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Sprint Says 5G Phone from LG Planned for First Half of 2019

Tuesday, 11:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced that together with LG it will bring its first 5G mobile phone to market during the first half of 2019. Sprint said the "innovative handset" is being "built for the country's first mobile 5G network." Sprint claims its forthcoming 5G network will allow customers to download full-length HD movies in seconds instead of minutes, and stream graphic-heavy videos and games without delays or lag-time. Specifics concerning the device were not provided. Sprint plans to launch its 5G mobile network in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Sprint says more 5G devices are in development and will be announced over time. All the major carriers are rushing to be first to launch 5G. AT&T expects to offer a 5G mobile hotspot by the end of the year, while Verizon Wireless and Motorola will offer a 5G Moto Mod to the recently-announced Moto Z3 smartphone early next year.


YouTube Highlights Phones with the Best Screens for Video

Aug 10, 2018, 7:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

YouTube has begun to recognize what it calls Signature Devices, or phones that deliver the best-in-class experience for YouTube content. YouTube says these phones have the latest technology and provide optimal viewing. In order to qualify as a Signature Device, a phone must include features such as high dynamic range, 4K, 360 video, reliable DRM performance, and a high frame rate. YouTube says it has worked with select manufacturers to verify a handful of Signature Devices. They include the new Samsung Galaxy Note9, as well as the S8, S8+, Note8, S9, and S9+; the LG V30 and G7 ThinQ; the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium, XZ2, and XZ2 Compact; the HTC U12+; the Huawei Mate 10 Pro; the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and Mi 8; the HMD Global Nokia 8 Sirocco; the OnePlus 6; and the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. People who own these devices don't need to do anything in order to enjoy a good YouTube experience. YouTube will add devices to the list over time.


T-Mobile Launches the LG Q7+

Aug 3, 2018, 12:50 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Aug 9, 2018, 8:15 AM

T-Mobile today added to its lineup of mid-range phones with the LG Q7+, a phone that looks like LG's Stylo 4, but is smaller and higher-end in a number of ways. The Q7+ has a 5.5-inch display, (compared to the 6.2-inch display on the Stylo 4.) LG's Q series is intended to bring the premium design of the G series — including a 2:1 display and a metal frame — to lower price points. The Q7+ is rated IP68 for water resistance. It pairs a Snapdragon 450processor with a generous 4 GB of RAM. Other features include FHD+ screen resolution, NFC, fingerprint reader, 16-megapixel camera, USB-C, fast charging, 3.5mm audio jack, and a memory card slot. T-Mobile is selling it for $350.


MetroPCS Rolls Out Some Smartphone Deals

Aug 2, 2018, 1:03 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

MetroPCS today kicked off several promotions meant to encourage people to sign up for its service. To start, MetroPCS is offering those who switch a $200 discount that can be applied toward the purchase of a new phone. Some phones, including the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime, LG Stylo 4, Moto E5 Plus, and iPhone SE, would be effectively free after the $200 discount. This deal requires users to subscribe to MetroPCS' Unlimited LTE plan. Second, customers who buy one iPhone can earn a $200 rebate toward the purchase of a second iPhone of equal or lesser value. This promo is good for new and existing customers. Customers who switch to MetroPCS can buy the iPhone 6 for $49. Last, customers who bring their own device to MetroPCS will receive a free month of service. These deals are available online and in stores.


Amazon Adds LG Stylo 4 to List of Prime Exclusive Phones

Jul 31, 2018, 12:52 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Amazon has made the LG Stylo 4, a rebadged variant of the LG Q Stylus, available via its web site as a Prime Exclusive. Prime Exclusives are offered at slightly lower prices than retail and include a variety of Amazon apps and services preinstalled. The Stylo 4 includes a stylus and has a metal body with mil-spec 810G for protection against abuse and IP68 protection against water and dust. The Stylo 4 has a 6.2-inch screen with LG's 2:1 Full Vision (2,160 x 1,080) resolution. The phone is powered by a 1.8 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor with 3 GB of memory and 32 GB of storage. The phone comes with a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens. The Stylo 4 has a 3,300mAh battery and specs including USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, wifi, and LTE 4G. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear surface. The phone ships with Android 8 Oreo and LG's pen-based software tools, such as memos and notes. Amazon is selling the LG Stylo 4 unlocked with support for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. (The phone is already being sold by Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS.) Amazon is charging $249.99, a savings of $50.


Bluetooth Bug Could Expose Devices to Attack; Patch Coming

Jul 24, 2018, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology discovered a vulnerability in Bluetooth's Secure Simple Pairing and LE Secure Connections features that could lead to man-in-the-middle attacks. According to the researchers, the Bluetooth specification doesn't require devices with these features to validate the public key when pairing with new hardware. By not validating the key, it leaves the connection open to attack. In this case, the attacker would need to have a device within 30 meters and intercept the pairing procedure between two devices. The attacker's hardware could pose as the intended paired device, hijack the connection, and transmit malicious code. For this to work, both devices attempting to pair would need to have the Secure Simple Pairing or LE Secure Connections features enabled in their code, and the attacker's timing would have to be impeccable, according to the Bluetooth SIG. The bug impacts hardware from Apple, Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm, along with some Android handsets. According to ZDNet, Apple issued a patch for this bug in July. Intel and Qualcomm have updated their drivers, respectively, and some PC makers have begun to distribute the patches. LG and Huawei have said they'll include patches for the bug in security updates for their Android phones this month. Google has not mentioned the bug in any of its monthly security updates and it's not clear if the Android kernel, nor what other Android devices, are affected


AT&T Prepaid Now Selling the LG Phoenix Plus

Jul 16, 2018, 2:34 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T has kicked off sales of the LG Phoenix Plus, a variant of the K10 announced earlier this year. The Phoenix Plus has a U-shaped metal frame with a 5.3-inch, 720p display and a 1.5 GHz, octa-core Snapdragon 425 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The phone features an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The selfie camera can capture bokeh-style shots. LG said the phone has new Low Light Noise functionality that improve low-light photography. Other features include a 3,000mAh battery, fingerprint reader, NFC, LTE, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, FM radio, microUSB, and Android 8.1 Oreo. AT&T Prepaid sells the LG Phoenix Plus for $130.


Cricket Wireless Picks Up the LG Stylo 4

Jun 28, 2018, 9:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless will soon kick off sales of the LG Stylo 4, a rebadged variant of the LG Q Stylus announced earlier this month. The Stylo 4 includes a stylus and has a metal body with mil-spec 810G for protection against abuse and IP68 protection against water and dust. The Stylo 4 has a 6.2-inch screen with LG's 2:1 Full Vision (2,160 x 1,080) resolution. The phone is powered by a 1.8 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor with 3 GB of memory and 32 GB of storage. The phone comes with a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens. The Stylo 4 has a 3,300mAh battery and specs including USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, wifi, and LTE 4G. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear surface. The phone ships with Android 8 Oreo and LG's pen-based software tools, such as memos and notes. Cricket Wireless will sell the phone starting June 29 for $229. The phone is already available from MetroPCS.


Apple, Samsung Support Digital Key for Unlocking Cars with Phones

Jun 21, 2018, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Car Connectivity Consortium this week announced release 1.0 of its Digital Key specification, which will let people use their phone to unlock their car. The spec supports the ability to lock, unlock, start, and share access to cars from smartphones and other devices. The underlying technology makes it possible for carmakers to securely transmit a digital key to a mobile device, which then makes use of NFC and a secure element to provide vehicle access. The Car Connectivity Consortium says it has lots of support from both phone and car makers. Some of the member companies include Apple, Audi, BMW, Continental, Gemalto, GM, LG, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Volkswagen. The CCC is already working on release 2.0, which it expects will arrive during the first quarter of 2019. The group didn't say how long before consumers can expect to see the technology gracing their local automobile showroom.


MetroPCS Adds LG Stylo 4 to Lineup

Jun 18, 2018, 10:08 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

MetroPCS has kicked off sales of the LG Stylo 4, a rebadged variant of the LG Q Stylus announced earlier this month. The Stylo 4 includes a stylus and has a metal body with mil-spec 810G for protection against abuse and IP68 protection against water and dust. The Stylo 4 has a 6.2-inch screen with LG's 2:1 Full Vision (2,160 x 1,080) resolution. The phone is powered by a 1.8 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor with 2 GB of memory and 32 GB of storage. The phone comes with a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens. The Stylo 4 has a 3,300mAh battery and specs including USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, wifi, and LTE 4G. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear surface. The phone ships with Android 8 Oreo and LG's pen-based software tools, such as memos and notes. MetroPCS is selling the phone for $179 with offers (regular rice $239). Versions of the LG Q Stylus / Stylo 4 for other carriers, including AT&T/Cricket, Sprint/Boost, and U.S. Cellular, have passed through the FCC in recent weeks.


3GPP Approves Spec for Standalone 5G New Radio

Jun 14, 2018, 12:23 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The 3GPP today ratified another piece of the 5G specification, termed the Standalone 5G New Radio, or SA 5G NR. This spec is for 5G networks that are developed on their own, apart from legacy or pre-existing networks. The Non-Standalone portion of the 5G spec was ratified late last year and covers 5G that hooks into existing LTE 4G systems. "The freeze of Standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realizing the holistic 5G vision," said Balázs Bertényi, chairman of 3GPP RAN. "5G NR Standalone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity, but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionize their ecosystem through 5G." The SA 5G NR and the NSA 5G NR standards will together include the technology used by commercial entities, the air interface, and end users. The spec was approved by more than 600 delegates from the world's leading carrier, handset, and silicon vendors. Some participants included AT&T, DISH, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Kyocera, LG, MediaTek, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, SoftBank/Sprint, Sony, Verizon, Xiaomi, and ZTE. The 3GPP said the technical specifications for the ratified SA 5G NR will be published in the days ahead.


AT&T-Run FirstNet More Generally Available to First Responders

Jun 11, 2018, 12:43 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today said fire, medical, police, and other first responders now have more access to its FirstNet network. FirstNet has been available for purchase by agencies, but hasn't been directly sold in stores. Beginning today, any verified first responder can walk into one of AT&T's 5,300 retail shops and initiate service with a new device. The retail availability of FirstNet will be a boon to first responders who volunteer and/or aren't issued communications devices by their agency or local government. A fairly wide number of phones are compatible with FirstNet, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S8 Active, Note 8, S9, S9 Plus, and J3; Apple iPhone 6/Plus, 6s/Plus, 7/Plus, 8/Plus, and X; LG V35 ThinQ; Motorola Moto G6 Play; Sonim XP5S and XP8; BlackBerry KEYone; and the Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router. The public safety network is available nationwide in its own, reserved spectrum (Band 14). First responders may also sign up for FirstNet service using AT&T's web site.


LG's Q Series Gains a Stylus

Jun 6, 2018, 8:26 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the LG Q Stylus, a mid-range entry that packs a stylus for pen-based input for those who prefer that way of interacting with their device. The phone has a 6.2-inch screen with LG's 2:1 Full Vision (2,160 x 1,080) resolution. The phone is powered by an octa-core chipset with 3 or 4 GB of memory and 32 or 64 GB of storage. The phone comes in several camera configurations, including a Q Stylus+, Q Stylus, and Q Stylus α with a 16- or 13-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel or 5-megapixel front camera. The front-facing camera has a wide-angle lens. All three variants have a 3,300mAh battery and specs including USB-C, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, wifi, and LTE 4G. LG says the phones all have DTS-X with 3D surround sound, and IP68 for water and dust proofing, and mil-spec 810G for protection against abuse. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear surface. The phone ships with Android 8 Oreo and LG's pen-based software tools, such as memos and notes. LG says the LG Q Stylus will go on sale in North America and other markets during the third quarter. Pricing and availability from U.S carrier was not detailed.


Project Fi Gains Support for Kids Under Age 13 via Family Link

Jun 5, 2018, 11:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 5, 2018, 11:58 AM

Google today updated its Project Fi service in order to make it a better option for families. The service now allows parents to add children under the age of 13 to Project Fi group plans using the Family Link tool. Parents will be able to manage their children's data usage, such as set limits and add account alerts. Family Link lets parents set limits on app and device use, as well as manage content filters for Chrome, Search, and other Google services. Project Fi subscribers need only tap into the Family Link app to get started. Google recently expanded the number of devices available to Project Fi subscribers to include the new LG G7 ThinQ and LG V35 ThinQ.


Google Makes June Security Patches Available

Jun 5, 2018, 7:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today detailed the June security patch for Android devices. The company says it discovered a number of vulnerabilities impacting the the Android runtime, framework, media framework, and system software. It also found component-level issues with hardware from LG, MediaTek, Nvidia, and Qualcomm. Most issues were given a severity rating of "high" and several were listed as "critical." Google says it informed its hardware partners about the issues about 30 days ago. Google does not believe any of the vulnerabilities have been exploited by hackers. Google is pushing two updates to its Nexus and Pixel phones, dated June 1 and June 5. It will be up to individual device makers to update their own hardware with the latest patches. Google will provide AOSP with the patches within 48 hours.


LG G7 ThinQ Goes On Sale Today for $749

Jun 1, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sales of the LG G7 ThinQ phone kicked off in the U.S. today. The phone is being sold by Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Project Fi, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. It costs $749. T-Mobile is offering a BOGO deal on the phone at launch. Features of the G7 ThinQ include a 6.1-inch screen, Snapdragon 845 processor, dual rear cameras with portrait shooting and Google Lens, wireless charging, Boombox sound and quad DAC, and Android 8 Oreo.


T-Mobile Trots Out Thirteen BOGO Offers for Summer

May 30, 2018, 12:09 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile today rolled out a big BOGO deal that sees the company offering free phones across a handful of brands. T-Mobile says the BOGO deal applies to the latest flagships from top-tier device makers including Apple, Samsung, and LG. Each brand has its own eligibility requirements, but there are some rules that apply to all the BOGO offers. First, customers can't mix and match brands, but they can mix and match models from the same brand. The second phone must be of equal or lesser value than the first. Both devices need to be financed on a T-Mobile equipment installment plan. Some of the offers include money back via prepaid card rebate while others are credited monthly on customer bills. T-Mobile customers get free access to Netflix, unlimited LTE on a T-Mobile One plan, T-Mobile Tuesday promos, GoGo in-flight WiFi on some domestic flights, and free data roaming in more than 140 countries. T-Mobile's summer BOGO deals will be available starting June 1.


AT&T and FirstNet to Sell the LG V35 ThinQ June 8 for $900

May 30, 2018, 9:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 30, 2018, 11:58 AM

AT&T today said it will sell the new LG V35 ThinQ beginning this week. Preorders kick off Friday, June 1, with the phone scheduled to reach AT&T stores on June 8. The LG V35 ThinQ is an updated version of the V30 that relies on the same internal components as the LG G7 ThinQ. The V35 has a 6-inch screen, two 16-megapixel cameras with Google Lens, a 3,300mAh battery, and a Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Critically, the V35 ThinQ will support Band 14 and AT&T's FirstNet first responders network. The phone will be made available to FirstNet customers in addition to AT&T's own subscribers. The phone costs $30 per month for 30 months, or about $900.


Google's Project Fi to Sell the LG V35 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Moto G6

May 30, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 30, 2018, 11:54 AM

Google is expanding the selection of phones available from its Project Fi MVNO. The company today said it will soon offer the LG V35 ThinQ, LG G7 ThinQ, and the Motorola Moto G6. The V35 will cot $899, the G7 will cost $749, and the G6 will cost $199. Aside from their ability to connect to Project Fi, these phones will mirror the features of unlocked and carriers variants. The Mot G6 is already available for preorder from Fi, and the G7 and V35 will arrive at some point next month. Before now, the selection was limited to Google's own Nexus and Pixel devices, as well as the Moto X4.


LG Steals from Itself to Forge the V35 ThinQ

May 30, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 30, 2018, 11:59 AM

LG today announced the V35 ThinQ, an amalgamation of its existing lineup of smartphones. The V35 ThinQ takes the chassis from the V30 and merges it with the components and software of the G7 ThinQ. The V35 has a 6-inch quad HD+ OLED display with support for HDR 10 and Google’s Daydream platform. An aluminum frame separates the front and rear Gorilla Glass 4 panels. The phone is certified IP68 for protection against water ingress and mil-spec 810G for protection against abuse. On the inside, the phone adopts the Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The phone features the same dual-camera array found on the G7: a standard-view lens (71 degrees) at f/1.6 and a wide-angle lens (107 degrees) at f/1.9. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor at f/1.9. Like the G7, the V35 features LG’s AI Cam and can recognize 18 different scenes, such as flowers, pets, and the beach. The AI Cam then adjusts to capture the best shot. It automatically uses pixel binning to capture more light in the Bright Mode for low-light scenes. The camera can snag bokeh-style portraits using either the front or rear camera. It also includes the new Google Lens tool built directly into the camera app. The V35 packs a 32-bit quad DAC for superior wired sound, as well as DTS-X for cinematic surround, a wind filter, and super far-field voice recognition for discerning spoken commands from greater distances. Other specs include a 3,300mAh battery, wireless charging, NFC, Bluetooth 5, dual-band wifi, GPS, USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone supports newer U.S. LTE bands, such as Band 29 for AT&T and Band 66 for T-Mobile. It ships with Android 8 Oreo and LG UX 7. The LG V35 goes on sale in early June for about $900.


Hands On with the LG V35 ThinQ

May 30, 2018, 8:33 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG's new phone is a Frankenstein-like effort. LG sliced and diced parts from various phones and stitched them together to breath life into one monstrous device. The V35 ThinQ is part V30, part G7, and all LG. It boasts a 6-inch screen, mil-spec toughness, the latest silicon, and a trio of cameras. Here are Phone Scoop's first thoughts about LG's latest laboratory creation.

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Verizon Details LG G7 ThinQ and Moto G6 Launches

May 23, 2018, 1:17 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 24, 2018, 8:52 AM

Verizon Wireless today provided more information about the forthcoming availability of the LG G7 ThinQ and the Motorola Moto G6. Verizon will begin taking preorders for the G7 ThinQ on May 24. Verizon is charging $31.25 per month for 24 months, or about $750 in total for the phone. Verizon says customers who finance the phone on a payment plan can score a $100 discount on the total price of the device, which will be applied equally via bill credits over the 24-month payment period. Verizon says this deal is stackable with its other trade-in offers. Verizon didn't say when the G7 ThinQ will hit stores. As for the Moto G6, it will be available online and in stores on May 24. Verizon is charging $10 per month for 24 months, or about $240 in total for the device.


Sprint Rolls Out LG G7 ThinQ BOGO Deal

May 23, 2018, 1:01 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today highlighted its pricing and launch plans for the LG G7 ThinQ. Sprint will begin accepting preorders for the phone on May 25, with retail availability expected across all Sprint channels on June 1. The company is offering the phone for $0 down and $33 per month on a Sprint Flex lease. Sprint leases run for 18 months with the option to buy or return the phone after 18 payments. The Sprint Flex also allows people to upgrade their phone after making 12 payments. This requires people to turn in their old phone when leasing a new one. Customers who lease the G7 ThinQ during the preorder period will be given the option to lease two G7's for the $33 monthly price. Sprint says this promotion is available to new and upgrade-eligible customers for a limited time. Sprint points out that the G7 ThinQ supports its HPUE LTE service for better performance under certain conditions.


LG's K30 Lands On Amazon As a Prime Exclusive for $140

May 22, 2018, 10:04 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 22, 2018, 11:15 AM

Amazon has added the LG K30 to its list of Amazon Prime Exclusives for the low price of $140. The K30 is a rebadged variant of the K10, which LG announced earlier this year. The K30 has a U-shaped metal frame and a 5.3-inch 720p display and a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor. While T-Mobile's version has a 13-megapixel camera, Amazon's has an 8 megapixel camera. The front camera is 5 megapixel. Photo tools include bokeh/portraits and a Low Light Noise mode that works with HDR to reduce grain and provide more contrast in low-light shots. Other features include a 2,880mAh battery and fingerprint reader; LTE with support for Band 71 (600 MHz), GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, and FM radio; and a microUSB port. It comes in black, ships with Android 7 Nougat, and is sold unlocked.


T-Mobile Prices the LG G7 ThinQ at $750

May 21, 2018, 8:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile today revealed launch plans for the LG G7 ThinQ. Pre-sales for the phone begin Friday, May 25, with general retail availability starting June 1. T-Mobile said the LG G7 ThinQ will cost $750. It is asking customers for a $30 down payment followed by monthly payments of $30 for 24 months. Notably, the G7 ThinQ supports T-Mobile's 600 MHz spectrum, on which the carrier is deploying LTE across the nation. The phone supports 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM for fast wireless performance. During the pre-sale period, T-Mobile is offering a buy-one, get-one deal on the LG G7 ThinQ. Both phones will need to be financed on an equipment installment plan. T-Mobile will make the monthly payments for the second device over a two-year period. T-Mobile says it is the only carrier offering the G7 ThinQ in raspberry rose.


LG Adds High-End Features to the Q Series' New Q7

May 21, 2018, 7:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the Q7, the 2018 version of its mid-range Q Series Android phones. The Q7 picks up where last year's Q6 left off, with updated specs and features. There are three models, the Q7, the Q7+, and the Q7α. The series carries over the 2.5D curved 5.5-inch FullVision Display with full HD+ resolution. The phones have a metal frame and metal rear panel. Updates to the series includes IP68 protection from water and dust and mil-spec 810G compliance, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, HiFi Quad DAC, DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, face recognition, portrait shooting, and the QLens for image-based visual search. The devices run either a 1.5 GHz or 1.8 GHz octa-core processor.

  • Q7+: The premium model in the Q7 range has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. It includes a 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and either an 8- or 5-megapixel front camera.
  • Q7: The middle model in the Q7 range has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. It includes a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and either an 8- or 5-megapixel front camera.
  • Q7α: The bottom of the Q7 range has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. It includes a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and a 5-megapixel front camera.
Other shared specs between the three phones include a 3,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, WiFi, and USB Type-C. All three ship with Android 8 Oreo. LG says the Q7 range will go on sale in Europe beginning in June with other key regions, including the Americas, to follow later.


Netflix Brings HDR Support to 3 More Phones

May 17, 2018, 8:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Netflix has granted three newer phones the ability to stream HDR video. The latest devices include the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the Huawei P20 Pro, and the Sony Xperia XZ2. HDR content has more contrast than standard content, creating deeper blacks and brighter brights for a richer viewing experience. Other devices already able to access HDR playback on Netflix include the LG G6 and V30, Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ Premium, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 8, and the Razor Phone.


LG Kicks Off Sales of G7 ThinQ Phone, But US Pricing Remains Elusive

May 17, 2018, 8:02 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said it has commenced sales of its flagship G7 ThinQ phone in its home market of South Korea. The G7 ThinQ, announced earlier this month, is a premium metal-and-glass phone with a super bright 6.1-inch screen, Snapdragon 845 processor, AI-assisted dual rear cameras, BoomBox speaker, and Android 8 Oreo. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless have committed to selling the LG G7 ThinQ beginning later this month. So far, however, U.S. pricing for the phone has been kept a secret. LG says carriers will announce pricing closer to the actual for-sale date. Pre-orders for the G7 ThinQ in the U.S. are expected to begin on or around May 24, with a ship date of June 1.


Google to Bake Google Lens Directly Into Its Camera App

May 8, 2018, 1:38 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 8, 2018, 1:53 PM

Google today made several changes to its Google Lens visual search tool. First and foremost, it is adding Google Lens directly to the camera app of Pixel phones. Several other phone makers, including LG, Motorola, Nokia, Xiaomi, Asus, and Sony, will add Lens to their camera apps in the near future. With Lens, Google is relying on machine learning to help power Google searches based on what the camera sees. Google is baking more searching and shopping tools to Lens, making it easy for people to discover where they can buy items such as clothing with a function called Style Match. A feature called real-time results provides instant search results as people move their camera over items. It scans text, images, and other data points to search things such as concert posters, books, and such. The results offer links to more information, videos, images, as well as the ability to make purchases. Google says this update will reach Google Lens on the Pixel in the next few weeks. Google's partner OEMs have not specified exactly when they'll update their own camera apps with Lens.


T-Mobile Adds the LG K30 to Its Roster for $225

May 4, 2018, 10:45 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 4, 2018, 11:08 AM

T-Mobile recently made the LG K30 available for sale from its web site for $225, or $9 per month for 24 months. The K30 is a rebadged variant of the K10, which LG announced earlier this year. The K30 has a U-shaped metal frame and a 5.3-inch 720p display and a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor. The phone features a 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera. Photo tools include bokeh/portraits and a Low Light Noise mode that works with HDR to reduce grain and provide more contrast in low-light shots. Other features include a 2,880mAh battery and fingerprint reader; LTE with support for Band 71 (600 MHz), GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, and FM radio; and a microUSB port. It ships with Android 7 Nougat.


AT&T Says It Won't Sell the LG G7 ThinQ, But It Has an LG Exclusive On Deck

May 3, 2018, 2:28 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T does not plan to sell LG's new flagship phone, the G7 ThinQ, according to The Verge. Instead, the company plans to offer an exclusive phone from LG later this summer. “We offer a strong lineup of devices from LG today. And we’re planning to launch a new LG device this summer only from AT&T," said the company in a statement. AT&T competitors Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular all plan to sell the G7 ThinQ, which will be available for preorder starting on or about May 25. T-Mobile said it will sell the G7 later this spring. AT&T did not provide a reason for skipping the G7 ThinQ.


LG's V30S ThinQ to Cost $930

May 3, 2018, 7:53 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The LG V30S ThinQ, an upgrade to last year's V30, will soon be available to U.S. buyers for $930. The phone has been listed at that price on B&H Photo and LG confirmed the price to CNET. The V30S ThinQ boosts RAM from 4 GB to 6 GB, and improves storage options to 128 GB or 256 GB from 64 GB. It also ships with Android 8 Oreo, where the original shipped with Android 7 Nougat. The V30S ThinQ includes LG's new AI Camera, which adds scene detection and Super Bright Mode to help with low-light capture. It's not clear exactly when the phone will go on sale.


Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular Talk LG G7 ThinQ Launch Plans

May 2, 2018, 11:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Following T-Mobile’s lead, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular have all committed to selling the new LG G7 ThinQ phone. Verizon Wireless said it will begin accepting preorders on May 24. Verizon did not specify a ship date. Sprint said it will start taking preorders on May 25, with an expected June 1 ship date. U.S. Cellular said it will take orders for the G7 ThinQ beginning June 1. None of these carriers has indicated what the phone might cost. AT&T is the only major carrier yet to announce launch details for the G7.


T-Mobile Says It Will Sell the LG G7 ThinQ 'Later this Spring'

May 2, 2018, 9:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile has committed to selling LG's new flagship device, the G7 ThinQ, but the Un-carrier didn't specify pricing or availability. Instead, the company said it will offer the phone "later this spring." T-Mobile did note that the G7 ThinQ supports its 600 MHz spectrum (Band 71) for LTE.


Hands On with the LG G7 ThinQ

May 2, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG's update to its flagship phone keeps the design mostly the same while making strides where it really counts: under the hood. This year's phone is slim, powerful, and loud thanks to its metal-and-glass design, Snapdragon 845 processor and AI Camera, and massively loud speaker. Here are our first impressions of the LG G7 ThinQ.

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LG G7 ThinQ Boasts Super Bright Display, AI Camera, Boombox Speaker

May 2, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today announced the G7 ThinQ, its 2018 flagship phone, at an event in New York. The phone merges features of last year's G6 and V30 to create a more powerful phone that's easier to use. The G7 ThinQ is made from metal and glass and is certified IP68 for protection against water and dust. The FullView display measures 6.1 inches across the diagonal with a slightly taller aspect ratio to account for the additional screen real estate forming the notch. Owners can use software to visually eliminate the notch if they wish. The display packs 3,120 by 1,440 pixels for quad HD+ resolution. The G7 ThinQ uses LG's Super Bright Display LCD technology and claims to have a brightness of 1000 nits, making it one of the brighter displays available on a modern phone. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. LG has improved the camera hardware and software. The phone features two 16-megapixel cameras on the back: a standard-view lens at f/1.6 and a wide-angle lens at f/1.9. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor at f/1.9. LG is taking advantage of machine learning and the Snapdragon 845's image signal processor to help the G7 recognize 18 different scenes, such as flowers, pets, the beach, and more. This AI Cam then adjusts to capture the best shot based on the scene. It automatically uses pixel binning to capture more light in the Bright Mode for low-light scenes. The camera can snag artistic portraits using either the front or rear camera. Another stand-out feature is the new Boombox speaker. The bottom-firing speaker uses the sealed interior chamber of the phone to help amplify sound. As a result, LG says the G7 ThinQ is loud enough to fill rooms with music. The G7 also carries forward LG's commitment to the quad DAC for superior wired sound, as well as DTS-X for cinematic surround and 3D stereo sound. The G7 ThinQ includes a dedicated button on the side for calling up the Google Assistant. Moreover, the phone as 2 microphones with noise cancellation and it supports Super Far Field voice recognition. LG claims the G7 has a 35% higher recognition rate for spoken voice commands at 6.6-feet than most other phones. The LG G7 ThinQ goes on sale soon in black, red, blue, or silver. Pricing wasn't immediately disclosed.


LG Touts the G7 ThinQ's 6.1-Inch Super Bright Display

Apr 25, 2018, 7:51 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG says its forthcoming flagship will have a redesigned FullVision display that adds a number of new technologies. The screen measures 6.1 inches across the diagonal at a new aspect ratio of 19.5:9 to account for the additional screen real estate forming the notch. The company says it reduced the size of the bottom bezel by 50% when compared to the G6 to give the phone even more screen real estate on front. The display packs 3,210 by 1,440 pixels for quad HD+ resolution. The G7 ThinQ uses LG's Super Bright Display LCD technology and claims to have a brightness of 1000 nits, making it one of the brighter displays available on a modern phone. LG says this "allows users the convenience of operating the phone in almost any lighting condition, notably under bright sunlight while reducing power consumption by as much as 30 percent than the LG G6." LG claims the screen can automatically adapt to six screen color settings depending on the content, such as movies, sports, games, and such. The phone analyzes the owner's activity and switches screen color profiles to match on the fly in order to conserve power. Beyond this automatic tool, owners will be able to take full control over the display's color profiles through dedicated RGB sliders. The LG G7 ThinQ is expected to be announced at an event next month.

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AT&T Preps More Than 100 Markets for 5G, Expands LTE-LAA

Apr 20, 2018, 3:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today said it has launched what it calls 5G Evolution in 117 new markets, bringing the total of pre-5G markets to 141. The company says its 5G Evolution technology can deliver theoretical speeds up to 400 Mbps to properly equipped phones. AT&T expects to launch 5G service in in a dozen markets, including Dallas and Waco, Texas, and Atlanta, Ga., by the end of the year. Further, AT&T has expanded its LTE-LAA footprint from three markets to parts of seven markets. LTE-LAA can push speeds to theoretical a max of 1 Gbps. The new LTE-LAA markets are Boston, Sacramento and McAllen, Texas. A handful of phones sold by AT&T are LTE-LAA capable, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S8+, S9+, Note8, and S8 Active, as well as the LG V30 and Moto Z2 Force Edition. AT&T's LTE-LAA is already available in The Loop in Chicago, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, downtown LA, and the business district of San Francisco. AT&T plans to deploy LTE-LAA in at least 24 markets by the end of the year.


Cricket Wireless Selling the LG Fortune 2 for $100

Apr 13, 2018, 7:54 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket Wireless today kicked off sales of the LG Fortune 2, an affordable Android phone. The Fortune 2 is a rebadged variant of the K8 (2018) and Tribute Defiant (sold by Boost Mobile). The Fortune 2 includes a 5-inch HD screen, quad-core MediaTek processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. The Fortune 2 has an 8-megapixel main camera with LED flash, a 5-megapixel front camera, and a removable 2,500mAh battery. Other features include LTE 4G with HD Voice, WiFi with mobile hotspot and WiFi Calling, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. It runs Android 7.1 Nougat. Cricket Wireless is selling the LG Fortune 2 for $100.


Researchers Suggest Phone Makers Mislead Consumers About Security Patches

Apr 12, 2018, 1:19 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Security Research Labs says Android phone makers often miss security patches but still tell owners the phones are up-to-date. Researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell examined the code of some 1,200 phones from more than a dozen phone makers for every security patch released during 2017. They discovered phones from nearly all makers missed at least some patches. Phones from Google, Sony, and Samsung ranked fairly well, missing an average of just one patch. Phones from Xiaomi, Nokia, and OnePlus missed between one and three patches per update, while devices from HTC, Motorola, LG, and Huawei missed three to four, and phones from TCL (Alcatel) and ZTE often missed more than four patches per update. High-end devices with processors from Samsung or Qualcomm were more likely to updated properly, while low-cost devices with processors from MediaTek were less likely to be updated properly. Nohl and Lell say what's worse than the missed patches are the phone makers' claims to the contrary. "We find that there's a gap between patching claims and the actual patches installed on a device. It's small for some devices and pretty significant for others," said Nohl to Wired. "We found several vendors that didn’t install a single patch but changed the patch date forward by several months. That’s deliberate deception." The researchers claim this lulls consumers into a false sense of security, though they admit that hacking into Android phones through any of the missed patches is a difficult task at best. In response to the data, Google argued that not all the devices researched were Android certified, and that modern Android phones have other security measures in place to protect them. "Security updates are one of many layers used to protect Android devices and users," said Scott Roberts, Android product security lead at Google. "Built-in platform protections, such as application sandboxing, and security services, such as Google Play Protect, are just as important." Still, Google said it would work with Security Research Labs to investigate Nohl and Lell's findings.


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