Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


LG Showcases at Pop-up Cinema

Posted by Andrew at 10:11 AM on December 10, 2013

LG LogoIncredibly, it’s been 21 years since the first commercial SMS text message was sent, and appropriately the message was, “Merry Christmas”. It was sent from Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis on 3 December 1992 but it was a little one sided as Richard’s phone didn’t have a keyboard to reply on. I know how Neil must have felt as I never get a reply from my parents when I text them either….

To celebrate the amazing advances in technology since then, LG are showcasing their latest mobile devices at a pop-up cinema this weekend at Westfield London, UK. Instead of the silver screen, cinema-goers will be able to watch the latest films on LG’s G2 smartphone and the G Pad 8.3 tablet. Between 13th-15th December, the pop-up cinema will feature luxury seats, buckets of popcorn and the latest films in the palm of your hand.

LG Pop Up Cinema

Now showing is LG’s premier smartphone, the G2, featuring a 5.2″ full HD screen and tiny 2.65 mm bezel, giving owners a larger screen in the same overall dimensions.(Don’t you love the juxtaposition of imperial and metric units?) The IPS display keeps colours accurate and clear, perfect for the latest blockbuster.

But if that’s too small, the new G Pad 8.3 is step up from the usual 7″ tablet fare, with an 8.3″ screen to enhance the cinematic experience. The 1920 x 1200 WUXGA goes beyond full HD and the 1.7 GHz quad core processor makes sure that the G Pad keeps up with the action.

LG have partnered with Sky TV, to bring Now TV to their range of Smart devices and visitors to the cinema will be able to view a selection of the latest films using the Now TV app, which is available from Google Play.

If you are still wondering what to get your loved one and you are near Westfield London, pop round and munch some popcorn at the LG pop-up cinema. Apparently it’s near the Disney store….that’ll keep the kids quiet for 10 mins.

Your Smart TV Spied on You – LG Admits Collecting Information

Posted by J Powers at 9:24 AM on November 23, 2013

LG LogoLG – a South Korean company that makes multiple electronics including “Smart TVs” – admitted that their televisions reported back watching habits to the company. Even if the consumer selected a preference that essentially was suppose to deactivate the tracking option.

LG would monitor viewing duration, how the consumer selected channels and filenames on the connected devices (such as USB drives) to deliver better targeted ads. A blog by Doctor Beet first noticed this issue as he wrote about how he turned off the “Collection of watching info” to off, but still recorded how the TV continued to send information to LG.

Blogger Graham Cluley then posted this LG statement stating that a future firmware update will fix this feature. Further, the company will remove the data collection of USB and share drives while assuring customers they never used or retained this data.

In the meantime, if you own an LG TV and do not want information sent to the company, you can block certain websites including (via Tom’s Hardware):

  • ad.lgappstv.com
  • yumenetworks.com
  • smartclip.net
  • smartclip.com
  • smartshare.lgtvsdp.com
  • ibis.lgappstv.com

LG G Flex Curved Screen Smartphone

Posted by Andrew at 4:20 AM on October 28, 2013

LG LogoLG have announced the widely anticipated G Flex smartphone, the first to have a significantly curved screen. Obviously there have been smartphones with curved screens before, such as the Nexus S and the original Palm Pre, but the LG Flex is the first to make the curved screen into a major feature. Intended to follow the features of the face, physical improvements are accompanied by changes to the user interface to take advantage of the curved screen.

The new 6″ screen is based on the world’s largest Plastic OLED (POLED) display and as might be guessed from the name, the display and curved OLED panel are built on plastic substrates instead of glass. Further by combining all three sub-pixels (RGB) into a singled pixel, the display is brighter and clearer too.

Although the curved screen is the most obvious development, developing a curved battery was also a necessity. A sister company, LG Chem, developed the curved battery technology specifically for the G Flex and it has a capacity of 3,500 mAh, which should see the G Flex through the day.  For comparison, 2,500 mAH is fairly standard on smartphones. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the battery isn’t removeable.

LG G Flex Back

The G Flex is similar to the G2, with the volume buttons on the back, and several of its software enhancements such as KnockOn are included. New to the G Flex is dual windows, giving the ability to run two apps side-by-side. With such a large screen, that’s going to be a handy feature.

Some thought has been given to the impace of the curved screen, particular with regard to day-to-day use. First, considering the G Flex is going to be placed face-up on a desk, there’s going to be sweet-spot where the phone naturally rests because of the curved back. To avoid general wear, the rear has been give an elastic self-healing coating to mitigate any nicks and scratches. Second, as the phone can be placed face-down with out fear of scratching the screen, the rear LED is given more roles, such as flashing for repeated unanswered calls. The LED also acts as a countdown for the camera in timer mode.

LG G Flex Front

Other features are much as you’d expect for a high-end smartphone (taken from press release for the Korean version).

  • CPU: 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 (MSM 8974)
  • GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
  • Display: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
  • Memory: 2GB LP DDR3 RAM / 32GB eMMc
  • Camera: Rear 13.0MP / Front 2.1MP
  • Battery: 3,500mAh (embedded)
  • Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • Size: 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 – 8.7mm
  • Weight: 177g
  • Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
  • Connectivity: BT 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC

The LG Flex will be available in Korea in November with roll-out to other countries shortly afterwards.

It’s not often I’m excited about a smartphone – let’s be honest, they’re mostly evolutions – but this could be significant. Will all smartphones be curved in a few years or will the nature of pockets dictate that flat stays the norm?

LG Nexus 4 and Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging

Posted by Andrew at 7:15 AM on July 22, 2013

Being an ex-Palm afficionado, I’m a massive fan of wireless charging. The convenience of simply placing a Pre onto a Touchstone to charge is unparalleled and I still use wireless charging with my Cyanogen-modded Touchpad.

Today, the Pre series is history thanks to HP, but wireless charging is still around with Samsung, LG and Nokia all supporting the Qi standard. My current phone is a Nexus 4 but the official orb charger is a small fortune here in the UK, so it was with interest that I saw that the prices of the Nokia DT-900 charging pad were gradually falling. Last week, I finally succumbed and bought one.

DT-300

First impressions are mixed. The DT-900 seems reasonably well-made with a single white LED at the front to indicate the status of the charging. Unfortunately, the DT-900 comes with a somewhat chunky power supply which connects via a cable with DC jacks at each end. It would be far more sensible and useful if it used micro-USB connectors. And who thought that a white PSU with a black pad was good idea?

DT-300 Charger

But on to the wireless charging….

Reports from elsewhere on the web suggest that the Nexus 4 and the DT-900 should work together but my experience was somewhat mixed. The main issue is that positioning the Nexus on the plate is crucial for the charging to ‘lock on’. Incorrect alignment causes the plate’s LED to flash and the phone will continually stop and start charging.

DT-300 Plus Nexus 4

I tried a wide variety of positions, but even when I managed to get everything lined up, charging was poor, as you can see from the attached screenshots from Battery+.

Screenshot_2013-07-21-21-01-25 Screenshot_2013-07-21-21-01-55

Best results were from putting the Nexus 4 on the pad such that about a quarter to a half inch of the pad is visible at the bottom, but even then the battery charge level seemed to hit a plateau at around 80%

Maxed Out

Overall, it was disappointing and the DT-900 will going on ebay very shortly. One might have though that in the four years since the Palm Pre came out that wireless charging would have been perfected. Regrettably, if the DT-900 is anything to go by, it has a long way to go to even match what Palm offered. YMMV.

LG’s $12,000 OLED TV

Posted by Andrew at 6:58 PM on January 31, 2013

LG LogoLG bills its OLED screens as “The Ultimate Display” and Don Baine takes a look to see if the claim holds up.

LG’s OLED TVs are stunning on so many levels – the slimness of the screen, the thinness of the bezel, the curved screen with 3D, the blackness of the blacks, brightness of the colours and finally the price. At $12,000 for a 55″ screen, it’s not cheap, but it is the ultimate display.

If you’ve got the cash, you can pre-order now with availability expected in the US from mid-March.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

Support our coverage sponsors:
32% off your new order @ GoDaddy: go32off1
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

 

PlayPlay

LG Uses NFC to Connect Smartphones to TVs

Posted by Andrew at 7:19 PM on January 29, 2013

LG Logo

NFC has been a solution looking for a problem for some time, but products using NFC to solve real world issues are finally beginning to appear. Todd speaks with Brad from LG about how NFC is helping get video off smartphones and onto TVs.

Most people wanting to show video from their smartphone on their TV would automatically reach for a cable and then probably spend the next 10 minutes hunting around for the adaptor to plug the TV’s HDMI cable into the phone’s much smaller socket. NFC eliminates all this by wirelessly providing the information needed to stream the video to the TV using Miracast and all the person has to do is place his or her smartphone on the NFC tag. It’s not limited to sending video to the TV from the smartphone as the reverse is also possible: they can view what’s on the smart TV on their smartphone. Watch the video to see it in action – it’s very cool.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

Support our coverage sponsors:
32% off your new order @ GoDaddy: go32off1
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

PlayPlay

LG Optimus G Android Smartphone

Posted by Andrew at 6:57 PM on January 29, 2013

LG Logo

Regular listeners of GNC will know that Todd has been rocking an LG Optimus G Android smartphone (on loan from LG). Impressed with this device, he finds out more from Amy.

The LG Optimus G is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor which takes everything in its stride, with super smooth graphics and slick multitasking. Todd rates the camera, too, with both stills and video footage looking fantastic. Overall, it’s a great package that’s worth checking out if you are in the market for a new smartphone.

Available through AT&T and Sprint in the US on range of contracts.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

Support our coverage sponsors:
32% off your new order @ GoDaddy: go32off1
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

 

PlayPlay

Nexus 4 On Sale in UK at 5pm

Posted by Andrew at 8:01 AM on December 4, 2012

Just a quickie for UK readers. Email in from Google to say that the Nexus 4 is going back on sale at 5pm today.

Nexus 4