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Mobile Phones

LG Smartphones Reach G4

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LG Smartphones Reach G4

LG reveals the successor to the flagship G3 smartphone-- the G4, a handset promising to be the company's "most ambitious" yet featuring an IPS Quantum Display, F1.8 aperture lens camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor.

The 5.5-inch display handles 2560x1440 resolution, while further specifications include 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable via microSD slot), 3000mAh removable battery and 16MP rear-facing camera. It runs on Android 5.1, as tweaked with LG's "human-centric" UX 4.0.

However what LG really puts emphasis on is the device's looks-- the subtly curved casing is available in "handcrafted, genuine full grain leather" (in 6 different colours) or ceramic.

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Butterfly Wings: The Key to Glare-Free Displays?

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Butterfly Wings: The Key to Glare-Free Displays?

They say the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, but the wings of a particular species of butterfly might actually be key to the glare-free displays of the future.

The butterfly in question is the glasswing butterfly, a Central American species famous for having transparent, glass-like (thus the name) wings. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers say these wings have very low reflection (around 2-5%) of visible, infrared and ultraviolet light-- a survival adaptation for the insect, but an inspiration for the creation of low-reflection surfaces.

For the curious, a flat glass plane has a reflection of anything from 8% to 100%.

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LG Touts G4's Display

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LG Touts G4's Display

LG is so proud of the display in the upcoming G4 it is launching it before the actual smartphone, claiming the 5.5-inch QHD LCD panel is nothing less than a "quantum leap" in mobile device displays.

The 1440x2560 resolution, 538 PPI panel handles 120% colour gamut, exceeding the 100% gamut offered by other mobile displays. It does so through the use of blue LED chip with red and green phosphors instead of the traditional yellow found in other LEDs.

LG also boasts of a contrast ratio 50% higher than conventional QHD LCD panels, while brightness is up by 30% without demanding more power consumption. Further improving image quality is "photo-alignment" technology, a means to increase contrast ratio by evenly aligning liquid crystals in order to reduce light leakage.

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Samsung Boosts Mobile Storage

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Samsung Boosts Mobile Storage

Samsung announces a solution for low- and mid-market mobile devices wanting for more built-in storage-- a "high-performance mobile memory storage" based on 128B 3-bit Embedded MultiMediaCard (EMMC) 5.0 NAND flash.

Similar technology (based on either UFS 2.0 or eMMC 5.1) is already in use in flagship devices, but as Samsung puts it now mid-market devices can also get 128GB of built-in storage through its highest density eMMC 5.0 solution yet.

Performance-wise the technology delivers 260MB/s for sequential reading (the same as eMMC 5.1) and read/write speeds of up to 6000 and 5000 IOPS respectively, sufficient for HD video processing and multi-tasking features.

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A Neptune Suite for All Devices

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A Neptune Suite for All Devices

Neptune, the company behind the ungainly Neptune Pine smartwatch, has ambitions to centre users' computing lives on the wrist-- the Neptune Suite, 6 pieces of hardware revolving around a wrist-worn device.

The heart of the Neptune Suite is the Hub, a wrap-around water-resistant smartwatch the company describes as "the world's first true personal computer." It features a 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 3G/LTE(via nano-SIM card), NFC, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, and uses short-range 802.11ad WiGig to connect with the other Suite devices at up to 7Gbps with "non-perceptible latency."

As such, the smartphone and tablet components of the Neptune Suite-- dubbed "Pocket Screen" and "Tab Screen"-- are essentially dumb devices providing  larger (either 5- or 10-inch) displays for the Hub. For further usability one can also attach the Tab Screen to a self-explanatory "Keys" wireless keyboard.

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A Mobile Phone in Pocketwatch Form

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A Mobile Phone in Pocketwatch Form

One of the more unusual mobile phones at Mobile World Congress 2015 looks nothing like a mobile phone-- the Runcible is a circular device modeled after the pocketwatch or compass of years ago.

"Runcible is designed to help you create a more civilized relationship with your digital life," creator Monohm claims, before describing it as nothing less than "the premier device for the post-smartphone era." It runs on Firefox OS and promises a "quieter" hybrid of smartphone and wearable, combining the connectivity demanded by modern life (including LTE, wifi, Bluetooth and NFC) with simple notifications, camera, a contact list limited to 12 individuals and, perhaps aptly, a virtual compass handling GPS duties.

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Samsung Goes Metal and Glass in Galaxy S6, S6 edge

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Samsung Goes Metal and Glass in Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Samsung shows off a more premium smartphone design approach at Mobile World Congress 2015 with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, a pair of flagship devices replacing Samsung' usual plastic with metal and glass frames.

The pair are near-identical to each other, since both are 5.1-inch Android 5.0 handsets with 2560x1440 displays running on octa-core Exynos processors. What differentiates the S6 edge is suggested by the name-- the device has a dual-curved display curving ever-so-slightly from, well, the edges.

This means earlier rumours were right, even if the slight screen curves do not allow for the additional functionality seen in the Galaxy Note Edge.

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What Will Samsung's Next Flagship Look Like?

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What Will Samsung's Next Flagship Look Like?

Samsung has something unusual in store for Mobile World Congress 2015 Bloomberg reports-- the next Galaxy smartphone flagship will come in two models, one of which will feature "a display covering 3 sides."

How can a display cover 3 sides? Through an evolution of Samsung's own curved-edge OLED displays, of course. The Galaxy Note Edge has such a display, if one wrapping around a single side of the device.

The unnamed sources add the two handsets also feature "all-metal bodies," 5.1-inch displays and the "most advanced" processors Samsung can make (meaning next-generation Exynos), all in a bid to win back high-end mobile market share lost to the iPhone 6.

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Corning Swipes at Sapphire with Phire

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Corning Swipes at Sapphire with Phire

Corning announces a type of glass the company claims is tougher than the latest Gorilla Glass iteration while featuring scratch resistance that "approaches" sapphire-- the so-called "Project Phire."

“We have developed a new product that will provide sapphire-like scratch resistance while maintaining the legendary toughness and break resistance of Gorilla Glass,” Gorilla Glass Technologies James P. Clappin says at the company's annual investor meeting.

Sapphire was supposed to be the latest wonder material in mobile displays, yet it is not problem-free, being brittle and reportedly hard to work with. This explains why Corning's Gorilla Glass unit sticks with glass and related composites, even as investors demand the company starts using the new material.

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