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

Stylish leather accessories: His and Hers

Accessories to help complement your look ✨

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More and more manufacturers are designing gadgets as a fashion statement. Depending on how you style it, a device can make or break a look.

If you haven’t tried it before, you can build outfits around a device and make it a focal point. These stylish accessories can help complement the look you’re going for.

His: Rugged Case for Pixel Buds A-Series in Rustic Brown

Give your wireless earbuds case a rugged makeover with a sleek leather cover. The raw, vegetable tanned leather is sourced from one of America’s oldest tanneries and the case has an optical light pipe to allow the Pixel Bud’s LED charging indicator to shine through.

Hers: Native Union Clic Heritage Case in Sapin

A premium phone deserves an elegant case that lasts, not a clear jelly case that will turn yellow in a few months. The Native Union Clic Heritage is made with a blend of smooth and cross-grained Italian leather and finished with gold accents to match even your favorite pair of earrings.

His: AirTag Leather Loop in Rustic Brown

Upgrade your everyday carry with a leather loop for your AirTag. Track your keys, camera, umbrella, or your bag with this minimal and sleek accessory. It’s designed to beautifully patina with time creating a MagSafe charging experience unique to you.

Hers: Stow Slim for MacBook in Sage

Your laptop doesn’t have to go into a clunky black bag. Truth be told, it deserves better than that. The Stow Slim protects your laptop from anything that might scratch it in your tote, but it looks just like a casual clutch that you wear with a flirty top and wide leg trousers.

His: Nomad Card Wallet in Rustic Brown

Keep your cards and cash secure in this slim card wallet from Nomad. It can fit up to 10 cards, including the Card for AirTag that will launch in September. Now the two essentials in your pockets match, too!

Hers: Heritage Card Holder in Sapin

Carry your cards and a little bit of cash in a matching card holder as your iPhone case. You would instantly look more put together when you want to walk into a cafe for a cup of joe.

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Accessories

realme launches MagDart, fast magnetic wireless charging tech

The fastest of its kind to date

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realme MagDart

More people are slowly adapting to wireless charging but realme takes it a step further with MagDart. It’s their first fast magnetic wireless charging technology.

To showcase its fancy new tech, realme showed off four different devices: the 50W MagDart Charger (fastest), 15W MagDart Charger (thinnest), 2-in-1 MagDart Power Bank, and the realme Flash — a concept smartphone that supports MagDart.

50W MagDart Charger

realme MagDart

This cube-ish contraption works as you might expect. You snap it onto a supported smartphone and promises to get a 4,500mAh battery from zero to 100 percent in less than an hour.

realme applied its active air cooling system on the 50W MagDart Charger so things don’t go boom or uncomfortably hot. It has powerful but compact fan that keeps things cool as it juices up the phone.

15W MagDart Charger

realme MagDart

The 15W MagDart Charger sacrifices speed in favor of a thinner frame — 3.9mm to be exact. That’s 26 percent thinner than the 50W MagDart Charger according to realme.

However, just because it isn’t as fast as its beefier counterpart, it doesn’t mean it goes at a snail’s pace. This thing takes a 4,500mAh battery from zero to 100 in 90 mins. That’s about a feature length film or about three full repeats of TWICE’s Perfect World Album which you should totally listen to.

2-in-1 MagDart Power Bank

Again, this one functions as it names suggests. It’s a MagDart Power Bank that comes with a base so you can prop it up as if it’s a wireless charger. This appears to be the handiest and most versatile of the bunch.

realme didn’t share the expected charging times but based on its size and make, it’s likely closer to 15W than 50W. We’re speculating that’s about an hour of zero to 100 percent for something with a 4,500mAh battery.

realme Flash

realme MagDart

There really isn’t much to say about this concept phone for now as it appears to have been made specifically to showcase MagDart. That said, it means realme is close to really ready to launch a market version of a phone that supports MagDart.

We reckon it’s sooner rather than later since it would be shame to have all these MagDart tech and accessories without a smartphone to use them on. Speaking of accessories, realme also went out of their way to make the following:

MagDart Beauty Light

Designed for portrait photography and gives an extra light for selfies.

MagDart Wallet

Has a kickstand and can hold three standard credit cards.

MagDart Case

Turns the realme GT into something that’s compatible with MagDart tech. Convenient.

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Accessories

3 accessories that should be inside your gym bag

Forget trackers and sports watches

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Working out has been a holy grail in my daily life. Even though gyms are closed, I made it a habit to use my gym bag. It made it easier to keep my stuff organized, and it helps with compartmentalizing. I can focus on my workout when I dedicate a space for everything related to fitness.

By now, you probably know the usual essentials that should be inside your bag. Smartphones, smartwatch, resistance band, hand wraps, water bottles, extra clothes, and more.

But I’ll let you in on my little world: I have three mainstay accessories inside my gym bag which I deem essential for my workouts — whether it’s at the gym or at home.

Soundcore 3

A portable Bluetooth speaker isn’t something I would use at the gym. But on my outdoor workouts and the social distancing imposed in almost every location, I need entertainment that allows me to still be in tune with my surroundings.

This is why the Soundcore 3 has been a great companion that I bring in my routines, especially when I decided not to use my pair of wireless earbuds.

It pumps up the bass even at low volumes, making my cardio exercises a bit more fun. And its dual drivers with pure titanium diaphragms minimize distortion for clearer audio.

The Soundcore 3 also has easy controls and carries a massive battery that gives you 24-hour playtime. Yes, my dear friend. You can listen to more than 400 songs on a single charge.

But what I like about it the most is its IPX7 rating. It gives me peace of mind when I hold the speakers with my sweaty hands or when I work out in the rain. And because I can bring it to the shower whenever I practice my dance moves.

The Soundcore 3 retails for PhP 3,195.

Powercore 5000

Another mainstay in my gym bag is an ultra-compact power bank from Anker. Called Powercore 5000, this power bank slides easily in your pocket (or your bag’s pockets). With 5000mAh capacity, it can recharge either my phone or my Soundcore 3 whenever I take a rest.

It does not support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, but it still sports an exclusive PowerIQ technology so you can still experience high-speed charging for your gadgets.

Nonetheless, it comes with a travel pouch so you can keep your power bank safe, a MicroUSB cable for connectivity, a welcome guide, and a worry-free 18-month warranty.

The Powercore 5000 retails for PhP 1,295.

Anker Powerline 3-in-1

I like being prepared and ready at all times. This is why even a cable was able to count as a mainstay in my bag. Anker’s Powerline 3-in-1 is a handy accessory since it has interchangeable connectors — Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C.

It makes it easier to charge several devices that have different ports, without carrying multiple cables that would probably populate my organizers. Luckily, the Powerline 3-in-1 keeps the internal wiring protected so I don’t have to worry about replacing cables anytime soon.

Plus, it has an MFi certification from Apple so it charges fast and safe — which I lend to my friends that use an iPhone, who for some reason, always forget to carry their own cables.

The Anker Powerline 3-in-1 retails for PhP 995.

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