Mobile Geeks http://www.mobilegeeks.com Covering the Latest Mobile Technology News Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:12:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 39846093 Why a stagnant smartphone market is leading to innovation http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/why-a-stagnant-smartphone-market-is-leading-to-innovation/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/why-a-stagnant-smartphone-market-is-leading-to-innovation/#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:12:02 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38650 Smartphones are fragile, getting bigger and bigger, have security issues and aren’t as easy to type on as a physical keyboard. Pair that with the fact that most of them barely get a heavy user through the day and we’re faced with the reality that upgrades are iterative and improvements aren’t significant enough to justify […]

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Smartphones are fragile, getting bigger and bigger, have security issues and aren’t as easy to type on as a physical keyboard. Pair that with the fact that most of them barely get a heavy user through the day and we’re faced with the reality that upgrades are iterative and improvements aren’t significant enough to justify yearly upgrades.

And THANK-GOD! Instead of complaining that the advancements aren’t as big as they used to be, we’re finally able to focus the more important problem of “How can I use my Smartphone to truly make my life better?”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a lot of cool technology in it, an optical fingerprint sensor, a front camera with so many sensors your face unlock will be super secure, an improved camera with Master AI 2.0 that will help you take a better picture.

But the truth is that having a fingerprint reader in your screen, thinner bezels or face authentication is super cool from a technology standpoint but they aren’t features that fundamentally change the way that we interact with our devices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WH89bEkw20

The hard truth is that innovation doesn’t guarantee success, HTC is probably the most prominent example of this. They were among the first to deliver a dual lens set up on the HTC Evo 3D, which was only for 3D photos, but in 2014 they One M8 upped the ante allowing for refocusing. This solution became the template for dual cameras and despite introducing these features HTC is far from the best at it now.

The company introduced squeezable edges, Hi-Res Audio recording in stereo, and more. Yet, for all HTC’s innovations, where has it led?

Innovation serves as a barometer of technological (and perhaps market) supremacy. It catches headlines and generates buzz which seems to be more important to manufacturers, even if they don’t necessarily translate to sales.

The Mate 20 Pro’s launch today hit one major thing home for me today, the companies that I find the most compelling aren’t producing their devices in a bubble, they have a holistic view on how their devices will exist in an ecosystem which, they’re also helping to shape through their enterprise divisions.

We know you came here to read an article about smartphones, but in the spirit of mobility, we’re looking at the phone as a piece of the puzzle. And we think this is how manufacturers are looking at them too.

The innovation for smartphones will come around how they fit into a larger mobility picture. At Mobile Geeks we like to ask questions about “How we Travel” and “How we live” We’re seeing the future of mobility shift from how we use our smartphones to interact with the world, but also how these devices are going to interact with broader concepts of mobility, like self-driving cars.

Last year Huawei showed off a semi-autonomous vehicle that was powered by the Mate 10 Pro. The Porsche Panamera didn’t have any self-driving capabilities, a top mounted camera rack fed directly into the smartphone. The Hisilicon Kirin 970’s neural processing unit processed the images through an app they built in 5 weeks with Kerve and the car was able to avoid obstacles and recognize objects.

The technical innovation found within the Huawei’s processors takes the entire ecosystem of mobility into consideration. Being a large company can make it hard to pivot but it also allows you to look at the big picture when you’re developing all your products.

Huawei has been a vocal advocate of digital transformation being critical to enterprise. Huawei’s new vision is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Smartphone exist in an ecosystem and Huawei is active in rolling out digital solutions in six major industries: Smart City, finance, manufacturing, electric power, transportation, and retail.

As an example, in Smart City area they have the Intelligent Operation Center (IOC), which serves as the brain of the city to connect the physical and digital worlds. Through Big Data, machine learning, and A.I., the IOC visually displays a city’s daily operating status.

The future is about making use of our data wherever we are, and the phone will be one of the many ways we areto able access information. Our handsets used to be the only way that we could access the internet while on the go. Now information is appearing in the smart display in our kitchen, our smart speakers, TVs and in our cars. Instead of turning to our phones for all the answers, we’re starting to turn to the world around us for answers.

Innovation is alive and well, but technological advancements in our phones are no longer the benchmark for success.

Even Apple has virtually come to a standstill when it comes to launching innovation in their devices. If I was a betting woman, I’d put all my money on Apple working on a self-driving car solution.

Ben Thompson over at Stratechery did some interesting math on just how many people are working on Project Titan self-driving project. According to public record, 5,000 of Apple’s 135,000 employee’s are disclosed on the project and 2,700 of those are granted access to the project database.

To put these numbers in context in 2010 Apple had 50,000 employees and 80% were in retail stores. If a similar ratio is applied to today’s numbers, this means there are about 25,000 employees at Apple’s headquarters, of which 20% are disclosed on the project. These are just guesses, but 20% is an exceptionally high number of people to be disclosed on an unreleased product.

Now that our hardware is good enough that we don’t need to upgrade our devices every year, manufacturers are able to focus on what the future of mobility looks like beyond the smartphone.

Don’t get me wrong. The Mate 20 Pro has some very cool technology that will keep Huawei on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but if we want to be inspired, we need to look at how companies are envisioning the role of smartphone’s in their larger mobility plan.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro – The perfect phone for people who don’t care about tech http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/huawei-mate-20-pro-the-perfect-phone-for-people-who-dont-care-about-tech/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/huawei-mate-20-pro-the-perfect-phone-for-people-who-dont-care-about-tech/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:30:09 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38648

We’re seeing upgrade cycles on phones get longer and longer and the amount a phone evolves every year is becoming more and more incremental. We’ve published more than our fair share of articles about how smartphone innovation is stagnant, in fact, we published a new one specifically about the Mate 20 Pro today. I stand […]

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We’re seeing upgrade cycles on phones get longer and longer and the amount a phone evolves every year is becoming more and more incremental. We’ve published more than our fair share of articles about how smartphone innovation is stagnant, in fact, we published a new one specifically about the Mate 20 Pro today.

I stand by my words, Innovation to me changing the way something is done, or in the case of a smartphone, an innovation should change the way we use it. The iPhone was an innovative product because it changed the entire smartphone category. Adding a fingerprint reader into the display does change the way we interact with it, but is it really true innovation? The technology is cool, but is it really innovative?

Umit believes so, in fact he’s called his video “Huawei Mate 20 Pro: The most innovative smartphone of the year”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WH89bEkw20

He’s not wrong, even though I’ve become harder and harder to impress in my old age. What makes the Mate 20 Pro a phone that may have added just enough new features to be a phone whose technology fades into the background and will enable you to stop caring about the tech that’s in your phone!

The innovation, in this case, isn’t about changing the way we use our devices but that we no longer have to think of HOW to use our device.

Artificial Intelligence is at the center of this evolution.

Huawei, like most manufacturers, has been focused on the integration of AI features for a while now, their homegrown Kirin 980 has a dual NPU AI Unit.

Imagine apps using image, sound, and voice recognition, all processed locally (without an internet connection or “the cloud”) to enhance and augment our apps. Think of a tourist feature that points out local landmarks directly from within your camera app, or apps that recognize your food and give you information about the calorie count.

You won’t need to think about your internet connectivity for things to work.

When it comes to photography, Master AI 2.0 is now better so that it not only can recognize more scenarios, objects, and optimizations but also segments photos in real time into up to 10 elements and optimizes each one of them separately. With this the dog, the beach, the sea, the sky, and the palm tree etc. are separately optimized and put together into one picture. The AI now also allows you macro Photography up to a distance of 2.5 cm, which especially for me is very cool and useful.

The Master AI can now also optimize Videos. It can, for example, recognize what is important in the video and predict the movement of the object and with classic movie color, you can choose color profiles for your videos. Features like Colour Pop and Video Bokeh are also rendered in real time

You won’t need to think about how to take a good photo or video, the phone will figure it out for you.

Really cools is the new PC Mode which now works with Miracast compatible devices and without a docking station. The image is not just mirrored, but both displays can be used separately.

Forget trying to put two different things on your tiny smartphone display, you can just use it as an independent display. You can really use your device any way you need.

The Mate 20 Pro also comes with EMUI 9 based on Android 9 and has way less complex settings menus. In this case, the simplification of things makes it more intuitive to use.

There are a few features not related to AI that will make managing or taking care of your phone a thing of the past. The Mate 20 Pro has a superfast charging technology with 40 W SuperCharge, where the 4200 mAh battery can charge from 0 to 70% in 30 minutes. What´s also new is Wireless Charging with 15W, which makes it 1.6 times faster than the current competition. With Wireless Charging comes another really cool feature: A few years ago Huawei introduced a Feature which allows you to use your Phone as a Powerbank for other Phones. Now you can do it wirelessly. Just put another Qi Smartphone on the Mate 20 Pro and it charges.

Remembering a charging cable or power bank is now a thing of the past! One less thing to have to remember to do or bring in your life!

We all have enough to do, taking 10 minutes to edit a photo for Instagram or running back into the house to grab a power bank can add up. Huawei has included just enough tech that we may be able to stop worrying about managing what we’re doing with the technology in our lives and just worrying about living them.

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10 things we need before 5G becomes a commercial success http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/10-things-we-need-before-5g-becomes-a-commercial-success/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/10-things-we-need-before-5g-becomes-a-commercial-success/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 23:51:39 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38616

The hype around 5G has begun, high speeds, low latency and new revenue opportunities for mobile operators are just around the corner. You’d think it was as simple as building a 5G network with ensure lots of traffic and massive revenues but if that was that easy, the mobile industry would look very different than […]

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The hype around 5G has begun, high speeds, low latency and new revenue opportunities for mobile operators are just around the corner. You’d think it was as simple as building a 5G network with ensure lots of traffic and massive revenues but if that was that easy, the mobile industry would look very different than it does today.

If we believe that history repeats itself we might want to take a look back at the launch of 3G back in 2000 because there are some similarities to what we’re seeing today with 5G. 3G launch in 2000, the iPhone followed in 2007/2008; and the 4G push around 2014. Though important milestones, none of these events created growth in mobile industry revenue. In fact, the average revenue per user (ARPU) has fallen for the last 18 years. It’s clear that many assume that 5G will increase ARPU for mobile operators. But the reality is it probably won’t. So the big question is: Why should mobile operators invest in new networks?

Strand Consult has published a new report to tackle the question: “How to maximize 5G: Best practices for infrastructure, regulation and business models.” In this research project, they’ve identified:

10 requirements for 5G to be a success

The Ecosystem

5G is a network of interconnecting parts: suppliers, networks, services, devices, customers etc. Creating a success is more than just the bare bones of the network. It is about how the different elements interact and create value. To date, mobile operators have built networks, but the third-party devices and services have reaped most of the revenue. 5G should be a chance to reset the balance so that all of the parts of the ecosystem can flourish.

Roles in the value chain

Operators need to decide where they will be in the value chain. Will they continue to build networks so that third parties such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon get the revenue without having to contribute to the underlying cost? Or will a new set of services and players emerge, players like content, API and payment aggregators which figure out how to make future services more intelligent?

Business Models

The media focuses too much on 5G features such as speed and latency and not on its benefits, ways it can create value. Will 5G be just another fast and dumb pipe, or will operators be more creative for the business model they propose and implement in the future?

Competition

In the short and medium term, 5G should have an impact in the fixed line broadband market, as consumers cut the cord, opting for getting the home broadband connection via wireless, not wires. This will shift the economics for the fixed line players, DSL, cable, and FTTH providers. It will also force regulatory authorities to update their assumptions, definitions, and measurements of broadband.

Regulation

The success of 5G will be mediated the level and quality of regulation. Countries will either support 5G or not. We can see how China, South Korea, and Japan fast-track 5G with a pro-deployment policies. As the EU continues to add regulations to the industry – net neutrality, roaming, GDPR, e-privacy and so on, the European roadmap has been pushed off another 5 years. In the US, the FCC has made 5G a priority with its FAST plan.

Spectrum

5G offers a new and efficient way to use spectrum, which will provide us with a much better utilization of spectrum. 2G and 3G will be phased out, and in the interim, there will be a symbiosis of 4G ad 5G working together. While network planning will be more complex, we have better tools to manage complexity and use bandwidth efficiently.

Infrastructure Deployment

The costs for building and running mobile networks is one of the biggest cost for mobile operators, including increasing site and pole attachment rental. Simply put, if there are no networks, there is no 5G. Strand Consult estimates that about one-fifth of planned infrastructure is either delayed or never built because local authorities make it too difficult to deploy. Municipalities in a country such as Denmark, since 2012, have a streamlined national framework to fast-track to minimize time for building permissions and rental costs. This has helped reduce the mobile operators total rental costs by 20%.

Consolidation

Antitrust authorities should study 5G as an opportunity to update their knowledge about how technology creates competition in the mobile industry. We expect that many authorities will rely on their outdated rules of thumb, rather than investigate the actual effects. It will still be difficult to make a 4 to 3 consolidation in parts of the world despite the fact that networks efficiency is important for consumers to realize low prices and good mobile coverage. The bottom line is that countries want operators to invest billions of dollars in spectrum and infrastructure, they need to be more flexible about allowing firms to join complementary assets in consolidation so that they can realize 5G.

New kinds of network ownership

With 5G we will also see new types of network ownership. Some operators will split their network from the retail and service businesses and create a “carrier’s carrier”. We will experience that many FTTH players extend their fiber with 5G will impact competition in the mobile market. Countries like Mexico, Italy, Norway and Denmark will be interesting to watch.

Distribution optimization

How does a mobile operator build up cost-effective distribution that makes all customer segments (including those with low ARPU) profitable? For many mobile operators, the costs associated with sales and marketing are greater than the amount they invest in infrastructure. In the future’s 5G market, it will be necessary to bring sales and marketing costs down.


With the launch of the iPhone in 2007, it became clear that mobile operators would not increase their revenue by having the iPhone on their network, and mobile operators got a nil to marginal share of the revenue that third party apps enjoyed. Not only did mobile operators foot the bill for networks, they offered subsidies for iPhones, a move that made Apple shareholders very wealthy. Just look at the stock price of mobile operators and Apple between 2007 and 2018—the wealth transfer is clear.

The question is not whether mobile operators’ subsidies have helped keep the price of iPhones up and increase Apple’s profit. The question is how much value the mobile operators have added to Apple since 2007, which is directly attributable to subsidies from mobile operators. In 2009, Strand Consult published The moment of truth, a portrait of the iPhone. It described how much the iPhone had cost mobile operators. If we’re not careful history could repeat itself with 5G – in which mobile operators make a big investment, and the devices and services get the greater part of value.

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Fully Electric Smart Takes on Being Green in Scandinavia http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/fully-electric-smart-takes-on-being-green-in-scandinavia/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/fully-electric-smart-takes-on-being-green-in-scandinavia/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 23:52:21 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38577

Denmark is on its way to being CO2 neutral by 2025 achieving this goal means going electric. SMART brought me to Copenhagen to drive their Fully Electric Smart around through an ecosystem that taken electrification to the next level. Copenhagen is a city of 1.3M and it’s working on being one of the most cycle-friendly […]

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Denmark is on its way to being CO2 neutral by 2025 achieving this goal means going electric. SMART brought me to Copenhagen to drive their Fully Electric Smart around through an ecosystem that taken electrification to the next level.

Copenhagen is a city of 1.3M and it’s working on being one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world and going electric is at the center of the movement. Last year Denmark reached a tipping point where they had more electric charging stations then they did petrol stations. Their commitment to going electric is being realized.

Most European countries already have quite an extensive public charging network, and a road trip to visit a summer house isn’t an impossibility anymore. Here’s a short overview on charging infrastructure development for all you statistics lovers.

Nordic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, have one of the highest ratios of EV’s per capita in the world. Four out of these five countries already have a market share above 2%, with Norway leading the way with the highest market share level in the world.

By the end of 2017, approximately 250 000 electric cars had been registered in the Nordic countries. The number of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) outlets was more than 260 000. Most of these charging points locate at residential buildings or workplaces and over 16 000 are public.

n the fully electric Smart FourTWO I drove around Denmark and tested the charging system. We were armed with all the local payment cards and whenever we went looking for a charging station we had no problem hooking up and charging our car. Even when I wanted to top up over lunch I was able to get a changing station right next to the restaurant.

Like many cities, digital payment systems for parking have started rolling out. EasyPark was our app of choice in Copenhagen and like most parking apps as a tourist or visitor it’s really not more convenient than just finding a machine on the street and putting some money in. As someone who visits a lot of cities looking for parking, being able to find lots on a map is great. However, the sign-up process means you need WiFi or a phone number that works perfectly on their network. Someone traveling may not have access to the same services as a local. The GPS positioning in often incorrect is city centers thanks to the tall buildings, EasyPark makes you select where your car is. In our case, it wasn’t correct so we ended up getting a ticket even though we paid for parking. Street signs being a foreign language and the apps often don’t incorporate real-time parking rules so figuring out if your parking legally is still a problem.

GoBoat is all electric, 80% of the rentals are from locals getting out and enjoying their seafaring roots. In the summer reservations are long. The boats themselves are made of recycled materials and they’ve actually lowered the speed since the point of getting on the water is to socialize, sightseeing is an added bonus. The boats are powered by an environmentally friendly electrical engine from Torqeedo, which uses batteries that are charged by solar cells on the roof of the pavilion.

If you thought electric boats were neat, wait until you see the electric ferry that travels between Denmark and Sweden. Ferries are a perfect place to start if you’re looking to create an electric transportation system on the water. They often travel only short distances and stay for relatively long periods of time at the same ports, where they can be charged.

The HH Ferries Group’s two ferries, the Tycho Brahe and the Aurora, operate a 4-km (2.5 miles) ferry route between Helsingborg (Sweden) and Helsingör (Denmark). Therefore, the route that they are converting to all-electric transport is not exactly impressive, but that shouldn’t take away from the ships themselves, which are really something.

They are 238 meters long (780 ft) and weight 8,414 tonnes. They carry 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually.
This pair consumes the highest amount of green energy from the grid. The city had to make an investment into these ferry’s going green, they had to lay 3km of cables to the port to make it happen. The infrastructure demands of such a project exist in an ecosystem, one single point can’t decide to be electric, the infrastructure has to be in place.

It takes 20min to pass back and forth between the piers takes 20minutes and they have 8min and 12min to recharge on either side. This means they need to move a lot of power very quickly to the batteries that sit on top of the boat. They can do two runs on one charge just in case something goes wrong on one end and when you see how they’re charged you can see there was a lot of room for error.

ABB has 2 robots arms that attach the charging ports, it was a massive undertaking to get these to work since the boat is a moving target and they’re typically running in a factory where targets are static.

The energy supplied is from wind, water and solar and the cells are changed leaving the battery intact to minimize the environmental impact.

Everything I’d experienced so far was a part of a plan laid 25 years ago when Copenhagen was on the verge of bankruptcy. Three major projects brought the city back to life, the metro, terminal 3 and the Øresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo.

Copenhagen and Malmo have a combined population of 3.8M and consider themselves to be a cross-national region. People from Malmo commute to Copenhagen as the salaries are high in Denmark and the cost of living lower in Malmo. The bridge created a new economic zone expanding the capacity and capabilities of Copenhagen while undertaking a project that created jobs.

Small countries can be first movers their size and population make them agile. Testing out the sustainable infrastructure, I saw some pain points, how do you limit charging time to make sure everyone gets a turn. I never encountered a charging plug that didn’t have at least one free space, but Denmark choose the egg before the chicken. They built the infrastructure and are now just waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

Smart sponsored our travel to participate in this tour around Scandinavia, all thoughts and ideas are our own. 

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Is Five Cameras on a Smartphone too Much? Or Just right? – LG V40 Thinkq http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/is-five-cameras-on-a-smartphone-too-much-or-just-right-lg-v40-thinkq/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/is-five-cameras-on-a-smartphone-too-much-or-just-right-lg-v40-thinkq/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 09:28:44 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=38560

LG has just announced the V40, it has FIVE cameras and even though we think it might be over kill, it could be the perfect smartphone. As an LG G7 & V30 user more than once I’ve thought to my self “I wish I had a telephoto lens to zoom in” but LG stayed firmly […]

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LG has just announced the V40, it has FIVE cameras and even though we think it might be over kill, it could be the perfect smartphone. As an LG G7 & V30 user more than once I’ve thought to my self “I wish I had a telephoto lens to zoom in” but LG stayed firmly in my pocket because my use of the wide-angle lens outweighed my need to zoom in. On the V40 I no longer have to make that compromise and that might make the V40 the most versatile smartphone on the market in terms of photography.

The V40 has two additional rear cameras, which provide different perspectives and fields of view. In total, the V40 has five different cameras: three on the back, and two on the front, which give its camera system a level of versatility that other phones don’t offer.

The V40’s camera setup is unique: it has a standard camera for normal shots, a super wide-angle camera for capturing a wider field of view, and, in a first for LG, a telephoto camera to get closer to your subject.

The V40’s rear cameras are comprised of a standard 12-megapixel camera with an f/1.5 optically stabilized lens and a 78-degree field of view. It’s a lower resolution than the G7’s 16-megapixel main camera, but the pixels are 40 percent larger, which combines with the slightly brighter lens for better low light capability.

Next to the standard camera is a 16-megapixel super wide camera with a 107 degree, f/1.9 aperture lens. It has the same specs as the G7’s super wide camera, and lets you capture a much wider scene than the standard cameras on other smartphones.

Finally, there’s the new telephoto camera, which has 12-megapixels of resolution and a 45 degree, f/2.4 lens. Like the telephoto cameras on other phones, this gets you about two times closer to your subject compared to the main camera.

 

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The V40 gives you a more versatile camera than any other smartphone available right now. You can go from taking standard snaps, to ultra-wide vistas, to close up portraits in just a matter of taps on your screen. LG has built in some clever features to its camera app to make the most of the three cameras, as well. Long pressing on the different zoom buttons brings up a live thumbnail of each lens’ field of view, so you can easily see what the other cameras can capture before you take a snap.

There’s even a mode called Triple Shot that will take a picture from all three cameras in just one press of the shutter, so if you’re really indecisive about which camera to use, you can just shoot all three of them.

Triple Shot isn’t seamless, it doesn’t take all photos from each camera at once, it does them in succession, starting with the super wide and ending with the telephoto. That means if your subject moves or you move the camera before it’s done snapping all three shots, you’re going to have either a blurry image or messed-up composition. It also creates an animation stitching all three shots together that takes a while to process and isn’t particularly useful.

When looking at selfies, the standard front-facing camera has 8-megapixels and an 80-degree, f/1.9 lens. It’s the same as the camera on the G7 and is fine. Next to it is a new, wide-angle camera that has a 5-megapixel sensor and a 90-degree, f/2.2 lens. It’s only slightly wider than the standard camera, so you might be able to fit one more person in your group selfie using it. The two cameras also enable portrait blur and portrait lighting effects for selfies, but just like the rear cameras, these features are terrible.

Taking a look at the rest of the LG V40

The V40’s 6.4-inch screen is similar in size to Samsung’s Note 9, but the notch at the top and small bezel at the bottom give the V40 a slightly smaller footprint. It actually has a bigger screen in smaller dimensions than the Note 9 or iPhone XS Max.

The phone itself is also more than an ounce lighter than the Note 9 or iPhone XS Max, which makes it easier to hold all day long. Like the Samsung, this screen is an OLED panel, so it has rich colors, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. It’s noticeably better than the V30’s OLED screen.

LG has upgraded the battery capacity in the V40 — it’s a 3,300mAh

Snapdragon 845 processor as every other Android flagship in 2018, paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s a microSD card slot for storage expansion, wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio. The V40’s single speaker is just like the G7’s BoomBox system: it’s shockingly loud and full and gets even louder when you place the phone down on a table. The V40 also has the same haptic feedback as the G7, which is the best you can get in the Android world and nearly as good as the Taptic Engine Apple uses in the iPhone. And there’s the dedicated button on the left side for launching the Google Assistant. Personally, I can take or leave this feature, but if the button bothers you, it is possible to disable it (but you can’t remap it to something else, unfortunately).

LG V40 specs

LG V40 ThinQ
Display 6.4-inch OLED FullVision display
538ppi
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
19.5:9 aspect ratio
HDR10-capable
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
2.8GHz, octa-core
GPU Adreno 630
RAM 6GB LPDDRx4
Storage 64 or 128GB
UFS 2.1
MicroSD expansion up to 2TB
Cameras Rear
Main camera: 12MP sensor, ƒ/1.5 aperture, 78° field-of-view, 1.4µm pixel size, OIS, Dual PD autofocus
Super wide: 16MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, Crystal Clear Lens, 1µm pixel size, 107° field-of-view
Telephoto zoom: 12MP sensor, ƒ/2.4 aperture, 1µm pixel size, 45° field of viewFront
Standard: 8MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 1.12µm pixel size, 80° field of view
Wide: 5MP sensor, ƒ/2.2, 1.12µm pixel size, 90° field of view
Audio Boombox Speaker
DTS:X 3D Surround Sound
32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC
3.5mm headphone jack
Audio Tuned by Meridian
Super Far Field Voice Recognition
Battery 3,300mAh
Non-removable
Fast wireless charging
Quick Charge 4.0-compatible (ships with QC 3.0 charger)
Qi wireless charging
USB Type-C port
IP rating IP68
MIL-STD 810G certification
Network LTE-A 4 Band CA
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
NFC
FM Radio
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions and weight 75.8 x 7.7 x 158.7mm
169g
Colors New Aurora Black, New Platinum Gray, New Moroccan Blue, Carmine Red

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Volkswagen We: VW is serious about Services in Berlin http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/volkswagen-we/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/volkswagen-we/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 20:00:18 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38548

On a hot summer day, I met with Christoph Hohmann Head of Customer Engagement at Volkswagen We to find out what they had planned for Berlin. We meet in a stunning new space the We Space at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum which is a physical manifestation of the online ecosystem they’re launching. What Services is […]

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On a hot summer day, I met with Christoph Hohmann Head of Customer Engagement at Volkswagen We to find out what they had planned for Berlin. We meet in a stunning new space the We Space at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum which is a physical manifestation of the online ecosystem they’re launching.

What Services is Volkswagen Launching?

We Park has already launched, it’s a parking service that lets you pay for parking through an app. You need to get a sticker for your car, but once you’ve enrolled you’ll be able to turn your phone into the parking meter. We Park isn’t just available in Berlin, as the list keeps growing quickly, here is a link to a list of current cities.

We Experience is a We Park feature that gives you access to offers that are directly around you, if a gas station is offering a discount, they’ll let you know or if a coffee shop has a special on your favorite coffee you can access it all through the application. It’s powered by IBM’s Watson so expect the suggestions to be personal.

We Deliver – Your trunk becomes your delivery address. Never miss another package! Volkswagen has already run pilot programs with DHL to get all your e-commerce packages to the trunk of your car. They’re currently looking interesting new business partners, online shops, florists, cafe or supermarkets. We’re hopeful that when they launch in a few months we’ll be able to get everything we need!

We Connect – Volkswagen Connect & Car-Net are a pair of hardware solutions.

Volkswagen Connect is a hardware dongle which works for used Volkswagen’s from 2008 onward. It will turn your car into a smart connected car. The Data plug gives you a smart overview of your vehicle data, find out how efficient your driving is, automatically log your trips, where you parked your car or get emergency help with Volkswagen’s roadside assist program.

Car-Net connects your car to your phone with the Car-Net-e-Remote you can control things like the door or interior temperature. Where it gets interesting is your car wants you to arrive relaxed, and send you a time management reminder to get on the road so you’re not late.

Does Berlin Need Yet Another Car Sharing Service?

The heavy hitter in the Volkswagen We line up of service is We Share. They will start with 1,500 e-Golf electric cars to launch the service during the second quarter of 2019 and 500 will follow later on.  

Berlin was chosen as the launching ground for the zero-emission service because the customers are advance in their use of ridesharing solutions and they are in need.

Berlin has the lowest number of cars per thousand people in Germany and even Europe. On average in Germany it’s an average of 500 cars per thousand, in Berlin it is less than 400. So many people are already using many sharing solutions and the city has the capacity to handle the expansion of a fleet this size.

As with other car sharing services, users will be able to access the vehicles through a mobile app and pay based on their usage.

VW’s electric vehicles are no stranger to being used by car-sharing services, for example, Zipcar is building a fleet of over 300 all-electric VW e-Golfs in London. It’s in the works to enter other major cities in Germany and other European and North American markets starting in 2020. Cities with populations over one million would be targeted.

With so many options why use Volkswagen We?

Building a service is about building a community, but the truth is in tech-savvy city like Berlin you’re not the only game in town. When a Berliner pulls out their phone they’re going to take the closest car regardless of the provider. Pragmatism can trump loyalty, so I asked Chris why he thought We Share would come out on top. “First off, we know that we won’t be the only   app you have on your phone, so having the largest fleet in Berlin will help us become the easiest service to access.” He continued to explain, that they want to build a brand that is customer service focused, that listens to its users and doesn’t expect the way they’ve engineered things to be the best way.

His attitude was refreshing, being based in Shanghai for a few years, he’s lived in a cashless economy, something that isn’t close to being a reality in Germany.  Mobile Geeks has deep roots in Asia, so we understand that Convenience is King and the retail experience is significantly more advanced that what we’re seeing in Germany. I asked Chris what he learned from his time in China and what elements he thinks he’s brought back to create a more comprehensive experience.

“We need to create a best in class customer experience, we’re trying to involve customers earlier to try to understand what they want from a service and not impose on them how we think it should be. That’s something I took from China, to really focus on the customer and their needs and be big enough to say ‘It doesn’t matter what I thought was the right way, if they want it that way, let’s do it that way”.

We’ve heard it time and time again, Think Global, Act Local, but when it comes to customer service Europe has a thing or two to learn from the East.

While we are still a few months away from We Share hitting the streets you can check out Volkswagen We’s other services here, and if you’re in Berlin you should stop by the We Space at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum to play around with their many interactive exhibits!

This was a paid advertorial from Volkswagen.

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Salesforce Aims to Create a Complete Customer Profile for Companies – Dreamforce 2018 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/salesforce-aims-to-create-a-complete-customer-profile-for-companies-dreamforce-2018/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/salesforce-aims-to-create-a-complete-customer-profile-for-companies-dreamforce-2018/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 07:04:33 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38519

Dreamforce takes place in San Francisco and this year 170,000 people will descend to get jazzed about the Salesforce product line. Salesforce Customer 360 helps companies create strong customer profiles, it will bring data points from a variety of sources to create a singular ID. The ID gives companies a more complete profile of who […]

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Dreamforce takes place in San Francisco and this year 170,000 people will descend to get jazzed about the Salesforce product line.

Salesforce Customer 360 helps companies create strong customer profiles, it will bring data points from a variety of sources to create a singular ID. The ID gives companies a more complete profile of who customers are and how they shop without having to comb through all the different customer-relationship-management data systems they use.

With the new tool, companies can bring in data points from other Salesforce products like Commerce and Marketing Cloud as well as any platform that works with MuleSoft, which was acquired by Salesforce earlier this year, like a point-of sale-system that also has data on a customer. customer ID.

Previously, with data only coming from one source, companies would see incomplete or outdated information about customers. Now, with Salesforce Customer 360 and all the different data sources combined, companies can see data like customers’ birthdays and what’s in their cart, all of which can then be used on the Service or Marketing Cloud to give customer-service agents a better view of whom they’re talking to and what they’ve bought in the past. Marketers can also use the data to trigger emails or other campaigns to target customers better.

The whole point of Salesforce Customer 360 is helping brands “understand who the customer is” and to do that with “clicks, not code.” Of course, it’s also a pull for people to use more Salesforce products.

The new feature comes a day after Microsoft, SAP, and Adobe announced a similar data lake called the Open Data Initiative. The Open Data Initiative will let companies bring data “across systems” and use artificial intelligence to “gain a deeper understanding of your business.” The partnership means companies will be able to get a “single view of the customer” by exchanging data across Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP’s C/4HANA and Adobe Experience Cloud. Unlike Salesforce Customer 360, this somewhat democratizes where and what platforms companies use to get the best outcome for their customers.

SAP claims that by unifying data across multiple systems of record, businesses can deliver personalized, real-time experiences while dramatically reducing the costs of data consumption, transformation, and management.

Salesforce is taking the approach that integrating data allows you to better understand the customer but turning the data into intelligent personalized, cross-channel experiences. The Salesforce platform has Customer 360, MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform and deep integrations with partners such as Google and AWS.

Salesforce also had some compelling demos during their keynote showing off Einstein Voice which aims to take lead from Siri and Alexa, a new voice tool for its artificial intelligence system.
Einstein Voice includes an assistant tool, which can interpret voice memos and enter data from what it hears, as well as surface critical data from Salesforce using only voice commands.

Salesforce also announced Einstein Voice Bots, which let companies create their own voice bots for answering customer service questions via a smart speaker.

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Tribit X-Bass Review: A Budget Speaker hitting above its price point http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/tribit-x-bass-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/tribit-x-bass-review/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 20:11:53 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=38488

The Tribit X-Bass has large obvious buttons that means you can easily, covered ports making it waterproof and sound that astoundingly crisp with the ability to get pretty loud, there is a lot to love about the XBASS. The crisp sound is what we loved most about the X-Boom, it has decent bass and it gets […]

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The Tribit X-Bass has large obvious buttons that means you can easily, covered ports making it waterproof and sound that astoundingly crisp with the ability to get pretty loud, there is a lot to love about the XBASS.

The crisp sound is what we loved most about the X-Boom, it has decent bass and it gets slightly more impressive when you press the XBASS button.

We weren’t in love with the design, the large plus and minus are a little cartoony but since there aren’t any companion apps we’re glad they’ve made the speaker extremely easy to control.

On the back, from top to bottom, there’s a power button, four tiny circles to indicate battery level, a Bluetooth pairing button, an “XBASS” button (guess what that does), and lastly, a giant flap covering the aux and Micro-USB charging ports. We’re bummed about the choice of conneter since this cable is only carried around for accessories so it contantly the one I have the hardest time finding. Complaining about not being able to find my micro USB cable is the most first world problem that I have.

That flap over the ports is necessary for the IPX7 water (but not dust) resistance, which most speakers in this category have.

The top and bottom have an interesting party trick: they visually bump to the bass, just like with actual speakers. As expected, they don’t move much at low volumes, but they really start shaking when you crank it up, especially when the XBASS button is pushed.

You’re able to charge the speaker at 5V/2A, so it happens pretty quickly, Tribit claims that the X-Boom’s 5,200mAh battery will last up to 20 hours. Given that the battery has nearly double the capacity of the BOOM 2’s 2,800mAh pack, which UE claims 15 hours for, I have no trouble believing this. But as always, your battery life will vary depending on volume, idle time, and other factors, so it’s difficult to give a hard number. I can tell you, though, that I haven’t once worried about the X-Boom’s battery life when taking it places.

If you compare the sound to the UE BOOM 2 is louder and does win out in terms of bass. It’s a marginal difference and not a difference of huge note. That being said, the X-Boom still gets plenty loud, and sound quality at those high volumes for any of these speakers isn’t pretty anyway. The 360-degree design and dual 12W drivers allow sound to go in all directions, which is nice for parties but doesn’t impact the experience if you’re the only one enjoying the tunes.

 

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Everything you need to know about BMW’s Self Driving Motorcycle http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-bmws-self-driving-motorcycle/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-bmws-self-driving-motorcycle/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 05:55:37 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38423

When the death rate of a motorcyclist is 28 times higher than someone behind the wheel of a car, it’s clear the role of a self driving bike is to make the activity safer and not to recreate a modern headless horseman. Motorcycles face unique challenges and BMW Mottorad has been working on this technology […]

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When the death rate of a motorcyclist is 28 times higher than someone behind the wheel of a car, it’s clear the role of a self driving bike is to make the activity safer and not to recreate a modern headless horseman.

Motorcycles face unique challenges and BMW Mottorad has been working on this technology for 2 years.

The plan isn’t to sell a fully self-driving motorcycle. Instead, BMW says it wants to add aspects of the tech into its motorcycles to offer more stability in critical riding situations. Cars are getting driver assist features like automatic emergency braking or lane keep, BMW is looking to integrate similar tech to cut down on the most avoidable accidents.

Translating these kinds of driver assistance features to a motorcycle is a challenge. You can program a car to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash, and the driver will (likely) come out just fine. But if you do that on a motorcycle, the rider would go flying off the bike. Given the level of control motorcycle riders have over the balance of their bikes, even subtle automated corrections could create new danger.

Something else to consider is the changing footprint of the bike, it had a lean angle when it turns which changes the amount of space the bike takes up on the road. This isn’t just another variable to take into consideration it changes the bounding box, this is the calculation that determines the size around an object required to keep it safe. This dimension does not really change for a car, but take the lean angle of the bike into consideration and very quickly the object on the road needs a lot more space to keep it safe.

When the bike leans to the right or left it changes the surface area that the bike occupies on the road, this is a variable that doesn’t really change for a car.

The idea of a variable bounding box isn’t just a consideration for automated features on a bike, it’s a consideration that cars need to take into account as they begin to drive themselves.

The acceleration of a bike is higher and the normal behavior of a rider is different. Weaving in traffic and changing lanes is different in cars than it is in bikes. If you take an extreme of a commercial vehicle the normal behavior is harder to handle or predict, if a truck never leaves a mine, it’s easy to predict and deal with its normal behavior.

The information produced by a car is also different, door open vs door closed and the bike will send a lean angle because this changes, very quickly, the bounding box or the projected footprint on the car changes. Cars consistently have the same footprint unless the doors open, it stays the same, but when I bike leans it now takes up a larger portion of the road. This type of information needs to be taken into consideration when we create standards for the types of information that are created, included and considered important.

We need Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication NOT Car-to-Car

If you’ve been following along with the field of self-driving cars you’ll be aware of the struggles of standardizing Car to Car communication. BMW Mottorad is raising awareness around the special needs of the motorcycle, the automotive industry isn’t waiting around for the motorcycle industry to get its act together to move forward on standards.

If the motorcycle industry wasn’t stepping up to take a seat at the table there would be no way to transmit the lean angle because the car industry wants the angle of the steering wheel. On a bike you brake with your hand and your foot, BMW is creating the data that the industry needs to take the bike into consideration when it creates standards for future communication and infrastructure.

It’s clear that autonomous, V2V and self-driving features will begin in the car, the technology isn’t miniaturized yet if you look at cars the data loggers and computers took up the whole trunk, motorcycles don’t have that luxury.

The CMC (Connected Motorcycle Consortium) s creating standards for the car and motorcycle ecosystem. It’s is active in making sure that the steps that are being taken aren’t excluding the motorcycle.

What is BMW Mottorad really showing off today?

It’s impressive, we won’t take away anything from the demo, but we’re not actually seeing a self-driving bike, we are seeing a bike follow a GPS track it doesn’t have any environment sensors. In addition to telling the bike where the track is, they had to set track parameters, for example, it’s width and composition before it heads out to drive itself around the track.

The three containers are full of raw development, it’s a combination of equipment they picked up at their local electronics shop, their racing workbench with a few custom bits for good measure. The total extra weight is 70kg.

What is actively being calculated in the video is the bike stabilization. The turning and stabilizing of the bike is an exciting feature that could be added to a bike used to teach people to ride.

They are hoping to also provide guidance for object avoidance, they can start to figure out what’s the best angle or way to stay safe in certain situations. The end goal is not to sell self-driving bikes but to create assistance systems that can help reduce the risk.

BMW isn’t planning on releasing a self-driving bike, but a project like this is important to raise the awareness around the motorcycles special needs. And to amaze us with the erry footage of a driverless bike zipping around a track.

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6 ways Insurance will change because of Autonomous Cars http://www.mobilegeeks.com/6-ways-insurance-will-change-autonomous-cars/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/6-ways-insurance-will-change-autonomous-cars/#respond Fri, 07 Sep 2018 16:52:42 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?p=38390

When it comes to assigning blame, few traffic accidents are clear-cut cases. Cars are getting smarter, drivers are turning into passengers, and we’re left with the many questions. How will the insurance industry evolve to manage the risk of self-driving cars and what will this mean for businesses and individuals? The insurance industry is about […]

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When it comes to assigning blame, few traffic accidents are clear-cut cases. Cars are getting smarter, drivers are turning into passengers, and we’re left with the many questions. How will the insurance industry evolve to manage the risk of self-driving cars and what will this mean for businesses and individuals?

The insurance industry is about to undergo a major transformation and car insurance is at the center of this change.

Home insurance, health insurance, insurance for your business if you think about it there isn’t an industry the insurance industry doesn’t touch in some way. It wasn’t my fault, honest: Insuring next-generation vehicles a panel during SHIFT Automotive through their discussion we heard 5 ways insurance will change because of the self driving car.

1. Individual insurance rates will decrease

The point of self-driving cars is to make the roads safer, as accidents decrease the need for insurance payouts will decrease and our rates will follow suit.

we don’t need to wait for fully autonomous cars to hit the streets to see a reduction in accidents. Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are becoming commonplace, and they show significant potential to decrease crashes.

ADAS will become increasingly common as the technology becomes less expensive and older vehicles are replaced. By 2025, as many as 40% of cars may have systems such as lane change alerts and forward collision prevention.

Many insurers already offer premium discounts for these features, but as the effects of increased safety become apparent, insurers will need to lower premiums or risk being undercut by competitors.

Rates will be weighted more to the risk profile of the vehicle than the risk profile of the driver, which is the reverse of what we see today

2. Digital Twins Will Infiltrate Insurance platforms

A digital twin is a highly complex virtual model that is the exact counterpart (or twin) of a physical thing. Many companies already have digital twins for all the trucks in their fleet and machines on their assembly line to predict when they fail. This trend will continue but the insurance companies may make it mandatory or become involved in the monitoring process.

Insurance is all about analyzing risk and if you have sensors in the things you’re insuring and can predict when they’ll break down, it seems natural you’d want digital twins of everything!

3. Infrastructure insurance will emerge a dominant trend

Cloud server systems, signals, and other safeguards that will be put in place to protect riders and drivers. The need to secure and insure the public infrastructure, but governments often “self-insure” these risks so the opportunity for commercial insurance is likely to be lower.

4. Product liability will become a focus for insurance companies

Auto-related sensors and chips are expensive, but the real risk for manufacturers is the potential for failure through software bugs, memory overflow, and algorithm defects, and the resulting massive liability.

5. Automakers will assume liability for self-driving cars

When a self-driving car has an accident and a human driver isn’t in control, the manufacturer has stepped up to assume liability. Just so you’re clear if you’re behind the wheel and there is an accident you’re going to need your own insurance. Google, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz will accept liability in cases where a vehicle’s self-driving system is at fault for a crash.

Since there are no self-driving cars on the road, this is currently all talk, so we should expect a lot of lawsuits before precedents are set. Insurance companies may need to step in and require extra tracking sensors to be placed in cars to determine whether a human or AI driver was at fault in an accident before automakers will assume full liability for crashes.

6. Automotive manufacturers become the insurance providers.

Why outsource a business when you can bring it in-house, we may see the acquisition or merger or insurance companies with the manufactures.

After all why partner with a lucrative business when you could just own it?

Insurance wasn’t the only talk at SHIFT Automotive that got us thinking about the future of the industry and how all industries will be affected by the ways that information and the people who use it move through the world.

 

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