Korea Stories September 21, 2015

LG Class unveiled in Korea: Metal build, 5-inch display and support for 2TB MicroSD in tow

You may remember, just a few weeks ago, an upcoming LG device was leaked showing what looked to be a metal chassis and protruding rear camera. Today, the LG Class went official in Korea and — although it probably won’t make its way to Western markets — it looks to be a solid mid-ranger.

It’s been designed to look and feel like a quality device. Both the glass on the front and metal on the back are curved towards the left and right edges to make it feel great in hand. It’s also just 7.4mm thin, making one of the thinnest smartphones around.

Specs aren’t exactly inspiring, but typical for a mid-tier device. The 5-inch display on the front boasts 720p resolution with a pixel density of 294ppi. There’s a 13MP camera on the back and an 8MP front facing sensor. The Korean manufacturer opted for a quad-core 1.2GHz processor on the inside, along with 2GB RAM and a 2,050mAh battery.

Perhaps the most noteworthy specification is its expandable storage. Like many phones, it has a MicroSD card slot, except this one will support memory cards up to a huge 2TB after a software update is released next month. With just 16GB internal storage, that extra capacity will surely make the device much more tempting to buyers. There’s also a loud 1W loudspeaker, 4G LTE connectivity and Bluetooth 4.1. It’ll cost just under the equivalent of $340 when it goes on sale in Korea, and will be available in three colors: Blue Black, Silver and Gold.

It’s not likely that we’ll see this smartphone outside Korea, but there’s always hope that the manufacturer will release a new phone for us before the holiday season rolls around. Although I’m not holding my breath, it’d be nice to see the company compete with Samsung’s Note series.

Korea Stories July 27, 2015

Past meets future: LG’s new ‘Gentle’ flip-phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop

This morning, LG announced a brand new Android flip phone to join its ranks. The LG Gentle, or LG U Plus, will be sold for 200,000 Korean Won (roughly $171 USD) to early adopters, and be available in both navy or burgundy.

The ‘Gentle’ is aptly named, and is designed to be both soft to the touch and comfortable to hold in your palm. Flip the phone open and there’s a large traditional physical keypad with bespoke buttons for functions like launching camera and messages, for example. Although you can use the directional pad to control the phone, the 3.2-inch 480×320 LCD display is touch sensitive too.

Specs include a modest 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1,700mAh battery, 3MP rear camera, 1GB RAM and 4GB storage with the option to expand via MicroSD card. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is equipped with USB 2.0, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

It’s not the first, and almost certainly won’t be the last Android-powered clamshell launched in Korea. They are seemingly very popular with the older generation who want the latest tech in a familiar form factor.

Korea Stories May 17, 2015

In a pretty ambiguous press release, LG has come out this afternoon (or this morning for those in Seoul) to announce that its recently-announced G4 flagship will begin shipping this week to consumers in “key markets around the world.” The rollout will supposedly begin in Hong Kong, followed by introductions in Turkey, Russia, and Singapore… expand full story

Korea Stories March 4, 2015

A couple reports out of Korea today highlight some of LG’s plans for the relatively near future, including a statement (via Korea Times) from the company’s mobile chief Cho Jun-ho suggesting that the upcoming LG G4 is going to be “radically different” than its predecessor. The device will reportedly feature a “metal-mixtured” body and sport the company’s LG UX 4.0, which Cho says will be announced sometime before the new phone.

Also, LG also reportedly has a completely new device series in the works (via Korea Herald), featuring more powerful specs than the current top-of-the-line G series… expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Korea Stories January 29, 2015

LG posted its quarterly earnings numbers today and boasted  impressive numbers in its smartphone group. Globally, Smartphone sales were up 24% but in the US alone, smartphones shipments were up 78% for the quarter year over year. LG ended the year having moved 59.1 million smartphones, bolstered by its popular G3 flagship. Those aren’t Apple numbers by any stretch but still very solid.

LG also posted growth in its home entertainment sector but a net loss overall for the quarter mostly due to charges related to shutting down its Plasma business.

SEOUL, Jan. 29, 2015 ― LG Electronics Inc. (LG) today announced net profit of KRW 501.40 billion (USD 474.81million) for full-year 2014, an increase of 125 percent over 2013 net profit. Operating profit increased significantly in 2014 to KRW 1.83 trillion (USD 1.73 billion) from KRW 1.25 trillion (USD 1.14 billion) in 2013, an increase of 46 percent. Full-year consolidated revenue of KRW 59.04 trillion (USD 55.91 billion) was mainly boosted by a 24 percent increase in smartphone shipments.

The LG Mobile Communications Company reported a 16 percent increase in annual revenue to KRW 15.06 trillion (USD 14.26 billion) with help from North America, where shipments increased 78 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous year. Fourth-quarter revenue of 3.78 trillion (USD 3.48 billion) was 5 percent higher than the same period in 2013. A total of 59.1 million smartphones were shipped in 2014, an increase of 24 percent from the previous year, among 78.2 million mobile handsets sold last year. Expecting a challenging year ahead with greater competition globally from various manufacturers, LG will concentrate on improving its brand power, operating more efficiently, and focusing on selective key markets.

Korea Stories October 29, 2014

LG’s twin-track smartphone strategy – offering both premium G-series models and cheaper L-series devices – appears to be working, with the company announcing Q3 smartphone sales up by 39% to 16.8M and operating profits more than doubled to 461B won ($440M). The results beat analyst expectations, and LG said that it was bullish about future prospects.

Building on its momentum and two consecutive profitable quarters, LG expects to strengthen its positioning in the smartphone market with its G Series and L Series models despite the landscape becoming more competitive

The G3 handset in particular has helped the company gain ground against its much larger Korean rival Samsung. Samsung is due to announce its own Q3 results tomorrow, but has already issued a profit warning on the basis of low average selling prices of its phones …  expand full story

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