LG TONE Wireless Bluetooth Speakers & Earbuds Get Charged with a Neckband

Battery powered Bluetooth speakers are very common, and Bluetooth earbuds even more, but both are normally designed for different use cases. Last year ZAGG decided to bring both into a single product that you wear around your neck: Flex Arc Wireless Bluetooth earbuds + speakers now selling for about $56. The obvious advantage is that it includes larger battery than you can fit in earbuds and most Bluetooth headsets. ZAGG will soon be getting some competition as LG has designed two Bluetooth audio products leveraging your neck with LG TONE Studio (HBS-W120) equipped with a Hi-Fi DAC, 4 speakers, and two earbuds, and LG TONE Free (HBS-F110) with 2 “true wireless” earbuds that can be storage and charged in their neckband. The latter can also vibrate for incoming calls and text messages. An extra charging cradle is also provided for use cases when the neckband might not be convenient. LG will officially unveil both products at CES 2017, so we …

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LG V20 Android 7.0 Smartphone is Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor

LG V20 was mentioned during Android 7.0 release, as the first smartphone to ship with Android Nougat, but at the time, few details were provided. The Korean company has now released the full specifications, and the phone will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, features a secondary display overlaying the main display to display notifications, a dual rear camera, and a replaceable battery. LG V20 smartphone specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad core Kryo processor up 2.2 GHz with Adreno 530 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 64GB UFS flash, and micro SD slot up to 2TB Display – 5.7″ touchscreen IPS Quantum display with 2560×1440 resolution; Secondary IPS Quantum Display with 160 x 1040 resolution Camera – 2x Rear cameras: 16MP with F1.8 Aperture OIS (standard angle) and 8MP with F2.4 Aperture (wide angle); 5MP front-facing camera; Steady Record 2.0 electronic image stabilization (EIS) Audio – 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (ESS SABRE ES9218), HD audio …

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Android 7.0 Released, LG V20 Android Nougat Smartphone Coming Soon

Since Google has changed their way of releasing new version of Android, as they are now taking input from developers using preview releases, we’ve known the main changes in Android 7.0 for a while including multi-window support, improved security, virtual reality support, Vulkan API, a new JIT/AOT compiler, and so on. The company has now made it official, and released Android 7.0 earlier today. Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One smartphones will receive an OTA update with the new firmware, and some other phones enrolled in Android Beta program will also get Android 7.0, but older Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices won’t. Google and LG also unveiled the upcoming LG V20, the first smartphone to ship with Android 7.0. Few details have been provided so far The LG V20 builds upon the premium and rich multimedia smartphone experience of last year’s LG V10. It will be tuned to take advantage …

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Magic Device Tool Helps You Switch Between Android and Ubuntu on Supported Phones

There have only been a few phones released with or supporting Ubuntu so far, and those phones will normally be able to run Android too since Ubuntu Touch relies on Android drivers, and you may decide that Ubuntu is not for you and switch back to Android, or the contrary, if you’ve purchased an Android phone, you may want to install Ubuntu instead. In order to simplify the task of installing operating systems, Marius Quabeck has developed “Magic Device Tool“. As you can see from the screenshot above, 13 phones and tablets are currently supported. You’ll need a computer with Ubuntu 15.04 or greater to install the tool, and I’ve done so on Ubuntu 16.04: The script will also install phablet-tools if it is not already installed,  so if you are not root, you’ll need your account to be member of sudoers. Once the initial setup is done, you’ll get to choose your phone as shown in the first screenshot. …

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Inside LG 4K TV, and My (Unsuccessful) Attempt at Repairing It

Long time readers of this blog may remember that I organized a crowdfunding event aiming at raising funds to buy equipment to test 4K TV boxes and mini PCs in early 2015, and one of the items I ended up purchasing was LG 42UB820T 4K television. It worked well for over a year, but I started to notice a single vertical appear on the TV in June, or about 18 months after purchase. A few more lines appeared in the following week, and it appears to have stabilized as shown in the picture below. While I understand that in Europe a 2-year warranty period is legally required, I’m based in Asia, and all I got was a one year warranty for the TV. So I had three choices: Ignore the problem Pay for the repairs Try to repair it myself So far, I’ve selected solution 1. because that’s the easiest one, and the lines don’t matter than much since I …

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview Release

Google I/O 2016 has started, and among several announcements, Google released Android Wear 2.0 develop preview which according to the company is the “most significant update” since the launch of Android Wear two years ago. Some noticeable changes include: Standalone apps – Android Wear apps can now access the Internet directly over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular, without relying on a paired smartphone or tablet. New system UI – New notification design and app launcher, as well as a new watch face picker. Material design for wearables Keyboard and handwriting input methods added Google Fit platform – Improvements to the Google Fit platform make it easier to app developers to use fitness data and detect activity. Android N Support – Data Saver, Java 8 Lambda support, emojis, etc… A new Complication API has also been added to display small pieces of information directly on the watch face. Preview images for LGE Watch Urbane 2nd Edition and Huawei Watch, so you can give …

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Samsung Exynos 8890 Processor with Custom Exynos M1 and ARM Cortex A53 Cores Benchmarked

When Samsung announced Exynos 8890 processor, it promised 10% lower consumption and 30% high performance compared to Exynos 7 Octa. The company also said it make its own custom ARMv8 cores for the new, but at the time details were limited. Anandtech has now published more information, and Exynos 8890 octa-core processor will make use of four Exynos M1 custom cores combined with four low power ARM Cortex A53 cores, combined with a Mali-T880MP12 GPU. Exynos 8890 key features: Low power cores – 4x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.586GHz High performance cores – 2x Exynos M1 @ 2.60 GHz, 2x Exynos N1 @ 2.29 GHz; If 4 cores are running at the same time: 2.29 GHz maximum Memory – 2x 32-bit LPDDR4 @ 1794MHz; 28.7GB/s bandwidth GPU – Mali-T880MP12 @ 650 MHz Manufacturing process – Samsung 14nm LPP Now that Samsung Galaxy 7 has been announced with Exynos 8890 processor (at least one of its versions),  as well as …

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AsteroidOS is an Open Source Operating System for Your Android (Wear) Smartwatch

If you own an Android or Android Wear smartwatch, but would like more control over its functionality or simply prefer a truly open source operating systems for your watch, AsteroidOS could be the answer. Like alternative mobile operating systems such as Sailfish OS or Ubuntu Touch, AsteroidOS leverages existing Android drivers via libhybris library, and the user interface relies on Qt5 and QML running on top of OpenEmbedded, while Bluetooth is handled by BlueZ 5 library. There’s no company behind the project, and it is purely community driven. Currently only the LG G watch is supported, and you can give AsteroidOS a try by following the instructions. The Wiki provides information about the boot process, how to build the OS, creating an Qt5/QML app. etc.. and also explains how to port AsteroidOS to other watches, so if the project gets traction more devices will be supported. There are several ways to get involved with the project: Porting AsteroidOS to another …

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