Features

V20 both improves and harms LG’s image

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Earlier today, the world witnessed the unveiling of the LG V20. It’s the successor to the warmly received V10 from last year, and it’s the larger counterpart of this year’s LG G5. There’s a lot going for it, including a top-end processor, handy second screen, and unmatched audio chip. However, the real story is how the V20 is carrying LG’s image for the next few months. Let’s talk about its operating system and physique for a few minutes.

As you may have heard from several reports, the V20 is the first Android to come with Nougat out of the box. This is a bigger deal than most people think, because every time a new Android version got released in the past few years, Google’s Nexus series had first dibs on the latest operating system with its newest phone at the time. Things have changed this year, with the seventh generation of Android coming to older Nexus models through over-the-air updates, and then straight to LG’s current flagship.

LG V20 spread

Giving a third-party manufacturer such priority was unheard of just a few months ago. Reports stemming around Google ditching the Nexus program in exchange for a more streamlined Pixel series of smartphones and tablets probably explains the sudden change of method. By spending more time on the yet-to-be-released successors to the Nexus 6P and 5X, Google might be leaving the software distribution to reliable partners.

For LG to be the lucky winner of the Nougat draw can be seen in two ways. Firstly, it’s not surprising; LG was the maker of last year’s Nexus 5X, plus the Nexus 5 and 4 before that. Google has spent years dealing with several brands to work on its vision of the ideal Nexus, but for LG to be the constant go-to option for the smaller-sized products means a lot. On the other hand, it’s highly unusual for Nougat to be represented so prominently on a smartphone brand that heavily skins its operating system. If you compare the LG V20 and G5 to the lighter versions of Android from Sony and OnePlus, you’ll understand what we’re talking about.

Now, let’s move on to the V20’s construction. A highly controversial omission is the compatibility with add-on components called Friends, which were first made available on the LG G5. The Korean company promised strong commitment to the semi-modular platform when the G5 was originally released, and for the newly unveiled LG flagship to exclude it shows a lack of confidence in the system. Not only is this a blow to LG’s image, but to modular phones in general.

We argued last week that modular devices are the next evolutionary step for touchscreen smartphones. By allowing consumers to fiddle around with their handsets and choose exactly which components they want to keep and upgrade, purchase cycles would become a lot more dynamic, and in turn, lead to far less e-waste.

So far, only Lenovo has shown real dedication to the future of modularity. The manufacturer followed up on its stylish, semi-modular Moto Z and Moto Z Style flagships with the midrange Moto Z Play at IFA 2016. For a non-flagship device to carry on the modular compatibility of its predecessors is a step in the right direction, and proves how committed Lenovo has become towards its customizable platform.

We can only hope that the true successor to the G5 will somehow follow through on LG’s modular legacy next year. Backtracking on features has never ended well for smartphone brands, and only alienated users expecting some level of future-proofing.

LG-V20-press-images (4)

If you look at the V20 as it is, clear of any past history or legacies, there’s no denying it’s shaping up to be LG’s best smartphone ever. It’s a clear upgrade over the predecessor critics loved last year; the V20 just happens to be in an unfortunate spot, wherein the expectations are booming after the critical success of the V10, and the shadow of the G5 still lingers.

Only time and our full review will conclude this story. Watch out for that!

[irp posts=”8896″ name=”Infamous LG bootloop glitch also affects V20″]

Hands-On

Dyson Airwrap hair tutorial and real-life hold test

Is it hard to use? Does it really work?

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The Dyson Airwrap, ever since its announcement, has been the stuff of hairstyle dreams and legends. The high-tech curling iron revolutionizes the way we do our hair!

But, does it really work? Can a normal girl like myself actually get her hair to look as fab with this new-fangled hair gadget? I put it to the test.

In the video above, you see me doing my hair and the final looks. I try a total of two styles — curly and straight — and take my ‘do out and about to see if my hair would hold. And yes folks, this was only the second time I used the Airwrap on myself, ever.

The results impressed!

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, click HERE to watch

Stay tuned for the full review of the Dyson Airwrap on Her GadgetMatch. For similar topics and features, visit the website here.

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Deals

Plan for Black Friday early with these amazing deals

It’s time to ready your shopping list and wallet

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We’re midway through November already, inching towards Thanksgiving and one of the most awaited dates for shopping — Black Friday. To help you get yourself and your wallet ready, we scoured through the internet to find some of the best tech deals that’ll be popping up next week. Here are some offers that you might want to take advantage of on November 23rd.

17.3-inch ASUS TUF gaming laptop (US$ 999)

This ASUS Gaming Laptop will be going down by US$ 400, so if you’ve been wanting a gaming laptop, this might be the time to cop one. And if you have a more limited budget, you could also check out the HP Pavilion CX0056WM Gaming Laptop for  under US$ 600 with over US$ 100 worth of extra gaming software at Walmart.

HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub for MacBooks (US$ 69.99)

This would make a perfect gift for that person you know who lives the #donglelife. Check out the deal at Best Buy.

Sony PS4 1TB Slim Spider‑Man Bundle (US$ 199) and Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle (US$ 299)

The best console deals come out this time of year, and next week, both the Spider-Man PlayStation 4 bundle and the Minecraft Creators Xbox One S bundle will be up for grabs!

Nintendo Switch Super Mario Kart Deluxe Bundle (US$ 299)

Another console being featured this Black Friday is the Nintendo Switch. Why not get the Switch with an amazing party game for your holiday gatherings? You can check the deal out at Best Buy or Walmart.

Pac-Man or Galaga Retro Arcade Machine (US$ 249)

For retro gamers or those who want to reminisce about the arcade days, this would definitely be a great item to pick up. Check it out at Target.

Amazon Echo Dot (Gen 3) (US$ 25) and Google Home Mini (US$ 25)

Get in the smart home/speaker game with the Amazon Echo Dot at half the price! You can also go with the Google Home Mini, if Alexa’s not your jam.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (128GB) with keyboard (US$ 599)

Why not get a powerful and portable device? The Surface Pro 6 will be US$ 360 cheaper on Friday, and it might be a good time to pick it up. The deal will be available at Best Buy.

65-inch 4K Smart Roku TV (US$ 398) and 40-inch Hisense 1080p TV (US$ 99)

This Walmart deal is probably one of the best TV deals we’ve ever seen. But if 65 inches is too big or you have a more limited budget, there’s also a 40-inch option that’s an incredible deal, as well.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones (US$ 99)

It might be a great chance to pick up a pair of wireless buds from one of the best audio companies out there for under US$ 100. If that’s still a bit too steep though, the Skullcandy Method Wireless Earbuds will also be available at Best Buy for US$ 25, and they’re good quality too.

Anki’s Cozmo (US$ 139.99) and Vector (US$ 199.99) Robots

Anki has been making their rounds on the internet with these two adorable little robots. They would make for a great gift for children and adults alike, and will be marked down at Best Buy this Thanksgiving weekend.

There you have it! Just a few sneaky bits we found ahead of all the ads. We’re sure there’ll be loads more amazing stuff to check out, but this is a good place to start. We hope you enjoy your holidays, and be careful if you’re planning to face the Black Friday mobs. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Features

Huawei, ZTE face ban amid 5G arms race: Weekend Rewind

It’s a security issue

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. Huawei and ZTE facing more potential bans

Huawei and ZTE have had a relatively hard time breaking through the US and it looks like they’ll face similar problems in other countries. While the US has allowed both Chinese companies to operate in their soil, the likes of Australia, Japan, the UK, and Germany aren’t exactly eager to welcome these two.

The cause for concern is China’s newly implemented National Intelligence Law. This law forces Chinese companies and individuals to serve the Chinese government when needed. Other countries fear this could compromise security.

Huawei and ZTE are gearing up towards 5G but with this current development, it looks like they’ll need to look elsewhere to establish their infrastructure.

2. PLDT, Smart activates first 5G towers in PH

Speaking of 5G, the Philippines isn’t one of the countries that’s blocking China. In fact, the government may be too welcoming. Partnering with Huawei and Ericsson, telecommunications company PLDT along with its wireless arm Smart has activated two 5G cell sites in the country.

The first one is located in Makati City where the company’s headquarters is also found. The other is in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, a neighboring region of Metro Manila.

3. MediaTek gearing up for 5G

Still on 5G, MediaTek is already hard at work in developing its 5G-capable chip. In a media tour in Taiwan, the company showcased the Helio M70 which does just that.

MediaTek says commercial rollout won’t happen until 2020 but they’re already prepared to showcase the chip at the next MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, Spain.

 

Image source: LetsGoDigital

4. Apple patents holed iPhone design

Is Apple killing the notch? That appears to be the case if the latest patent they filed is any indication. LetsGoDigital reported that Apple is planning a holed smartphone.

According to the patent, the front-facing camera could be hidden underneath the screen through that hole. Whether or not this will be the case for the next iPhone remains to be seen. We all just have to wait and see.

5. PlayStation to skip E3 2019

PlayStation won’t be present when annual gaming convention E3 comes around in 2019. This marks the first time in the show’s 24-year history that Sony won’t be present.

In a statement sent to multiple outlets, Sony said, “As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently, and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you

It’s all very vague at this point but the company could be all hands on deck for an even more major reveal *cough* PlayStation 5 *cough* and they want the attention all to themselves instead of sharing it with other platforms.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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