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LG F70 with Android 4.4 KitKat, LTE support unveiled at MWC 2014

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LG has announced a new LTE-enabled smartphone, dubbed LG F70, at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. Unfortunately, the company has not revealed any details of the availability or pricing of the new LG F70 smartphone. The company’s new smartphone runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box. The South Korean giant is targeting the LTE consumers worldwide with its new LG F70 smartphone.

The LG F70 comes with a 4.5-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) IPS display and offers a pixel density of 207ppi. The LG F70 is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor (unspecified chipset) alongside 1GB of RAM. It bears 4GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. The LG F70 sports a 5-megapixel rear camera and also packs a VGA front-facing camera. The smartphone runs on a 2440mAh (removable) battery and measures 127.2×66.4x10mm.

The new LG F70 also comes preloaded with the company’s new advanced UX feature, Knock Code, which is an upgrade to the KnockON feature that was introduced in the flagship 2013 smartphone, the LG G2. The Knock Code feature allows users to both power on and unlock the LG (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/lg-phones ) smartphone by tapping a personalized pattern on the phone’s screen. According to the company, the new Knock Code feature offers greater security as the pattern is entered on a blank screen using anywhere from two to eight taps, allowing for more than 80,000 possible combinations.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company said, “Not only does the LG F70 offer the best of LTE technology, its hardware and UX are also best-in-class. Utilizing our expertise in the field of 4G technology, we plan to strengthen our leadership in the global market.”

LG confirms smartwatch plans; aims for smartphone growth double the market rate

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LG Electronics Inc aims to broaden its range of smartphones so sales this year grow at double the rate of the market, as the South Korean company seeks to retake the position of world’s third-biggest maker.

LG, who slipped behind Huawei Technologies Co last year with a market share of just under 5 percent, also plans to sell a smartwatch capable of connecting with rivals’ phones, mobile division president Park Jong-seok told reporters ahead of a Barcelona trade fair this week.

LG shipped a record 47.7 million smartphones last year, 81 percent more than a year earlier. But its mobile unit needs more growth to return to profit, after spending heavily on marketing to narrow the gap with leaders Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc .

The company aims to increase sales through more models appealing to a wider consumer group, with the Barcelona launch of the G2 Mini – a lower-priced version of the flagship G2 – coming just weeks after unveiling a larger-screen G Pro2.

“I expect competition among tier-2 manufacturers for more market share to become tougher this year, and price competition will also naturally intensify,” Park said.

LG’s mobile unit may take a while to become profitable after swinging to a loss in the three months ended December, as it will continue to spend heavily this year to promote its high-end models, Park said.

Growth of high-end sales in advanced economies is slowing as smartphones become more widespread, likely bringing overall sales growth to the market consensus of 10 to 15 percent this year, Park said.

Overall sales grew 38 percent last year to 1.0 billion smartphones, showed data from researcher IDC.

Park also said LG plans to continue reducing its reliance on local retailers in China where competitors include Lenovo Group, whose $2.9 billion offer for Google Inc’s Motorola handset division could see it leapfrog LG to global No.3 from No.5.

LG also has to contend with the low-priced phones of other local makers Huawei, ZTE Corp andXiaomi.

“In China, we had been pushing for volume growth through investment in retail channels but this proved to be very costly,” said Park.

“We made a strategic change there in late 2012 to focus on high-end models and aim to grow sales mainly through partnerships with mobile carriers.”

LG G2 mini unveiled with a 4.7″ display and Tegra 4i CPU, release date is pegged for March

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LG has been teasing us for a while that a scaled-down version of its G2 flagship is in the works, and today the G2 mini is finally official. Just like with Samsung’s “mini” versions, LG’s munchkin seems to capitalize on the popularity of its larger namesake, as the specs are nothing to really write home about. 

The LG G2 mini will be arriving with a 4.7″ LCD panel and 540×960 pixels of qHD resolution, clocking in at 234ppi pixel density – quite a departure from the 1080p display on the G2. The phone will be powered by a modest Snapdragon 400 processor, while there will be a variant with Tegra 4i system chip, too, likely to be the first phone shipping with NVIDIA’s new CPU. Since both 3G and LTE versions of the phone are on tap, we’d wager to bet that’s where the difference in chipsets stems from.
LG G2 mini comes with an 8 MP rear camera, and a 1.3 MP front-facing unit. RAM memory is pegged at 1 GB, while the built-in storage is just 8 GB, though with an added microSD slot for expansion.The dimensions are 129.6 x 66 x 9.6 mm, so it’s about the size of the Optimus L9 II, but with the signature rear buttons placement. LG, however, slid a removable, 2440 mAh battery in the phone, so at least the stellar endurance of the G2 might be carried over to the mini version, given the spec sheet.
 
There will be a dual SIM LG G2 mini as well, hinting that the handset will see the light of day predominantly in emerging markets. Its release date is pegged for Russia in March, and then for April in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. 
 
All in all, the G2 mini shapes up to be in the lower midrange category, and will hopefully be priced accordingly, as the spec gap with the G2 is rather drastic. At least it will be running on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat.

LG G Pro 2 with 5.9-inch display and Snapdragon 800 launched

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South Korea’s LG Electronics unveiled a revamped version of its large-screen smartphone G Pro on Thursday, hoping it will help propel the company to the No. 3 spot in global smartphone sales this year.

LG Electronics, currently ranked No. 4, is seeking to move past Huawei Technologies Co Ltd as well as Lenovo Group which recently agreed to buy Google Inc’s Motorola handset division for $2.9 billion. The deal, if approved by regulators, would catapult Lenovo from No. 5 to No. 3 – a threat that LG Electronics executives shrugged off.

“The Lenovo-Motorola deal has created a great media buzz, but this has not been much talked about within our company,” Andy Kim, head of mobile product planning at LG Electronics, told a news conference.

LG Electronic’s G Pro 2 comes ahead of a rival offering from market leader Samsung Electronics later this month. Apple Inc is also widely expected to launch a new iPhone with a bigger screen this year.

It boasts a 5.9-inch screen, bigger than the 5.5 inch screen of the previous model and one of the biggest on the market. It also has a 1-watt speaker system, a first for smartphones and will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

It also allows users to bypass the process of typing in passwords or pass codes by tapping the screens with their fingers in patterns that they choose.

Kim said that LG Electronics had decided not to go with a fingerprint scanner or iris recognition like other competitors are expected to for this function, as finger tapping is a more convenient method for users. But he added that the company is considering biometric functions for mobile payment systems.

The G Pro 2 will be on the market in Korea in late February before heading to other Asian markets, including China, where consumers prefer larger screens. The company declined to comment on plans for Western markets.

LG Electronics has improved products and sales sharply in recent years and its global smartphone sales jumped 81 percent in 2013, according to data from Strategy Analytics. Even so, heavy promotion costs for high-end models has seen its phone division post two consecutive quarters of losses.

Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded LG Electronics’ credit ratings last week, citing persistent pricing pressures and the high costs of marketing new products, particularly mobile phones.

LG G2 Mini teaser image appears, to be announced on February 24

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If there was ever any doubt that LG was working on a mini version of its flagship smartphone, it should be all gone now that we have the teaser image that you see below. The collage, which features an LG G2 handset along with a smaller, identically designed phone next to it, popped up on the company’s Facebook page about an hour ago, so it can’t be an elaborate fake.  What’s more, the post is accompanied by the unequivocal tagline “Experience the MINI”, which clearly states what kind of smartphone we should be expecting to see announced on February 24.
 
So yeah, judging by today’s teaser, an LG G2 Mini is indeed to be announced at MWC. At this time, however, we aren’t entirely sure how closely the smaller handset will resemble the LG G2. If rumors are to be believed, the LG G2 Mini might sport a 4.7-inch display, which means that it won’t be so small after all. In fact, a recent FCC filing may have already revealed the phone’s exact dimensions. Rumor also has it that the LG G2 mini could come with a Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2GB of RAM, just like the G2, although these claims haven’t yet been backed by serious evidence. 
 
Whatever the case is, we should get the chance to take the LG G2 Mini for a spin in Barcelona, so if that’s a phone you’re excited about, stay tuned to our MWC 2014 coverage.

LG G Flex with 6-inch curved display launched in India

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LG has finally announced the launch of its much-awaited G Flex curved display smartphone in India, at Rs. 69,999. The South Korean major has confirmed that the LG G Flex will be hitting the Indian stores starting Thursday.

In early February, LG had listed the G Flex smartphone on the company’s official India site with the same price, and no availability.

Notably, the LG G Flex with a whopping price of Rs. 69,999 has become one of most costly smartphones available in the Indian market leaving behind the Apple iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max.

Back in December 2013, along with the launch of the LG 55EA9800 55-inch curved OLED television in India, the Korean consumer electronics giant had announced the G Flex for the country, and given a tentative February 2014 launch date.

LG launched its first curved display smartphone in October last year with much fanfare, and it was rolled out only in South Korea initially.

The Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean-based G Flex is powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. It features a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. The G Flex is powered by a 3,500mAh battery, weighs 177 grams, and is 7.9mm at its thinnest, while being 8.7mm at its thickest.

As for the 6-inch curved display, LG has used a curved OLED panel, which is also built on plastic substrates instead of glass, supposedly giving the phone better durability. The display features Real RGB technology to provide all three sub-pixels in one pixel, thereby making it “brighter and more precise.”

LG has also included a new ‘self-healing’ coating on the back cover, an elastic coating that supposedly has the ability to “recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive.” The LG G Flex’s self-healing capabilities have also been creating a buzz worldwide.

Commenting on the announcement, Soon Kwon, MD, LG India said, “Curved flexible displays are a groundbreaking technology that enhances consumers’ viewing experience by many degrees. LG’s latest offering G Flex combines innovation and technology along with sleek, curved design that not only delivers a more comfortable grip and fit, but offers better voice and sound quality. G Flex represents a new era in the smartphone space where curved and flexible displays are no longer a sci-fi fantasy.”

LG G Flex listed on company’s India site

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The much-awaited LG G Flex, the company’s first curved and flexible display smartphone, has now been listed on the company’s India website, along with pricing details. LG has given the G Flex a maximum retail price of Rs. 69,999, and we can expect the market operating price to be slightly lower at launch.

For now, LG G Flex doesn’t yet have a precise India availability date, though NDTV Gadgets has learnt the smartphone should arrive in mid-February. Back in December 2013, along with the launch of the LG 55EA9800 55-inch curved OLED television in India, the Korean consumer electronics giant had announced the G Flex for the country, and given a tentative February 2014 launch date. 

The LG G Flex at its global launch had run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It is powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. It features a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. The G Flex runs on a 3,500mAh battery, weighs 177 grams, and is 7.9mm at its thinnest, while being 8.7mm at its thickest.

As for the 6-inch curved, slightly flexible display, LG has used a curved OLED panel, which is also built on plastic substrates instead of glass, supposedly giving the phone better durability. The display features Real RGB technology to provide all three sub-pixels in one pixel, thereby making it “brighter and more precise.”

LG has also included a new ‘self-healing’ coating on the back cover, an elastic coating that supposedly has the ability to “recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive.” The LG G Flex’s self-healing capabilities have also been creating a buzz worldwide.

Apart from the ‘Rear Keys’ introduced with the G2, the LG G Flex also incorporates the some new user interface features, such as QTheater for quick access to photos, videos and YouTube from the lock screen; Dual Window for multitasking with two windows; Swing Lockscreen for a dynamic lockscreen image based on the way the phone’s held; as well as three Rear Key LED indicators – Face Detection, Camera Timer and Urgent Call Alert.