BlackBerry, Android and PLDT Enterprise partner to deliver a secure enterprise solution for online taxi-hailing company, MiCab

MANILA, Philippines, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB;TSX: BB) today announced it is expanding its partnerships with Android and PLDT Enterprise, through Smart Communications Inc.

MANILA, Philippines, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB;TSX: BB) today announced it is expanding its partnerships with Android and PLDT Enterprise, through Smart Communications Inc. to provide MiCab, an online taxi-hailing platform, with an integrated, secure enterprise cloud solution that maintains data privacy, meets compliance and accelerates service delivery.

The solution combines the ease-of-management and gold-standard security of BlackBerry Unified End-Point Management (UEM), with the flexible, customizable nature of Android Enterprise and network connectivity and devices from Smart. Together, the partners are enabling ‘mobile-first’ company MiCab to securely manage and connect thousands of drivers with millions of passengers via a fleet of tablet devices. In addition, BlackBerry is providing professional cybersecurity consulting services to MiCab.

Amit Mehta, Managing Director, BlackBerry South East Asia and India said, “BlackBerry is a software and services company that secures the Enterprise of Things, helping hyper-connected companies like MiCab get ultra-secure. We are excited to make this announcement today with Android, Smart and MiCab because it is a great example of how our secure platform and innovative partnerships are delivering measurable outcomes for customers, including accelerated efficiency and cost reduction. We are continuing to expand upon this innovative partnership blueprint to provide secure solutions for customers in many verticals, from finance to manufacturing and healthcare.”

MiCab provides tablets and mobile apps to local taxi firms in the Philippines, mostly in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Metro Manila. Mounted in the front of the taxis, the tablets display map, driver, passenger and fare details and are fully locked down by Android Enterprise, only allowing drivers to access the MiCab app, while being centrally managed by BlackBerry UEM. MiCab connects drivers to passengers through the MiCab app, giving real-time access to taxis based on proximity and profiles of both passengers and drivers. Instead of charging passengers booking fees or surge pricing, MiCab monetizes its business through brands and companies that want to reach its user base. With this volume of sensitive data, MiCab needed a solution that was equally as secure, as it was flexible and scalable for the growing company.

After a successful trial, MiCab has rolled out approximately 12,000 seven-inch Android tablets to its fleet of drivers secured by BlackBerry UEM, supported by Smart, and fully integrated with Android Enterprise. MiCab plans to scale up the deployment to 15,000 devices by the end of 2018, with further plans for the solution to support future initiatives in healthcare and supply-chain logistics.

MiCab Co-founder and CEO, Eddie Ybanez says, “As an agile mobile digital transportation company, our priority is to deliver the best service for our customers, however as we continue to rapidly scale, innovate and deliver smarter services, we have to address risks such as regulation and cyber threats. We have an almost endless list of requirements – compliance, flexibility, scalability, ease of deployment, price – and especially security and privacy of our customers’ sensitive information. Together, BlackBerry, Android and Smart have delivered an integrated end-to-end service that goes far beyond meeting our needs, providing a secure technology platform and support services to enable true business and customer delivery transformation.”

Under new government regulation, licensed taxi firms in the Philippines are mandated to provide GPS and free Wi-Fi in vehicles nationwide, presenting risks to sensitive customer information. Responding to this, the partners worked together with MiCab to deliver a solution that met these regulatory requirements and addressed their business transformation goals.

For passengers and drivers, MiCab is enabling new efficiencies in service delivery, starting with connecting people in remote locations in real-time and helping them avoid queues in highly populated areas. For MiCab, the BlackBerry UEM and Android Enterprise solution has enabled several benefits such as:

Offering taxi companies cost-friendly devices on affordable tariff plans from Smart Communications Flexible deployment with Android Enterprise which enables the ‘kiosk-mode’ management of devices, tracked from a single BlackBerry UEM console for complete ease of management Capability to deliver over-the-air installation of new applications and configuration updates, eliminating the need for any mass device recall Cost control by restricting data consumption through unauthorized access to applications, including the public Play Store The ability to identify and prevent device tampering such as rooting or jail-breaking, wiping stolen devices, and locking-out rogue drivers (ensuring the devices are used only for communicating with and transporting passengers) Compliance with new government regulations (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) to regulate and modernize the taxi transport system in the PhilippinesReducing costs to the business by reducing costs through Smart’s bundling of data and devices on tariff plans, combined with BlackBerry UEM Cloud and BlackBerry (Cybersecurity) Professional Services, which offers dedicated cybersecurity expertise to ensure smooth delivery

Gerard Kennedy, Head of Android Enterprise, APJ, Google says, “Android powers mobile connected workforces, with multiple layers of security, comprehensive management and a range of devices for companies throughout Asia and around the world. We partner with BlackBerry globally and are excited to see how the combined strengths of Android Enterprise, BlackBerry UEM and our partner, Smart Philippines, can deliver such impactful results for innovative, young and fast-growth businesses like MiCab. This is a great example of how the affordability and flexibility of Android Enterprise, along with its trusted security, can really drive business results.”

“The Philippines is a nation of fast emerging mobile-first enterprises, creating significant growth potential for all, but exposing companies to more cyber-risk. MiCab is one example of a customer with a set of complex requirements to create a simple offering – immediate, safe and trustworthy ride experiences. Together with BlackBerry and Android, we have offered MiCab a solution that incorporates mobile security, scale deployment, remote management, along with cost controls and reliable connectivity. We are also working with BlackBerry to offer secure and flexible business bundles for several other industries in the Philippines such as banking and finance, call centers, logistics, healthcare and certain segments of the public sector,” says Chet Alviz, AVP and Head of Enterprise Wireless Products and Smart Infinity.

MiCab CEO Eddie concludes, “In the near future, we’re also planning to further leverage the solution with new services, including MiCargo which is a cargo-logistics application that connects consumers to couriers and then a healthcare application named MiHealth which connects patients to their doctors. We see an exciting future with BlackBerry, Smart and Android and how they can support our vision.”

Why BlackBerry software?

BlackBerry UEM, part of the BlackBerry® Enterprise Mobility Suite, provides a single view of all devices (iOS, macOS, Android, Windows 10, and BlackBerry 10), apps and content management, with integrated security and connectivity. The company holds more than 80 security certifications and has widespread industry recognition of its security leadership. BlackBerry recently announced on July 26 it has been positioned in the Leaders quadrant by Gartner, Inc., the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry, in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools. This Magic Quadrant evaluates the ability to execute and completeness of vision of vendors in the unified endpoint management (UEM) tools market.

Access a complimentary copy of the complete 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools at www.blackberry.com/GartnerMQ-UEM

For further information about PLDT Enterprise, please visit: www.pldtenterprise.com. For further information about BlackBerry UEM, please visit: www.blackberry.com/enterprise.

1 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, Chris Silva, Rob Smith, Manjunath Bhat, Bryan Taylor, Rich Doheny, 23 July 2018.

Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant untuk Unified Endpoint Management Tools, Chris Silva, Rich Doheny, Bryan Taylor, Rob Smith, Manjunath Bhat, 23 Juli 2018.

About PLDT
PLDT is the leading telecommunications and digital services provider in the Philippines. Through its principal business groups – fixed line, wireless and others – PLDT offers a wide range of telecommunications and digital services across the Philippines’ most extensive fiber optic backbone, and fixed line and cellular networks. PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE:TEL) and its American Depositary Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: PHI). PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine-­listed companies.

About MiCab
MiCab is Philippines’ new mobile application for booking your next cab ride, changing the way you travel. MiCab partners with leading taxi companies, using its own technology platform to bring peace of mind for everybody in transportation. As one of the most innovative transport on-demand platform companies, we fix critical transportation problems and make ‘traveling-easy’ a reality for millions of Filipinos and soon, more people in South East Asia. MiCab is focused on creating a strategic eco-system for taxi companies, drivers and passengers, pioneering new moving alternatives with a perpetual emphasis on safety, reliability, affordability, and convenience. MiCab currently offers services in the Philippines, but will expand to major cities in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam soon. Download the MiCab app to experience friendly and safe rides on demand: www.micab.co

About BlackBerry
BlackBerry is an enterprise software and services company focused on securing and managing IoT endpoints. The company does this with BlackBerry Secure, an end-to-end Enterprise of Things platform, comprised of its enterprise communication and collaboration software and safety-certified embedded solutions. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Company trades under the ticker symbol “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

PLDT Media Contact:
Ramon R. Isberto
PLDT Spokesperson
Tel. No.: +63 2 5113101
Fax No.: +63 2 5113100

MiCab Media Contacts:
+63 32 383 1957
info@micab.co

Media Contacts:
BlackBerry
(519) 597-7273
mediarelations@BlackBerry.com

SOURCE BlackBerry Limited

Finland – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

LONDON, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Finland’s telcos wait on 3.

5GHz auction for 5G launch

Finland’s telecom market is among the more progressive in Europe, with considerable emphasis by operators to test-bed technologies, particularly in the mobile and broadband sectors.

LONDON, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Finland’s telcos wait on 3.

5GHz auction for 5G launch
Finland’s telecom market is among the more progressive in Europe, with considerable emphasis by operators to test-bed technologies, particularly in the mobile and broadband sectors. These efforts have been supported by the regulator which has provided additional spectrum for telecom services. As a result of these efforts the country enjoys one of the highest broadband and mobile penetration rates in the region, with customers able to make use of the latest iterations of technologies including DOCSIS3.1, carrier aggregation with LTE-A, and GPON fibre infrastructure.

Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/5570063

The country has an advanced mobile market and has been a pioneer in developing 5G. Trial licenses were issued to network operators in early 2018, several tests were held later in the year using spectrum in the 3.5GHz band. The auction of spectrum in this band will enabled operators to launch commercial services in early 2019 pending the release of 3.5GHz spectrum and the availability of 5G-compliant modems and devices.
Finland’s high broadband penetration has been the result of astute regulatory measures which have encouraged market competition. Companies have also been keen to invest in new technologies in a bid to address demand for improved services among customers. The government has set demanding broadband delivery targets and is working towards targets to be achieved by 2025 and 2030 which incorporate a mix of fixed-line and mobile technologies, with the former focussed on FttP and DOCSIS3.1 technologies and the latter on gigabit LTE and 5G.
This report assesses key aspects of the Finnish telecom market, providing data on the fixed network services sector together with an overview of important regulatory issues including interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. The report also provides statistics and research on the mobile market, including key regulatory issues, a snapshot of the consumer market, the growth of mobile data services and the development of emerging technologies and networks such as HSPA, LTE and 5G. In addition the report profiles the fixed and wireless broadband markets, and analyses developments in related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite.

Key developments:
Telia Finland and Finnish postal service pilot smart mail boxes with NB-IoT;
Telia Finland waiting on 3.5GHz auction before launching 5G services in early 2019;
DNA upgrades core and regional networks in preparation for 5G;
Elisa launches pre-commercial 5G service;
Nokia launches key technologies for the Smart Tampere project;
Cinia Group participates in the Arctic Connect cable linking Europe with North America and Asia;
Fixed-voice subscriptions continue to fall;
Regulator concedes roaming charge extension to June 2019;
DNA trials Gigabit LTE service using carrier aggregation technology;
Elisa trials Nokia’s XGS-PON technology providing data at up to 10Gb/s;
Government prepares national broadband targets for 2025 and 2030;
DNA contracts Teleste to provide DOCSIS3.1 equipment;
Telia trials G.fast technology in Helsinki with Huawei;
DSL subscriber base shrinks as customers migrate to fibre infrastructure;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2017, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:
Telia, DNA, Elisa, Digita, Finnet Group, TDC Finland, Tele2

Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/5570063

About Reportbuyer
Reportbuyer is a leading industry intelligence solution that provides all market research reports from top publishers

For more information:
Sarah Smith
Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com
Email: sarah@reportbuyer.com
Tel: +1 (718) 213 4904
Website: www.reportbuyer.com

SOURCE ReportBuyer

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LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled its newest premium smartphone featuring a total of five cameras to redefine the standard of smartphone photography. The latest iteration of the company’s acclaimed V series, the LG V40 ThinQ, is an uncompromising multimedia powerhouse device designed for today’s generation of storytellers that prefer to communicate with visuals and videos, especially on social media.

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled its newest premium smartphone featuring a total of five cameras to redefine the standard of smartphone photography. The latest iteration of the company’s acclaimed V series, the LG V40 ThinQ, is an uncompromising multimedia powerhouse device designed for today’s generation of storytellers that prefer to communicate with visuals and videos, especially on social media.

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LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™ LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™

LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™ LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™

LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™ LG Delivers Ultimate Five Camera Smartphone With LG V40 ThinQ™

The LG V40 ThinQ retains the V series design philosophy with an improved 6.4-inch FullVision OLED display and slimmer bezels than its predecessor. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, the LG V40 ThinQ again delivers the innovations that have made the LG V series a favorite among power usersi.

Seeing the Light with Five Cameras
In order to deliver a standout smartphone for today’s content-creating social generation, LG designed the LG V40 ThinQ from the ground up to deliver a truly all-encompassing smartphone camera experience. The LG V40 ThinQ features a rear camera module with three different lenses: 16MP super wide, 12MP standard and 12MP telephoto zoom. The three different lenses allow for creators to frame shots differently without changing one’s position relative to the subject. The 107-degree super wide angle lens captures subjects with more of the background with ease, while the telephoto with 2x optical zoom takes closer shots from a distance without a loss in image quality. Taking advantage of the three camera setup, LG has included the Triple Preview feature that lets users view all three different angles before taking a photo. Users can also take three photos simultaneously with the rear cameras through the Triple Shot feature.

The front camera module features a 8MP standard angle and 5MP wide angle lens that work in tandem to create the perfect bokeh effect with an on-screen slider to adjust the amount of background blur. Other features allow selfie lovers to personalize their photos even more with unique lighting and special effects.

The pixel size of the main rear camera sensor has been improved by about 40 percent compared to the LG V30, increasing from 1μm to 1.4μm, while the image sensor is more than 15 percent larger than in the LG V30. In addition to delivering the sharpest and brightest images of any LG smartphone camera, the F1.5 aperture of the main camera delivers greater depth of field, 50 percent less shutter lag, and a burst mode over 33 percent faster than the LG V30.

What’s more, Dual Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) delivers automatic fast focusing, requiring as little as 130 milliseconds between shots. The advanced HDR feature analyzes and determines the right exposure settings to create perfectly lit shots, eliminating overexposed backgrounds or underexposed subjects. Focus on the subject is maintained because the camera checks sharpness continuously until the shutter button is depressed.

LG updated its AI CAM to be even more powerful and intuitive than ever. The third generation AI CAM not only delivers optimal color settings but shutter speed as well. Capture the shot with a camera so clever, it knows exactly what you’re shooting by recognizing up to 19 subjects and recommending 4 optimized filter options based. AI Shutter quickly selects the right shutter speed, which is especially useful when trying to shoot moving subjects.

Immersive Sight and Sound
The LG V40 ThinQ sports a new 6.4-inch QHD+ (3120 x 1440) OLED FullVision display and a bottom bezel that has been reduced to only 5.7mm. With a total of 4.15 million pixels, owners can enjoy vivid and vibrant content that only an OLED display can deliver.

LG has always prioritized high fidelity audio in its smartphones and the LG V40 ThinQ is no exception. The phone is equipped with a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC tuned in collaboration with premium British audio expert, Meridian, to produce a balanced sound signature that comes extremely close to the quality of an original recording.

Listening to music or watching videos through the built-in speaker takes on a whole new dimension with Boombox Speaker. Originally introduced on the LG G7 ThinQ, Boombox Speaker doubles the bass of conventional smartphone speakers by utilizing the internal space of the device as a resonance chamber. When placed on a solid surface or hollow box, the LG V40 ThinQ acts like a woofer to amplify the bass even more.

Minimalist Design and Built to Last
The clean lines and sophisticated colors emphasizes the three main design elements of the LG V40 ThinQ: touch, color, and molding. With the objective to create a design that will stand the test of time, the simple yet beautiful exterior is the perfect complement to the wealth of innovative technologies found on the LG V40 ThinQ.

The phone will be available in the U.S. in the charming colors of Aurora Black and Moroccan Blue. The Aurora Black showcases the stunning, polished finish beloved by LG fans, while the Moroccan Blue’s tempered glass back undergoes a sandblast treatment that etches the surface microscopically, creating a matt finish that is silky in the hand without being slippery.

The LG V40 ThinQ retains the slim and light design heritage of the V series, weighing only 169g and measuring a svelte 7.7mm in thickness. And like its predecessor, the LG V40 ThinQ meets the MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Testii, passing 14 categories, and is IP68 ratediii.

“The LG V40 ThinQ was designed with the main goal to deliver an uncompromised experience for users to create, consume and share high quality content,” said Hwang Jeong-hwan, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The versatility of the camera and the proven V series platform makes the LG V40 ThinQ a serious option for customers looking for a premium smartphone that does it all.”

The LG V40 ThinQ will be available beginning October 18th. Pricing will start at $899.99 and will vary by carrier. For more information, visit www.lg.com/v40.

Introducing LG’s Hybrid Watch
Alongside the LG V40 ThinQ, LG announced its first hybrid smartwatch, the LG Watch W7, a wearable device that combines mechanical hands with digital functionalities. As the first LG wearable to run the new wearable platform Wear OS by Google, the LG Watch W7 is designed for consumers who value the look of a traditional timepiece but desire the convenient functionalities of a connected smartwatch.

The LG Watch W7 features high-precision movement and physical watch hands wrapped in a stainless steel body. In addition to keeping accurate time, the mechanical hands also display additional information such as altimeter, barometer, stopwatch, timer and compass directions. The LG Watch W7 runs for two days on a single chargeiv and up to 100 days in watch-only modev. And because this device runs Wear OS by Google, it can be customized thousands of different ways with unique watch faces and complications available online.

LG Watch W7 will be available at Best Buy at a price of $449.99. Preorders begin on Sunday, October 7th, and will be available in store on October 14th.

Key Specifications:*

Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform Display: 6.4-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ OLED FullVision Display (3120 x 1440 / 636.92ppi) Memory: 6GB LPDDR4 RAM Storage: 64GB UFS 2.0 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)i Camera: Rear: 16MP Super Wide (F1.9 / 1.0μm / 107°) 12MP Standard (F1.5 / 1.4μm / 78°) 12MP Telephoto (F2.4 / 1.0μm / 45°)Front: 8MP Standard (F1.9 / 1.4μm / 80°) 5MP Wide (F2.2 / 1.4μm / 90°) Battery: 3300mAh Fast Wireless Charging Qualcomm Quick Charge™ 3.0Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo Size: 2.98 x 0.3 x 6.25″ Weight: 169g / 5.96oz Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible) Video Recording: 3840×2160 (4K, 60 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p FHD, 240 fps) High Dynamic Range mode (HDR): Standard, Wide, TeleDigital Image Stabilization: Standard, Wide, Tele Colors: New Aurora Black / New Moroccan Blue *Will vary upon region and carrierOther: IP68 Water and Dust Resistantiii Corning Gorilla Glass 5 MIL-STD-810 certifiedii 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DACviBoombox Speaker DTS:X 3D Surround Sound Fingerprint Sensor Face Recognition Voice Recognition Google Assistant Google Lens

* Specifications, features and accessories may vary depending on the particular market.

About LG Electronics USA

LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $55 billion global force and technology leader in home appliances, consumer electronics and mobile communications. LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home appliances, home entertainment products, mobile phones, commercial displays, air conditioning systems and solar energy solutions in the United States, all under LG’s “Life’s Good” marketing theme. For more news and information on LG Electronics, please visit www.LG.com.

LG and the LG logo are registered trademarks of LG Corp. V40 ThinQ is a trademark of LG Electronics, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

i Usable memory varies depending on software version and settings. Actual available storage begins at 45.71 GB
ii Passed 14 different MIL-STD 810G Tests for durability conducted by an independent laboratory in U.S. that conforms to U.S. military standards. Device may not perform as tested in all conditions. Test performed in controlled environment. Do not attempt.
iii Tested under controlled laboratory conditions with an IP68 rating. Water resistant up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. Dry before using. Do not charge while wet.
iv Actual usage time will vary based on connectivity and application use.
v In Just Watch mode only.
vi Wired headphones or speakers required.

SOURCE LG Electronics USA

LG Watch W7 is a weird hybrid of Wear OS and a mechanical Swiss watch – CNET

LG has a brand new phone, the LG V40, but it also has a new watch. The LG Watch W7 is the company’s first smartwatch since the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style in early 2017.

LG has a brand new phone, the LG V40, but it also has a new watch. The LG Watch W7 is the company’s first smartwatch since the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style in early 2017. But instead of aiming at pure fitness, the Watch W7 is going high fashion with an unexpected twist: It’s a hybrid Wear OS smartwatch that blends a display and a real Swiss watch.

Advanced smartwatches still have a problem, and that problem is battery life. The Apple Watch lasts a day and a half. Google Wear OS watches, about a day. The Samsung Galaxy Watch: two days or so. Some watches have tried to tackle battery life with improved low-power chips, simplified functions, using mechanical hands or running off body heat.

The LG Watch W7 is the first hybrid Google smartwatch that we’ve ever seen, one that blends physical hands with an actual screen underneath. What does that mean, exactly? Here’s what we know.

It looks… like a normal watch

Despite seeming strange in concept, photos make it look utterly normal. The round watch looks even more normal thanks to its physical watch hands. The LED display beneath adds extra design for watch faces, and also shows information like any other Google Wear OS watch. That could make this an interesting choice for a “I want a smartwatch that looks like a normal watch” person.

On the side, two buttons and a spinning crown control extra features, similar to other Wear OS watches we’ve seen.

Battery life goes long, but only in nonsmartwatch mode

The mechanical watch part of the LG Watch W7, made by Swiss watch component manufacturer Soprod SA, works independently from Wear OS and basically lets the watch last for 100 days in a nonsmartwatch, basic time-telling mode.

With the OLED display and Wear OS connected, the LG Watch W7 lasts two days, similar to many other smartwatches.

Another odd thing about the Watch W7 is that, despite aiming for better battery life, it does not use Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, which aims to offer longer-life standard watch modes that last up to 30 days. Instead, the W7 runs off the older Wear 2100 chip platform, and the 240-mAh battery isn’t particularly large by smartwatch standards.

Limited fitness features

Most other recent Wear OS watches have focused on adding heart rate, NFC payments, GPS and water resistance to catch up with the Apple Watch. The W7 doesn’t have onboard GPS and drops heart rate altogether. It only has IP68 water resistance, which is rated for 30 minutes of water immersion, but not swimming. It does have an altimeter/barometer, though. It also offers NFC for Google Pay.

Those physical watch hands could get in the way

The watch has completely real hands, lit up for night viewing. But that also means part of the display’s obscured. The hands can move aside temporarily when showing notifications, but it seems like it could get weird at times, too. Once we get to use one, we’ll know more about how this works.

Who is this for?

Good question. The LG Watch W7 is targeted at fashion-watch folk, those who want an everyday mechanical-type watch. It’s also odd because Google and Qualcomm are working with high-end Swiss watch manufacturers already, and those pricey Wear OS smartwatches from Tag Heuer and Montblanc, among others, don’t have any mechanical aspect at all.

The watch’s design is clearly in the bigger-men’s-watch category as far as style, something many other round smartwatches tend to fall into — the Samsung Galaxy Watch comes to mind.

We’ll be reviewing the LG Watch W7 as soon as we can, and will follow up with hands-on impressions.

LG Watch W7 specs Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
1.2-inch LCD, 360×360 pixels, 300 ppi
768MB RAM
4GB storage
240-mAh battery
1.75 by 0.51 by 1.79 inches (44 by 13 by 45 mm)
2.8 ounces (79 grams)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
USB-C compatible charger
Cloud Silver
IP68 water and dust resistant
Accelerometer, gyro, magnetic, pressure, compass, altimeter, barometer


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LG V40 packs in a bunch of cameras and a big screen

LG V40 ThinQ review: CNET’s verdict on LG’s latest flagship phone.

Wear OS: Google’s new watch update is surprisingly good.

Garmin adds Spotify to its music watches – CNET

Spotify is coming to another smartwatch — but it’s not the Apple Watch.

Garmin on Wednesday announced that it’s integrating the popular music streaming service with compatible Garmin music watches, starting with its Fenix 5 Plus Series.

Spotify is coming to another smartwatch — but it’s not the Apple Watch.

Garmin on Wednesday announced that it’s integrating the popular music streaming service with compatible Garmin music watches, starting with its Fenix 5 Plus Series.

Owners of the Fenix 5 Plus Series who subscribe to Spotify Premium can now sync playlists directly to their watches via Wi-Fi, taking their phones out of the mix. They can then access their playlists through the Spotify app on their watch.

The Spotify app is available now in the Connect IQTM store for the Fenix 5 Plus Series. Garmin currently has a handful of music watches, including the Forerunner 645 Music and Vivoactive 3 Music. “More models will be supported soon,” a company spokesperson told CNET.

Previously, only Samsung featured Spotify integration with its smartwatches. Apple, as noted, has yet to offer it with the Apple Watch.

Now playing:Watch this: Garmin Vivosport melds the fitness band with the smartwatch
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Hands-on with Garmin’s high-end Fenix 5 multisport watches

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Forget 802.11ac and meet the Wi-Fi 5 wireless standards that’s easier to understand

Changes are afoot to make the names of Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac easier to understand by simplifying them to a plain single number.

To that end, 802.11ac – which is used by the majority of contemporary routers – will be renamed just Wi-Fi 5, and the preceding generation 802.11n tech will be called Wi-Fi 4, as you could probably guess.

Changes are afoot to make the names of Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac easier to understand by simplifying them to a plain single number.

To that end, 802.11ac – which is used by the majority of contemporary routers – will be renamed just Wi-Fi 5, and the preceding generation 802.11n tech will be called Wi-Fi 4, as you could probably guess. The incoming 802.11ax next-gen Wi-Fi will be – wait for it – yes, Wi-Fi 6.

This is much more comprehensible for the average consumer to grasp – a simple generational label much along the lines of mobile networks being 3G, 4G and the incoming 5G.

This move comes courtesy of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which noted that the current designations are too convoluted and sound far too technical, which is true enough. After all, who really needs five numbers, a full-stop, and extra letters when it comes to naming a wireless standard?

With the new scheme of things, device manufacturers and operating system developers can slap a simple label on their respective products, meaning consumers can more easily tell at a glance which wireless standards are supported.

Name game

Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, commented: “For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi.

“Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.”

Wi-Fi 6 (previously known as 802.11ax, as mentioned) is not only about improving speeds over Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) – although it will certainly be substantially faster – but it will also focus on ensuring better performance in environments with densely packed wireless signals, like blocks of apartments with routers aplenty.

We show you how to get superfast Wi-Fi in every room

Forget 802.11ac and meet Wi-Fi 5 as wireless standards get easier to understand

Changes are afoot to make the names of Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac easier to understand by simplifying them to a plain single number.

To that end, 802.11ac – which is used by the majority of contemporary routers – will be renamed just Wi-Fi 5, and the preceding generation 802.11n tech will be called Wi-Fi 4, as you could probably guess.

Changes are afoot to make the names of Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac easier to understand by simplifying them to a plain single number.

To that end, 802.11ac – which is used by the majority of contemporary routers – will be renamed just Wi-Fi 5, and the preceding generation 802.11n tech will be called Wi-Fi 4, as you could probably guess. The incoming 802.11ax next-gen Wi-Fi will be – wait for it – yes, Wi-Fi 6.

This is much more comprehensible for the average consumer to grasp – a simple generational label much along the lines of mobile networks being 3G, 4G and the incoming 5G.

This move comes courtesy of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which noted that the current designations are too convoluted and sound far too technical, which is true enough. After all, who really needs five numbers, a full-stop, and extra letters when it comes to naming a wireless standard?

With the new scheme of things, device manufacturers and operating system developers can slap a simple label on their respective products, meaning consumers can more easily tell at a glance which wireless standards are supported.

Name game

Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, commented: “For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi.

“Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.”

Wi-Fi 6 (previously known as 802.11ax, as mentioned) is not only about improving speeds over Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) – although it will certainly be substantially faster – but it will also focus on ensuring better performance in environments with densely packed wireless signals, like blocks of apartments with routers aplenty.

We show you how to get superfast Wi-Fi in every room

First look: Nest Thermostat-E

They keep you warm, save you money, and can even make your home look great, so it’s no wonder that smart thermostats are becoming an increasingly popular addition to the smart home.

They keep you warm, save you money, and can even make your home look great, so it’s no wonder that smart thermostats are becoming an increasingly popular addition to the smart home.

Now, one of the smart home market leaders Nest has just launched its latest model, the Thermostat-E, in the UK. At £199, the Thermostat-E is considerably cheaper than previous models like the Nest Learning Thermostat, which comes in at around £300 when you factor in professional installation and accessories – the old models do looks a little more luxe however.

With the first shipments expected to reach customers by mid-October and, despite being available in the US for a number of months already, comes with cool UK-specific features, including ‘Heatlink’, which is Nest’s alternative to wired thermostats, and a predesigned heating schedule.

Design

There are two components to the Thermostat-E; the thermostat itself, and the wall mounted ‘Heatlink’, which acts as a replacement for traditional wired thermostats – both are designed to fit in seamlessly with any style of decor.

The thermostat itself looks a little like an alarm clock, with a modern-looking white casing and frosted display, which hides the temperature when not in use. As it’s not designed to be wall-mounted, the Thermostat-E can be placed on any surface in the home, and would look great on a desk or bedside table.

One downside to this design is that the Thermostat-E has to be plugged to the mains with a two metre long cable, so if you want to go completely wireless, this may not be the thermostat for you.

Hiding the temperature when the thermostat is not in use is a cool feature, and makes the the Thermostat-E even less intrusive, however the frosted display can be a bit difficult to read at times.

Nest was acquired by Google in 2014, and this is reflected in the design of the Heatlink element of the Thermostat-E, which uses the same grey fabric covering as the Google Home, making the Heatlink an attractive alternative to the traditional wired thermostat.

This means that the your thermostat could be an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, rather than something you hide away in the boiler cupboard, which will appeal to the more design-conscious consumer.

Furthermore, you won’t need to hire a professional to install the Thermostat-E, with the Nest app walking you through the stages of installation – however it won’t work with more complex multi-stage heating and cooling systems, which is more suited to the Nest Learning Thermostat.

The Thermostat-E can either be controlled using the dedicated app, which connects to the device via your WiFi, or by using the thermostat directly – simply turn the white exterior ring left and right to turn the temperature up and down, and push the ring in to go to the setting menu, which we found was really easy to use.

In addition, if you have small children, you can turn on child lock to stop them from turning the heating up and down – a lifesaver for busy parents who don’t have time to be constantly monitoring their thermostat.

Features

One of the most exciting things about the Thermostat-E is that it learns your unique schedule over time, meaning that after a week of use, you no longer need to adjust the temperature manually. However, you don’t have to wait a week to use a pre-designed schedule – Nest took data from UK homes to create an average heating and cooling schedule, which should help you to save energy straight from the box.

The Thermostat-E contains four sensors that measure temperature and humidity, as well as occupancy, which uses infrared light that tells the machine if someone is home, plus an ambient light sensor so that the screen doesn’t appear too bright in a darkened room.

The occupancy sensor is particularly useful, as it automatically tells the thermostat to turn the heating down when nobody is home, which could end up saving you a fair amount of money in heating bills.

One issue that could arise from using a free-standing thermostat like the Thermostat-E is sunlight-based temperature discrepancies; for example, if the thermostat is sitting in direct sunlight all day, it may interpret the ambient temperature as being warmer than in actually is.

To combat this, Nest has ensured that the Thermostat-E understands the difference between heat from the sun and ambient temperature, which should make it extremely accurate in all seasons.

As the Thermostat-E is Google Assistant-enabled, you can ask it to turn the temperature up or down using a compatible smart speaker likes the Google Home, or the Polk Assist, adding another layer of ease to controlling your heating. This process would be even more seamless if Google Assistant was integrated into the Thermostat-E directly, negating the use for a third-party speaker, although we imagine this would come at a substantially higher cost.

Final thoughts

At a first glance, the Thermostat-E certainly looks the part, combining sleek design with intuitive machine learning to make heating your home a far easier and more attractive process.

Although the design is less luxurious than previous models, the Thermostat-E will probably appeal to a far wider audience and more decor styles than the pricier Nest Learning Thermostat.

At £199, it’s not exactly cheap in real terms, but compared to other models on the market the Thermostat-E is fairly inexpensive, particularly when you consider the money it could save you in energy bills.

With easy installation, a pre-designed heating schedule, and Google Assistant, the Thermostat-E could be a great addition to your home, whether you’re buying your first smart device, or making a new addition to your smart home setup.

Nest Learning Thermostat review

New Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K packs Dolby Vision and HDR10+ in the same device

Sandwiched between the Roku Premiere and upcoming third-generation Chromecast that’s reported to be revealed at Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 event on October 9, Amazon today has unveiled a new entry in the affordable, small and powerful category: the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

Sandwiched between the Roku Premiere and upcoming third-generation Chromecast that’s reported to be revealed at Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 event on October 9, Amazon today has unveiled a new entry in the affordable, small and powerful category: the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

Not only will Amazon’s thumb drive-sized streaming device be capable of 4K HDR playback, but the updated streaming stick will have a number of new specs – like an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip and a 1.7GHz quad-core processor – that will help it compete with (and potentially beat out) the two new small form factor streaming devices from Roku and Google.

Of course, new hardware isn’t the only trick up the Fire TV Stick’s sleeve.

Despite sitting underneath Amazon’s refreshed Amazon Fire TV dongle, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K will offer just as much functionality as its larger predecessor with the added capability of streaming 4K HDR content in HDR10, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats – a first for any streaming device.

On top of offering three types of HDR support, the Amazon Fire TV 4K will support Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound for Amazon’s growing library of Atmos-enabled content – another feature that’s found on only a handful of streaming devices at the moment – and should be about 80% more powerful than the current-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick in-stores now.

Add to all of that Alexa integration either via Amazon’s new-and-improved Amazon Alexa Voice Remote or Echo device – and an unbelievable low sticker price of $49 (around £39, AU$68) – and you have a potentially strong contender for king of the streaming stick wars when Fire TV Stick 4K becomes available on October 31 in the US and Canada and November 14 in the UK, Germany and India.

Amazon’s Alexa Voice Remote has a few neat new tricks, too.

All-in-one compatibility with the Alexa Voice Remote

One of the larger complaints we had about the Amazon Fire TV is that the remote didn’t let you control the volume like some other streaming devices – something that Amazon has set out to fix with the new Amazon Alexa Voice Remote.

The remote, which can be purchased separately for $29.99 (around £20, AU$40), adds dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons to the traditional Amazon Fire TV remote design and allows you to control most AV devices connected to your TV.

While Amazon didn’t come out and say it directly, all this capability likely comes down to the player adopting CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) via HDMI ARC.

The remote itself combines Bluetooth and multidirectional infrared technology (a technology employed by the Amazon Fire TV Cube) and could be the all-in-one solution Amazon desperately needs for its players.

The Alexa Voice Remote will be available the same day as the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (October 31 for United States and Canada, November 14 in the UK, Germany, and India) and will be available bundled with the Amazon Fire TV Cube in the US starting on October 31.

Don’t miss our round-up of the best 4K TVs in 2018

Here come Wi-Fi 4, 5 and 6 in plan to simplify 802.11 networking names – CNET

Quick quiz: which is better, 802.11n or 802.11ac?

The answer, if you’re familiar with Wi-Fi standards coming from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is 802.11ac — and by the way, the upcoming 802.11ax is better than both.

Quick quiz: which is better, 802.11n or 802.11ac?

The answer, if you’re familiar with Wi-Fi standards coming from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is 802.11ac — and by the way, the upcoming 802.11ax is better than both.

But in an effort to make the wireless networking terms more useful and less like alphanumeric gibberish, the Wi-Fi Alliance trade group has some new names it wants for those technologies: Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6.

The idea is to be clearer about what’s better and what your phone or home router can handle without sounding as much like an electronic engineer. Not that there’s anything wrong with electronic engineers, but even techies can have a hard time remembering that IEEE 802.11 means wireless networks, IEEE 1394 governs FireWire data connections, and IEEE 802.3 is about Ethernet network connections.

The underlying Wi-Fi specifications will keep their IEEE technical names, of course. The Wi-Fi Alliance comes later in the development process, just before the point when consumers get involved, smoothing the way with compatibility tests that let device manufacturers put reassuring certification logos on their product boxes.

Even though there were older versions of the Wi-Fi specs — 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g — the Wi-Fi Alliance isn’t going to try to reach back that far in time and attach any 1, 2 or 3 version numbers to them.

Changing brands can be rough as people try to reconcile the old and new labels. But if it all works out as planned, we can chalk it up as a victory for the ordinary person.

And cross your fingers that the marketing people don’t get carried away and stick us with Wi-Fi 2020, Wi-Fi XS Max or Wi-Fi Creators Edition.

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