LG would be releasing a second flagship smartphone before the end of 2017 (the first being the LG G6 earlier this year). It was also announced that the new flagship from LG will be compatible with Google’s Daydream VR (virtual reality). The unveiling date of August 31 (tomorrow) has been provided via a teaser poster. The announcement will be held at the Consumer Electronics show IFA this year. The rumored LG V30 Plus will also be unveiled. The poster was then followed up by LG with another poster showing the words “By Invitation Only” and “Lights, Camera, Action”. The LG V30 name was also written on the invitational image. The event will begin at 09:00 Berlin time while being live-streamed to Facebook. The poster also shows how the texts and the design on the silhouette of the screen hits the absolute edge of the front display which could suggest that the V30 and V30 Plus will indeed have near-bezel-less display panels.

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After the unveiling takes place reports have previously suggested that the V30 should go on sale soon after in August but it is more realistic to see the new smartphone hit retail stores sometime later in September. Pre-orders are expected to begin on Sept 17 while the units will be shipped on Sept 28. This is regarding both the LG V30 and V30 Plus.

What will the Design be like?

The LG G6 was a huge change compared to its predecessors due to its new unique curved corner (near-bezeless) display panel and joining the sleek modern world of how other premium flagships are built. In light of this we know that the V series (LG V20 and the V30’s) act as the realm where LG can perfect their design ideas and execute them quite nicely.

The V30 is expected to become the brainchild of the LG G6 and the previous LG V20. This would mean that the standardized Military STD 810G water/dust/shock resistance rating will be built in (but most likely will be the IP68 water and dust proof rating instead). The body will be built out of high premium glass and metal while offering an almost all-screen display. The fingerprint sensor is expected to be mounted at the back as most LG flagships have come with and we expect to see an improved dual-rear camera set up with dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilization in both lenses).

On the V20 we saw a secondary display above the main display at the front. This acted as an information, news feed or space that provided a way for users to launch apps. However, LG has confirmed that the LG V30 will no longer have this implementation but rather have the secondary display appear virtually on the new FullVision display panel.

Here are some quick Tech Spec points:

  • Internal Specs:
    • CPU: Snapdragon 835 Octa-Core processor
      • GPU: Adreno 540
    • RAM: 4 GB
    • Storage: 64 GB / 128 GB + microSD support up to 2 TB
    • Ultra High Quality Quad DAC (high quality sound) (ESS HyperStream 2 or 3)
      • High quality adaptive Mic
    • 3,200 mAh non-removable battery
  • Display Specs:
    • FullVision 2880 x 1440 6-inch OLED (near bezel-less) Front Display
    • 18:9 Aspect Ratio for an all-screen front (confirmed)
    • Secondary Display will be a “floating display” (confirmed)
    • HDR 10
    • Dolby Vision Ready
  • Hardware Specs:
    • USB Type-C 3.1
    • Quick Charge enabled

LG V30 Specs and Hardware

The 3,200 mAh battery should suffice but we will need to have one in our hands to do further testings. We hope to see how the new FullVision OLED display and the efficiency of the Snapdragon 835 will perform for the LG V30. We expect the LG V30 to last you the day at least but that is usually enough for most as the Quick Charge feature should get you back up to speed within less than an hour.

The processing chip will most likely be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. We are talking about the most high end processing chip available on the market today. The Snapdragon 835 is an Octa-core processor that is based on a 10nm chip which yields an increase in performance and efficiency compared to the Snapdragon 821 of last year. The Snapdragon 835 will provide noticeably faster and more efficient performance in the LG V30 thanks to the multi core’s and high efficiency cycles.

Qualcomm includes many features into the LG V30 including the newly upgraded CAT.16 LTE speeds and Qualcomm sounds that is built beside the Quad DAC which yields superior sound quality for music playback. VR performance and gaming will also be very smooth thanks to the new Adreno 540 graphical unit. To further performance the 4 GB RAM will be more than enough to open many apps and still have a smooth UI experience in games and other apps.

The LG V30 is expected to have a 64 GB internal storage (128 GB models are usually manufactured for certain markets) that is also boosted by a microSD slot that enables you to insert your own microSD and never have to worry about storage or being unable to access your cloud data in various places around the world while travelling.

The LG V30 will certainly come with a USB Type-C at the bottom with Qualcomm Quickcharge enabled for fast charging.

OLED Display Panel

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LG as a manufacturer have been creating various OLED display panels of high quality standards but they have been mainly used for their TV line ups. However, after all this time we are finally seeing LG implement an OLED display into their flagship smartphones and it may begin with the LG V30. With an OLED display panel expect to see vivid colors, deep blacks and high brightness display panels. Everything will be crisp, colorful, and warmer compared to IPS display panels.

The LG V30 is expected to have a 6 inch FullVision OLED display that will cover most of the front. Dolby Vision and HDR 10 compliance is now becoming the standard feature in all flagship phones so expect to see it happen on the LG V30 as well. LG has confirmed that the resolution will be 2880 x 1440 with a pixel density (ppi) of 537. It is said that the P-OLED display panel will be mounted on a plastic base which will enable the curving over the display easier. LG has boasted that the LG V30 display panel will be able to reproduce a whopping 148 percent of the sRGB colour space and due to the high resolution / ppi count this smartphone will be great for high performance Virtual Reality.

LG V30 Camera

Dual camera’s will be a mandatory feature as LG has been banking on it for quite some time. The LG G6 dual camera has been great and fun to play with so the LG V30 will also exhibit some upgraded version of the dual camera. It is confirmed by LG that the V30 will have an f/1.6 aperture lens and the covering material for the lenses will be crystal glass as opposed to plastic. The sensor resolutions have not yet been confirmed. Laser detect autofocus, optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization will all be included in the V30 camera suite.

If the V30 follows in the footsteps of the LG G6 then the camera sensors are expected to be dual 13 MP sensors (one standard, one ultra wide). The f/1.6 aperture lens on the LG V30 will provide a lot more light in low light situations and keep grain lower than what other smartphones can achieve. The Galaxy S8 has a main camera with an aperture of f/1.7 which is known for taking great photos during the night. The LG V30 should have no issues following in this respect and have little to no issues in low light conditions.

The selfie camera on the LG V30 is expected to be a 5 MP sensor (though the resolution is actually expected to be increased in the LG V30) that will come with face-detect autofocus that operates even with the FullVision display is turned off.

As mentioned in the poster above showing “Lights, Camera, Action”, we only expect that LG has worked on some new feature or upgraded existing videography functions on the LG V30. We expect that video capture will be a whole category on it’s own during the press release.

Nougat and LG UX 6.0+

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LG has been working on a new LG UX which is called LG UX 6.0+ which will be laid on top of Android. This will include several new features and software engineered to take advantage of the new 18:9 aspect ratio FullVision OLED display. A new feature called Graphy is one such feature found in the camera app. While in manual mode (or pro mode) in your camera you can choose from various preset photo modes that have been fine tuned and created by professional photographers. The photo modes affect the exposure triangle of photography (ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture) to bring you various “looks” that you may want for your photo shoot.

LG has also created new security measure and have added facial recognition which means that the LG V30 is joining the modern security world alongside Samsung and Apple. Simply look at the LG V30 to unlock it quickly even when the display is turned off. You wont even need to press the power button to turn it on first! The V30 can also recognize your voice to unlock via a set phrase that you must configure beforehand.

In terms of customization LG has included options to adjust haptic feedback levels to cater to your individual tastes while navigating around the smartphone.

The LG V30 will be running on Nougat 7.1.1.

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Conclusion

A lot has been confirmed already and much has already been revealed. It certainly does not seem like LG is scared that people will find out. Rather the company seems pretty enthusiastic in sharing a lot of the information especially now that we are approaching the day of its unveiling. August 31 is the official unveiling date and we will expect to see much from LG because the LG V30 will be going up against the likes of the iPhone 8, the Galaxy Note 8 and others. The V30, nonetheless, is an exciting flagship smartphone from LG that will have a near bezel-less display front, wide and fast aperture lens on the back and powerful modern specs included inside. We hope that you will be as excited as we are as we look forward to what LG will bring.

Keep checking this article to see if there will be any more updates and check out our coverage of the LG V30 tomorrow!

 

Samsung Launches the Swim-Tracker Enabled Gear Fit 2 PRO and brings Huge Upgrades to the Samsung IconX Wireless Earbuds

Samsung Launches the Swim-Tracker Enabled Gear Fit 2 PRO and brings Huge Upgrades to the Samsung IconX Wireless Earbuds

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The well received Gear Fit 2 fitness band along with the Samsung IconX wireless earbuds have received some major upgrades this year. Sports data tracker enthusiasts may appreciate the added “Swim-Tracking” feature to the watch. The Gear Fit 2 Pro has the same shape and form factor as the original Gear Fit 2 does. The curved Super AMOLED display wraps around your wrist with a detachable rubber band to strap it down on your wrist. The Gear Fit 2 Pro is being launched alongside the newly announced Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch.

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In order to enable the Gear Fit 2 PRO to track your swimming data they upgraded the smartwatch to resist watery depths of 50m (waterproofing). The watch also now supports continuous heart rate monitoring to keep a real time record of your heart beats per minute while working out so that you no longer need to keep thinking about turning it on in between runs. The internal specs, however, remains largely the same.

 

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Another newly upgraded product is the Samsung IconX 2018 Edition. The huge upgrade that the company provides is in the battery life. The original Samsung IconX wireless earbuds could operate for a measily 1.5 hours of play time. However, with the new 2018 edition the IconX can now playback your music for 5 hours and 7 hours if the music is played off of its internal storage. That is a huge step up indeed.

The price of the Gear Fit 2 Pro is set at $199 and will be available for retail on September 15th 2017. Those who enjoy tracking health data and exercising should find good reason to upgrade to this new watch. The Amoled display is, as expected, vivid in color, crisp, and bright. As usual, Samsung is enabling developers and designers to constantly create new Watch Faces that users can enjoy swapping around to their tastes. Various Watch Faces can be designed to highlight as much stats as possible or perhaps highlight one stat such as the heart beat stat, daily steps, elevation, and calorie consumption measurements within the day.

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The rubber / silicon straps that cradle the Gear Fit 2 PRO is detachable and replaceable. However, they are not designed for on the go swapping (though you can). This function is largely used as an easy means of replacing damaged straps that may occur during intense training or work outs. The band, this year, has a cool “crystalized” design as well. Choices of colors include black, or black with red colors highlighting underneath the watch. It looks rather cool and “sporty”.

The Gear Fit 2 PRO will support both the Android and iOS ecosystem and the company promises that the smartwatch will last a crazy long 4 days of usage on a single charge.

Moving on to the Gear Icon X, yes it does look (in terms of design) largely the same compared to the 2016 versions but don’t let that fool you. On top of the huge battery life upgrade Samsung is offering up some new colors including; black, pink and gray. The IconX will include a personal running coach, automated activity tracking systems (such as going for runs or going for hikes up mountains) as well as the ability to store up to 1,000 songs onboard. Samsung has not yet stated how much the IconX 2018 Edition would be but this will be revealed in the fall of 2018.

 

 

 

 

iPhone 8 Release Date Updated: Specs, Price, 512 GB Variant “Confirmed”

iPhone 8 Release Date Updated: Specs, Price, 512 GB Variant “Confirmed”

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The new updates involving the upcoming iPhone 8 are becoming more and more real. One thing is for certain, however, the iPhone 8 won’t be a cheap phone, rather, it will be high up there in costs somewhere near the Galaxy Note 8 is. This is because Apple is now going for high end displays and tech components that just costs a lot to manufacture or ship in. The Apple iPhone 8 will be a tenth anniversary for the iPhone series and we are only weeks away from the great unveiling. Due to all the leaks and images floating around on the web many shouldn’t find the unveiling too surprising just like we saw the the Note 8 unveiling a few days ago. We are still looking at Apple for the pricing.

The naming scheme was rumored to be changed to include a “iPhone Edition” moniker or perhaps be called the “iPhone X” in light of the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s. We are expecting to see wireless charging (finally), a curved 2.5D OLED display that will be near bezel-less, and a vertical dual camera panel which is quite strange to see. If rumors do follow through then expect to see the iPhone X launch beside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus.

Release Date

The iPhone 8 is expected to be unveiled on September 12.

Some reports have made claims that the premium smartphone will not be available for sale until Q4 of this year and also only a limited quantity will be released then. There has been reports that there were problems with the Touch ID sensor which delayed some of the companies production line.

Others have suggested that the iphone 8 will not actually come out in 2017 but rather, early 2018 next year. A research company has made claims that Apple is currently facing issues in their supply chain and they have “technical challenges”.

All this is yet confused with more reports that Apple is actually on schedule and the iPhone 8 should be delivered to us this year sometime in October.

Price

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We’ve taken notes from Apples new Macbook’s in terms of how the company is pricing their products. Every year the iPhone will become more and more expensive due to the fact that the internal components are becoming closer and closer to laptop performance products. Oh how fast technology is and how fast it learns to suck our wallets dry. The highest-spec iPhone model will cost more than 1000 USD alone. This can translate to somewhere around 1500 CAD in Canada.

A report made by Forbes has provided pricing of between $1100 and $1200 and the iPhone 8 will come in configurations of 128 GB or 256 GB only which limits choices and forces people to pay a premium.

Rumored Specs

  • 5.8 inch 2.5D OLED Bezel-less Display
  • All-Glass construction with a brand new Design
  • Wireless Charging Support
  • 71x143x7.4mm Physical Dimensions
  • New Apple A11 Processor Chip
  • Rear-facing Touch ID sensor
  • iOS 11 with upgraded Siri
  • 3D Face recognition technology
  • Vertical Dual camera (both len’s finally to receive OIS)
  • Support for LTE Cat.16

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Summary! Here are the Specs and What you need to know

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Summary! Here are the Specs and What you need to know

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Today morning, Samsung finally unveiled the New Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in New York at their Unboxed event. Following their slogan: “Do Bigger Things” they proceeded to present brand new features and functions that is now included in the Note 8. Here is a quick run down of the Official specifications of the Samsung Galax Note 8. The Note 8 goes on sale on sept. 15.

Official Specifications:

  • Display:
    • 6.3 inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display
    • 2960 x 1440 (~521 ppi pixel density) resolution
    • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
    • 18.5:9 Aspect Ratio
  • System:
    • CPU: Exynos 8895 Octa core (International) OR Snapdragon 835 Octa core (North America)
      • Cpu specs:
        • Exynos 8895 Octa Core: (4 cores running @ 2.3 GHz + 4 cores running at 1.7 GHz)
          • GPU: Mali-G71 MP20
        • Snapdragon 835 Octa Core: (4 cores running @ 2.35 GHz Kryo + 4 cores running at 1.9 GHz Kryo)
          • GPU: Adreno 540
    • Memory:
      • 6 GB RAM
      • 64 GB internal storage + microSD support for up to 256 GB
    • Battery:
      • 3,300 mAh battery
  • Camera:
    • Primary: DUAL camera:
      • 1 x 12 MP (f/1.7) 26mm wide angle lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Phase Detect AF
      • 1 x 12 MP (f/2.4) 52mm telephoto lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
    • Secondary (Selfie) Camera:
      • 8 MP (f/1.7) Autofocus lens
        • Can record video (1440p QHD @30 fps)
    • Video:
  • Sound/Music:
    • High end AKG headphones included in box
    • 3.5mm Headphone Jack integrated
    • 32-bit/384kHz audio
  • Networking:
    • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, EDR, LE
    • USB: Type-C 1.0 Reversible Connector
  • Available Features:
    • Iris scanner, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
    • Available Colors: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Deep Sea Blue
  • S PEN specs:
    • 4096 pressure levels
    • Fine tip (0.7mm)

What is so special about the Note 8?

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Samsung opened up their presentation with that gorgeous 6.3 inch Infinity Display. It is vibrant as ever and has a cinematic view with HDR support. It is rather cool to see that the Note 8 can retain a 6.3 inch (6.2 inch with curved edges) yet keep a small and slender body that fits comfortably in the hand (compared to the bulkier iPhone 7 Plus). The Note 8 also has an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 which means that it is on the “tall” side with a near bezel-less display. Samsung pitched this big feature as an opportunity for users to “more space to do bigger and greater things”.

Just like last years Note 7 and this years S8 and S8 Plus the Note 8 features a body design that has perfect symmetry. This simply means that the phone curves forward and backwards in such a seem-less fashion that it just feels right in your hands. However, for the Note 8 they made the edges more flatter giving it a different feel from the S8 and S8+ which just keeps rolling around all the way to the other side. Especially after continuous usage you should feel less hand fatigue. The Note series have always been designed with the S Pen in mind. It was the first to create a “phablet” category many years ago and now, following tradition, we are given a beautiful device that is the embodiment of this concept. With more screen real-estate you should find drawing your art, writing down notes and writing a journal entry on the go to be a joy.

The S Pen and Features Improved

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The S Pen is also water proof / dust proof this year so no worries in getting it accidentally wet or cleaning it with a wet cloth on occasion. This year with the Note 8, Samsung has improved upon and included new and useful features for the S pen suite. For example, users can now do more with the “screen-off memo” where you can just immediately write on the screen (even if it is off) when you pull out your S Pen. They’ve changed this so that you can actually keep on writing your ideas, your eureka moment or that address or information on and on (up to 100 pages) without turning on your phone! You can also pin your idea, to-do list, or what ever you’ve jot down onto the AOD (Always On Display) screen.

They’ve also included animated GIF functionality with the S Pen suite. Here, you can use the S Pen to write a message, draw a little doodle on an image or white canvas and send it to your friends via messaging apps to any phone around the world! An important note to make is that some social media and messaging apps may not support certain GIF size / lengths. This is a nice touch by Samsung which enables handwritten messages on photos, custom drawn emoji’s and animated GIF’s to express your feeling in the moment to your friends. A hand drawn and animated “Thank You” looks and feels a lot more better than a boring old typed out “thank you”.

Creating your own GIF’s is also back! Here you can use the S Pen and capture a an area of a video that is currently playing on your screen or what ever you see. This will then save a snippet of that area you’ve just captured and it will save it as a GIF. Pretty cool and we found it super useful and fun to play with back on the Galaxy Note 7. This was particularly useful in situations where websites did not allow for the downloading of their GIF’s or Videos but we really wanted to share it with our friends and family. You modify the size of the shapes when capturing the GIF.

The S Pen has always been used by us in different ways. Some use it to journal in the mornings while sipping on their coffee, some use it to jot down tons of notes around the clock, while others actually create some impressive art pieces with their S Pen’s. It looks like Samsung has included a wide range of brushes, pens, and various coloring tools to help you on this journey. A pretty nifty feature that Samsung has added via “PEN UP” (the companies Galaxy Note S Pen Artists Hub kind of like flickr or deviant art) are coloring pages. These are images designed by artists which you can download and just color in. (This is for you folks who love coloring books no matter the age).

Other features of the S Pen include the ability to hover your pen over text that is in a different language to have it automatically translated for you into English. The feature was further updated so that it can also automatically convert various units and currency into the USD or CAD (however you set it up).

Of course, the S Pen makes it super easy for us to save entire articles from the web for us to use for research or reading material later on. Screen writing, S Pen Glance and Magnify features are also available but these have been available since the Note 4 and 5 days.

The S Pen also has that clicky tip which really feels great when in our fidgety moments.

Some Awesome Note 8 Functions and Design

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The Display is huge, yet the body is somehow so small and sexy. This enables you to view more content on screen which prevents the need to constantly scroll around and zoom around as you would need to on smaller screened (similar sized body) smartphones out there. The Infinity Display also has HDR 10 compliance which provides more details in the shadows and creates a beautiful image in your videos that support this feature. By now, many popular shows should support this such as shows on Netflix.

Samsung also added a cool new way of launching your apps. It is done by linking two apps together and adding it to your home screen. Now whenever you tap that icon the phone launches both apps in multi-window mode (one on top and one on bottom). This is really useful for situations such as when you start driving you can tap it to launch both your Google Maps and your music app simultaneously. Pretty cool. Let us know how you plan to use this feature in the comments below.

The Phone weighs 195 g (or 6.88 oz) and has a physical dimension of 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm (6.40 x 2.94 x 0.34 in. The back panel is also made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and the whole phone (including the S Pen) has an IP68 certification for an awesome dust/water proofing of over 1.5 meters deep and up to 30 minutes long.

This year, the Note 8 uses a smaller battery compared to the Note 7 which is rated at 3,300 mAh capacity. Combined with Samsung’s 8-point battery safety check and their experiences from the past we are rest assured that we will not see another fiery fall of the Note. Thanks to the 10nm processor (Exynos for internationl and Snapdragon for NA) the power efficiency should be high enough to give us a full day of usage, but battery life will need to be further tested when we have our own unit in hand. What was not announced was the fact that Samsung included some new chemistry that enables the battery within the Note 8 to retain 95% of its life even after a years worth of usage. Comparably, all other smartphones out there only retain about 80% battery life after a typical years worth of usage.

The New Dual Camera

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The Note 8 is the first Galaxy phone to come with a dual camera but what differentiates Samsung from other companies is the fact that each sensor contains OIS (optical image stabilization) while other manufacturers could add OIS only to the wide angle lens. This translates to smoother, more stabilized video footage and sharper photos even when using that telephoto optical zoom. Samsung stood on stage and showed a side by side comparison of the Note 8 and the iPhone 7 Plus’ video recording and they did present a rather shaky footage from the iPhone 7 Plus while the Note 8 had a reasonably stable footage. We aren’t sure as to how reliable this comparison is but we should certainly see that the OIS will work for the 52mm telephoto lens.

The cool new feature is that Samsung also included a 2x optical zoom which eliminates the need to digitally zoom in on subjects which destroys quality and you lose so much information. With actual moving lens’ we should see some pretty cool images coming out of the Note 8.

Samsung also created a new function called “Dual Capture” which enables users to take one photo which saves as two different photos: one telephoto and one wide angle. This opens up some pretty cool options such as saving both or if you change your mind and what more of the story in your photos you have this option.

Portrait mode has also been implemented into the Galaxy Note 8 which enables you to blur the background of your subjects in post. This is called “Live Focus” and you can apply this effect via a slider after you take the photo. They presented this pretty well on stage but we will have to test this our selves and compare it to the iPhone 7 Plus.

Both sensors have a 12 MP platform but only the wide angle lens has a wide aperture of f1.7. The telephoto lens has an aperture of f2.4. So in the dark of night it would be wiser to use the wide angle lens to take those amazing photos as we have seen on the likes of the S8 and S7 Edge. The Dual Pixel sensor is also available only on the wide angle sensor which enables smooth and fast focus transitions.

Of course, the Note 8 comes with a suite of modes such as “Food Mode”, “Pro Mode”, “Panorama”, “Time lapse” and “slo mo”.

The Selfie Camera seems to remain unchanged

Not that this is a bad thing because the selfie camera on the S8 was pretty great. This is a 8MP f/1.7 bright selfie lens with the new smart auto focus function included. This is one advanced selfie camera. The selfie camera should serve you well even in low lighting and give you that crisp selfies you need.

Expandable storage and 3.5mm headphone jack is back!

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Not that it went away, but we are happy to see that Samsung is listening to the voice of the people and keeping that 3.5mm headphone jack as well as expandable storage that supports microSD cards for up to 256 GB. Samsung is including their AKG headphones in box so Note 8 users can enjoy some pretty sweet beats with their new smartphone.

Performance Speculation

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The Note 8 is expected to be super fast and smooth thanks to the already tested and well known Exynos 8895 or the Snapdragon 835. The 6 GB RAM should also really bring added improvement to multitasking as well, about time Samsung caught up to other manufacturers in this front. With the Vulkan API also leading the charge and combined with the advanced Graphics enabled in the Note 8 via the MALI-G71 MP20 or the Adreno 540 we are in for some pretty sweet benchmarking alongside faster performance and networking speeds.

The Vulkan API enables console-quality gaming experiences which is leading the charge for developers to create some Triple A quality games for the smartphone arena. Expect to see some graphic-intensive games run very smoothly on your Note 8.

Gigabit LTE support and Gigabit Wi-Fi support is also included (but this really depends on where you live) so you can enjoy streaming, downloading, and just surfing online at up to 1 gigabit per second. Thats insanely fast and probably only available in certain countries such as South Korea and Japan.

Biometric Security and Samsung Knox

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Samsung includes all of their advanced security measures and features for you to utilize. This includes all the functions we know and heard and love such as: the Iris scanner which has already been shown to work lightning fast and is pretty reliable. The Face recognition feature also works well but may be on the lower end of security. Patterns, Pins and passwords are certainly available and of course the finger print sensor.

The fingerprint sensor is found on the same place at the back as we saw on the S8 and S8 Plus. This may cause some disturbance yet again with people but we have seen people adapt to the situation and begin to really use and love their premium smartphones. We aren’t too worried.

All of Samsung’s security measures operate within the secure containers of Samsung Knox which is a military grade security system that is nearly fool proof. Consider your data kept safe.

Samsung Bixby

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Samsung Bixby received some pretty cool updates which should also arrive on the S8 and S8 Plus. Now you can program Bixby to understand key phrases or words and Bixby will perform complicated tasks based on the circumstance you need it. For example, they showed us how you can simply state “Good Night” to Bixby which then proceeded to open the Alarm app, set the alarm to 6 AM, then turn on the Blue light filter. Furthermore, saying “Food Picture” prompted Bixby to open the camera app, change the camera to Foodie Mode, take the photo, open the gallery app, and move the picture of the food to the “Foodie folder”. Now that’s pretty awesome.

It seems like Bixby is growing everyday and being improved upon. We wonder how efficient and powerful Bixby can become into the future.

How Much Will it Be and When is it Out?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be quite expensive. In Canada it is 1299.99 CAD while in the US it is around 950USD. Expect to pay a big premium for a premium smartphone. The company announced that the Note 8 will go on sale beginning September 15 2017. This is good news as usually Samsung takes months for it to get the devices out.

Your local carrier should be providing a cheaper alternative up front with a 2 year contract term or other.

Will you be buying the Galaxy Note 8? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

The New LG G7: The Rumor Wheel Begins… (Constantly Updated)

The New LG G7: The Rumor Wheel Begins… (Constantly Updated)

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The LG G7 is expected to succeed the latest LG flagship phone: LG G6, but this happening in early 2018. We are only in August 2017 as of this article being written but people have already begun churning the LG G7 rumor wheel. Follow this thread to keep yourself up to date with the LG G7 rumor’s. Not only do we wish to update you on actual leaks but we hope to provide some of our opinions to help get your imagination rolling as well.

Whats happening in 2018?

It is obvious that all major players in the smartphone arena have the tendency to pump out a new flagship and a bunch of smaller budget/medium performance smartphones. So it is not hard to believe that LG will be pushing out the new and improved LG G7 as their next flagship phone. So don’t expect the G7 to launch any time in 2017.

Important Points and Specs:

Expected Specs:

  • CPU: High-End Snapdragon 845 PRO Octa-core Processor
  • GPU: Adreno 550
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • 64 GB / 128 GB internal storage + microSD support
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dual Camera system with a faster lens (aperture of f/1.7)
  • 6.2 inch OLED Display

When is it coming out?:

Judging on the trend that LG is following, we expect the LG G7 to come out sometime in Spring 2018.

G7 News and Rumors

lg g7 concept images

As of this moment there aren’t too many rumors to go by, however, there has been reports that LG will begin to implement OLED display panels into their flagship phones. So we expect the LG G7 to also receive an OLED display. We are guessing that due to a bezel-less panel route we are expecting the phone to receive a 6.2 inch OLED display panel as well. Just like the S8 Plus that still manages to be thin and small with an incredibly bezel-less 6.2 inch display. We are certain that LG will try to compete with such a rival. Apple seems to also be taking on a similar route.

The LG G7 is expected to be unveiled during the Mobile World Congress 2018. This is expected to happen sometime late February to March. Look out for MWC 2018. However, like any manufacturer, timings are never perfect. LG can be late to the show (as the company was previously) and have varied greatly beginning with the LG G.

LG G7 Specs

5G Enabled Inside

There is a strange rumor going around, that which we are unsure about, but the G7 is expected to have a 5G connectivity available. This would mean that super high-speed data transfer speeds are possible with the next LG flagship via 5G modems.

5G is the next generation but a work in progress so we are unsure if the technology will be available by the time the G7 is available. 5G is not available in North America yet so we shouldn’t get our expectations up high just yet. The rumor comes from Business Korea who purported that the 5G connectivity will be one of the major selling points for the LG G7. Other phone’s expected to receive this will include the Galaxy S9. The 5G technology was first introduced by Qualcomm Technologies which boasts telecommunication speeds that are five times faster than the current wireless data networks available.

If this follows through then the LG G7 will come with Qualcommm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

Snapdragon 845 PRO and 6 GB of RAM

We are still quite a ways off to be hearing any substantial leaks and rumors directly about the LG G7, but we can certainly get by using information we already know. Qualcomm is already in the works based on a legal dispute between Qualcomm and Apple. The Snapdragon 845 chipset was listed among Qualcomm’s patent list which has not yet been announced. Although the 845 is expected to be unveiled in 2018 with a 7-nanometer process (which provides an increase of 30% in it’s power efficiency and power gain) compared to the already tiny 10-nanometer Snapdragon 835 we have today.

LG G7 AMOLED Display and a Redesign

The AMOLED display is more of a speculation and wish based on some news information we have been seeing. With OLED panels we may be seeing some interesting design language changes with the LG G series. The G7 may come with a bezelless design that rivals that of the S8/Note 8 and the upcoming iPhone 8.

Under the display fingerprint scanning technology does exist, it’s just that it is quite hard to implement with our current available technology. However, things may change in 2018 with the G7 perhaps being the first flagship phone to boast such a feature. This would mean that LG can get rid of the finger print circle from the back found on the G6 and just keep it under the display. This could mean that the G7 could receive a pressure sensitive home button like the Samsung Galaxy S8.

It is safe to assume that the LG G7 will have an all glass front. Still we hope to see that a reshaped display front could happen instead of the strange display shape on the LG G6. LG, however, did begin the trend of bezel-less displays and unique looking phones. Apple is expected to jump on the band wagon finally.

Expected Pricing

The cost for a premium flagship phone is always on the rise. The demands are always there and manufacturers manage to introduce new and more expensive features.

It is expected that the LG G7 will have a USD price tag of 750 and about 900 CAD. While in the UK it is expected to receive a price tag of about £610.

Stay Tuned!

We will keep our post updated for any more LG G7 news as soon as they come available

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LG G7 and LG V30 Expected to Receive OLED Display Panels in 2018

LG G7 and LG V30 Expected to Receive OLED Display Panels in 2018

lg v30 and oled display panel

LG’s biggest rival; Samsung in South Korea has been using OLED displays for a very long time. Now, even Apple is expected to finally jump on the OLED train with their upcoming iPhone 8. So it is only natural for LG who also produces display panels in the industry to begin pumping on OLED panels for their own flagship phones. OLED displays are colorful with deep blacks and bright vibrant displays compared to LCD panels.

An article produced by theinvestor in Korea talks about this very topic. The company stated that LG is expected to begin investing in OLED displays in the G7 and V30 in the latter half of 2017. The LG V30 is expected to arrive sometime in September and will be a large-display premium flagship. The G7 is expected to follow in Spring 2018.

The LG V30 is the next best from LG to come out so we will see what actually happens. The advantages of OLED panels over LCD panels is not necessarily in how it looks. Yes, the OLED panel will provide deeper blacks and more vibrant colors (and usually brighter), however, the OLED panel have individual pixels that can be turned on or off which means that the screen is capable of providing you a pure black imaging experience. Using a black background, therefore, also saves you battery power because the individual lights are turned off. So if the G7 and the V30 receives the OLED panels we will welcome it with open arms.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise

Rather, we know that LG has been manufacturing OLED displays for quite some time. We see it in their big flat screen smart TV’s and they have been selling their display panels to many other companies around the world. The company has the resources and the infrastructure to implement this technology into their latest and greatest flagship devices.

Not only would OLED panels provide the technical advantages mentioned above, but it would also give LG a bit more of a footing while competing against the likes of SAMSUNG and APPLE. Despite all of the speculation’s and rumors made thus far, we still take all this information with a grain of salt. However, we a pretty certain LG is going to jump on this bandwagon very soon. It is about time.