Tag Archives: LG

LG Nexus 4 Hands-On Video Shows Off Android 4.2 with Quick Settings

LG Nexus 4 has to go down as one of the worst kept secrets of the year. We already had numerous leaked pictures and detailed specifications. Now, we even have a hands-on video of the handset.

Swedroid has published a two minutes video of the LG Nexus 4, which will be Google’s flagship handset for Android 4.2. The video shows LG’s first Nexus handset up close, and to be quite honest, it looks gorgeous. It is undoubtedly the best-looking smartphone that has come out of LG’s stables in the recent past. The video also gives us a brief glance of Android 4.2. We get our first look at Quick Settings. This feature will be accessible through a button in the notification bar, and as the name suggests, it will provide quick access to various frequently used settings. Check out the video yourself, and don’t forget to let us know what you think of the new Nexus handset.

LG Reports Q3 2012 Earnings; $10.93 Billion in Revenue

LG announced its earnings for Q3 2012, with its third quarter of “positive net income”, which it apparently considers a big enough achievement to brag about it in its press release. Maybe it is, considering how everyone except Apple and Samsung is getting crushed in the smartphone space. But I digress. Anyway, LG made a net profit of $138.57 million on revenue of $10.93 billion, which was down 4% year-over-year. Its operating profit was $195.06 million.

The revenue split between divisions was as expected.

LG Home Entertainment Company generated third-quarter 2012 sales of $4.84 billion, while LG Mobile Communications Company generated sales of $2.16 billion. LG Home Appliance Company saw its revenue increase to $2.53 billion, while LG Air Conditioning and Energy Solution Company saw sales decline to $859.66 million.

Here’s what most relevant to us from their press release:

“LG Mobile Communications Company improved significantly in the 2012 third quarter, recording operating profit of KRW 22 billion (USD 19.42 million) due in large part to healthy sales of LTE smartphones in Korea, Japan and the United States. In addition, Optimus L-Series continued to expand into 3G markets, contributing to the sales increase. Revenues increased by 5 percent quarter-to-quarter to KRW 2.45 trillion (USD 2.16 billion) as shipments exceeded 14 million units, an increase of 9 percent from the previous quarter. The company expects to further increase its shipments and revenue in the fourth quarter with the global launch of the Optimus G superphone and sales of Optimus Vu: 2 in Korea.”

via LG Newsroom

LG Launches Optimus Vu in India

Samsung invented the ‘phablet’ segment, which consists of high-end smartphones with displays that are bigger than what you would expect in phones, but aren’t quite big enough to qualify as a tablet. I am not a big fan of phablets, which are invariable too huge to be used comfortably as a phone. However, as the popularity of the Galaxy Note has shown, millions across the world don’t have the same reservation. The strong performance of Note has prompted others to try their luck with phablets. LG was among the first movers with its Optimus Vu, which was announced towards the beginning of this year at the MWC. Now, after a prolonged wait, the Vu is finally here in India.

LG-Optimus-Vu

In an event held in New Delhi, LG launched the Optimus Vu. The Vu runs on a quad core 1.5 GHz Tegra 3 processor, and sports a 5-inch display with a resolution of 768 x 1024 pixels. Memory card slot is not present, but the 32 GB internal storage should be good enough for most users. The 8 megapixel rear cam is capable
of snapping 1080p videos at 30fps, while the 1.3 MP front cam is good enough for video calling. On the software front it is Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) running LG’s Optimus UI.

Vu is an interesting device, and a commendable effort from LG. On the hardware front, the P895 is extremely competitive. However, I wish that LG had introduced it earlier in the Indian market. LG International has already announced the Optimus Vu II for Korea. The Vu is launching with a price tag of Rs. 34,500, and will probably cost a thousand bucks less in the market. The Galaxy Note 2 is available for Rs. 37,000, while the original Note is available for Rs. 31,000. Vu’s biggest strength is its price. It will make everyone looking to buy the original Note think twice, and might also eat into Note 2’s sales. It’s about ten percent cheaper than the Note 2, and its Tegra 3 is in the same league as Samsung’s Exynos 4412. The Note 2 is easier to grip, runs Jelly Bean, supports microSD cards, and has a bigger battery. The Optimus Vu is prettier and cheaper, with Jelly Bean scheduled to come next year.

Sony’s Nexus Handset Pictures Leak?

Today, a couple of pictures of what is apparently the Nexus handset from Sony have made its way on Picasa. As of now, there is no way of confirming whether these pictures are real or are fake.

While there is no Nexus or Xperia branding on the handset, the picture of the handset showing off the stock Android 4.x home screen is enough to fuel the rumors that this might be the Nexus handset from Sony.

Earlier this year, Wall Street Journal had reported that Google will apparently be launching multiple Nexus handsets at the end of the year. Since then, rumors about the Nexus handsets were too far and few until October started. Since the beginning of October, the pictures and other details of the next Nexus handset from LG have made their way to the Internet, almost daily.

The lack of leaks and rumors as to the Nexus handsets from other OEMs suggested that there will only be one Nexus handset from LG this year, but the above pictures, if true, suggest that Google might just unveil multiple Nexus handsets this year.

As a religious Android follower, I doubt the authenticity of the above pictures. If there were indeed multiple Nexus handsets this year, some information would have leaked about them by now.

Via – Xperia Blog

LG Release Jelly Bean Update Schedule For Its Handsets

LG today announced via a press release that it will soon start rolling out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for some of its devices. LG has hardly updated its handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich, with only the Korean version of the Optimus 2X tasting Android 4.0 until now.

The first handset from LG to receive the Jelly Bean update will be the Optimus LTE II. The handset should taste Jelly Bean next month, but LG is known to delay its Android OS updates, so don’t get your hopes too high. Second in the list is the LG Optimus G, which should taste Jelly Bean sometime in December.

Last, and hopefully not the least, are the Optimus Vu and Vu II devices. LG will update them to Jelly Bean sometime in the Q1 of next year, which shows how slow the company is in rolling out updates for its high-end devices.

Surprisingly, the LG Optimus 4X HD was missing from LG’s press release, which is shocking considering the handset was the Korean maker’s flagship handset for sometime in 2012. If the list is anything to go by, it looks like LG won’t be updating any of its 2011 handsets to Jelly Bean including the Optimus 2X and the Nitro HD.

The Jelly Bean update will bring with it Google Now, minor UI tweaks, Project Butter along with some new apps from LG including Q Slide.

Pictures Of Upcoming LG Nexus Phone Leak

Before October started, the rumor mill was surprisingly pretty silent about the next Nexus handset from Google. Thankfully, October had a explosive start in terms of Nexus rumors with the specs of the LG Optimus G based Nexus from Google leaking out.

Today, a bunch of blurrycam pictures of the LG Nexus handset has hit the Internet showing off the device running Android 4.1.2. The pictures of the LG E960 dubbed mako first made its way on XDA forums, before Android Central and other blogs got some more pictures of the device. In some pictures, the phone is inside a case probably to keep its design away from the prying eyes.

The pictures confirm that the next Nexus from LG will sport a non-removable battery, a 4.7-inch screen with 1280×768 resolution and on-screen navigation buttons. The handset looks like a mash-up of Galaxy Nexus and the Optimus G, and to me, looks pretty sleek and sexy. It is not clear from the pictures whether the back of the phone is made of glass or glossy plastic, though.

The FCC documents suggest that the LG Nexus will support only AT&T’s 3/4G LTE bands in the United States. Hopefully, Google will also release a penta-band version of the LG Nexus handset especially since the MD915 modem inside the handset is perfectly capable penta-band baseband.

Don’t forget to hit the sources below for more pictures.

Via – The Verge, Baraholka

Next Nexus Handset From LG; To Pack Similar Specs As LG Optimus G

Before October started, the rumors and information surrounding the next Nexus was surprisingly very low. However, October has had an explosive start in terms of Nexus news and rumors.  Taylor of Android and Me, and now, Paul of Modaco have got confirmed news from their 100% trusted sources that LG will be making the next Nexus handset. At the moment it is unsure whether there will be multiple Nexus handsets from multiple OEMs or not.

According to the tip that Paul and Taylor have got, the LG Nexus handset will sport specs similar to the LG Optimus G, which means that we may finally have a Nexus handset that is actually ahead in terms of raw power compared to other Android devices rather than being behind them.

Below are the rumored specs of the next Nexus handset from LG as posted by Paul  -:

  • The device is based on the Optimus G but doesn’t look the same
  • Updated Android release (currently 4.2)
  • Quad Core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1280×768 True-HD IPS screen
  • On screen soft keys (of course)
  • 8 Megapixel Camera
  • No microSD slot
  • 8GB and 16GB versions only (at least initially)
  • Non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging built in
  • The retail name of the device is yet to be decided.

While a quad-core Krait and 2GB of RAM sound really good, only 16GB of internal memory and no microSD card slot sounds really bad. With the size of Android games reaching up to 3.5GB, and averaging around 1-2GB, 16GB is just not enough. I really hope Google unveils a 32GB variant of the handset as well, and skips the 8GB version since I doubt it will find many takers.

The handset is expected to be launched sometime in mid-November so there is still quite a lot of time left for leaks, rumors, blurry cam pics and the official announcement from Google itself.

LG Optimus 4X HD P880 Review

The LG Optimus 4X HD has a lot riding on its shoulders. Until the Optimus G arrives, the 4X will have to bear the responsibility of keeping LG’s head high in front of giants like the Galaxy SIII, the One X, and the iPhone 5. Thankfully, at least on paper, the Optimus 4X HD looks well equipped to go head to head against the latest and greatest smartphones from its competitors. Let us find out if the actual product lives up to its specifications.

Appearance

LG-Optimus-4X-Front

The LG Optimus 4X uses a lot of plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap and flimsy in the way the Galaxy SIII does. LG has eschewed the conventional smooth curves in favor of a design with sharp corners that exude boldness. Its prism-edged design with intricately patterned back cover and a double rimmed frame lends it a more premium feel, besides making the phone easier to grip. The One X is still the winner in terms of comfort factor, and also would have won hands down in the looks department, if not for the frog-eyed lens. However, as things stand now, I find the Optimus 4X HD to be more appealing than both the One X and the Galaxy SIII.

LG-Optimus-4X-No-Buffer

Unfortunately, the Optimus 4X has one major design issue. There is absolutely no buffer space between the display and the capacitive buttons – in other words, the buttons begin as soon as the screen ends. This can lead to some extremely frustrating experiences. If even the tiniest portion of your finger touches the Home button while you are trying to tap the space bar, you will be instantly taken out of whichever application you were using and to your launcher’s home screen. After using the 4X HD for a couple of weeks, I sort of trained myself to steer clear of the capacitive buttons while typing, but I am sure that LG has accelerated my balding process.

Display

The LG Optimus 4X has a 4.7-inch True HD-IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi). Any display with a pixel density greater than 300 should be stunning, and the Optimus 4X doesn’t disappoint. It uses RGB display matrix, which should (at least in theory) lend it an advantage over the Galaxy SIII, which has a pentile matrix. However, I couldn’t distinguish individual pixels in either of the displays. The Optimus 4X HD display is bright – I mean really bright. It has excellent outdoor visibility, and the viewing angles are quite good. However, the extra bright IPS display has its own disadvantage. LG’s display lacks contrast as a result of which images appear slightly washed out. The blacks of AMOLED displays are worth dying for, and LCDs still can’t get anywhere near.

Hardware

LG-Optimus-4X-Back

The Optimus 4X features an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, which boasts of a Quad-core (plus an additional power saving fifth core) 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU and a ULP GeForce GPU. This is precisely what the international version of HTC One X also uses; hence, theoretically both of them should be able to deliver similar performance. I benchmarked the Optimus 4X against Galaxy SIII and One X. Samsung’s flagship was the clear winner, while LG managed to beat HTC in AnTuTu, but trailed in Quadrant.

Galaxy-S3-One-X-Optimus-4X-HD-Benchmark

To be fair to LG, the difference between the Optimus 4X and other Android flagships isn’t particularly huge. The 4X HD feels zippy and smooth whether I am flinging through my pictures in the Gallery or playing an HD video. However, I did notice occasional frame rate drops while playing games like Temple Run, which was somewhat surprising.

Software

The Optimus 4X HD ships with Android 4.0, which is better known as Ice Cream Sandwich. This was perfectly fine when the 4X HD was announced. However, it has already been three months since Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) was unveiled by Google. Samsung has already started updating Galaxy SIII handsets to Jelly Bean, while HTC has committed to delivering Jelly Bean to One X owners in October. LG on the other hand is yet to even commit to rolling out Jelly Bean to its existing line of products. LG has a pretty poor track record when it comes to delivering updates, and it is clear that they haven’t learned anything from their past mistakes. It’s unforgivable that LG has failed to clarify their position on Jelly Bean update for their premium smartphone a full quarter after its release.

As far as ICS is concerned, LG has put in substantial amount of effort to distinguish its baby from the other smartphones in the market. As expected, the 4X runs the Optimus UI 3.0 on top of ICS. Skinning ICS is not the easiest task, simply because Google did an excellent job at creating a refined and aesthetically pleasing interface. Most smartphone manufacturers – Samsung and HTC included, simply fall into the trap of ignoring all ICS design conventions and slapping on a bright, colorful interface in the name of differentiation. LG is no different, but because it retains a sizable chunk of default ICS design elements, it comes off looking better than Samsung. Sony is among the few manufacturers who have managed to get the balancing act largely right by making tasteful design modification to the ICS user interface.

The strong point of the Optimus UI is its customizability. You can change everything from home screen transition effects to application icons. Even the lock screen is pretty customizable. You get to choose everything from how the clock looks to which apps appear in the lock screen dock. And, oh yeah, LG’s lock screen unlock animation is definitely the coolest that I have seen on Android. In spite of heavy customizability, LG’s Optimus UI feels slightly less intuitive than TouchWiz and Sense. Sense is packed to the brim with eye-candy, while TouchWiz uses a lot of clever gestures to enhance productivity.

As I mentioned earlier, LG has gone the extra mile to make the 4X HD stand out from the crowd. Many of the enhancements concern multimedia aspects of the 4X and will be touched upon later in this article. There are a couple of non-multimedia enhancements that I will briefly discuss right now. For a more in-depth look at the features unique to LG’s flagship, check out my earlier write-up on the USPs (unique selling points) of the 4X.

The first major enhancement is QuickMemo. It is essentially an enhanced note taking app that permeates through the Optimus UI. Just tap the QuickMemo button present in the notification bar, and whatever was happening on-screen will be frozen. You can annotate the screen capture and save it for later reference or share it with your friends. You can annotate presentations, documents, webpages, and just about anything.

The other major software enhancement concerns the mail client. The Optimus 4x ships with its own mail client called Smart Mail that offers a desktop-client like two pane view in landscape mode, and enhances discoverability of previous conversations through its smart email-sorting feature.

Multimedia

The Optimus 4X features an 8-megapixel rear cam and an 1.3 megapixel front cam. LG’s camera UI is simplistic, but still offers lots of configurability through the settings menu. Still photography provides four basic modes – normal, panorama, HDR, and continuous shot – all of which are standard features in current generation smartphones. However, the 4X does have one unique trick up its sleeve that gives it an edge over its competition. It is called “Time Catch Shot”. When you enable this feature, the 4X captures five shots in a quick succession, including shots from moments before you clicked on the shoot button, from which you can select and keep the best shot. With Time Catch, even if you are too late or too early with the shoot button, you can still capture the moment you wanted.

LG-Optimus-4X-HD-Camera-Sample-1
Shot taken at dusk
LG-Optimus-4X-HD-Camera-Sample-2
Shot taken at dusk in HDR mode

In terms of picture quality, the Optimus 4X really shines outdoors. It takes detailed, vibrant yet natural images with minimal noise. The HDR mode also works particularly well and is a great way to capture images of stationary objects under low light. However, one area where the 4X fumbles is normal low light photography. Both the One X and the S3 shoots better pictures under poor artificial lighting.

The 4X shoots 1080p videos at 30 fps. Once again, the poor low-light performance holds it back, but under proper conditions, LG’s flagship is a competent performer. The videos recorded have good color reproduction and low noise, but goes overboard with the sharpness that adds some artifacts. The continuous auto-focus works quite well, and unless you are trying to capture really close objects, the focus readjustment happens quite quickly and smartly. You also get the option to capture images while shooting videos.

As I mentioned earlier, LG has done a lot to enhance the multimedia experience. Most of its efforts show up in the video player. Optimus 4X HD’s video player has four nifty tricks up its sleeve that gives it a clear advantage over its competition. They are –

  • Fingertip seek, which shows a YouTube like preview of the frame you are about to jump to while seeking.
  • Speed controller, which allows you to slow down or speed up the video on the fly.
  • Split-Screen view, which allows you to quickly browse through your library.
  • Pinch-to-zoom, which allows you to zoom into any video you are watching. While this is not something that you will use regularly, it is a nice to have enhancement.

Others

A particularly thorny issue with modern smartphones is battery life. While we have briskly moved onto massive screens and quad-cores with frequencies in gigahertzs, the battery technology has been struggling to keep up. The 4X ships with the most firepower. It has a 2150 mAh battery, while the S3 and the One X have 2100 mAH and 1800 mAh batteries respectively. Unfortunately, in real world, 4X doesn’t perform so well. I didn’t benchmark LG’s battery performance; however, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 undoubtedly lasts quite a few hours more than the Optimus 4X HD. The 4X has a good standby time; however, surfing or watching videos kills the battery really quickly.

While purchasing a new smartphone the thing that often has the least impact on the buyer’s decision is the device’s capabilities as a phone. However, a smartphone that can seamlessly stream HD videos, but can’t be used for making calls in crowded places due to poor noise isolation is hardly a smart buy. Thankfully, the Optimus 4X suffers from no such flaws. Call quality is crisp and the speaker is loud enough to allow conversations even in noisy environments.

Connectivity options in the Optimus 4X HD include DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. LG is also taking a page out of Sony’s book and introducing NFC smart tags. They are calling this LG Tag+. The NFC tags can be used for changing profiles, launching apps, altering phone settings and more with a tap. The Optimus 4X will ship with two tags.

Conclusion

The Optimus 4X is a great phone, there is no doubt about it. It looks and feels like a flagship device, and for the most part, performs like a premium device. The mixed benchmark scores and shorter battery life indicates that the software is not perhaps as optimized as it could have been. However, in real life, you are unlikely to notice the performance difference. The Optimus 4X is fast and fluid, and is capable of running games like Nova 3 smoothly. The user interface is highly customizable and there are numerous unique features to boot. LG’s latest flagship might not manage to beat the Galaxy or the One X on the whole, but it is extremely competent and can stand proudly next to the best of the best devices. The best part is that the Optimus 4X is a fair bit cheaper than most of its competition. Both the One X and the Galaxy S3 are currently available for around Rs. 35,000, while the Optimus 4X HD is retailing for around Rs. 32,000. Regardless, of which of the three you pick, you will end up with a great smartphone. The Galaxy S3 remains the best device that money can buy. However, if those three thousand bucks really matter to you, go for the 4X HD. It has its own share of strengths to justify its billing as a flagship. If LG can manage to get the cost down a bit more, then the 4X might even eat into the sales of previous generation super powers like the Galaxy SII.

LG Venice Coming To Boost Mobile On October 10 For $219.99

LG recently announced a new mid-range smartphone, the LG Venice. This handset will be exclusively available for the Boost Mobile subscribers in the US. LG Venice comes with a 4.3 inch screen, 1 GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera and so on. This handset runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System.

James Fishler, senior vice president, marketing and go-to-market operations, LG Electronics USA, said,
“With high-quality features, a stylish design and the wallet-friendly no-contract plan, LG Venice definitely stands out. LG and Boost Mobile continue to release innovative devices that exceed the expectations of those who use them. Whether it’s capturing still or video memories, connecting and sharing content with friends and loved ones, or viewing media on the crystal-clear touchscreen, Life’s Good with the LG Venice.”

LG Venice features a 4.3 inch display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Corning’s Gorilla Glass, 1 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, LG Optimus 3.0 user interface, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with HD (720p) video recording capabilities, VGA front-facing camera for video chat, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, QuickMemo and much more.

This handset allows you to access more than 675,000 apps from the Play Store. LG Venice will go on sale from October 10. This handset comes with a price tag of just $219.99 without any contract. However, you will need to subscribe to the $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan. To get this handset, head over to this page.

LG Optimus Vu II Announced In South Korea

We already knew that LG was working on the successor of its original phablet, the LG Optimus Vu. Today, the Korean mobile phone maker finally announced its second phone/tablet hybrid device, the LG Optimus Vu II. It comes with the same 5 inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio, however the processor, RAM and battery have been upgraded in this device.

LG Optimus Vu II is the company’s second device to feature the unique QSlide Function which shows two different screens simultaneously on one display. Basically it means that you can view once apps on the first half and a second app on the another half of the screen. It also packs a stylus dubbed as “Rubberdium Pen 2.0″ that offers a finer point for more precise input.

LG Optimus Vu II features a 5 inch IPS display, sporting a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi 802.11 a/​​b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, MHL, NFC, USB 2.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi direct, GPS with A-GPS, LTE connectivity, Google Play Store, 2 GB RAM, 400 hours of stand-by time, 500 minutes of talk-time and a 2150 mAh battery. This handset measures 132.2 x 85.6 x 9.4 mm and weighs 159 grams.

LG Optimus Vu II will be available in Black, White and Pink colors. This handset comes with a price tag of 966,900 won (approx. $865) in Korea. LG Optimus Vu II is expected to be available in major European and Asian markets in the coming weeks.