Posts with tag lg
webOS lives on... again
Last year LG resurrected Palm’s ill-fated webOS smartphone platform, reimagining it as a next-generation Smart TV platform with little in the way of any sort of competition when it comes to usability and design. It was just June that LG announced that they’ve sold 1 million television sets running webOS, and now the company is back with seven – yes, count them, seven – new models running an upgraded version of LG’s webOS platform, which the company is calling webOS 2.0, all in various sizes. Oh, and some of them are even curved.
But unlike last year’s webOS Smart TVs, which featured essentially mostly conventional 1080p LCD panels, this year LG is making a bold move by heavily pushing the next generation 4K OLED technology. OLED panels have several improvements over traditional LCDs, including blacker blacks, deeper and richer colors, and better energy efficiency.
OLEDs aren’t necessarily anything new – they’ve been a staple of numerous CES’s past, at this point – but LG’s new webOS 2.0 OLED Smart TVs promise to be among the first relatively affordable OLED sets. 4K panels, of course, offer a much higher resolution than 1080p displays resulting in a much sharper, more detailed picture.
LG hasn’t said anything in the way of pricing or availability of any of their 4K OLED Smart TVs, however expect to learn more in the weeks and months ahead.
It's like the original G Flex, but better
As we reported in our pre-CES coverage, LG is back with the sequel to last year’s original G Flex smartphone – and this time, you might actually want it.
Whereas last year’s model featured a ridiculously large 6-inch display, the G Flex 2 has a much more manageable (yet still very, very large) 5.5-inch display. That’s still firmly in “phablet” territory, but let’s be real here – last year’s G Flex felt more like a small tablet than a big smartphone. The technology inside that warped body is also much improved; whereas the original G Flex had a 720p display, the new model features a 1080p resolution – a noticeable improvement over the older model at this screen size.
LG says this new G Flex 2 is 20% more durable than last year’s model, and is able to recover from more scratches, more easily than last ear’s model using an improved version of the company’s unique self-healing finish found on the back of the phone, whereas Gorilla Glass 3 strengthens the front.
There’s a next generation Snapdragon 810 processor inside, one of the first mass market a 64-bit mobile processors to make their way into an Android device. There’s also a 13 megapixel camera on the back and a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera, for all your selfie needs.
The LG G Flex 2 will ship later this first quarter on AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular calling first dibs in the United States. Pricing has yet to be announced, however LG did say that the company is considering this a niche, high-end device that will likely cost more than the existing (and more capable) LG G3.
LG says they're redefining the curve
LG has just announced the new G Flex 2 smartphone at CES, the successor to last year’s original G Flex. While the smartphone itself likely won’t be revealed for a couple of hours or so, recent rumors imply that that the new smartphone will feature a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.
Rumors also peg the G Flex 2 as featuring a now relatively standard sized 5.5-inch display, putting this firmly in the “phablet” category alongside the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note, as well as Google and Motorola’s Nexus 6. According to BGR, LTE-A – which has yet to formally launch in the United States – will also be onboard for models sold in markets that support it. We’ll know more about the LG G Flex 2 soon, and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we know more.
The 9 isn't the only new kid on the block
The Nexus 5, Google’s flagship Android device, is coming up on a year old – almost an eternity in the mobile space. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Google is already hard at work figuring out its successor, and today thanks to 9to5Google we got our first real look at both the design and the technical specifications of Google’s upcoming Nexus 6, designed and manufactured by – wait for it – not LG (like the Nexus 5), not Samsung (like the Nexus 10), not even HTC (like the rumored Nexus 9)… but by Motorola.
As you can see in the leaked shots above, the Nexus 6 (which isn’t yet an official name, by the way) bares more than just a passing resemblance to Motorola’s latest lineup of smartphones, the Moto X and Moto G series. In fact, it looks almost exactly like a stretched out second generation Moto X, complete with the top / bottom speaker grille on the front, and the aluminum chassis around the sides.
What has changed, however, is the size – the Nexus 6 is simply massive with its whopping 5.92-inch display. Featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the Nexus 6’s display evens out at a cool 498 PPI, making it higher resolution than Apple’s big screen device, the iPhone 6 Plus (401 PPI) but lower resolution than Samsung’s next generation phablet, the Note 4 (550 DPI).
Driving this big screen is said to be a Snapdragon 805 processor, one of the fastest out there, a huge 3,200 mAh battery, and 3GB of RAM (compared to a measly 1GB on the iPhone 6 series). Though that sounds impressive, all that extra oomph will presumably be needed to power the Nexus 6’s ginormous high resolution display at acceptable levels of performance for this tier of device, meaning you shouldn’t necessarily expect next generation graphics or 48 hour battery life.
No word yet on pricing and availability, though 9to5Mac speculates on a late October launch, but with both the Nexus 9 and Android 5.0 “L” seemingly just around the corner, I wouldn’t really be surprised to see this thing hit stores sooner rather than later. And given Motorola’s excellent track record at developing and manufacturing beautiful, high powered devices at an amazingly low cost, it sounds like it’s going to be worth the wait – as long as you think you can stomach that extra huge screen.
Hey, they have a lot of competition
Pebble was one of the first out with a functional, usable, and not-too-ugly-looking modern smartwatch in 2013, but things have changed drastically since then. The smartwatch competition has heated up like perhaps nobody could have expected; Samsung, Sony, Fitbit, LG, and even Google have gotten into the game big time, and Apple is expected to launch its very real and very powerful “iWatch” smartwatch before 2014 draws its last breath. In early 2013, Pebble had little competition – today, there’s little shortage. Pebble is fully aware of its situation, and has responded with full force; the company has today announced that they have hired away Itai Vonshak and Liron Damir from LG. Vonshak and Damir are best known, of course, as the head UI designers of LG’s incarnation of webOS.
Make no mistake, this is the real thing. Pebble knows they’ve got a good thing going, and the company is in no way ready to drop the ball to the likes of Google and Apple. Today’s hiring of two of the industry’s top designers will absolutely make a mark on the company’s inevitable next-generation smartwatches. And with almost two years of experience, two talented designers, and quickly growing brand recognition, Pebble may very well have what it needs to keep up its title as the industry’s leading manufacturer of smartwatches.
But I wanted a Moto 360
If you’re in on Google’s smartwatch platform, Android Wear, and ready to lay down that debit card information and get an early adopter’s unit in your hands – or, err, on your wrist – as soon as possible, you’ll want to keep refreshing the Google Play Store. Google just announced at I/O 2014 that the new LG G Watch will be up for sale on the Play Store today, presumably following the conclusion of the keynote event. The LG G Watch is the first officially licensed Android Wear device, Google’s adoption of Android for the wearable space. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the G Watch in action – this is the same smartwatch Google announced alongside the Android Wear platform earlier this year.
But never one to sit out of the festivities, Google also announced that a previously unheard of smartwatch by Samsung will be available for pre-order today, the Samsung Gear Live. If you’ve got a vision of a Galaxy Gear running Android Wear in your head, that’s pretty much right. It looks extremely similar to Google’s established Gear watches, albeit running Google’s take on the smartwatch platform rather than the sometimes bizarre Gear platform.
If you were looking to get in on the Moto 360, the first Android Wear smartwatch with a circular display, get ready to be disappointed. Unfortunately for all of us (this writer included), Google says the Moto 360 won’t be available until “later this summer.” But Mom, I want it nooow.
Source: Google Play
Represent the new vision
And just like that, Google’s Android Wear platform for smartwatches is official. But no platform announcement would be complete without a few partners also showing up with the goods, and today’s it’s LG and Motorola backing Google with a preview of their upcoming smartwatches powered by Android Wear.
Motorola’s endgame appears to be a new circular smartwatch dubbed the Moto 360, seen above. While we know next to nothing about the device just yet, we do know that Motorola’s slogan is “a twist of the wrist”, likely signifying that natural wrist movement will be involved in the watch’s primary interface, similar to how wrist flicking was integrated into the Moto X’s camera functionality.
The LG G Watch (seen above) is a bit more exciting, however, as it’s slated to arrive a lot sooner than you might think – next quarter. The LG G Watch is designed to be a “low barrier to entry” for developers and consumers alike, signifying that the devie will be sold at a reduced price point in order to attract people to the new platform. LG isn’t saying too terribly much more about the G Watch just yet, other than what we already knew from the Google announcement earlier today – it’ll have some focus on fitness, support voice recognition and Google Now, and will offer a “Google experience” meaning no UI customization here, thankfully. Unfortunately, the LG G Watch is a lot more garish then what we’ve seen from some other Android Wear devices, featuring a thick body and a rectangular screen rather than a compact circular one.
A couple of days ago we showed you shots of what we called a “sassy” red colored Nexus 5, and today we’re getting confirmation that such a mystical creature exists in the best way possible – Google has just put the new color up for sale on Google Play store. That’s right, starting today, you can head on over to Google Play and buy your own red Nexus 5.
Pricing remains the same $329 for 16GB and $399 for 32GB, so you won’t have to pay more to get your sass on. Sprint is rumored to be carrying the device shortly with a usual subsidy for signing up for a 2-year contract, so if you’re not interested in buying the unlocked model at full price you might have that to look forward to.
Sound good? Head on over to Google and click the “Buy” button. I mean look at it. You know you want to.
Source: Google Play
Just look at that
While the Nexus 5 comes in only white and black colors like most smartphones (iPhone 5c and the Lumia lineup excluded, of course), Google may be looking to spice things up just a tad. If Twitter user @artyomstar is to believed – and we don’t see why he wouldn’t be – the company is getting ready to launch a special version of the Nexus 5 that comes in a super sassy lipstick red type color.
I personally can’t imagine grabbing one of these for myself – there’s just something a little too extreme about this particular shade of red – but if you’re okay with buying a smartphone that’s as loud and proud as you may be, Google could soon have the phone for you.
Insert witty 2-year-contract joke here
Perhaps you’ve seen LG’s new G Flex phone, one of the very first curved smartphones. Perhaps you’d like a curved 6-inch monster of a phone? AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have all signed on to sell the device, but only Sprint has released pricing info and a release date for their version of the G Flex. If Sprint is your carrier then you can get a G Flex for $299 come January 31st.
But what if you want to throw your money at Sprint now and build up anticipation and excitement for the phone? That’s possible too as Sprint is taking pre-orders for the device. They’ll even throw in a free windowed cover (“A $59.99 value”) when you pre-order.
The end game
It’s Friday. The liveblogs are ending; the major announcements wrapped up, the wacky finds fewer and further between. CES 2014 has finally come to an end, and this was our second year covering the event, finding the most important, most influential, or just plain most crazy announcements of the week. It was also our biggest year covering the event, with thousands of readers visiting the site to check out the best of what CES has to offer.
It was a pretty crazy week. Let’s revisit it. Click through after the break to read more.
Cards are out, lines are in
WebOS is back. That’s if LG has its way, who today made their plans for the reinvention of the Smart TV based on the platform official. Originally developed by Palm, then put in the hands of HP in the wake of their Palm buyout, then open sourced by HP after the company cut the cord after failed launches of numerous new WebOS devices, and then finally bought by LG last year. But before you get all excited, former WebOS fans, let me cool your tempers a little bit – this is very much not the WebOS you knew and loved. This is WebOS reborn.
The new WebOS largely ditches the familiar “cards” metaphor that Palm introduced with WebOS those many years ago and instead focuses on a new “line” metaphor – because, according to LG, “what’s easier than a line?” Clearly the UI had to be rethought in order to work on the big screen using the remote as the primary method of input, and what LG has come up with is beautiful – but very, very different.
To make the television easier for the end consumer to set up and navigate, LG has introduced a new character dubbed “Bird Bean” – we kid you not – that will act as the Clippy of your next LG television, guiding you through the set up process and allowing you to better navigate the uncharted territory that is the webOS based Smart TV. Apps are in, but an app ecosystem is out, for now. LG says that they’re focusing on making sure all the content people expect are there for now, so while you’ll see favorites such as YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, etc., you won’t see your favorite third party indie app for now.
LG says that over half of all their televisions that they’ll release in 2014 will come equipped with WebOS, and that those televisions will make up around 75% of all their TV sales. This is uncharted territory for WebOS, LG, and the entire Smart TV industry – and we can’t wait to see where this goes.