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LG V40 ThinQ launches with most versatile quintuple-camera setup

The first of its kind

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The time has come for 5 cameras on a smartphone! / Photo by Michael Josh

LG let the cat out of the bag early, but that hasn’t stopped them from pushing through with their biggest smartphone release to date.

The V40 ThinQ looks a lot like its predecessors (and there have been many of them), but there’s one thing — or five — that makes it special.

If it isn’t obvious by now, this is the first truly quintuple-camera design on a smartphone, and each shooter isn’t just for show.

Let’s begin with the back: one 16-megapixel camera is for ultra-wide-angle shots, another 12-megapixel camera is for 2x zoomed-in photos, and the third 12-megapixel camera is simply for regular-angle shots at an f/1.5 aperture to let in more light. When put together, you have the most versatile cameras on any smartphone to date.

3 Rear cameras on the LG V40 ThinQ / Photo by Michael Josh

This is followed up by the front cameras, which consist of one wide-angle lens and another regular unit — 5 and 8 megapixels, respectively. No telephoto shooter here, because who wants close-ups of their nostrils?

Another highlight is the large 6.4-inch 1440p P-OLED display which has become a signature for LG’s V-series. Along with HDR compatibility, as well as the same Hi-Fi Quad DAC through its 3.5mm audio port and Boombox loudspeaker found on the G7, this is the multimedia smartphone to get today.

In addition, you get typical flagship specs: a fast Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of memory, 64GB of expandable storage, and fairly sized 3300mAh battery. Oddly, it ships with the outdated Android 8.1 Oreo, but wireless charging and IP68-rated water and dust resistance are available.

It will be available for preorder on Verizon starting October 11 in Aurora Black and the Verizon-exclusive Moroccan Blue, starting at US$ 40.83 a month for 24 months. It will also be available for pickup from local Verizon stores, online, or through the My Verizon app starting on October 18.

Is the V40 ThinQ enough to save LG’s sinking sales? As it stands, it’s possibly the most complete handset currently available, but with both the higher-end models kicking it up a notch and value brands pushing cheaper products, LG needs to win back the market gradually.

LG also has to try harder at differentiating its V-series from the G-series, which are becoming increasingly alike. Still, it’s great to have a yearly refresh from both lineups, delivering consistently new features as they arrive.

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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Malaysia

Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all

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Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

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