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Verizon Adds LG Lucid 3 to Inexpensive Phone Roster

Yesterday, 10:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon Wireless today announced the LG Lucid 3, a low-cost Android smartphone. The Lucid 3 includes a 4.7-inch qHD display and a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. It features a 5-megapixel camera with full HD video capture and a VGA user-facing camera for self portraits. The phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and comes with a wide selection of LG apps, such as Knock Code, QSlide and QuickMemo. Other features include Isis Mobile Wallet, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE 4G, and a removable 2,440mAh battery. The LG Lucid 3 is free with a new two-year agreement, $12.50 per month with Verizon Edge, or $300 at full retail. It is available beginning today.

LG G Flex to See KitKat Update Today

Yesterday, 7:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T is making Android 4.4.2 KitKat available to the LG G Flex starting today. The update includes new status and navigation bars, and improves battery life and processor performance. The update is free to download via Wi-Fi.

Phone Makers, Carriers to Add Anti-Theft Tools to Phones

Tuesday, 3:44 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Tuesday, 3:49 PM

The CTIA Wireless Association today said a number of handset makers and wireless network operators have agreed to a basic framework that will eventually provide consumers with better anti-theft tools for their smartphones. The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment is meant to deter theft while also giving phone makers and carriers room to innovate. All the companies agreed to implement a baseline anti-theft tool preloaded on (or downloadable to) all wireless smartphones manufactured after July 2015. This tool will let consumers: remotely wipe their data; render the smartphone inoperable to unauthorized users; prevent reactivation without owner's consent; and reverse the inoperability of the device as well as restore the data to the device in the event it is found by the owner. Consumers will also be free to use whatever third-party anti-theft tools they wish in addition to those provided by the phone maker. All signatories will make the baseline anti-theft tool available with all its core features. The initial batch of companies signing the commitment include: Apple; Asurion; AT&T; Google; HTC America; Huawei; Motorola; Microsoft; Nokia; Samsung; Sprint; T-Mobile; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless. Some of those who haven't signed include Kyocera, LG, Sony, ZTE. A number of lawmakers lauded the commitment, which arrives several months after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler mandated that wireless companies come up with such a solution or face regulatory intervention.

LG Updates Pair of Phones for Verizon

Monday, 11:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Monday, 5:10 PM

Verizon Wireless has added two refreshed LG handsets to its lineup of inexpensive phones. The LG Optimus Zone 2 and Extravert 2 are both sequels that improve specs and features. They are limited to Verizon's 3G network, as neither supports LTE 4G.

  • Zone 2: This entry-level smartphone (pictured) runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and includes a 3.5-inch screen with 480 x 320 pixels, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 3-megapixel camera, 1,700mAh battery, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0. Some of LG's software and apps are aboard, including QuickMemo and Guest Mode. The full retail price is $200, but Verizon is offering the device for just $50.
  • Extravert 2: This updated feature phone is a sideways slider that includes a touch screen on the front and a full QWERTY keyboard underneath. It has a 3.2-inch display with 400 x 240 pixels and LG's touch-based user interface for feature phones. Other features include a 2-megapixel camera with video capture, Bluetooth 3.0, media apps, Verizon content, and the Opera Mini web browser. The Extravert 2 costs $200 with no contract, $80 with a two-year agreement, or $8.33 per month with Verizon Edge.
Both phones are available from Verizon's web site.

Sprint's LG G2 Earns KitKat Update

Mar 31, 2014, 9:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint's variant of the LG G2 should begin receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update beginning today. In addition to KitKat, the update adds cloud printing. The system update is being distributed in waves and may take several days to reach all users.

Sprint to Launch HD Voice Nationwide by July

Mar 26, 2014, 7:23 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the company is prepared to expand the availability of HD Voice to the entire country on or about July 1. HD Voice provides clearer voice calls between two HD Voice-compatible phones. The service is available in a few markets and on more than a dozen devices, including the Apple iPhone 5s/5c, LG Nexus 5, and Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Sprint had hoped to expand HD Voice to more markets last year, but is now on track to deliver on that commitment by July.

LG to Push Knock Code to G2, G Flex in April

Mar 24, 2014, 9:15 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced it is prepared to extend the availability of its Knock Code feature beginning next month. Knock Code lets LG device owners use a pattern of knocks to wake up and unlock their smartphone. It was first shown off on the LG G Pro 2 at Mobile World Congress. According to LG, the G2 and G Flex will be first to receive a firmware update in April that enables the feature. LG didn't say if the update will be made available to all markets. LG eventually plans to extend Knock Code to the bulk of its Android smartphones.

Boost Mobile Scores the LG Optimus F3

Mar 24, 2014, 9:17 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile announced the LG Optimus F3 is available beginning today for $129.99. The F3 runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and has a 4-inch IPS LCD screen with Gorilla Glass; a 1.2GHz dual-core processor; Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE 4G; and a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture. It comes with LG apps such as VuTalk, QSlide, QuickMemo, and Q Translator. Sprint and Virgin Mobile have been selling the F3 since last summer. Boost Mobile says LTE plans compatible with the F3 start at $55 per month. Boost does not require contracts.

LG and Motorola Reveal First Android Wear Devices

Mar 18, 2014, 11:54 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG and Motorola today both followed Google's revelation of Android Wear with news of their involvement with the project. LG showed off the G Watch, its take on a smartwatch running Google's Android Wear platform. LG said its device will be the first Android Wear product to launch, and it is expected to arrive during the second quarter of the year. Motorola announced the Moto 360 (pictured), a circular timepiece that pays homage to the past while also looking forward to the future. Neither LG nor Motorola provided specifics about their devices, other than to say they will incorporate Google Now voice commands and rich notifications that are part of the Android Wear OS. Both companies said more details about the watches will be revealed over time.

Google Announces Android Wear Project

Mar 18, 2014, 11:06 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Mar 18, 2014, 11:12 AM

Google today formally introduced its effort to port Android to wearables. The company announced Android Wear, a version of the Android operating system that will start with watches and eventually move on to other form factors. Google's immediate vision for wearables - and watches in particular - include some basic functions. Google believes smart wearables should provide useful information when the wearer needs it, such as posts, social network updates, and messaging notifications. Google thinks wearables should be able to answer questions, such as "OK Google." Google's Android-based wearables will include Google Now, its voice-based assistant, for performing searches and issuing commands. Android Wear will give people a better way to monitor their health and fitness, such as help with exercise goals and provide fitness summaries. Last, Google sees wearables as the key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear will let users access and control other devices - music players, phones, TVs - through Google Now. Developers interested in Project Android Wear can sign up to participate in a preview. Developers will be able to customize their app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear, for example. Google said that more resources, including APIs, will be available to developers soon. Google also noted that it is working with Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung to create Android Wear-based watches, which should arrive later this year.

LG G Pro 2 Sales Kick Off Across Asia, U.S. Launch Unknown

Mar 18, 2014, 6:59 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today officially launched the G Pro 2 smartphone in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippine, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries. The phone, which was announced at Mobile World Congress last month, includes a 5.9-inch full HD screen, quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera, and LG's Knock Code unlocking feature. U.S. carriers haven't yet announced plans to sell the device, though last year's G Pro was sold by AT&T.

Google to Offer Android-Based SDK for Wearables

Mar 9, 2014, 4:01 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google's Sundar Pichai, who heads the company's Android and Chrome teams, told attendees at the SxSWi conference in Austin today that it will soon release a software developer kit for wearable devices. The SDK will make use of Google's Android platform and the company hopes developers will use it for devices such as smartwatches in much the same way as developers have accepted Android for smartphones and tablets. Pichai didn't provide too many specifics, but indicated the company will lay out its "vision" for wearables and release the SDK in about two weeks. Google suggested it wants to offer the SDK long before devices arrive so there's plenty of time for developers to provide feedback. Several reports, including one from CNET, have suggested Google plans to introduce its own smartwatch, made by LG, at its I/O developer conference, slated for June. Google has not yet confirmed such plans.

AT&T Debuts Entry-Level LG A380

Mar 7, 2014, 1:48 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T recently added the LG A380 to its roster of entry-level flip phones. The A380's features suggest that its target market could be seniors, as it includes an enhanced audio mode to make phone calls louder, and a text-to-speech engine that reads text messages aloud. The A380 also includes a 2.4-inch display, 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, speakerphone, and support for microSD cards. The A380 costs $20 with a contract or $190 without a contract.

Hands On with the LG Volt for Sprint

Feb 26, 2014, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome

LG launched its new F-series at MWC this week, which consists of the F90 and very similar but smaller F70. The specific F90 that they're showing off is a variant for Sprint, which appears to be named Volt. It's a mid-range Android phone with a 4.7-inch display, Snapdragon 400 processor, and 8-megapixel camera. We took it for a quick spin. Read on for our first impressions.

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LG F90 Coming To Sprint as Volt

Feb 26, 2014, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome

LG this week revealed two new mid-range Android phones with LTE 4G: the F70 and F90. At the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona this week, they showed off a Sprint version of the F90, which seems to be called the Volt. The Volt has a 4.7-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel main camera, front camera, Snapdragon 400 processor, NFC, removable 3,000 mAh battery, tri-band LTE (Sprint Spark,) IR remote control, and a memory card slot. The software includes LG's QSlide, Knock Code, and Smart screen, which keeps the screen from timing out while you're looking at it. It ships with Android Kit Kat 4.4. Pricing and release date were not announced. The F70 is a smaller cousin to the F90. It has a 4.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, and a smaller battery, but is otherwise identical.

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Sprint Spark Expands to Salt Lake City and Jacksonville

Feb 24, 2014, 10:47 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced that its juiced-up 4G network, called Sprint Spark, is now available in Salt Lake City and Jacksonville, Fla. Sprint Spark uses tri-band LTE to help improve access to, and the performance of, its 4G network. In order to use Sprint Spark, Sprint customers must have Spark-compatible smartphones. Only a handful of Sprint's smartphones work with Spark, including the LG G2, the HTC One max, the Samsung Galaxy Mega, and a newer version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Sprint Spark is available in 16 markets, and Sprint plans to cover 100 markets by the end of the year. Sprint claims Spark enables peak download speeds of 60Mbps. Sprint also said that its LTE network has expanded to a total of 382 markets, including Detroit; Rochester, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; and Winston-Salem, N.C.

LG Says Not All Phones Merit OS Upgrades

Feb 23, 2014, 2:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today indicated its premiere devices will earn operating system upgrades, but it can't say the same for other phones in its roster. "We are definitely prioritizing upgrades for the G-series, looking at the G2, G Flex and G Pro first," said spokesperson Ken Hong in an interview with PCMag. "But beyond that, we aren't going to make a commitment to definite upgrades because it's not totally up to us." Wireless network operators play a large role in system updates, which need to be tested and verified before rolled out to customers. "Some carriers may not want the upgrade. If they want to do it, we'll definitely work closely with carriers to do it." LG will, however, launch new phones with the most up-to-date version of Android available. Other manufacturers, such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony, publish clear timetables about which devices will be updated and approximately when those updates will arrive.

Hands-On: LG G Pro 2 and G2 Mini

Feb 23, 2014, 8:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Here are our first impressions of the G Pro 2 and G2 Mini from LG.

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LG to Expand Knock Code to Most 2014 Phones

Feb 23, 2014, 7:22 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said that it will expand the availability of its Knock Code feature to most of its devices this year. Knock Code was first introduced on the G Pro 2, and is an evolution of KnockOn. Knock Code lets users both unlock and wake their LG smartphone using their own knock pattern. LG had already committed to bringing KnockOn to some of its devices, and is now expanding on that promise with Knock Code instead.

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LG Reveals G2 Mini with Ramped Down Size and Specs

Feb 19, 2014, 9:34 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the G2 Mini, a smaller version of its flagship smartphone, that aims at the middle of the market. Like the G2, the G2 Mini places the volume and screen lock buttons on the back surface where LG believes it is easier to reach them. Compared to the G2, the G2 Mini reduces the display from 5.2 inches and full HD to 4.7 inches and qHD. The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor (for LTE markets) with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. The phone uses an 8-megapixel/1.3-megapixel back- and front-camera configuration. The G2 Mini includes Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. It supports microSD cards and has a 2,440mAh battery. The device runs Android 4.4 KitKat and will be loaded with user interface elements and apps/services from LG, such as Guest Mode, Capture Plus, and Clip Tray. The LG G2 Mini will be offered in several colors, including black, white, gold, and red. It will debut in select markets in March, with others to follow in April and May. LG did not specifically state plans to offer the G2 Mini in the U.S.

LG Debuts L Series III Smartphones

Feb 16, 2014, 10:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the third-generation collection of L Series smartphones, the L90, L70, and L40. All three devices run Android 4.4 KitKat with LG's user interface enhancements. The hardware puts LG's minimalistic design esthetic to use. Shared features include support for HSPA+ networks, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.

  • L90: This is the largest and most well-equipped version of the three new L Series III devices. It has a 4.7-inch qHD display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 2,540mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel/1.3-megapixel camera configuration.
  • L70: The L70 steps the display down to 4.5 inches and 800 x 400 resolution, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 2,100mAh battery, and an 8- or 5-megapixel/VGA camera configuration.
  • L40: This entry-level phone features a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 1,700mAh battery and a 3-megapixel camera.
LG did not release pricing or availability details for the L Series III smartphones, though it did say they'll target markets limited to 3G.

LG Reveals the G Pro 2 With 13MP Camera

Feb 13, 2014, 8:09 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today introduced the G Pro 2, a successor to last year's phablet. The G Pro 2 starts with a 5.9-inch 1080p HD display that is surrounded by a minimal amount of bezel. LG's KnockOn feature has evolved into Knock Code, which can be used to unlock the screen, as well as power the device on, thanks to tens of thousands of different knock codes. The G Pro 2 has a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. The camera can record video at 120 frames per second for slow motion, or in 4K ultra HD. The camera also includes Magic Focus, which lets users adjust the depth of field after the image is taken, a more natural flash for better skin tones, and a "flash" for self portraits that works by reducing the viewfinder on the screen and filling in the rest of the space with white light. Other software features include Content Lock for securing files, photos, videos and memos; Mini View, which shrinks the display to a smaller size on the screen for easier one-handed use; and Dual Browser, which lets users interact with two open browser windows on the screen at the same time. The LG G Pro 2 is powered by a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 3GB of RAM and it ships with either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. It supports a range of LTE networks, in addition to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and NFC. It has a 3,200mAh battery and a 1 watt amplifier powering the speaker for louder ringtones and speakerphone performance. Pricing and availability have not net been determined.

Sprint Spark Expands to Baltimore and Philadelphia

Feb 11, 2014, 8:24 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced that its juiced-up 4G network, called Sprint Spark, is now available in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Sprint Spark uses tri-band LTE to help improve access to, and the performance of, its 4G network. In order to use Sprint Spark, Sprint customers must have Spark-compatible smartphones. Only a handful of Sprint's smartphones work with Spark, including the LG G2, the HTC One max, the Samsung Galaxy Mega, and a newer version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Sprint Spark is available in 14 markets, and Sprint plans to cover 100 markets by the end of the year. Sprint claims Spark enables peak download speeds of 60Mbps.

Sprint Lets More Smartphones Use PTT App

Feb 3, 2014, 11:16 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today expanded the number of handsets that are able to take advantage of its Direct Connect push-to-talk service. Sprint offers the service through a dedicated application called Direct Connect Now. Beginning today, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3, the LG G2, G Flex, and Optimus F3, and the Kyocera Hydro Edge can all download the Direct Connect Now app from the Google Play Store and use it for PTT calls. Sprint plans to add more devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega, and GS4 with Sprint Spark, soon. Sprint says its Direct Connect Now app has been updated with a new user interface, and it is now interoperable with older Sprint Direct Connect phones. The app also has TeamDC and opt-in TeamDC closed group calling; call alerts to notify others you want to talk; displays contact image for speaker; syncs contacts with device address book; and lets users create favorite Direct Connect contacts. The app and service are free to download for most LTE 4G phones, though Sprint charges $5 per month for some handsets.

LG Publishes QSlide App SDK for Developers

Jan 29, 2014, 10:57 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG recently made an SDK available to developers that will allow them to create their own QSlide apps for LG Android devices. QSlide apps are tiny applications, such as a calculator, phone, and note pad, that float on top of other apps. The QSlide apps can be resized, repositioned, and made transparent. To-date, these apps have been made by LG and not third-party companies. By extending the SDK to developers, the selection of QSlide apps should improve over time.

T-Mobile Announces QWERTY-Equipped LG F3Q

Jan 27, 2014, 12:02 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile today announced that it will soon carry the LG F3Q, a new Android smartphone that comes with a sideways-sliding QWERTY keyboard. The device includes a 4-inch LCD screen, 5-megapixel camera, and compatibility with T-Mobile's LTE 4G network. It offers LG's signature user interface, including features such as QuickMemo, and QSlide. The LG F3Q will go one sale online and in stores February 5. T-Mobile is asking for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $13. The total cost of the payments is $312.

T-Mobile to Sell LG G Flex Feb 5

Jan 27, 2014, 11:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 27, 2014, 12:46 PM

T-Mobile today announced pricing and availability for the LG G Flex curved smartphone. The device will reach T-Mobile stores on February 5. T-Mobile is asking for a downpayment of $0 and 24 monthly payments of $28.

LG Says G Pro Successor Coming Next Month

Jan 27, 2014, 8:40 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today indicated it will announce the G Pro 2 next month, a successor to last year's G Pro. The G Pro featured a large screen and top specs. The G Pro 2, an improved version, will be revealed during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

AT&T to Sell LG G Flex for $300, Preorders Start Jan. 24

Jan 20, 2014, 1:56 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 20, 2014, 1:58 PM

AT&T today announced that the LG G Flex will be available for preorder beginning January 24. AT&T is asking $299.99 for the G Flex with a new two-year agreement. Customers can also choose to pay for the G Flex over either 12 or 18 months with an AT&T Next plan. The 12-month option asks for monthly payments of $34.75 and the 18-month option asks for monthly payments of $26.74. The G Flex can be pre-ordered online or in stores the 24th, but the actual in-store availability date was not disclosed by AT&T.

Sprint to Sell LG G Flex Beginning Jan. 31 for $300

Jan 16, 2014, 12:06 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced that it will sell the LG G Flex curved Android smartphone online and via telesales starting January 31. Sprint is asking $299.99 for the G Flex with a new two-year contract. Alternately, customers can purchase the G Flex with Sprint's new Easy Pay program, which asks for a down payment of $149.99 for the G Flex, followed by 23 payments of $20.84 and one payment of $20.68. Sprint is accepting preorders for the G Flex beginning today. It will reach Sprint retail stores February 7. The G Flex features a 6-inch, curved and flexible display, quad-core processor, and 13-megapixel camera.

Hands On with the LG Lifeband Touch

Jan 8, 2014, 7:57 PM   by Rich Brome

LG is getting into the wearables game with the Lifeband Touch, a sleek watch and fitness tracker. Its standout feature is the OLED touch screen that responds to swipes and touches. It's less ambitious than Samsung's Galaxy Gear, but also less cumbersome to wear. We took a quick look at how it works, including its companion app.

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Hands On with the LG G Flex

Jan 6, 2014, 1:38 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jan 6, 2014, 3:59 PM

The G Flex is LG's entrant in the new curved-screen superphone category. It has everything the G2 and G Pro have, plus a huge 6-inch curved screen. It's now official for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, and we went hands-on with the U.S. versions.

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LG G Flex Also Coming to Sprint, T-Mobile

Jan 6, 2014, 12:01 PM   by Rich Brome

LG today announced that its current flagship phone - the G Flex - will come to Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T in the 1st quarter of 2014. The phone sports a curved design utilizing a curved, 6" OLED display and a curved battery. It also sports top-end features such as a Snapdragon 800 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 3,500 mAh battery.

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AT&T to Sell LG G Flex

Jan 6, 2014, 12:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 6, 2014, 1:39 PM

AT&T today announced that it will sell the curved LG G Flex smartphone. LG announced the G Flex in October and it is already available for sale in several markets overseas. It has a curved, plastic OLED display, which measures 6 inches across the diagonal and has 720p HD resolution. The plastic OLED display is flexible, durable, brighter, and more precise than traditional OLEDs thanks to the materials and use of Real RGB pixels. The curved screen is paired with a curved 3,500mAh battery. The G Flex had a "self-healing" coating on the back cover, which is elastic and can recover from daily wear-and-tear. The G Flex positions the volume and control buttons on the back surface, rather than the sides edges. Other features include QTheater, which gives users quick access to photos, videos, and YouTube from the lock screen; Dual Window split-screen multitasking; Swing Lockscreen, which alters the appearance of the lock screen depending on how the G Flex is held; Face Detection Indicator to let users know when the G Flex sees their face; and Camera Timer and Urgent Call Alert, which flash the LED on the rear key to indicate the timer is counting down or there is an emergency incoming call. The G Flex runs Android 4.2.2 and is powered by a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor that is paired with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The main camera rates 13 megapixels and the user-facing camera rates 2 megapixels. It includes Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC. Pricing and availability were not shared by AT&T, although LG announced plans for a Q1 release.

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Liveblog: LG Press Conference

Jan 6, 2014, 10:00 AM   by Rich Brome

LG is a dominant force at every CES, and frequently they use their press conference to announce new phones, such as the Spectrum in 2012. LG has yet to make a serious play in wearables, and rumors are swirling about a possible CES unveiling of LG's answer to Samsung's Galaxy Gear. There are also rumors of the curved G Flex phone coming to the U.S. Tune in to our liveblog right here for the news as it happens.

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LG to Expand Knock Feature to L Series II Phones

Dec 29, 2013, 11:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said that it will make its Knock feature available to more of its Android smartphones, beginning with the L Series II devices. Knock, which was first introduced on the LG G2, lets users turn the screen on or off by knocking on it twice with their finger. Knock is also available on the LG G Pad 8.3 tablet and the G Flex smartphone. LG said the update will vary by region.

LG to Preload BBM on Select Android Phones

Dec 18, 2013, 9:11 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

BlackBerry today announced that it has struck an agreement with LG to preload its BlackBerry Messenger application on some of LG's smartphones. The first device to include BBM is the LG G Pro Lite. Others will follow. In addition to the preloading agreement with LG, BlackBerry also said that updates to the Android and iOS versions of BBM will add features such as BBM Channels, as well as support for BBM Voice calling and BBM Video calling. BlackBerry said these updates will appear in the coming months.

Sprint Says Chicago-Area Network Improved

Dec 10, 2013, 12:02 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced that it has completed a major upgrade of both its 3G and 4G networks in the metropolitan Chicago area. Sprint ripped out much of its legacy cell tower gear and replaced it with new equipment. The result, says Sprint, is stronger performance of its CDMA and LTE networks, including better voice calls and faster data. Sprint noted that it has worked hard to provide more coverage to sports arenas, major thoroughfares, shopping destinations, and business districts throughout the region. Last, Sprint said Sprint Spark, its next-generation LTE networking technology, is now widely available throughout the Chicago area. Spark soft-launched in limited fashion in late October. Sprint Spark relies on the company's three LTE bands and special network management technology to provide the fastest LTE speeds possible. In order to access Sprint Spark, customers need a tri-band LTE handset. To date, only the Samsung Galaxy Mega and S4 mini, and the LG G2 can access Spark.

LG Launching G Flex In More Markets This Week

Dec 3, 2013, 9:24 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced that the G Flex curved smartphone will go on sale outside of South Korea beginning this week. The phone will reach Singapore on December 8 and Hong Kong on December 13. According to LG, the G Flex will be sold at carrier stores as well as by electronics retailers. The G Flex is noteworthy for its curved design and healing skin. LG will push the G Flex to other Asian markets by the end of the year, followed by other, unnamed regions in 2014. U.S. carriers have not yet announced plans to sell the G Flex.

LG to Put Qualcomm's AllJoyn Tech Into Its Smart TVs

Dec 3, 2013, 7:47 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced that its future television sets will have Qualcomm's AllJoyn technology built-in. AllJoyn is a platform-agnostic tool that lets mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, control and connect to other non-smart devices, such as TV sets. AllJoyn offers a standard text, image, and multimedia notification service that allows media streaming between devices using open standards, and it allows devices to push their media player's user interface to other devices. According to LG, several mobile devices can participate in the same multiplayer game on an LG Smart TV even if they are running disparate operating systems. AllJoyn will be added to LG's Smart TV line beginning next year.

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