Lifestyle

Here’s your K-pop Starter Pack

In case you want to get into Korean Pop Music

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The last few years have seen the rise of K-pop in the world outside of Asia, and with really cool bops and tracks, we’re not too surprised. There’s more to it though than the music, and we decided to put together a starter pack of sorts to get you acquainted with the world of K-pop.

K-pop terms

To start you off, let’s go over some terms that you’ll probably encounter more than once as you find your way around

  • Idol — what you call K-pop artists/stars
  • Aegyo — what you call idols who act cute (i.e., baby voice, facial expressions, gestures)
  • Bias — this is your favorite member in a group
  • Maknae — this is the youngest member of a group, usually seen as the innocent, playful, and sweet type
  • Sub-Unit — these are units of select members from one or more groups that come together and make music; members of sub-units still promote with their group, but are able to do something outside of them
  • Comeback — when an idol or group releases a new track, it’s called a comeback and usually starts a train of show appearances, live performances, and fan interactions

Fan Chants and Light Sticks

The K-pop culture is unique and interesting in that it has some specific interactive aspects when it comes to live performances: Light Sticks and Fan Chants.

Idols and groups have their own light sticks, and fans bring them to performances and wave them in the air to show support for their biases. There are times when light sticks are programmable to sync to the songs, essentially integrating the audience to the concert itself, and they make for really good souvenirs and symbols of people’s fandom.

Fan Chants are sections of songs that are yelled by the audience, again integrating them more into the show. Some fan chants are lyrics of the songs yelled alongside the idols, and others are separate sets of words and phrases during instrumental parts or dance breaks. As an example, here are the fan chants to Twice’s latest release, “Yes or Yes”:

Music Shows

Part of K-pop debut/comeback promotions is the music show performances. Each TV station has its own music show wherein idols and groups have live performances and give out awards on a weekly basis. Examples include SBS Inkigayo, MNet M!Countdown, and KBS Music Bank. The performances are also available on their YouTube channels to watch whenever and wherever you want to. 

Variety Shows

Another part of K-pop promotions are the variety shows. These give the idols opportunities to show who they are while playing games and having fun in different ways. Like with the music shows, you can find segments on YouTube, and they’re really entertaining.

An example is the popular show called Knowing Brothers (Men in a Mission on Netflix). The concept is a classroom with the students being showbiz veterans, and different celebrity guests come in as transfers. Everyone talks casually, without honorifics, and overall leaves everyone laughing their butts off.

Two other popular shows are Weekly Idol and Idol Room. These shows are kind of like talk shows, but the idols play games and do challenges, as well. With variety shows, you can tell that everyone on set is having fun, and I think that simply adds even more to the amusement of the audience.

V Live

In K-pop, fan interaction is a big thing. They have events like fan meets, fan signs, and something called “hi touches” (you literally high five all members of a group), but they’re also accessible online — an example being the app called V Live. This is a platform where idols can livestream and post videos, kind of like Twitch but for K-pop.

Idols have their own channels, and you can communicate with your favorites through the chat during their broadcasts. You can also subscribe to their CHANNEL+ or VLIVE+ and get access to exclusive content for a monthly fee. This is a really cool way to stay updated with your biases in a more laid back and personal kind of way.

Now that you’re somewhat familiar with the K-pop world, let’s get you some stuff to jam to. Here’s a playlist on Spotify called K-pop Starter Pack with some tracks to listen to as a start. It includes some of the best tracks out there, and it covers different genres so you can get a good feel of it all. Just click shuffle and start your journey!

Accessories

LG launches three new XBoom Go speakers in Singapore

XBoom Go PL7, PL5, and PL2 have well-balanced sounds and compact designs

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There’s one accessory that we need more than ever as we work from home. That’s a bluetooth speaker — it’s portable, convenient, and allows listening to tunes anytime, anywhere. Buyers on the lookout for a great Bluetooth speaker should look no further than LG’s XBoom speaker lineup. After all, LG is launching three new XBoom speakers in Singapore.

These three new speakers are the XBoom Go PL7, PL5, and PL2. All these speakers stand out from the competition through its well-balanced sound, enhanced usability and features, and compact design. LG partnered with MERIDIAN to ensure that its speakers produce high-quality sound with deep bass, clear treble, and rich vocals.

LG’s XBoom Go PL2

As for the XBoom Go PL7, LG equipped the speaker with dual tweeters. Like the rest of the lineup, it also comes with dual passive radiators and dual-action bass feature, as well as a sound boost to deliver consistent, crystal-clear, and bass-thumping sound across all frequencies.

LG also equipped some smarts across all speakers. All XBoom Go speakers support hands-free voice commands and multi-phone pairing. Listeners can take advantage of the built-in Wireless Party Link function to link two XBoom Go PL7 together.

Multi-color lighting is also available for both the XBoom Go PL7 and PL5. This lighting feature employs a sophisticated three-step process to detect the song’s beat and match it with corresponding colors.

On top of all the features, all XBoom Go speakers are IPX5-rated. Thus, listeners can use them for pool parties since the speakers are guaranteed to survive from sprays and splashes.

Interested buyers can buy the XBoom Go PL7, PL5, and PL2 on all authorized retailers (Best Denki, Challenger, COURTS, Harvey Norman, NTUC, and Popular) across Singapore. For more information, visit LG Singapore’s website.

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Accessories

Samsung has launched a personal phone sterilizer

Can kill 99 percent of germs in 10 minutes

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A smartphone is a germophobe’s worst nightmare. With the amount of handling our phones get every minute of every day, it’s almost impossible to keep them clean even with gloves on. As we suggested in the past, sterilizing your phones might be a sound idea in the age of COVID-19. That said, where do you get a phone sterilizer?

If alcohol doesn’t cut it, Samsung is now selling a personal UV sterilizer for your smartphones. On the outside, the ITFIT UV Sterilizer looks like a sleek phone case. However, a button can bombard your phone with enough UV to “kill up to 99 percent of bacteria within 10 minutes,” according to its official store listing. (The bacteria hit list explicitly includes E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Candida albicans.)

Since it’s big enough to house a Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung says you can also use it to sterilize other smaller items like the Galaxy Buds and a pair of glasses. This can include non-Samsung phones.

Oh, and it can also charge your devices wirelessly. Unfortunately, the device’s charging power is paltry at best, powering devices at just 10W. Since the sterilizer lasts for just 10 minutes, you might want to use a faster charger instead. Still, it’s a nifty feature we wouldn’t say no to.

Unfortunately, the ITFIT UV Sterilizer is difficult to get a hold of. Currently, Samsung is selling the device exclusively in Thailand at the moment. It retails for THB 1,590 (approximately US$ 51).

However, the currently linked listing is for Hong Kong, potentially hinting at the device’s wider availability in the future.

SEE ALSO: Tech companies post tips on proper hygiene

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Lifestyle

Samsung brings The Frame to the Philippines

Space-saving for art enthusiasts living in small spaces

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Image by Samsung

This isn’t just a picture frame. It’s a TV.

Looks cool, right? Launched in Paris back in 2017, Samsung’s The Frame finally makes its way to the Philippine archipelago.

Countless times, we’ve found it difficult to arrange and decorate our spaces due to humongous televisions that seem like a huge block of a black panel. This picture-frame looking TV innovates one of the centerpieces of every home.

The Frame — with its elegant and modern frame — blends smoothly into your wall, just like an art decor. This looks astonishing when you surround yourself with paintings and other artworks. It also has interchangeable bezels that you can customize into different colored frames, depending on your liking.

You can hang it on your wall with its no-gap mounts and hide the cables with One Invisible Connection, or you can put it on a TV stand to match your style and interior.

Art Mode

The Frame prides itself with Art Mode, a feature where it previews artwork or personal photographs when the TV is not in use. It curates your favorite art pieces, easily learning what you like, and hands out recommendations. Samsung rolls out software updates, so expect new artwork releases.

Through this feature, you can create a personalized gallery of your favorite artworks, or exhibit your photographs and family portrait. This can easily be done using your phone or a USB flash drive.

Art Mode allows you to use seven different types of layout and a palette of ten different colors. The Frame ensures your artwork and photographs will look great, wherever it is placed.

Smart features that are really smart

The Frame promises to be a smart TV that complements your lifestyle. It houses nifty and smart features that will make your watching experience stellar and immersive. For starters, it has Brightness Sensor which optimizes the screen depending on the lighting condition.

There’s also Motion Sensor which detects your presence and showcases artworks when you’re not watching. When you leave, it automatically turns off, thus, saving energy.

Samsung’s popular Ambient Mode comes to The Frame, as well. You can set it up so you decide what you see on-screen, or you can make The Frame match your walls to virtually blend in. No more big, black panels!

The Frame also analyzes your room’s lighting, the video’s content and audio, as well as the surrounding noise in your area. The Frame then adjusts your audio-visual experience to make it natural.

Samsung makes it easy to connect with The Frame, too. You can mirror content by pairing your phone, or by tapping it on The Frame. You can also connect your Galaxy phone, and split The Frame’s screen, allowing you to watch on TV and check your mobile device on one screen. No more looking away!

Furthermore, The Frame comes with Samsung’s QLED 4K technology, providing users an immersive experience that’s incredibly realistic and rich in detail and texture.

Price and availability

Samsung is bringing The Frame to the Philippines — together with the new QLED 8K TV — as part of Samsung’s 2020 TV lineup. The Frame will come in three sizes: 32-inch (PhP 31,999), 55-inch (PhP 79,999), and 65-inch (PhP 109,999). Starting July 1, The Frame will be available in Samsung Authorized Dealer stores. Every purchase will come with one free Frame Bezel, redeemable through Samsung’s Redemption website.

The Art Store also comes with one-month free trial, giving you access to classic and contemporary art. If you opt for the full subscription, you can choose from thousands of artworks from international galleries, such as Royal Collection Trust, Art Space, Saatchi Art, and Lumas.

The Frame is one of the three lifestyle TVs Samsung offers. It’s still unsure whether The Serif or The Sero will come to the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s The Sero is a quirky rotating TV


Editor’s Note: This story was published on April 17, 2020. It has been edited to reflect Samsung’s official pricing and availability for The Frame in the Philippines.

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