Mobile Geeks http://www.mobilegeeks.com Covering the Latest Mobile Technology News Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 39846093 OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Hands On http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oneplus-6t-mclaren-edition-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oneplus-6t-mclaren-edition-review/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=39281

The OnePlus 6T is getting a “Salute to Speed” with the McLaren Edition which increases the RAM to 10GB! The mirrored glass back now comes with a carbon fiber-like accent weave and an orange tint along the bottom. The internet has unanimously agreed that the OnePlus series of phones is the best bang for your […]

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The OnePlus 6T is getting a “Salute to Speed” with the McLaren Edition which increases the RAM to 10GB! The mirrored glass back now comes with a carbon fiber-like accent weave and an orange tint along the bottom.

The internet has unanimously agreed that the OnePlus series of phones is the best bang for your buck that you can get. Umit doesn’t necessarily agree, he thinks the phone is overhyped, and he is right, Android enthusiasts are cult-like with their love of the OnePlus. I do, however, think is he had to shell out for his own devices he might have given the 6T a little more love. The 6T has been my daily driver for nearly a month since I got the Thunder purple and I love the camera, performance and battery life.

The McLaren edition promises to be more performance centered with identical specs save the Warp Charge 30 charge and 10GB of RAM.

Warp Charge 30 gives you a full day’s power in 20 minutes because of integrated circuits in the phone and charger. The power management software allows for 30Watts of power to head into the phone without slowing it down or getting hot. We’ll have more on this in the full review dropping on December 13th. Along with a full breakdown on performance, battery life and camera (which is identical to the 6T, so expect no surprises there).

Today, we’re going to focus in on design and the McLaren edition touches we found in the UX.

The design aesthetic of the signature McLaren is black with a carbon fiber pattern and Papaya Orange accents. The carbon fiber pattern only appears around the camera halfway down the handset. The Papaya orange is elegantly traced up the bottom edge and side of you’ve got a McLaren orange sexily sliding up the handset.

Carbon fiber is at the heart of McLaren cars since 1981 when it was introduced in their Formula 1 car design and later into their cars in 1983.

None of the buttons come with the papaya accent and when you head into the UX you’ll find plenty of little touches.

The software on the McLeran edition is identical to the Android 9.0 found on the 6T, apart from a few little accent color tweaks.

The animation for the in display fingerprint sensor is new, and it is oh so futuristic, however, it is often slow and inaccurate when you compare it to traditional. Unlocks sometimes happen in half a second, but regularly take upwards of 2 seconds. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but it really is when you’re just sitting there staring at an animation wondering if you need to shift your finger. A typical capacitive sensor will recognize or reject a fingerprint in 0.2-0.4 seconds. But the animation is cool, so at least you have that to look at while you wait.

When you first boot it up, you’ll have the option to use the handset for AR to learn more about the collaboration between McLaren and OnePlus. I haven’t found a way to activate this again outside of the initial boot up, hopefully OnePlus makes a QR code available, it’s a neat party trick you’ll want to show friends.

In Settings – Display – Theme – McLaren, allows your OnePlus to have orange accents throughout the UX. In the navigation bar and settings are the easiest places to find them. You have to really like orange, and at Mobile Geeks we do, so we’re pleased that there is a Mobile Geeks theme on this phone!

The display is still the 6.41-inch with an Optic AMOLED panel and a resolution of 2340 x 1080. It is still one of the best in this category, with excellent contrast levels and vibrant colors. When out and about I didn’t have any issues with sunlight visibility.

Unboxing

The box is beautiful and comes with a papaya orange woven Type-C cable, carbon fiber case, McLaren power supply rated a2A or 5V-6A Max for Warp Charge 30.

There is a McLaren Speedmark logo recreated in McLaren-designed F1 AA grade carbon fiber, the same material used in the McLaren MCL22 2018 Formula 1 car. Over six F1 cars’ worth of carbon fiber was used in the production of the Speedmarks.

The device will be available in Western Europe and North America on December 13th with availability in the Nordics, India, and China soon after. The OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is available for $699.

Stay Tuned for the full review that drops on Dec 13th to find out what 10GB of RAM stack up!

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Brainwavz BLU-300 Wireless Headphone Review http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/brainwavz-blu-300-wireless-headphone-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/brainwavz-blu-300-wireless-headphone-review/#respond Sat, 08 Dec 2018 18:26:26 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=39221

The Blu 300 Bluetooth headphones are band style headphones which rest on the back of your neck with magnetic earbuds. The band is comfortable however, you have to decide if this type of product is your jam. From a lifestyle perspective, this type of headset means you have to commit to the fashion choice of […]

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The Blu 300 Bluetooth headphones are band style headphones which rest on the back of your neck with magnetic earbuds. The band is comfortable however, you have to decide if this type of product is your jam.

From a lifestyle perspective, this type of headset means you have to commit to the fashion choice of wearing them at all times. If you want to take them off you can’t put them in your pocket, you’ll have to have a bag to store them in. If you’re using them solely as your workout headphones then you’ll have a gym bag they are budget friendly enough.


The overall sound quality from these is good; they go surprisingly loud which is a good thing for gym orientated earphones.

The midrange and high end have a good representation with little to no noticeable distortion or harshness even when at moderately high volumes. The overall sound quality is well rounded and vibrant and quite lively.

The ear tips are angled to help keep them from falling out, while the IPX7 water resistance means that the headphones will not only stand up to sweat, but a run in the rain as well. The earbuds don’t offer active noise canceling, but the design offers good noise isolation, keeping you immersed in your music.

Featuring a lightweight neckband-style design, this earphone wears comfortably for long periods of time. On the right arm of the neckband, there are playback and volume controls, as well as a micro-USB charging port.

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What is edge computing? http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/what-is-edge-computing/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/what-is-edge-computing/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:14:56 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=39124

Wikipedia defines Edge Computing as “pushing the frontier of computing applications, data, and services away from centralized nodes to the logical extremes of a network. It enables analytics and data gathering to occur at the source of the data. This approach requires leveraging resources that may not be continuously connected to a network such as […]

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Wikipedia defines Edge Computing as “pushing the frontier of computing applications, data, and services away from centralized nodes to the logical extremes of a network. It enables analytics and data gathering to occur at the source of the data. This approach requires leveraging resources that may not be continuously connected to a network such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and sensors.”

Basically, it refers to the computing that you’re going to do with your data before it gets to the cloud. Computing on the edge of the cloud.

If you didn’t already know, the cloud it’s a magical place up in the sky where your data lives, it’s actually a set of servers somewhere. So when you send stuff to the cloud, you’re just sending it to some else’s computer.

The reason edge computing has caught on is that it’s faster if some of the computing is done on the device before it heads to the cloud.

Let’s take the ever so popular smart speaker, when you ask it a question, it has to send that question to a server, the server figures out the response, and send it back to you.

Edge Computing is allow your smart speaker to be able to handle more of the task so that there is less being sent to and from the cloud.

This is a pretty simple example, the potential of edge computing is the creation of a bridge between the digital and physical world and will be the foundation of the industrial internet.

How did we get to Edge Computing?

We are firmly in the era of cloud computing. Most people will use a centralized cloud based service like dropbox, gmail, or slack. You also have devices that are powered by content and intelligence that’s in the cloud, things like your Apple TV, Google chromecast or amazon echo.

What’s even more impressive is that massive number of companies rely on the infrastructure, hosting, machine learning and compute power from just a handful of companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM.

Private clouds took 47% of the market last year, that’s companies like Apple, Facebook or Dropbox.

So, What is the Edge?

Edge in this context refers to the geography, the action is happening away from servers, on the edge. Edge Computing is computing that is done at or near the source of the data, rather than in the cloud aka the data centers located miles away.

Why do we want Edge Computing?

Edge computing will speed things up, is computer a needs to ask computer b something, it has to send that question halfway around the world and back again with a response. The time this take is latency, Multiplayer video games have done a lot of work to mitigate the true and perceived delay between shooting at someone and knowing that you missed.

Voice assistance can be the most frustrating, when you ask a question and you have to wait for a response. Your Echo has to process your speech, send a compressed version to the cloud, the cloud uncompressed it, then processes it, depending on what you’ve asked it it might have to access an API to figure out the weather, then it has to compress it at sent it back to you to tell you that you might need an umbrella today.

This is why companies are working on AI chips, so that your devices rely less on the cloud. For a company like Amazon it would save them server costs if they were less busy processing requests or doing your kids math homework.
The other advantage is that if enough of the work is done locally, you could end up with more privacy.. if the company giving you the services thinks it’s a good idea.

We have edge computing in our lives already, the industry has just run out of ways of making the cloud sound new, which is why Edge Computing has become the new “It’ term.

Looking at security our phones have been providing edge compute for years. When you make a payment on your phone and you’re asked to verify your biometric information. There are lots of security concerns for centralizing security.

Security isn’t the only way that edge computing will help solve the problems IoT introduced. The other hot example I see mentioned a lot by edge proponents is the bandwidth savings enabled by edge computing.

For instance, if you buy one security camera, you can probably stream all of its footage to the cloud. If you buy a dozen security cameras, you have a bandwidth problem. But if the cameras are smart enough to only save the “important” footage and discard the rest, your internet pipes are saved.
Almost any technology that’s applicable to the latency problem is applicable to the bandwidth problem. Running AI on a user’s device instead of all in the cloud seems to be a huge focus for Apple and Google right now.

We’re also seeing progressive web apps that are embracing the edge when they have offline first functionality. This means that you can open a website on your phone with an internet connection, do some work, save your changes locally, and sync with the cloud when it’s convenient for you.

Self Driving Cars and the Edge

Self Driving cars are the ultimate example of edge computing. Due to latency, privacy, and bandwidth, you can’t feed all the numerous sensors of a self-driving car up to the cloud and wait for a response. Your trip can’t survive that kind of latency, and even if it could, the cellular network is too inconsistent to rely on it for this kind of work.

But cars also represent a full shift away from user responsibility for the software they run on their devices. A self-driving car almost has to be managed centrally. It needs to get updates from the manufacturer automatically, it needs to send processed data back to the cloud to improve the algorithm, and the nightmare scenario of a self-driving car botnet makes the toaster and dishwasher botnet we’ve been worried about look like a Disney movie.

Edge computing is just beginning to gain mainstream recognition. What do you think? Is this next buzzword justified? And do you feel like you’ve got a solid grasp of the basics from this article?

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Learn how Bosch came to make eBikes & how the LAPD is using them http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/learn-how-bosch-came-to-make-ebikes-how-the-lapd-is-using-them/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/learn-how-bosch-came-to-make-ebikes-how-the-lapd-is-using-them/#respond Sun, 02 Dec 2018 12:36:23 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=39100

Game-changing innovation sometimes starts with a small company that hits upon a big idea. Other times, it comes from a big company with a small idea. When I say big, I mean big. 400,000 employees big. This company that has been a leader in automotive technology for more than a century. Today, we present the […]

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Game-changing innovation sometimes starts with a small company that hits upon a big idea. Other times, it comes from a big company with a small idea. When I say big, I mean big. 400,000 employees big. This company that has been a leader in automotive technology for more than a century.

Today, we present the story of how Germany company Bosch tiptoed into the once-quirky category of electric bicycles.

At LA CoMotion I caught up with Claudia Wasko, Vice President and General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. She gave me the inside scoop on how the eBike became a thing at Bosch.

Have you heard the European folktale about the “7 mile shoe”? It is about a shoe that allows the wearer to travel 7 miles in a single step. A decade ago, Peter Kimmich, a Bosch engineer, wanted to make this for bicycles.

To do this he had to overcome the engineering problems that plagued eBikes and convince Bosch to get on board.

Early electric bicycles were odd-looking, and didn’t sell. There were problems with overheating, with battery life, with climbing hills. Parts would break down, and retailers who’d have to deal with pissed off customers. Some eBikes were a little scary because it felt like the motor was in charge instead of the rider.

Wasko admits that she wouldn’t have bought an early eBike, “They just weren’t cool”.

The birth of the Bosch eBike came from a Bosch auto part, the power steering motor. This part was intended to improve the way the motor boosted the driver’s input when turning the wheel, but car companies weren’t buying as many as predicted.

Another cycling enthusiast and engineer at Bosch was toying around with the idea that their lithium ion batteries used for power tools could be re-purposed for the eBike. The two men poked around the vast stockpile in what they looked at as the “Bosch toolbox” to create an eBike.

The torque sensor was the next piece of the puzzle. In a car, this sensors can tell whether the weight in the passenger seat came from a human or heavy bag of groceries. It decides if the car triggers the alarm to remind the passenger to use their seat belt.

On an eBike, the sensor could be rigged so that the motor would subtly provide extra assistance on hills; on flats, it would back off. Whereas earlier eBikes could give riders a jolting sensation, the Bosch system allowed riders to feel more like they were riding a normal bike. A “tailwind feel” is what Bosch calls it.

Now that they had all the parts, it was on to designing the eBike. They couldn’t just strap the parts to an existing bike frame and Bosch had no experience designing bike equipment. They needed a partner. Wasko took the idea to the streets looking for companies to design frame concepts for the Bosch system.

In 2010 Bosch introduced their innovation at the EuroBike tradeshow, 14 companies had prototypes on display.

LAPD Adopts eBikes!

Fast forward to today, at La CoMotion, a future of mobility conference held in Los Angeles. The LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) talked about how the design and roll out of their eBike customized for law enforcement.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s worked with several bike manufactures before settling on a system based on Bosch. He found theirs to be the most reliable with no failures during the test rides. Next he searched for a partner to design an eBike suited for law enforcement. Bosch introduced him to several OEM partners, ultimately, they selected Bulls USA. After 9 months of collaboration the “The Sentinel,” a custom-built eBike created to match the LAPD’s design specifications, was born.

A bicycle designed for law enforcement has different requirements that something an enthusiast might ride. The bike needs to be extremely rugged. It has to be fast enough to pursue a car despite having to carry a lot of police gear. The seat height needed to be adjusted to compensate for their utility belt should they need to dismount the bike and take a ready stance with their firearm.

In August 20 eBikes hit the streets of LA and the community response has been overwhelmingly positive. They have become a conversation starter and are improving the LAPD’s relationship with the community. It is one of the reasons a few cops have looked at joining the Bike division.

Not only have the bikes been good for relations but ticketing has increased 200% by the police using the eBikes compared to their ticketing rate on regular bikes.

“With a boost from an electric motor, officers can ride further and longer than they can on a standard bicycle, allowing them to expand their patrol area and cover more ground,” said Wasko ”Officers are still able to get into tight places and crowds, but now they can get there even faster. When a call comes in, an officer can easily adjust the assist level into Turbo and quickly pedal up to 28 mph – that’s comparable with top Tour de France pro rider speeds on flat terrain, and 9 to 10 mph faster than an average rider!”

 

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Bike officers regularly cover over 60 Miles per day and they don’t charge their bikes during their shift. It takes about 2 hours to charge up the battery and should they need to, they could top up over lunch, or swap out the battery.

What do the Bike Cops Think?

Sergeant Gordon Helper, who works for the LAPD’s Central Division, has been part of the LAPD Bike program since 2000, noted “they have always had a bit of charge left the end of every shift, so battery life hasn’t been an issue”.

While using the eBikes, he received a call about a person with a knife and was able to respond quickly.

“I responded on the eBike from Central Station in the middle of the day in heavy traffic,” Helper said. “While obeying all traffic lights and signals, I still had less than a four-minute response. The average patrol car time is seven minutes.”

According to Helper, when he rides the eBikes, he doesn’t even feel the strain from the 30 pounds of department-mandated gear he carries. The eBikes have enabled him “to respond to any call for service quickly and efficiently.”

He told another story of a female bike cop getting hit by a car while responding to a call and remaining upright on the bike despite the back tire of the bike receiving severe damage. The move was so impressive a gallery of bike couriers cheered her recovery from the accident.

Bulls USA took a short video of Sergeant Helper talking about his experience patrolling with The Sentinel.

There are 8 other police departments in the US that are using eBikes based on the Bosch eBike Platform. The LAPD has been showing off their investment to the LA Fire Department, who couldn’t help but be a little jealous.

Bosch believes its power systems helped jumpstart the eBike business. In the U.S, ebike sales doubled between 2016 and 2017, reaching $77 million. In much of Europe, eBikes are even more popular. In Germany, for example, nearly 20% of bikes sold are electric, and analysts predict that will soon increase to one-in-three. Global eBike sales are expected to grow 6.3% annually through 2025.

We’ve been in touch with Bulls USA about reviewing their consumer offering of eBikes based on the Bosch eBike platform, so stay tuned to find out if we agree with the LAPD!

This post was sponsored by Bosch, All thoughts and ideas are still my own.

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Why the future of car interiors is Vegan http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/why-the-future-of-car-interiors-is-vegan/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/why-the-future-of-car-interiors-is-vegan/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 15:41:49 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=39056

Over the past few years, we’ve started hearing seeing companies go green by replacing leather car interiors with cruelty-free, vegan-friendly materials. At the LA Auto show we saw another car roll out with a cruelty-free interior, the Audi eTron GT concept is all electric with a design that says anything but tree hugger. The average […]

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Over the past few years, we’ve started hearing seeing companies go green by replacing leather car interiors with cruelty-free, vegan-friendly materials. At the LA Auto show we saw another car roll out with a cruelty-free interior, the Audi eTron GT concept is all electric with a design that says anything but tree hugger.

The average car interior uses around 15 animal hides and materials have evolved that luxury doesn’t require leather anymore.

In July 2017, it was reported that Tesla was eliminating leather from some of its designs, and in January, Tesla’s rival, Fisker Inc, announced it was launching a new electric car with a vegan leather interior. Then in March, Range Rover’s Range Rover Velar, which features a leather-free interior, was declared the World Car Design of The Year for 2018.

Bentley’s design director Stefan Sielaff, has also gone on record saying that the future of car interiors is vegan. Apparently, the uber rich want a car that better aligns with their belief system.

The BMW i3, has the self-proclaimed title of ‘greenest car in the world’. It is fully electric, the standard model doesn’t have leather seats, and the car itself is 95% recyclable.

Alcantara has been used in car interiors for years, it’s a faux suede material that has also been heavily featured by Microsoft in their Surface line of personal computers. Animal rights organization PETA also considers Alcantara a cruelty-free.

I didn’t realize that it is possible to have vegan tires for your car. Tires are created using stearic acid, which can be derived from animal grade products. If you want to go vegan with your tires, Michelin only uses vegetable/plant-based products. You can also go with Kenda tires whose stearic acid is derived from refined tree oil.

It’s not just about interiors. In January, Volkswagen committed to the elimination of animal testing, after a New York Times exposé revealed that the company, along with BMW and Mercedes- Benz, had forced monkeys to inhale exhaust fumes.

Whatever the nefarious reason behind many car companies going green we’re happy for an option that has a reduced environmental impact.

All thought the idea of vegan car interior isn’t new, the aggressive design and all sporty stance of the Audi eTron GT concept made us realize that the trend of vegan car interiors are here to stay.

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LG V40 ThinkQ Review: A Month Later http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-v40-thinkq-review-a-month-later/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-v40-thinkq-review-a-month-later/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 12:26:12 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=38951

I’ve been a loyal LG fangirl for many years, it’s that wide angle lens that made it my daily driver. Even though they may not have had the best selfie camera or low light performance, in my mind that wide angle made up for it. For years no one else seemed to get the joy […]

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I’ve been a loyal LG fangirl for many years, it’s that wide angle lens that made it my daily driver. Even though they may not have had the best selfie camera or low light performance, in my mind that wide angle made up for it. For years no one else seemed to get the joy of the wide angle, they wanted to creep in on the world around with there 2 times optical zoom.

The V40 ThinkQ is the first phone to come out with 5 cameras, in addition to the three on the back their are two on the front. They are 5 distinct stand alone cameras, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has one depth sensing camera, so we don’t think it counts.

With all of its cameras and it’s best in class specs, we think LG might have come out with a phone with very few compromises. However, At $950 unlocked, the V40 seeks to play in the smartphone big leagues. Let’s find out if it stands its ground.

Design

+
Premium look and feel
Moroccan Blue with its frosted glass finish feels so nice and it is NOT a fingerprint magnet.


All glass means you can crack the back of your phone too

The LG V40 ThinQ has a distinguishing feature with its triple-lens camera on the back, and two small cameras on the front. It feels VERY premium in hand and it weighs just 168g. It’s noticeably lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (201g) and the iPhone XS Max (208g).
It’s the weight of a sizable plastic phone, with all the benefits (and risks, in terms of potential dings and scratches) of a premium, all-glass design.

The power button returns to the right side of the phone – a switch from the LG V30 and other V series phones before it, which had the rear fingerprint sensor button pulling double duty as a power button and a form of authentication. Now the rear sensor is just a pad for unlocking the phone, and the new clicky side power button is dedicated to sleep/wake.

Hardware

  • The fingerprint scanner is on the back (as on the G7, it’s no longer the power button), The fingerprint scanner is in a very good location, and I’ve no real complaints to report as to its responsiveness or accuracy – it’s very good.
  • There’s a dedicated Google Assistant launch key on the left hand side of the phone. I’m not sure I’m likely to use it very much, but at least it’s not mapped to Bixby, so I’m calling it a pro
  • Wireless Charging
  • IP68

Cameras to the side, the 6.4-inch V40 is the largest-diagonal V-series LG phone, for those keeping records. The must-haves that no longer make headlines include the Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6gigs of RAM and 64GB/128GB of storage which 1. is expandable and 2. opens the possibility for a top-spec V40S+ (or something) version with, say, 256GB.

LG V40 ThinQ specs

Body: Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear; MIL-STD-810G transit drop test compliant; IP68 rated for dust and water resistance.
Screen: 6.4″ QHD+ FullVision OLED; 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a notch (LG calls it ‘Second screen’), 537ppi; HDR 10 support.
Camera: Primary: 12MP, 1.4µm pixel size; f/1.5 aperture, 78-degree FOV lens, 25mm equiv. focal length, OIS, dual pixel PDAF; Ultra wide-angle: 16MP; f/1.9 aperture, 107-degree FOV lens, 16mm equiv. focal length, fixed focus. Telephoto: 12MP; f/2.4 aperture, 47-degree FOV, 50mm equiv. focal length, 2x zoom, PDAF.
Selfie cam: Primary: 8MP, f/1.9 aperture, 80-degree FOV lens; Secondary: 5MP, f/2.2 aperture, 90-degree FOV lens.
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845: octa-core CPU (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver), Adreno 630 GPU.
Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64GB storage; microSD slot.
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo with LG UX, Android P update expected.
Battery: 3,300mAh Lithium Polymer (sealed); Quick Charge 3.0/Power Delivery fast charging; Qi fast wireless charging.
Connectivity: Single-SIM, Dual-SIM available in certain markets; LTE-A, 3-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.16/13 (1Gbps/150Mbps); USB Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 5.0; FM radio.
Misc: Fingerprint reader; Hi-Fi Quad DAC; 3.5mm headphone jack; 2 mics, Boombox speaker.

We’d have liked to see some more battery inside the V40, and we wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t complain about the dated OS version at launch – Oreo is no Pie, to state the obvious.

Display

It has a virtually all-screen 6.4-inch OLED screen on the front with that small notch cut-out at the top, making its face look like the iPhone X and every Android clone since. The notch is easy to ignore, with enough room to fit the two front-facing cameras and a smaller earpiece speaker. There is slightly more bezel around the sides and chin than on an iPhone, but you’ll only see the difference in a side-by-side comparison.

The new-and-improved OLED display is a generational leap over last year’s panel – much to my relief. While not quite on the level of Samsung’s latest displays for brightness and viewing angles, these new LG OLEDs are pleasant to behold and offer vastly improved ambient brightness and contrast. I think there was a real worry that LG would remain years behind Samsung in the OLED game, but the V40 sees that gap substantially closed, if not entirely eliminated. The screen supports HDR, too, so you can really take advantage of that expanded color gamut in apps like YouTube and Netflix.

Camera

Primary rear camera

The best photos come from the 12MP standard camera, which captures what’s in front of you with a typical 78-degree field of view.

This lens has a fast f/1.5 aperture to pull in more light, and the size of the pixels, or photosites, on the sensor is larger than is typical at 1.4 microns, improving the light-gathering capabilities of the sensor; combined, these two features offer improved performance in low-light situations. LG’s Super Bright Camera tech is also here, offering a mode that amps up the brightness in dark environments, but cuts the normal resolution.

Super-wide rear camera

The LG V40 is ready to capture everything that’s in front of you with its super-wide rear camera that has a 107-degree FOV. It’s not as dramatic as the 120-degree FOV on the original LG V10, but that’s in order to reduce barrel distortion at the edges.

The resulting 16MP photos from this f/1.8 lens gives you better context of scenes. The wide-angle effect works, but we did notice blurry and soft edges in the corners of most photos we took. You’re not getting OIS on this super-wide camera, and it’s noticeable sometimes when you’re looking for details.

Telephoto rear camera

This is new for LG, like the competition you’re able to get twice as close to subjects without distortion when digitally zoomed in.

Matt over at trusted reviews pointed out to me that low light photos while using the telephoto lens actually use the normal camera lens and just crop the image. He found this out because the EXIF details prove it uses the f/1.5 aperture of the normal lens. Apple and Samsung do this with their telephoto lens, so it’s not unusual. Things end up being less blurry with a faster aperture at nighttime.

Where things get interesting is that in triple Shot mode (which cycles through all three cameras) forces the telephoto lens to be used, even in low light situations. Which does lead to blurrier-than-normal shots. You also don’t really have the ability to frame properly in triple shot so it is a bit of a non-feature in my mind. You need to stay really still as the handset cycles through all three lenses. It takes 4 seconds, and I’ve found even if I’m really still the photos seem a little off, either blurry or the framing sucks.

Primary front-facing camera

The LG V40 has an upgraded 8MP front-facing camera, and that’s good news for anyone who tried the LG V30 selfie camera and hated the results.

This f/1.9 lens with an 80-degree FOV is capable of taking portrait photos, and while it’s not our favorite among selfie shooters, it’s a huge step in the right direction for LG. Just be sure to turn beauty mode off. We love using it, but the result in the photos are more aggressive than what is shown on the screen. So have it turned way, way down!

The wide front-facing camera from the LG V10 – our favorite feature on the original V series phone – gets new life in the LG V40, although things have changed a bit in 2018 as a result of feedback from users. This 5MP f/2.2 lens is limited to a 90-degree FOV, which is only slightly wider than the standard selfie camera and far tighter than the 120-degree FOV on the LG V10 wide front-facing camera.

Portrait photos did an okay job for us on the LG V40. There’s a healthy amount of blur in the background, though you’ll notice the blur drop into foreground subjects, especially around the hair.

Example of a photo that looked fine in preview, but looks insane after it was taken.

Software

+
You can add an app drawer

Does not ship with Android 9.0. For nearly $1000 this is disappointing.
UI feels busy and cluttered

The LG UI has always been a little bit of love it or hate it. I’m pretty adaptable, changing phones often means that I notice differences but I also don’t mind changing my flow to the way the manufacturer thinks I should be using a phone.

It is hard to argue that LG does have a busier UI than most, pulling down on the notification bar offers a lot of information and the settings are tabs. You can add an app drawer, which I really like, I feel more organized when I can tuck away hardly used apps and I have a place to scroll for an app that I can’t find because I organized it away in some folder.

You’ll either love the V40’s software experience or you’ll hate it. I really enjoy the simple bubble theme, since it matches Google’s Material Design 2.0 quite well.

Sound

The LG V40 has just one speaker, but we found it gets plenty loud thanks to its Boombox Speaker concept. We saw this with the G7, too – inside, the entire back of the phone is dedicated to a resonance chamber. You’ll also find a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, continuing the V series tradition of offering some of the best audio on a phone when you’re using it with headphones.

Battery Life

3300mah battery
Wireless charging

The battery in the LG V40 is 3,300mAh, which is admittedly a bit small for a screen this large. This also translates fairly directly into screen-on time. I would get between 4.5-5.5hr of screen-on time, leaning towards five on average. This isn’t exactly ideal, especially when LG markets this as the phone that can do everything. I would have loved to see a 4,000mAh battery to properly compete with Samsung’s Note 9.

Price

It is expensive, no way around it. However, not everyone cares about price, they upgrade and hardly take notice of the addition to their monthly bill.

It is hard to justify the cost when you can pick up one and a half OnePlus 6T’s. However, in hand, it feels premium, and the camera versatility is fantastic. Those who like the pen of the Note9 are paying for that feature, it depends on how much you love the zoom-wide angle combo.

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From Lawn mowers to Space, Bosch will put AI in Everything http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/from-lawn-mowers-to-space-bosch-will-put-ai-in-everything/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/from-lawn-mowers-to-space-bosch-will-put-ai-in-everything/#respond Wed, 21 Nov 2018 16:42:37 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38919

In 10 years, all Bosch product will either contain machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), or it will be involved in the development process. This statement was repeated over the course of the day at the inaugural Bosch AI CON18, which took place in Renningen, Germany. The conference brought together some of the world’s smartest […]

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In 10 years, all Bosch product will either contain machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), or it will be involved in the development process. This statement was repeated over the course of the day at the inaugural Bosch AI CON18, which took place in Renningen, Germany.

The conference brought together some of the world’s smartest minds in AI from academia, industry players like Porsche and Graphcore, and of course the minds at Bosch. The presentations throughout the day provided a balance of ethical debate around how we move forward as an industry and research sessions that were equation heavy and targeted at academics.

Michael Bolle CTO & CDO of Bosch

The truth is that Bosch isn’t wrong; AI will touch everything. But it is a stretch to say that AI will be in everything: there are products that don’t make sense or we just wouldn’t want AI to be in. However, they are right to say that the process behind the creation of everything has the potential to be touched by AI. It can be little things in the manufacturing process, for example. Quality assurance is an easy win for AI. Today, many products are given a once over with a camera to look for defects. Of course, Bosch has larger ambitions when it seeks to have AI touch everything it does.

To give a bit of refresher, AI involves machines that can perform tasks that are characteristic of human intelligence. While this is rather general, it includes things like planning, understanding language, recognizing objects and sounds, learning, and problem solving.

At its core, machine learning is simply a way of achieving AI.

While it isn’t so easy to see how AI could make all products useful, it’s easy to see how in there invention or manufacturing AI could optimize the process.

As I walked into AI CON18, I was greeted with many different examples of machine learning and AI.

Bosch showed a self-driving car running a demo showing semantic segmentation. This means that the car is capable of doing level 2 with a single camera. Level 2 is by no means impressive, however using a single camera to do it is interesting. They’re able to perform the same tasks on the road however they do it with 50 times less calculations. This reduces the response time and the computing power needed in the car.

“Semantic segmentation” was a new buzzword for me. It’s worth unpacking before we move on because it is considered to be one of the key problems in computer vision.

Semantic segmentation achieves fine-grained inference by making dense predictions by inferring labels for every pixel, so that each pixel is labeled with the class of its enclosing object or region.

If you look at the photo below, semantic segmentation has allowed the computer to determine that the buildings are all in red, the road in purple, roadlines in yellow, etc. Where it gets interesting in the demo that Bosch was showing is the ability to do more safely and accurately with less information.

They’re demonstrating what is possible with existing camera technology when it is paired with their platform’s AI capabilities.

Carrying on through the show floor, there was an AI creating art in real time. SoundSee is a listening array heading to the International Space Station next year. A pair of Raspberry Pi enabled cars drove around a track showcasing a course aimed at teaching machine learning to people all skill levels. And the Indego S+ an intelligent robot lawn mower.

Each of these products has machine learning and AI at their core, but they’re also fundamentally different from each other in their functions and abilities.

Raspberry Pi cars teach people of all skill levels about machine learning, autonomous drive & its principals.

Indego S+ shows off some real robotic smarts

Robot lawn mowers are an easy way to understand how AI can make robots smarter. “SmartMowing” analyzes temperature and rainfall to automatically calculate the best time for the next cut. Autonomous lawn care is made more efficient with the “MultiArea” that lets you mow different areas around your home and “SpotMow” which lets you target small, specific areas.

The intelligence behind the camera technology has a completely different set of problems to tackle that of an autonomous car. Yet it’s easy to understand how advancements to the AI technology that backs them could benefit anything with a camera looking to move through our world.

AI CON18 tackled the question of how to move forward, not only tackling the ethical questions that challenge AI, but the practical question of how we can bridge the gap between academia, startups and a company like Bosch.

Michael Bolle CTO & CDO at Bosch held a session entitled Corporate Research Meets Academic Research and fielded the question:

Solving the challenges of AI won’t happen by companies alone, nor do we want them to. An open dialogue which involves sharing of information is key to meaningful development.

The message of openness and transparency were consistent among Bosch’s speakers throughout the day. The day kicked off with a statement from Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner:

“AI should only act on the framework set by society. We believe the AI should be safe, reliable & transparent.”

CEO Volkmar Denner in attendance at AI CON18 adjusting his glasses

Bosch plans on holding AI CON again next year, for more information please visit Bosch-AI.com

It is worth noting that next year they will be holding a Bosch AI Young Researcher Award for AI CON 2019. Its aim is to promote young talent in this field, Bosch will be presenting the Bosch AI Young Researcher Award, endowed with 50,000 euros, for the first time next year.

Bosch sponsored my attendance at AI CON18 and this post of my experiences as an attendee. All ideas are still my own.

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AI Con 2018 Takes a Look at the Future of Artificial Intelligence http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/ai-con-2018-takes-a-look-at-the-future-of-artificial-intelligence/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/ai-con-2018-takes-a-look-at-the-future-of-artificial-intelligence/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 11:30:06 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38796

AI CON 2018 brings together leaders of AI in academic and corporate research. You’ll learn about high quality research projects addressing key research issues in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a business leader, you need to keep up to date with new technologies from experienced technical experts (not just talking heads). […]

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AI CON 2018 brings together leaders of AI in academic and corporate research. You’ll learn about high quality research projects addressing key research issues in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

As a business leader, you need to keep up to date with new technologies from experienced technical experts (not just talking heads).

AI CON 2018, is an engagement event, hosted by the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence in cooperation with Cyber Valley. on the November 19th at the Bosch corporate research center in Renningen. Our aim is to bring together leaders of AI in academic and corporate community to exchange ideas and foster discussions.

You’ll have the chance to connect with technology experts from Bosch, gain insights into the future on AI and hear about new advancements from leading researchers and early stage start ups.

The conference program includes keynotes from Bosch, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, Technion to name a few.

Who should be attending an AI conference?

CEOs, CTOs, CIOs will take a first look at the technology that will drive their organization’s future. IT and data centre managers will be empowered with ideas, inspiration and real solutions to their most challenging IT problems. Data scientists, developers will Tap into a community of like-minded experts who are transforming their applications with AI. Academics can consider the conference as a forum to share their successes and learn from others who are harnessing deep learning and AI to break scientific boundaries across a wide range of research fields.

Attendance to the conference is free and invite-only. Visit the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence to learn more.

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How Does a Fully Automatic Washing Machine Work? Bosch i-DOS http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/how-does-a-fully-automatic-washing-machine-work-bosch-i-dos/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/how-does-a-fully-automatic-washing-machine-work-bosch-i-dos/#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2018 14:44:02 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38788

In September of 2017 Bosch showed a prototype of a handheld scanner designed to choose the right setting on the washing machine. Everyone has at least shrunk one jumper or wondered how to treat a specific stain. The tri-corder like X-Spect can scan your garment and it would communicate instructions to your washing machine. X-Spect […]

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In September of 2017 Bosch showed a prototype of a handheld scanner designed to choose the right setting on the washing machine. Everyone has at least shrunk one jumper or wondered how to treat a specific stain.

The tri-corder like X-Spect can scan your garment and it would communicate instructions to your washing machine. X-Spect also offered a suggestion about drying and ironing.

Exactly one year later we’ve got a washing machine that does exactly what this prototype showed off, the technology behind it is a little different but the premise behind it was exactly the same.

The i-DOS is a washing machine that automatically detects the types of clothes you’ve put in, how dirty they are and will figure out what setting to use for washing and drying. All you have to do is throw your clothes in!

We needed to understand how the i-DOS works!

Armed with a sensor-supported automatic program, that not only detects the size of the load, the type of fabric and dirty your clothes are AND it selects the right dryer program with no input from you! All you have to do is throw your clothes in and it will figure out the rest.

How does i-DOS know what to do?

 

The i-DOS is packed with sensors: a flow sensor to measure the exact amount of water; load sensor Plus analyses the water pressure in the drum. The data from these two sensors are used to determine the exact load volume and to distinguish between cotton, synthetics and mixed loads.

The machine can also detect just how dirty your clothes are, the aqua sensor analyses the turbidity of the drain water via infrared. Only if it detects that your clothes are very dirty will it deliberately intensify the washing process.

The i-DOS even has an AntiStain function, once you tell it what kind of stain it is the machine automatically adapts the cycle to the specific stain.

The i-Dos is looking first and foremost to conserve resources as every load is treated individually. With the automatic dosing system, perfect washing results virtually guaranteed. The machine determines the amount of water needed for the specific stain and the individual load volume. This is measured and controlled by the flow sensor and the load sensor Plus. Additionally, the temperature sensor guarantees that the stain is treated at just the right temperature. The intelligent control is able to tackle 16 of the most stubborn stains can be automatically removed.

The automated processes follow through to the drying cycle, where they area dried to increase crease-resistance. Knowing the types of fabrics that appear in your machine means that you won’t be shrinking your favorite sweater again anytime soon. The machine will also know how to dry your clothes so they’re less prone to wrinkling.

The i-DOS can also be controlled from anywhere via the Home Connect app. When the wash is finished, the app notifies the user via a push message.

Smart programs and features include MyTime to determine the optimum washing and drying time or adjust and extend it from 20 minutes up to a maximum of 120 minutes. The SpeedPerfect program can be used to save up to 65% of the operating time without compromising on results, and with Wash & Dry 60 minutes, slightly soiled fabrics can be cleaned and dried in a minimum of time.

The Iron Assist program can be activated to help eliminate odors and creases from garments. Other special programs available via the Home Connect app include Shirts, Down, AllergiePlus and Sportswear.

We loved the futuristic way the X-Spect presented, vibrational spectroscopy is cool, but the hands-free way that the i-DOS takes the worry out of washing and drying is way much more convenient.

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A Trip to Samsung’s Innovation Museum http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/a-trip-to-samsungs-innovation-museum/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/a-trip-to-samsungs-innovation-museum/#respond Mon, 29 Oct 2018 09:50:51 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38729

Innovation. It’s a buzzword that’s being thrown around for every new feature or service. We’re using the word so much that all it seems to indicate anymore is a newness. I expected Samsung’s Innovation Museum to be a self-congratulatory tribute to Samsung. Surprisingly, I was completely wrong, what I found was a meaningful understanding of […]

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Innovation. It’s a buzzword that’s being thrown around for every new feature or service. We’re using the word so much that all it seems to indicate anymore is a newness. I expected Samsung’s Innovation Museum to be a self-congratulatory tribute to Samsung. Surprisingly, I was completely wrong, what I found was a meaningful understanding of what the word Innovation truly meant.

The space attempts to outline the lifestyle and sociological changes that have accompanied the expansion of electronics.

We boldly begin our journey with the discovery of electricity. Let’s take a minute and appreciate an innovation that turned day into night. This invention enabled a technological evolution of our society, without it our world would be a very different place.

Electricity.

Not only do we have a detailed account of when electricity was first documented, but there are some actual machines behind glass Leyden Jars, a Volta Battery & Induction Motors.

TURNING NIGHT INTO DAY!

Let’s stop and think about that for a minute. Tech blogs have been calling a slide up selfie camera or a fingerprint reader in a display Innovation. There is technical innovation and there is real innovation. Innovation that begins with inventing something. This week’s content series around Innovation and how we’re using that word wrong was birthed here in the Samsung Museum with this idea.

As the week goes on we’ll have new articles tackling the history of the word, Innovations that shaped history all in hopes of answering the question: When SHOULD you call something Innovative?

Radio.

Radio spread culture far and wide. Print media only gets a mention as the fundamental means of information dissemination here and radio takes center stage as the new way of consuming media.

Radio waves are also the basis of how our mobile phones communicate today, the foundation of the entire telecommunications industry. It’s understandable why Samsung needed to tip it’s hat to this one.

Home Appliances

Vacuums, washing machines home appliances freed up our time and made our lives easier. If you’ve ever had to wash bed sheets by hand this one should be self-evident.

Maytag motorized the washing machine in 1911, Hoover invented the vacuum in the 1920s both revolutionized home cleaning,

The innovations changed women’s social lives reducing housework hours allowing women to have interests outside of the home. Women started to become actively engaged in society. Chores that had previously become women’s work were now shared by the entire household.

First mechanical refrigerator

As we head to the next level of the space things get decidedly more Samsung.

The arrival of solid-state electronics.

Before the invention of the transistor, electronic devices were made of vacuum tubes which capitalized on the movement of electrons. They were heavy and large and had design limitations.

TRADIC, the first fully transistorized computer by AT&T was created in Bell Labs in 1954 for the US Airforce.

Following the invention of transistors, Integrated Circuit removed the wires to connect the transistors to make electronic devices even smaller while improving their performance.


The cold war between the US and the Soviet Union went on after World War II. Thanks to the development of military computers, the computer industry boomed. After amassing technological know-how through the development of military computers IBM enjoyed unmatched market leadership after the 1960s. After unveiling a series of commercial computers, IBM’s large and midsize computers were adopted as a key business tool by many companies. This was a catalyst for a series of developments in productivity.

Time Magazine Cover – “The Computer Moves In”

Moving through the museum we now get into history of Display!

Display history can be traced back to John Logie Baird of Scotland, who first demonstrated a TV system that could broadcast moving images starting in 1925. Starting from grainy black and white TVs that opened up the era of pop culture, color TVs made the images more realistic. As LCD (Liuid Cystal Display) became commercially available we started seeing flat mounted fall displays.

The First TV, Televisor, 1930

The First TV was a mechanical TV that presented moving images by rotating a circular plate with a hole, TV broadcasting with Televiro was made possible when the BBC started mechanical broadcasting in 1929.

Samsung then goes through the history of the Mobile Phone which we thought deserved its own ar

The early stages and stations focused on the inventors, the museum tries to elaborate on the role played by corporations in expanding and realizing these ideas — without the production scale of big business, the narrative says that large-scale roll-out of technologies (and more importantly, products) would have been impossible. Thanks corporations

It’s clear that the museum has been curated to attract school trips and technology enthusiastsThere’s an unmistakeable Samsung tinge to everything, but I imagined this was going to be far more obvious and cloyng.The exhibit, while skipping over a lot of Apple and (native rival) LG products, makes room for the likes of the StarTAC, and the before-its-time Simon Personal Computer — grown-up moves that better help to illustrate the blazing fast progress of technology and electronics. But as a museum, perhaps nothing demonstrates the industry’s pace better than the semiconductor section (an arm of Samsung that forms the backbone of the company and its profits), with a side-by-side look at the first, huge, transistor and its contemporary ancestor — a fraction of the size and several times more capable.

Based in Suwon, Samsung’s Innovation Museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday.

Travel to Seoul was Sponsored by Samsung, All ideas are my own.

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