LG G4 officially unveiled: Fashion and firepower collide in a flagship!


LG just unveiled its next generation flagship – the G4. The highly anticipated smartphone was announced at dedicated events, held simultaneously in London and New York.

LG focused on three main areas in its presentation – design, display and camera. The genuine leather back which was the headline feature in numerous leaks is indeed the key styling element. LG is proud to have employed vegetable tanning, which is typical of the luxury leather industry and only 10% of leather goods are processed this way.

Not all G4s will ship with a leather back though, and the removable plastic cover will come with a hammered pattern in either ceramic white or metallic gray. Each one will be curved though, albeit only slightly, with a 3000mm radius. The company claims that the gentle curve results in better handling and a 20% increase in rigidity.

The LG G4 packs a 5.5-inch display of QHD resolution. LG has opted for a Quantum LCD panel, which is said to deliver outstanding color accuracy. LG claims the new display boasts 20% wider color reproduction, 25% improvement in brightness and 50% higher contrast than the G3.

The new flagship is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, a notch below the 810 top dog. It’s a 64-bit chipset and packs a hexa-core processor in a dual-core Cortex-A57 and quad-core Cortex-A53 arrangement. LG claims that it has worked closely with Qualcomm in customizing the SoC and has achieved a level of performance higher than the Exynos 7420 in daily tasks. 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are on board, and expansion via microSD is possible.


The smartphone boots Lollipop out of the box with the company’s latest UX 4.0 overlay. LG is keen to point out that UI has been stripped of bloatware and one such example is the use of Chrome as the sole browser in most markets.

The camera of the G4 took center stage in the announcement, and it has all the merits to deserve it. It utilizes a 16MP sensor with a 1/2.6” diagonal, which sits behind a bright f1.8 lens. This means an 11% increase in gathered light over the f1.9 lens in the Samsung Galaxy S6.

The G4 also comes with optical image stabilization which works over three axes, as opposed to the already capable two-axis system on the G3. Additionally, the OIS system is now able to compensate movements up to two degrees in range, compared to the predecessor’s single degree.

The camera app offers a lot of advanced features including high ISO settings, live histogram and manual shutter speed, and is capable of recording RAW images. The G4 is able to shoot panoramas up to a whopping 104MP, compared to the Galaxy S6 which is capped at 60MP. The main camera is complemented by an 8MP front unit and both are capable of shooting 2160p video.

The LG G4 comes with support for wireless charging, but a dedicated back cover will need to be purchased to use it. Otherwise, the supplied 1.8A charger must be used to fill up the 3,000mAh cell. Power users will be happy to know that the battery is user-replaceable, too.

The G4 will be available on its home Korean market starting tomorrow, but the rest of the world will need to wait a bit more. Pricing is yet to be detailed too.


Apple’s Q2 2015 earnings: 61.2M iPhones, 12.62M iPads, $58.01B revenue!


Apple has posted its [fiscal] second quarter earnings report for 2015 this afternoon, and they are impressive. The Cupertino company beat Wall Street estimates, recording $58.01 billion in revenue on the back of strong iPhone sales.

More than 61 million iPhones were purchased during the usually-slow, post-holiday second quarter. That’s over 4 million above analyst estimates, and it looks like the handset did particularly well in China—up 72% year-over-year.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers this year, vs. Q2 in 2014:

  • Revenue: $58.01 billion vs. $45.6 billion last year
  • iPhone units: 61.2 million vs. 43.7 million last year
  • iPad units: 12.62 million vs. 16.35 million last year
  • Mac units: 4.56 million vs. 4.1 million last year


And here are some comments from CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri:

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”

“The tremendous customer demand for our products and services in the March quarter drove revenue growth of 27 percent and EPS growth of 40 percent,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Cash flow from operations was also outstanding at $19.1 billion.”

There seems to be a trend developing in Apple’s recent earnings reports: the iPhone surprises with stronger-than-expected sales while iPad sales continue to dwindle. Mac sales still look good, especially in an overall-down PC market.


Google finally unveils ‘Project Fi’ wireless service!


After months of rumors and years of speculation, Google has finally announced its own mobile carrier initiative. Google’s Project Fi isn’t a new network, but rather a new type of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that combines the networks of multiple carriers and leans heavily on WiFi hotspots to streamline the experience. Project Fi is now accepting invitation requests, but at this early stage there are a whole mountain of caveats.

Project Fi will connect your device to 4G LTE on either Sprint or T-Mobile, depending on which signal is better in your current location. If there’s an open WiFi hotspot nearby, your device will automatically connect to that. Only WiFi that has been identified as being of decent quality will automatically connect, and you can always shut off WiFi if you like. When you are connected to a WiFi network, your calls will be routed over that connection, and Project Fi will fire up a VPN automatically to protect your data.

That’s the basic premise of Project Fi. But what about the cost? The basic service with unlimited talk and text is $20 per month, and then you add data on top of that. You only pay for the data you use, and there’s no such thing as wasted bytes. It’s $10 per GB, and anything you request, but don’t use, will be refunded to you on your next bill. Say you think you’ll use 2GB of data, but you only use 1.2GB. On your next bill, you’ll get a credit of $8.

The cost is great if you don’t use a lot of data, which is the goal of Project Fi. Google wants you to connect to viable WiFi hotspots whenever possible. There’s no unlimited data option, and the rate doesn’t adjust downward as you buy more data. T-Mobile and Sprint both offer cheaper data once you get past 5GB or so, but AT&T and Verizon are still a little more expensive until you go above 15GB. Project Fi also includes free international roaming (at reduced speeds), and integrates with Hangouts for calling and texting on non-Fi devices.


Perhaps the biggest benefit of Project Fi is that you can switch between Sprint and T-Mobile, although both of which have less expansive coverage than Verizon and AT&T. If you combine the two, it’s actually pretty respectable, and you can always connect to whichever one is faster wherever you are. Of course, this unique network switching feature limits your phone options significantly. The only device supported at launch is the Nexus 6.

If you don’t already own one of Google’s latest flagship smartphones, you can buy one when signing up for Project Fi. It’s $649 to $699 if paid all at once, or you can pay for it over 24 months — $27.04 per month for the 32GB option and $29.12 per month for the 64GB. The Nexus 6 is unlocked, but so are plenty of other phones. The reason Google is limiting Fi to this device right now is that it supports a huge number of LTE bands (12 of them according to the specs). Google also has more control over the Nexus’ software to make sure Project Fi works properly.

Google is rolling out a small number of Project Fi invites every week. You can sign up on the official website. Just make sure you’ve got coverage where you live.