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

Samsung’s new LED light cover is the phone case we’ve always wanted

It lights up with different designs!

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The newest Samsung flagships have just been announced and they’re all great, but there was one thing that really caught my eye — mostly because it was literally glowing.

Yes, that is the Samsung Galaxy S10 in my hands, and yes, those are actual LED lights on the case. Just so you can appreciate how pretty it is, here’s the LED case in action:

So what exactly is going on here?

Samsung’s LED light case looks and acts like a normal smartphone cover. It comes in blue and white and has a smooth exterior. It’s also pretty thin, considering, and it has a sturdy feel.

Once it’s attached, the LED cover app will appear and you’ll have different LED designs to choose from. You can go for the “Mood lighting” option which was shown above, or…

You can choose LED icons. Just some of my favorites include this beating heart… 💓💕💖💘💞

… and this adorable doggo. 🐶

There are honestly so many to choose from, I’m not even kidding.

It even does a smartphone camera timer countdown…

 

… and just like that I am sold!

Cheers, Samsung! Just when I thought I was over boring smartphone cases, you shove a shiny, sparkling one in my face and I am very, very convinced.

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Accessories

Cheap Unlimited Airline Wi-Fi: #TravelHacks (Episode 1)

Plus our favorite travel gadget!

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In the very first episode of #TravelHacks, we fly to Singapore on Singapore Airlines’ new 787-10 regional business class. I show you how to pick the right kind of luggage, give you tips on how to live out of a suitcase, get unlimited Wi-Fi on flights, taste the world’s cheapest Michelin Star meal, and of course, talk about my perfect travel gadget.

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Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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