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MWC: LG to launch LG Watch Urbane and four mid-range Android smartphones

LG HAS ALREADY CONFIRMED four new Android 5.0 Lollipop smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this year, but we’re sure this isn’t the only thing the Korean firm has up its sleeve.

The company unveiled the LG G Flex 2 at CES in January, so it’s unlikely to produce a G3 successor at MWC.

However, we can expect a new, more classic looking version of the LG G Watch R, called the LG Watch Urbane1.

Launching officially at the conference next week, the LG Watch Urbane is designed to look like a classic timepiece with a metal body and leather strap, but it was reported recently that the watch will not sport the same Android Wear software2 and specs as the G Watch R.

The Urbane will have a 1.3in round P-OLED 320×320 display, powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 410mAh battery.

It includes a sensor that can measure heart rate and average pulse during exercise, while IP67 certification makes the gadget resistant to water and dust.

The watch also has an Always-On ambient setting which can show the time continuously in a dimmed mode to save battery life.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we do know that it will come in gold and silver colour options.

The four mid-range Android 5.0 handsets unveiled on Monday3 – the LG Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy – will begin to roll out globally this week, although no specific UK availability details have been announced.

All of the smartphones, despite their mid-range labels, arrive running Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop4 software, although the cheapest of the four, the LG Joy, will be sold running Android 4.4 Kitkat in some markets.

The four mid-rangers will ship with 8GB internal storage, 3G and optional 4G connectivity, and a quad-core chip paired with 1GB RAM.

The LG Magna is the largest of the four with a 5in HD display, while the Spirit, Leon and Joy feature 4.7in HD, 4.5in FWVGA and 4in WVGA displays respectively.

Nevertheless, it’s still unclear whether LG will unveil its next flagship smartphone, the LG G4, at MWC next week, despite it looking unlikely, but we’ll be there to bring you all the latest.

References

  1. ^ LG Watch Urbane eyes the Apple Watch with metal body and circular display (www.theinquirer.net)
  2. ^ Android 5.0 Lollipop review (www.theinquirer.net)
  3. ^ LG unveils four cheap Android 5.0 Lollipop handsets ahead of MWC (www.theinquirer.net)
  4. ^ Android 5.0 Lollipop review (www.theinquirer.net)

HTC at MWC: One M9 and wearable surprise expected

The 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) is just round the corner, and fans across the globe are wondering what devices will be unveiled at the trade show.

HTC has been very active this year, and many fans are expecting the Taiwanese firm to release a follow up to the One M81.

The One M9There isn’t any official news about the fabled One M9, but it will be a fairly impressive device if the rumours are anything to go by.

HTC is expected to continue its robust approach to design and fit the One M9 with a similar metal chassis to that seen on the One M8.

However, the One M9 is expected to be a very different phone with a customised version of Android 5.0 Lollipop2 that will feature an upgraded version of the firm’s BlinkFeed news aggregator and ZOE imaging services.

The One M9 is also expected to take advantage of Lollipop’s 64-bit processor support, and is believed to use a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.

HTC is reportedly about to retire its mediocre Ultrapixel imaging technology and will load the One M9 with an improved 16MP rear camera with optical imaging stabilisation which would put it on a par with the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6.

The removal of 4MP Ultrapixel tech could be a big improvement differentiating the One M9 from the One M8.

Ultrapixel is a custom HTC technology designed to improve quality by creating larger pixels that can capture 300 percent more light than a regular camera.

We’ve had mixed results using Ultrapixel cameras.

It does help cameras perform better in low light, but the low megapixel count means that images do not look good blown up and in general are not as crisp as we’d like.

A wearable surpriseWe know nothing about HTC’s wearable plans, but it would be surprising if the firm didn’t release something.

Pretty much every other smartphone maker, including Apple3, has announced plans to enter the wearables market this year, and we expect HTC to follow suit at MWC.

References

  1. ^ V3: HTC One M8 review (www.v3.co.uk)
  2. ^ V3: Android 5.0 Lollipop review (www.v3.co.uk)
  3. ^ V3: Apple Watch price, release date, battery life and features (www.v3.co.uk)

Rental car company declines comment

Rental car company Thrifty is refusing to comment on remarks about the amount of guidance it gives to foreign drivers.

Paul Whitmell, a chartered accountant from Cambridge, shared his story of being struck by another rental car driven on the wrong side of the road, in an effort to prevent more deaths at the hands of foreign drivers.

Mr Whitmell (57) said from Dunedin Hospital rental companies needed to do more and cited his experience of hiring a car from Thrifty’s Auckland office.

When he arrived the office was manned by one overworked staff member, who told him nothing about New Zealand’s road rules.

”When I hired my car … they didn’t have the people there to show me where the indicators were. They didn’t show me where the lights were.

They didn’t even show me where the petrol lever was or what petrol I was to have.

”They just give you the key and they let you on the road with three tonnes of metal, going at 70 miles 100km an hour,” he said.

When contacted yesterday a Thrifty representative said it would not be commenting on Mr Whitmell’s experience or his thoughts on what needed to be done to prevent further deaths.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz1

References

  1. ^ vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz (www.odt.co.nz)