Accessories

LG G5 Hands-On

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LG puts the fun back in function with the announcement of its latest flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress, the LG G5. It has everything a 2016 flagship is expected to have: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, Quick Charge 3.0 that promises 83% of battery after 30 minutes of charging, a fingerprint scanner, quad HD display, USB Type C, Android Marshmallow, and great cameras.

The G4 had one of the best smartphone cameras in 2015 so it’s no surprise LG retained most of its features. Simple, Auto, and Manual modes are still there, giving users more flexibility when taking photos.

LG also retained the same 8MP front-facing camera but added “selfie flash” – an extra white space framing the screen that illuminates the face when activated.

But what’s new are the phones two main cameras. Yep, it’s got two.

You can now switch from the main 16MP camera that’s also found on the G4 to a new 8MP shooter with a 135° wide field of view that captures more than what the human eye can see.

On the G5, the app drawer appears to be missing but we found out this can be fixed in the Settings menu under Home Screen.

First introduced by LG in the V10’s secondary screen, the G5’s main display also gets the Always-On feature to show time, date, and notifications. LG claims it only eats 0.8% of battery life per hour or about 5% per day.

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All of this are packed into a completely new design and form factor. Gone is the plastic and leather, slightly curved smartphone with sharp edges. Filling in the LG G4’s leather shoes is an all-aluminum unibody.

You can still hot swap batteries though thanks to a new innovative design.

Its trademark back side volume rocker has been moved to the phone’s sides leaving only the power button and dual cameras at the back.

But what really sets the G5 apart from all the other flagships this year is its modular design. And this is where the real fun and excitement begins. LG calls it an adventurous theme park in your pocket.

Aside from being able to replace your battery in case you run out of juice, it also allows you to attach accessory modules to expand the phone’s capabilities.

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One press on the lock button and the cap along with the 2800 mAh battery comes off revealing the hollow insides of the phone when you pull it out all the way.

Removing the cap and reattaching the battery to the modules is not as intuitive as it looks. We had to be coached before we got it right.

The modules LG introduced at launch were the LG Cam Plus and the LG Hi-Fi Plus.

The LG Cam Plus is a camera grip that turns the phone into a point and shoot camera. It has a toggle button at the bottom that launches the camera, a zoom dial, a dedicated shutter button, and a button for video recording.

It’s also packed with an additional 1200 mAh battery providing the G5 a massive 4,000 mAh battery life.

For audiophiles and improved media consumption, LG also introduced the LG Hi-Fi Plus, a 32-bit digital to analog converter or DAC made by top-tier audio manufacturer Bang & Olufsen.

It offers high-quality audio that would usually only be available through high-end audio devices.

At the bottom are its own headphone jack and USB-C port making it a stand-alone DAC, compatible with other phones.

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LG also introduced a wide-range of companion devices for the G5 which they call Friends.

These ‘Friends’ include the LG 360 VR, a virtual reality headset that’s much smaller and lighter than its rivals. It only weighs 118g – that’s ⅓ as heavy as competing VR goggles.

The LG 360 Cam – as its name implies a 360 degree camera with two 13MP 200-degree wide angle lenses, a 1,200mAh battery and an expandable 4GB internal memory.

And the LG Rolling Bot – a round, remote-controlled toy that has a built-in speaker and an 8MP camera, perfect for home surveillance. It’s packed with a 5000mAh battery and is smart enough to go to the charging dock when it’s about to run out of juice.

Accessories

Apple is developing a MagSafe wireless powerbank

Prototype stages already

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When Apple’s new MagSafe system launched late last year, the magnetic charging system promised a new wave of Apple accessories. At the time, however, the system focused on wireless charging. Eventually, MagSafe promises to expand into its own empire of different functionalities and form factors. Now, apart from its initial slew of sleeves, Apple is reportedly developing a MagSafe wireless powerbank for the system.

According to a Bloomberg source, the company is already well on its way to developing the MagSafe accessory. Unfortunately, Apple has reportedly ran into some snags on the way to perfecting it. Apparently, the currently reported prototype caused false overheating alerts, among other problems. Despite rumors of its development, Apple will likely shelf the accessory until it can develop a better one.

For anyone following Apple’s developmental process over the years, such a delay is not a surprise. Apple usually takes its time optimizing products before launching them — to the point of falling behind to Android. Given Apple’s tremendous investment in a new MagSafe ecosystem, the company is likely working extra hard on perfected products to boost the system further.

For accessory aficionados, a wireless powerbank isn’t an entirely new concept. Numerous accessory makers have already released several powerbanks using the Qi wireless charging system. In Apple’s defense, a MagSafe powerbank will take advantage of the system’s magnetic attachment system, preventing the powerbank from slipping and sliding everywhere.

SEE ALSO: Your MagSafe Questions Answered

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Accessories

OPPLE Smart Desk Lamp now available in the Philippines

Comes with Huawei HiLink support

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OPPLE is bringing its latest smart desk lamp to the Philippines. The OPPLE Smart Desk Lamp supports HiLink, allowing for better integration with other devices as well as with Huawei’s own ecosystem.

Priced at PhP 1,999, the smart desk lamp features a sleek and minimalist design that fits anywhere. It dynamically mimics the sunlight for a much natural experience. Users can also tweak the lighting to suit their situation. The lighting can range from warm to cool depending on tasks such as reading, writing, or doing tasks on the computer. Users can also configure the lighting to be brighter or dimmer at their own whim.

The smart desk lamp supports Huawei HiLink, which brings together other smart home appliances and allows unified control through the app. As such, users don’t have to download any unnecessary app just to make the OPPLE Smart Desk Lamp works. They can just download the AI Life app on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, pair the lamp, and control the lighting on the go.

Every purchase of the smart desk lamp also comes with a free Huawei Band 4 worth PhP 1,899 until supplies last. It is available to purchase on Huawei’s online store, Lazada, or Shopee store page.

Starting today, February 19 until February 21, 2021. This comes with a very generous freebie offer Huawei Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 1499.

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Accessories

GlassesUSA.com unveils a collection of affordable, sustainable eyewear

You can virtually try a pair and get a prescription for free!

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GlassesUSA.com, a disruptor in the eyewear space, launched their “Eco Conscious” category — a sustainable collection consisting of glasses made from ethically sourced materials. From upcycled plastics to bio-acetate, to natural materials like coffee and hemp, GlassesUSA.com brings together nine conscious brands offering sustainable yet affordable eyewear.

For instance, Ochis’ glasses are 100 percent eco-friendly, using coffee grounds, biopolymer, and flax.

There’s Hemp Eyewear, too, carrying the world’s first hemp fiber eyewear. Moreover, every frame is handcrafted in Edinburgh.

For those who care about the ocean, Waterhaul uses 100 percent recycled plastics intercepted from the ocean. Most of these recycled plastics came from 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear lost or discarded in the ocean.

If you like trees and nature, Woodie uses handmade material from 100 percent recycled wood. For each purchase, Woodie plants one tree.

Costa del Mar, on the other hand, showcases eyewear made from bio-based resin derived from Castor Oil. They also have a “Kick Plastic Initiative” to reduce carbon footprint. The initiative aims to protect the planet’s waters from the use of single-use plastics.

Another user of biobased materials including Castor Oil is Arnette, where cases are made from recycled ABS. Additionally, their microfiber cloths are made from 78 percent recycled polyamide.

Price and availability

Other brands include Stella McCartney, Muse, and SeaClean. Moreover, GlassesUSA.com stays true to its mission of offering affordable eyewear, making the sustainable collection available at varying price points with sticker prices ranging from US$ 74 to US$ 400.

But what sets GlassesUSA.com apart is its two proprietary apps: the virtual try-on feature where you can literally try the glasses you’re looking at, and the Prescription Lens Scanner App where you only need to scan your current glasses with the FREE app, so you can get your prescription. Both apps are available for use when shopping the sustainable collection.

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