LG Announces the X Power, X Mach, X Style, and X Max Smartphones

LG announced four new devices this week, set to launch later this month in markets around the globe. While US availability has not been confirmed, let’s go over the four devices, just in case we see one or two of them hit stateside.

In all honesty, the naming scheme is sorta confusing. In this “X Series” of devices, there is the X Power, X Mach, X Style, and X Max. According to LG, each new device in this lineup has a unique feature which is matched to a specific user need or interest. Why LG couldn’t simply create one device to meet each of these needs, I have no idea. Instead, we have four phones, so let’s go over the needs that these four devices meet.  (more…)

WiFi Calling Comes to AT&T Android Phones, Starting With the LG G4

AT&T Android phones are working towards joining 2014 today, with the addition of WiFi Calling as one of their available features. The first to receive the advanced calling option is the LG G4, a phone that isn’t exactly new.

AT&T says that WiFi Calling is a “complement to our already great network coverage,” which is funny, since the point of WiFi Calling is to use it where AT&T doesn’t exactly have a great signal. I guess that does make it a complement and necessity for some.  (more…)

Moto 360 (1st Gen) and LG G Watch Won’t See Android Wear 2.0 Update

According to Motorola and LG’s support accounts on Twitter, the Moto 360 (1st Gen) and G Watch will not be receiving the Android Wear 2.0 update that was previewed at this year’s Google I/O. This news should not exactly surprise anyone, but if you were holding off on upgrading your smartwatch, now seems like a good time to buy a new one, as support for these two devices seems to have ended entirely.  (more…)

LG Unveils the Stylus 2 Plus, Features 5.7″ FHD Display and Stylus Pen (Duh!)

LG announced the Stylus 2 Plus this week, yet another device that will soon hit the Asia, South America, Europe and North America markets in the “coming weeks.” Given this is the Stylus 2 Plus, you have likely already guessed that this device features a suite of software to take advantage of the accompanied stylus pen, with LG baking in Quick Memo, Off Memo, as well as Pen Keeper.  (more…)

LG Unveils G Pad III 8.0, Features Full HD IPS Display and Marshmallow

LG unveiled a new Android tablet this week, the G Pad III 8.0. Overlooking the usage of Roman numerals as well as Arabic numerals in the same name, the G Pad III 8.0 features an 8.0″ Full HD IPS display, 1.5GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8MP rear-facing camera, as well as many software tweaks to add value to the somewhat mid-level device.  (more…)

The Smartphone Industry Needs to Take New Chances, Like Motorola and LG are Doing With Modules

With Motorola on the verge of announcing its newest phone fit with modular capabilities and LG having just come off a an opening month or two where it introduced its take on a modular phone, I think it’s clear that smartphone makers have realized that in order to survive going forward, they need to do something new. It’s time to innovate again. It’s time to take chances, offer more value in new ways, make phones more than just phones, and move beyond the simple, slab smartphone that just gets the basics right. The smartphone world needs something new, something fresh. The last thing it needs are a bunch of devices that the average consumer can’t tell apart but seem to fit a tech media narrative of what they view as success or good.

Many of your favorite smartphone makers, outside of Samsung, are struggling and have been for years. Since the early gold rush to Android supremacy four and five years ago, the industry has matured, maybe even plateaued, and made it extremely difficult for anyone to succeed. Companies like Samsung and Apple are still doing quite well as they established dominance long ago and haven’t given it up, partially because they have massive marketing budgets, but also because they keep making great products that mean something to owners of them. For companies like Motorola and LG, they can’t compete with that reputation or marketing budget by just doing the same old thing. And that right there is why I’m glad that they are both taking chances by going this modular route. (more…)

Report: Google Created a Android Update Ranking System by Manufacturer, Might Publish It

According to a report out of Bloomberg, Google has created a ranking system for Android device manufacturers based on how quickly they are not only updating their phones to the latest versions of Android, but applying the most recent security patches as well. Google has apparently considered publishing their findings, which of course, would be bad for manufacturers, almost all of which are terrible at updating phones in a timely manner.  (more…)