The LG G8X Is the Company’s Latest Attempt to Make Dual-Screen Phones a Thing


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Smartphones have basically gotten as large as they can reasonably get without some sort of radical design change. Samsung and Huawei are working with foldable OLED technology to allow phones to transform into tablets, but LG is still pushing the dual-screen design. The new G8X is the latest phone with one of the company’s snap-on Dual Screen accessories. Even with some new design refinements, this is going to be a tough sell. 

As you might have guessed, the LG G8X ThinQ is a modified version of the G8 that launched earlier this year. It ditches the silly and almost inoperable motion controls, allowing for a smaller display notch. Inside, it’s a typical 2019 flagship phone with a Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There’s also a headphone jack, which is something of an anomaly these days. 

The phone itself isn’t the interesting part; it’s how the phone interacts with LG’s latest Dual Screen case. The 6.4-inch OLED in the phone clocks in at 2340 x 1080 and the case has an identical OLED. This is a change from past Dual Screen accessories which didn’t always match the phone’s display. In fact, the case even has a fake display notch at the top for its non-existent camera. There’s another display on the outside of the Dual Screen case as well. This 2.1-inch monochrome panel lets you quickly check the time and notifications without opening the phone. 

Past Dual Screen cases also relied on pogo pins on the back of the phone for connectivity, but this one connects to the phone via the USB Type-C port. LG also says it’s less of a drain on the phone’s battery, which has grown to 4,000mAh from 3,500mAh in the previous G8. 

With the Dual Screen case connected, you can run two apps side-by-side on the G8X. Those could be two separate web pages or something more elaborate like a game and a video player. You can even turn the phone into a miniature laptop by pulling up LG’s keyboard app on one screen with an app in landscape on the other. 

At this point, you may think this sounds like a good deal. After all, flip cases for phones are not exactly a new idea and plenty of people like them. However, like all LG Dual Screen systems, this thing is bulky at about 15mm thick and 326 grams. For comparison, the Galaxy Fold only weighs 263 grams, and it’s about half a millimeter thicker when closed. App developers need to get on-board to enable advanced functionality, too. LG will have to move a lot of units to have any hope of significant support, and that’s far from a certainty. 

LG will ship the G8X ThinQ in the fourth quarter of the year. Specific market availability and pricing will be announced closer to release.

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Filmmakers Declare War on ‘Soap Opera Effect’, Announce New TV Mode


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No one, as far as I can tell, really likes post-processed motion interpolation, also called motion smoothing or the “Soap Opera Effect” (SOE). It can work well for certain kinds of broadcasts, like sports, but its benefits in this arena are outweighed by the generally disliked, overly smooth presentation everywhere else. Unfortunately, modern TVs often ship with motion interpolation enabled, and most consumers aren’t aware of the feature or how to turn it off. If a new push from the UHD Alliance is successful, it’ll be easier to disable the option in the future.

Motion interpolation refers to the process of generating and inserting new frames of animation between the existing frames that were actually captured by the camera. (Interpolation means “to insert into something else.”) While the term “Soap Opera Effect” is often used to describe this type of video, there is a difference: Old-school soap operas were often recorded on videotape at 60 frames per second because their daily broadcast schedules made working on film impossible. Higher frame rates gave these shows a distinct look, but they weren’t creating and inserting new frames in-between existing ones. The difference between actual SOE and motion interpolation is that while interpolation looks like SOE in terms of smoothness and fluidity, it can also introduce artifacts that didn’t exist in the original material.

The following video gives an illustration of the difference between turning motion interpolation on versus off in two different scenarios:

The UHD Alliance has announced plans for a new Filmmaker Mode to be supported on consumer sets in the future. A number of major Hollywood directors weighed in approving the change, including Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese, and Christopher Nolan.

One of the problems with motion smoothing is that it’s often implemented in TVs under very different names. For example, LG calls it “TruMotion,” Vizio labels it “Smooth Motion Effect,” and Panasonic calls it “Intelligent Frame Creation.” All three companies are supposedly on board with the Filmmaker Mode option, which would disable these and other post-processing effects to provide a movie-watching experience closer to that intended by the director.

The idea behind Filmmaker Mode is that it will take effect automatically when appropriate content is detected or else be easily accessible as a remote button. Either option would be an improvement over having to dig through a TV’s various menus. In aggregate, Filmmaker Mode is supposed to:

  • Apply a D65 white point to both SDR and HDR content
  • Maintain source content frame rate and aspect ratio
  • Disable motion interpolation
  • Disable overscanning
  • Sharpening and noise reduction are both disabled
  • All other image ‘enhancement’ processes are disabled

“Having a single name,” says Warner Bros Vice President of Technology Michael Zink, “is essential to delivering the message to consumers that if you want to see movies the way they were intended to be seen, you should watch them in Filmmaker Mode. You shouldn’t have this distinction we had before where ‘you should watch it in X mode on this TV, or ‘Y’ mode on that TV’. That dilutes the message. So a single name was really important.”

Some of these features may be important on lower-end TVsSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce to prevent them from showing flaws or defects that manufacturers otherwise hide with post-processing tricks, so it isn’t clear if Filmmaker Mode will be a win for everyone. But provided the feature can be disabled or enabled at will, it should offer a much closer experience to what the filmmaker intended — and the ability to turn specific features back on if needed, if the final product doesn’t look good on your specific display.

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At a Glance: LG 49WL95C-W Review


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Multiple monitors are almost essential for heavy multitasking on modern systems, but this is slowly changing thanks to the introduction of large-format displays. Having a single large display offers clear advantages over a multi-monitor setup, as the one display typically takes up less space on your desk and has fewer cables. LG’s 49WL95C-W measures an enormous 49-inches diagonally, and testing has shown this monitor is a worthy contender for your home or office.

Design and Features

LG’s 49WL95C-W display features an IPS panel that has a native resolution of 5,120×1,440. This resolution and the monitor’s physical size give it essentially the same pixel count and desktop real estate as two 27-inch 2,560×1,440 monitors placed side by side.

The 49WL95C-W’s secondary features include four USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port with support for DisplayPort over USB-C. The display also features a pair of 10W speakers. In testing, our sister site PCMag found these speakers surprisingly good and able to produce loud, quality sound.

There’s a lack of gaming-oriented features on this display, however; gamers should look elsewhere.

LG factory-calibrates its 49WL95C-W displays to cover 99 percent of the sRGB color space. PCMag tested this using a Klein K10-A colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and SpectraCal CalMAN 5 software and found the display’s color accuracy to be somewhat lacking. Instead of covering 99 percent of the sRGB color space, the monitor was able to cover just 98.3 percent. This difference is relatively small though.

Conclusion

LG listed the 49WL95C-W with an MSRP of $1,499.99, but you can buy it now for just $1,249.00 from Amazon. This makes the display a significantly better deal than LG’s 38UC99-W, which is smaller at 38-inches and retails for the same price. LG will face fierce competition from others in the monitor business though. Acer, for example, also sells a 38-inch widescreen display with a comparably high resolution for just $899.99 on Amazon. Samsung’s CHG90 is able to match the 49WL95C-W for size and at a lower price point, though its resolution is somewhat lower. All things considered, however, I’d recommend LG’s 49WL95C-W as an excellent replacement to a traditional multi-monitor setup.

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LG Teases V60 ThinQ Announcement with Another Dual-Screen Accessory


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LG turned its V-series flagship smartphone into a vehicle to promote 5G early this year, and it looks like the company is already preparing for a V60 ThinQ launch. Like the V50, this phone will have an optional dual-screen accessory, and it’ll most likely support select 5G networks out of the box. 

The only concrete information we have comes from a teaser invitation for LG’s IFA event in Berlin on September 6th. The video shows a phone with two screens — that’s not one screen that folds in the middle like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Samsung’s hardware prowess is undeniably greater than LG, and even Samsung has struggled to make a folding phone work. LG appears to be sticking with the optional second screen attachment. 

If the V60 is anything like the V50, the screen attachment will be integrated into a folio-style case. The V50 had a 6.2-inch OLED, which got power from a bank of pogo pins on the phone side of the case. One of the pins also passed data between the phone and case, allowing it to be a secondary display. This was, of course, a very weird niche accessory for a smartphone, and consequently, it never launched in most markets. 

This launch is timed like its past V-series announcements — we’ll probably see the phone launch in early fall after the IFA announcement. The V50 was never released on most carriers, but the V60 could be a wide release. The only change we can clearly identify in the video is an additional display on the case. There’s a small external screen that displays the date and time. It may also have other functionality that is not apparent from the brief video. We can safely assume the V60 will have updated flagship internals including the Snapdragon 855 or 855+. 

LG’s decision to feature the dual-screen case in the teaser suggests it might roll the case out to all markets. That would at least make the V60 an interesting device. The V50 got a little attention as one of the first 5G-enabled smartphones. This fall, Samsung is going to have 5G versions of the Galaxy S10 and the new Note 10 on sale. The V60 will go head-to-head with Samsung’s flagships, and it can’t lean on 5G like a crutch. 

LG’s V60 ThinQ unveiling will happen on September 6th. You can expect it to go on sale a few weeks later. 

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Analogue’s Mega Sg is the Sega Genesis Mini alternative for the discerning retro gaming fan – gpgmail


The official Sega Genesis Mini is coming in September and hopes to capitalize on some of the retro gaming hype that turned the Super Nintendo and NES Mini Classic editions into best-sellers. But there’s already a modern piece of hardware out there capable of playing Sega Genesis games on your HDTV — plus Mega Drive, Master System and Sega CD, too.

The Analogue Mega Sg is the third in a series of reference-quality, FPGA-based retro consoles from Analogue, a company that prides itself on accuracy in old-school gaming. It provides unparalleled, non-emulated gameplay with zero lag and full 1080p output to work with your HD or even 4K TV in a way no other old-school gaming hardware can.

For $189.99 (which is just about double the asking price of the Sega Genesis Mini), you get the console itself, an included Master System cartridge adapter, an HDMI cable and a USB cable for power supply (plus a USB plug, though, depending on your TV, you might be able to power it directly). The package also includes a silicon pad should you want to use it with original Sega CD hardware, which plugs into the bottom of the SG hardware just like it did with the original Genesis. It includes two ports that support original wired Genesis controllers, or you can also opt to pick up an 8bitdo M30 wireless Genesis controller and adapter, which retails for $24.99.

Like the Nt mini did for NES, and the Super Nt did for SNES before it, the Mega Sg really delivers when it comes to performance. Games look amazing on my 4K LG OLED television, and I can choose from a variety of video output settings to tune it to my liking, including adding simulated retro scaliness and more to make it look more like your memory of playing on an old CRT television.

Sound is likewise excellent — those opening notes of Ecco the Dolphin sounded fantastic rendered in 48KHz 16-bit stereo coming out of my Sonos sound system. Likewise, Sonic’s weird buzzsaw razor whine came through exactly as remembered, but definitely in higher definition than anything that actually played out of my old TV speakers as a kid.

Even if you don’t have a pile of original Sega cartridges sitting around ready to play (though I bet you do if you’re interested in this piece of kit), the Mega Sg has something to offer: On board, you get a digital copy of the unreleased Sega Genesis game “Hardcore,” which was nearly complete in 1994 but which went unreleased. It’s been finished and renamed “Ultracore,” and you can run it from the console’s main menu as soon as you plug it in and fire it up.

Analogue plans to add more capabilities to the Mega Sg in the future, with cartridge adapters that will allow it to run Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and SC-3000 games, too. These will all be supported by the FPGA Analogue designed for the Mega Sg, too, so they’ll also be running natively, not emulated, for a true recreation of the original gaming experience.

If you’re really into classic games, and care a lot about accuracy, this is definitely the best way to play Sega games on modern TVs — and it’s also just super fun.


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