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LG Says G5 Set for February 21 Debut

Wednesday, 4:27 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG used its Twitter account to tease the G5, its next flagship phone. The handset will mark its debut at a press event to be held February 21 in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress trade show. LG didn't provide any details about the phone itself, other than the G5 name.

T-Mobile Offering Free Phone to New Prepaid Customers

Feb 1, 2016, 9:09 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile will give a free phone to new customers who sign up for one of its prepaid services. The free phone deal kicks off February 3 and includes the Coolpad Rogue, ZTE Obsidian, LG Leon, and Samsung Core Prime. Customers must select a Simply Prepaid, Simple Choice Prepaid, or Simple Choice No Credit plan valued at $40 per month and up in order to receive the free phone. Customers who opt for a Simple Choice No Credit plan can receive an extra $50 mail-in rebate when activating a second line. T-Mobile didn't say how long the free phone deal will be available.

T-Mobile Kicks Off BOGO Handset Sale

Jan 27, 2016, 9:58 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile is running a limited promotion for customers on Simple Choice plans that can help them save some cash on hardware purchases. Beginning today, new and existing customers can buy one phone at full price and get a second phone of equal or lesser value from the same manufacturer for half price. T-Mobile says the deal can be used for some of its flagship phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG V10. T-Mobile believes the promotion is idea for families or small businesses looking to upgrade their phones. It will allow customers to purchase up to six handsets at half price. No trade-in is required. T-Mobile didn't say how long the promo will be available.

LG Says It Will Release Two Flagship Phones This Year

Jan 26, 2016, 8:43 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said it will introduce two high-end smartphones during 2016 to better compete with its rivals. The company believes the new flagship models and "a more cost-competitive value chain" will help it recoup profits and marketshare throughout the year. LG did not provide any details about these new phones, but it is highly likely the flagships will improve upon LG's G series and V series devices. LG reported its fourth quarter earnings today and said it generated a net profit of $301 million, a jump of 27% year-over-year that it attributes mostly to strong performance of its home appliance division. The company's handset division recorded revenue of $3.26 billion on shipments of 15.3 million phones. LG said it shipped 59.7 million phones in 2015 and saw improved sales in North America. LG has scheduled a press conference during the annual Mobile World Congress trade show next month. It is possible the company will announce new handsets at that time.

Chrome Browser to Get Boost from Brotli Compression

Jan 21, 2016, 8:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google is about to make its Chrome browser much faster. The company is ready to use a new compression algorithm called Brotli, according to Google engineer Ilya Grigorik. Brotli can compress web sites in a way that makes them up to 26% smaller than Chrome's current algorithm, called Zopfli. Smaller web sites take less time to transit wireless networks. Brotli will be added to the next version of Chrome for desktop and mobile devices, though Grigorik did not say when that might be. It's possible Google will push a Brotli-equipped build of Chrome through its beta channel first.

Foxconn Makes a Play for Sharp

Jan 21, 2016, 8:31 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 21, 2016, 1:00 PM

Foxconn has offered to buy Sharp for $5.3 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn's offer arrives just as Sharp is weighing a buyout offer from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. Sharp, known for its LCD displays and IGZO technology, has required multiple bailouts over the last few years as weak financials plague its ability to compete. The main thrust of INCJ's potential investment is to keep the company based in Japan, where it would be merged with competitor Japan Display. Investors believe combining Sharp and Japan Display would lead to a stronger competitor to rivals Samsung and LG. The INCJ deal has the blessing of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but at about $2.6 billion is only half that of Foxconn's offer. Analysts cited by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters believe the final decision will be a political, and not a business, one. Foxconn is based in Taiwan.

MetroPCS Goes After Sprint Customers with Discounts

Jan 20, 2016, 11:37 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 21, 2016, 12:47 PM

T-Mobile-owned MetroPCS is targeting Sprint customers with new service and handset discounts. Starting January 21, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers who switch to MetroPCS can save up to 50% off Sprint's Family Share Pack pricing. For example, a single ported line can save between 22% and 48%, while two or more lines can save between 23% and 50%, depending on a number of variables such as existing plan cost, new plan pricing, and local taxes. Customers who switch can keep the low rate plans as long as they remain with MetroPCS. The promotion includes unlimited talk and text, Music Unlimited, Data Maximizer and mobile hotspot. MetroPCS is offering switchers a free LG Leon LTE, Kyocera Hydro Wave, Samsung Core Prime, LG K7, or $50 rebate that can be applied to any phone sold by MetroPCS. Last, MetroPCS is offering its existing customers a $20 discount when adding an extra 5GB line. T-Mobile said the promotion will be available for a limited time, but didn't provide an end date.

Boost Mobile Begins Selling LG Tribute 5

Jan 19, 2016, 11:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today said the LG Tribute 5 is now available online and in stores. LG announced the Tribute 5 as the K7 earlier this month. It features a 5-inch screen, quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor, 5-megapixel front and rear cameras, and a 2,125mAh battery. LG-sepcific functions include Gesture Shot, KnockON, and Knock Code. The Tribute 5, which runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, costs $99.99.

Verizon Debuts LG Optimus Zone 3 for Prepaid Plans

Jan 14, 2016, 9:20 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon Wireless today revealed the LG Optimus Zone 3, an inexpensive Android handset for those who prefer prepaid services. This simple smartphone picks up where the 2014 Zone 2 left off. It has a 4.5-inch screen, 1.1 GHz quad-core processor with 32 GB of storage, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2-megapixel user-facing camera. The camera app includes LG's Gesture Shot and the selfie camera has a dedicated flash to help illuminate those self portraits. The LG Optimus Zone 3 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is available beginning today for $69.99

LG K7 Coming to T-Mobile and MetroPCS, Too

Jan 6, 2016, 6:26 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile and MetroPCS will both sell the K7 Android phone recently announced by LG. LG previously announced that Boost would carry the same phone branded as the Tribute 5.

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Hands-On with the LG Tribute 5 for Boost

Jan 5, 2016, 1:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG introduced two mid-range phones today as part of its new K Series. The K7, which is the smaller of the two phones, will be sold in the U.S. as the Tribute 5. Here are our first impressions of this camera-centric Android smartphone from LG.

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LG's K7 to Reach Boost Mobile As Tribute 5

Jan 4, 2016, 9:48 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said the newly announced K7 Android smartphone will be sold in the U.S. before too long. Rather that use the global K Series branding, Boost Mobile will sell the device as the Tribute 5. LG expects the K7/Tribute 5 to hit stores during the first quarter of the year. Boost Mobile has not confirmed pricing nor availability.

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LG Kicks Off CES with K Series Camera-Focused Phones

Jan 4, 2016, 12:21 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the K Series, a new range of smartphones that prioritizes advanced photography features. The first two phones in the K Series are the K10 and K7. They offer LG photo tools such as Gesture Shot, Gesture Interval Shot, and Tap and Shot, as well as front-facing flashes for self portraits. The phones introduce new design language LG calls "glossy pebble" in order to attract younger users. The glass panels use what LG terms 2.5D Arc Glass to provide a smooth seam where the glass meets the side edge of the phone. Like many other LG handsets, the side edges are free of buttons, which are placed on the rear panel.

  • K10: The larger of the two new K Series handsets has a 5.3-inch high-definition screen, with a 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front camera. The processor will vary by market, but the main LTE variant has a 1.2 GHz quad-core engine under the hood with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It boasts a 2,300mAh battery.
  • K7: The K7 has a 5-inch FWVGA screen, with an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera. The LTE variant has a 1.1 GHz quad-core processor with 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The battery measures 2,125mAh.
The K10 and K7 both run Android 5.1 Lollipop and come in several different colors. LG hasn't said if or when the K10 and K7 will be sold in the U.S.

LG to Add Mobile Component to TVs Via WebOS 3.0

Dec 22, 2015, 8:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG will use its webOS platform to let smartphone owners connect directly to their smart TV. The company plans to show off new TV sets at the CES trade show next month. The TVs will feature LG's webOS 3.0 smart TV platform, which has been improved with a handful of new features. A tool called Magic Mobile Connection is the most relevant to smartphone owners. Mobile Magic Connection lets users connect their phone to their TV via the LG TV Plus App. Once connected phone users can access their mobile apps directly on the TV screen. Other features added to the webOS 3.0 platform include Magic Zoom, which zooms in on text without degrading quality, and Magic Remote, which adds buttons for better managing the TV platform. WebOS was originally developed by Palm for its smartphones, was later sold to HP where it was open-sourced, and eventually sold to LG. LG said it will share more details about its webOS 3.0 smart TVs in January.

Free Music Streaming Comes to Boost Mobile

Dec 9, 2015, 12:44 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today said customers can now stream music from several different services over its cellular network without impacting their monthly data allotment. Unlimited music streaming is available through Pandora, iHeartRadio, 8tracks, Slacker, and Samsung Milk Music. Customers who subscribe to Boost's 2GB, 5GB, and unlimited data plans can stream as much music from these providers as they wish each month. Boost said song downloads, video content, non-audio content, and other data sent via the music services (ads, images) will count against monthly data caps. Virgin Mobile, which has offered free music streaming from several services since October, added 8tracks and Samsung Milk Music to its supported streaming apps. Moreover, Virgin is now selling the LG G Stylo and the Tribute 2. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are both owned and operated by Sprint.

Sprint to Offer Customers Gifts Each Day this Week

Dec 7, 2015, 3:10 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint said existing customers have a chance to win free gifts every day this week by visiting its "Cheers to You" web site (link below). The giveaways range from movies to music and technology. Supplies of each gift are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sprint is also allowing customers to nominate "heroes" for an opportunity to win an LG G4 smartphone. The program runs through Dec. 11.

Cricket Debuts New $100 Porting Promo

Dec 7, 2015, 1:30 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Dec 7, 2015, 1:41 PM

Cricket Wireless is offering people who port their number to Cricket today through Jan. 7 a $100 bill credit. A similar promotion, which gave switchers a $100 shopping card, was first unveiled during the Black Holiday shopping week. That promo expired Dec. 6. The new promotion is a bill credit, not a shopping card. Cricket says the promo can be combined with several of its other seasonal offers, such as discounts on the LG G Stylo and Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.

Microsoft Pushes New Windows 10 Preview

Dec 5, 2015, 8:57 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft has released another technical preview for Windows 10 Mobile, and the company said is changing its strategy for previews moving forward. Microsoft pushed build 10586 a few weeks ago, which is the same build new Windows 10 handsets are based on. Microsoft said users on the 10586 preview and the shipping version of Windows 10 should expect to see the number of updates increase over the coming weeks and into the new year as it addresses user feedback. The newest release is 10586.29, which Microsoft says is a cumulative update that tackles issues in build 10586 only. It improves application backwards compatibility for Windows Phone 8.1 devices; improves edge performance and stability; improves auto-completion with URL editing tweaks; and improves Bluetooth stability. Moreover, Microsoft is adding several new devices to the technical preview program, including the LG Lancet, Microsoft Lumia 550, Lumia 950, and Lumia 950 XL. These devices will be supported in the Windows Insider Fast and Slow Rings starting next week. Microsoft said it will release a new version of the Windows Device Recovery Tool to address detection issues with these handsets.

Cricket Offering Discounts On Older iPhones

Dec 4, 2015, 9:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket today announced more holiday promotions that see significant price cuts to its lineup of smartphones. Beginning Dec. 4, new and existing customers can but the iPhone 5c for $179.99 or $229.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 5s will cost $199.99 and $249.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models. These prices are in effect through Jan 7. Cricket is also offering incentives to people who switch from other carriers. Cricket will sell the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime to switchers for $29.99, the LG G Stylo for $49.99, and the ZTE Sonata 2 for $9.99. Customers who switch by Dec. 6 will receive a $100 shopping card.

LG Shuffles Execs, Makes Huge OLED Investment

Nov 27, 2015, 10:24 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG Electronics is restructuring its business to make it lighter on its feet and better able to respond to changes in the market. Moving forward, each of LG's core businesses will have their own, independent leaders. Juno Cho has been appointed President and CEO of LG's Mobile Communications business, while Jo Seong-jin has been selected to serve as President and CEO of Home Appliances & Air Solutions, and David Jung will serve as President and CFO. LG Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Koo Bon-joon will transition to LG Corp, LG Electronics' parent organization. The appointments are effective Dec 1. LG Display, an affiliate of LG Electronics, said it will invest $8.71 billion in a new plant to manufacture OLED panels for smartwatches, TVs, and other devices. The majority of LG's smartphones use LCD panels, which the company makes for itself and competitors. LG Display's large commitment to developing OLED technology represents a shift in strategy. The plant is expected to become operational during the first half of 2018.

Cricket Tempts Switchers with $100 Reward

Nov 20, 2015, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today kicked off a promotions to entice consumers to port their number to Cricket. People who switch to Cricket between today and Dec. 6 will earn a $100 Cricket Shopping Card. The card can be used for monthly service, handsets, and accessories at Cricket stores. Cricket said it will let new customers combine this deal with existing mail-in rebate promos on select phones to save even more money. For example, Cricket is offering the LG Risio, Motorola Moto E, Nokia Lumia 635, and the ZTE Overture 2 for free after rebates. The rebates are available to all customers through Jan. 7. The $100 gift card is only available to new customers.

LG Nixes Watch Urbane 2nd Edition At Last Minute

Nov 19, 2015, 6:15 PM   by Rich Brome

AT&T today started issuing refunds to customers that pre-ordered LG's latest smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. LG later elaborated that it has postponed launch plans for the device indefinitely. The Watch Urbane 2nd Edition was to be the first watch to support the new built-in cellular connectivity features in the newest version of Android Wear. The watch included 4G LTE and was to be available first with AT&T and Verizon, as well as in Korea. A statement from LG reads "the decision was made to cancel the rollout of the Urbane 2nd Edition LTE due to the complicated nature of the issue. Whether the device will be available in the future will be decided at a later time. For now, our top priority is to ensure that only products that meet our very specific quality standards are available for purchase."

LG to Jump Into Mobile Payments Fray

Nov 19, 2015, 8:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG has indicated it plans to offer a mobile payment service called LG Pay. The company has signed agreements with the largest credit card issuers in South Korea, Shinhan Card and KB Bookman Card. LG said LG Pay will work with all its phones, but it did not describe what technology it will use to power the system. Apple Pay and Android Pay use NFC, while Samsung Pay relies on NFC and MST for interacting with retail terminals. LG will launch LG Pay in Korea first, but the timeframe is unclear.

Google Adds Cellular Support to Android Wear Platform

Nov 11, 2015, 9:08 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Android Wear platform now broadly supports cellular connections for making calls, sending messages, and syncing data, says Google. The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, which was announced last month, is the first Android Wear device to support cellular networks. LG, Samsung, and others have sold cellular watches in the past, but none ran Android Wear. Google said cellular-equipped Android watches will automatically switch from Bluetooth or WiFi to cellular when needed for connectivity. Google fully expects people will be able to use their Android smartwatches to answer calls, read emails, dictate text messages, and manage their fitness all while on the go. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are offering cellular service to the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. The watch is available for pre-order starting today.

Samsung Gear S2, LG Watch Urbane First to Support AT&T's NumberSync

Nov 2, 2015, 11:22 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today said the Samsung Gear S2 and LG Watch Urbane will be available online Nov. 6. These two LTE-connected wearables will be the first to support NumberSync, the service from AT&T that lets customers send and receive texts, as well as make and receive calls on the wearable from their primary phone number. The Gear S2 (pictured) will reach AT&T stores Nov. 20 for $0 down and $15 per month with an installment plan, or for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Cellular service for the Gear S2 costs $10 per month when added to a Mobile Share Value plan. Pricing for the LG Watch Urbane is identical, but it reaches stores Nov. 13.

LG Says V10 Now On Sale

Oct 30, 2015, 7:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 30, 2015, 9:51 AM

LG today marked the official arrival of the V10 smartphone, which has dual-front cameras and a secondary display. The device is on sale in the U.S., as well as China and Hong Kong. Today's launch will be followed in other markets across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East throughout the fourth quarter. T-Mobile is the lone U.S. carrier selling the V10 in stores today, though AT&T and Verizon are accepting orders online. AT&T plans to stock the device in stores Nov 6.

LG G Vista 2 Streets November 6 on AT&T

Oct 26, 2015, 8:58 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today said the LG G Vista 2 will go on sale beginning Nov. 6. This second-generation phablet improves the screen to 5.7 inches with full HD resolution and makes revisions to the stylus for improved input. The phone is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. It features a 13-megapixel rear camera with laser-assisted focus and professional mode. The 5-megapixel front camera includes Gesture Shot and Selfie Light. LG says the 3,000mAh battery is removable, and the phone supports memory cards up to 32GB. The LG G Vista 2 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and includes LG's signature apps, such as QuickMemo, QSlide, as well as KnockOn. AT&T is asking for $14.97 per month with a Next 24 plan, or $18.71 with Next 18, $22.45 with Next 12, or $49.99 with a two-year contract.

AT&T, T-Mobile Reveal LG V10 Launch Plans

Oct 26, 2015, 8:45 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 26, 2015, 8:48 AM

AT&T and T-Mobile today provided details about their respective plans to sell the LG V10 smartphone. AT&T will begin accepting orders online Oct. 27, and the V10 will reach stores Nov. 6. AT&T is offering a 200GB memory card with the V10 purchase. AT&T is asking for $23.34 per month with a Next 24 plan, or $29.17 with Next 18, $35 with Next 12, or $249.99 with a two-year contract. T-Mobile will commence online sales of the LG V10 on Oct. 28 and in-store sales on Oct. 30. T-Mobile is asking for a monthly payment of $25 when enrolled in Jump On Demand. Alternately, customers can pay $599.99 up front, which T-Mobile says is $100 off the list price of $699.99. The V10 is notable thanks to its extra front display, used for revealing alerts and select controls. The V10 has a 5.7-inch had HD screen, 16-megapixel main camera, dual 5-megapixel front-facing cameras. The phone has a hardened exterior for shock resistance and is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor. It ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop.

AT&T Shows Off LG G Vista 2 with Improved Stylus

Oct 20, 2015, 10:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T recently revealed the LG G Vista 2 in a video posted to its YouTube channel. The second-generation phablet includes a 5.7-inch display and revised stylus for creative input. The screen resolution has been improved to full HD and the processor bumped to an octa-core engine with 2 GB of RAM. The G Vista 2 has a 13-megapixel main camera and 5-megapixel selfie camera with flash. The main camera app boasts a professional mode for fine-tuning the settings. The LG G Vista 2 runs Android and includes LG's signature apps, such as QuickMemo, QSlide, as well as KnockOn. AT&T didn't say when the phone will go on sale, nor how much it will cost.

LG's Nexus 5X More Widely Available Today

Oct 19, 2015, 7:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 19, 2015, 7:36 AM

LG today said the Nexus 5X smartphone is now available for sale in the U.S, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, India, Korea, and Japan. Google has been accepting pre-orders of the 5X for several weeks, but today marks its launch with U.S. and other carriers. LG said it will be up to individual carriers to announce exact pricing and availability of the handset. (Google charges $379 and is expected to release the Nexus 5X on Oct. 30.) The 5X has a 12-megapixel camera, Snapdragon 808 processor, and 5.2-inch full-HD display. It also supports Android Pay with NFC and includes a fingerprint reader. It is among the first to ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

LG Lancet Drops Windows Phone for Android

Oct 16, 2015, 1:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon Wireless today revealed a new variant of the LG Lancet that runs Android rather than Windows Phone. The Lancet first reached Big Red earlier this year with Windows Phone 8.1 in tow. The LG Lancet for Android, as it is officially called, may be the first handset initially released for Windows Phone later re-released with Android. The device runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and comes with LG's signature features, such as KnockOn and QuickMemo. The Lancet for Android features a 4.5-inch screen, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel main camera, 8 GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 128 GB. The Lancet is a budget-friendly phone. The full retail price is $120, though Verizon is offering the phone for $5 per month with a financing plan.

LG G4 Earns Early Marshmallow Update

Oct 15, 2015, 7:26 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said the G4, its flagship handset, will begin to receive the Android 6.0 Marshmallow system update as soon as next week. LG will first push the operating system upgrade to devices in Poland, followed by other markets in Europe, Asia, and eventually the Americas. Android 6.0 adjusts permissions, boosts power efficiency thanks to Doze mode, and makes it easier to control notifications. The LG G4 is sold by most major carriers in the U.S.

HTC: Monthly Security Updates Not Likely

Oct 5, 2015, 9:37 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

HTC says it is on board with the concept of monthly security updates, but admits the reality is a different story. Jason Makenzie, president of HTC America, said the company "will push for them, but unrealistic for anyone to say guaranteed every month." The comment came in response to question posed to Makenzie about HTC handset security. Earlier this year, Google announced plans to push monthly security updates to Android handsets in the wake of the Stagefright vulnerability. Samsung and LG quickly followed suit. In order for the updates to reach HTC handsets, HTC has to take the security patch from Google, build it into their platform for each handset, and then seek carrier approval for those updated platforms. The process takes months from start to finish, and, thanks to sagging sales, HTC phones likely have a lower priority within their carrier partner labs than those from Samsung and LG. HTC today reported a near 50% drop in revenue for the quarter on weak smartphone sales, and recorded a loss of $138 million.

Wireless Companies Agree to Support More Remote Wipe Tools

Oct 2, 2015, 1:30 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The CTIA today announced that a number of member companies have agreed to take on additional measures to help prevent cellphone thefts. Following recommendations made by the FCC, wireless companies will make anti-theft tools available to all consumers that also respect consumer choice and privacy. All new phones made after July 2016 will "make readily available to the authorized user an option that allows the authorized user to enable or disable the anti-theft solution at any time that the smartphone is connected and is in the authorized user's possession." Beyond this baseline tool, consumers will have the option to use other, third-party solutions to locate, wipe, or reinstate their devices if they so wish. Companies that have agreed to this include Apple, Asurion; AT&T; BlackBerry; Google; HTC; Huawei; LG; Microsoft; Motorola; Samsung; Sprint; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; Verizon, and ZTE. In response, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, "CTIA members' ... enhanced voluntary commitment to adopt anti-theft features and educate consumers demonstrates their resolve in combatting it. I am hopeful that this new voluntary commitment will make a meaningful difference for consumer safety. As the enhanced commitment recognizes, these solutions work only if they are adopted widely. The FCC will remain vigilant in this area by pushing for further improvements to the theft-prevention toolbox, and also by monitoring closely whether the efforts of industry and others are producing meaningful results." Apple's iOS and Google's Android already contain features that let device owners find and protect their mobile devices. The FCC hopes allowing people to download and use the protective measure of their choice will help encourage consumers to make broader use of the tool.

Hands On with the LG V10

Oct 1, 2015, 12:54 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 6, 2015, 8:22 AM

LG's new V10 smartphone offers some unique features, including a secondary screen for shortcuts and notifications, and a pair of user-facing cameras for more fun with selfies. Here are our first impressions of this new phone from LG.

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AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Commit to Selling LG V10

Oct 1, 2015, 10:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said the V10 will be sold in the U.S. by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Pricing and availability will be announced individually by each carrier. The phone is expected to arrive in the weeks ahead.

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Cricket Jumps Into 1,600 Target Stores

Oct 1, 2015, 9:52 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 1, 2015, 12:51 PM

Cricket Wireless today announced a significant expansion of its retail footprint thanks to Target. Beginning Oct. 25, Cricket handsets and services will be available in some 1,600 Target stores around the country. Consumers will be able to purchase smartphones from HTC, LG, Samsung, and ZTE for prices ranging between $50 and $130, as well as SIM cards for BYOD customers. Cricket says the expansion means it now has a presence in 9,000 retail locations around the U.S.

LG Adds Cellular Radio to Urbane Smartwatch

Oct 1, 2015, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today rolled out an updated version of its Watch Urbane that includes a cellular radio and the ability to make calls without a cellphone. The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition runs Android Wear and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. The wearable features a 1.38-inch plastic OLED screen with 480 x 480 pixels. It is powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and has 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. The phone boasts a beefy 570mAh battery to support its Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE, and 3G radios. The smartwatch includes a bevy of sensors as well, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, barometer, and GPS. It will be sold in black, blue, white, and brown. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

LG V10 Boasts Second Screen, Dual Front Cameras

Oct 1, 2015, 6:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 1, 2015, 7:08 AM

LG announced the V10, a flagship smartphone that includes a ticker display, double cameras, and a more rugged design than some of LG's previous handsets. The main screen measures 5.7 inches and has quad HD resolution, while the secondary display, which sits above the main one, measures 2.1 inches and has 1040 x 160 pixels. LG says the Second Screen can set to be always on for notifications and status indicators with no impact on battery life. Moreover, the Second Screen can handle notifications while users do other tasks, such as watch videos, without disturbing what's on the main screen. The rear-facing camera has optical image stabilization, an f/1.8 aperture, and captures 16-megapixel images. The front of the V10 features dual 5-megapixel cameras that can act together to capture images with a 120-degree field of view with no optical distortion. The V10 includes a manual video mode, which allows users to adjust white balance, exposure, shutter speed, and frame rate. It captures 1080p, 2K, or 4K video in either 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratios. Other video camera functions include stabilization, audio monitor, video editor, wind noise filter, and quick-sharing features. Unlike some of LG's previous phones, the V10 relies on a stainless steel frame with "Dura Skin" on the back to protect against drops and knicks, and aid in grip-ability. The V10 has a 32-bit high-fidelity DAC by ESS Technology for improved audio reproduction. Other features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and support for memory cards up to 2TB. The phone has a 3,000mAh battery that can be removed, and it supports Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11ac, GPS, NGC, and LTE. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with the usual set of LG apps, such as Knock Code. The LG V10 will be sold in black, white, beige, and two shades of blue. It will launch in Korea this month, followed by the U.S. and other countries in the near future.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Arrive 'Next Week'

Sep 29, 2015, 11:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Sep 29, 2015, 12:51 PM

Google today said it will begin pushing Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Nexus devices during the week of Oct. 5. Existing handsets, such as the LG-made Nexus 5 and the Motorola Nexus 6, will be able to install the brand new operating system from Google. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will ship with Android 6.0 on board. Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings a number of new features to the platform, including Google Now On Tap. Google's improved voice assistant is more aware of context when users make requests, and will automatically offer up certain types of information. Google Now is also accessible via voice command even when the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are locked. Marshmallow adds fast scrolling and faster search, as well as new animations and new notification behaviors. Further, the app drawer will learn which apps people use throughout the day and offer suggestions each time they open the drawer. Android 6.0 introduces a new permission model, and allows people to remove more unwanted apps. Marshmallow was first detailed by Google in May. The company did not say exactly when it will be released.

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