Sat | Feb 24, 2018

Tech Times: How good is life with the LG G4?/Microsoft axes production of Xbox 360 consoles

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM

How good is life with the LG G4?

The Smartphone market for Jamaica recently got more crowded when it was invaded by electronics manufacturer Life's Good (LG). The first model that we got to test was the LG G4, a phone that has been on the market for quite some time, but can still compete with the more current phones.

After spending over a month with the phone, below is what we learnt.




A quick glance on the specification sheet showed up some important points.

- Display: 5.5 inches IPS LCD (1440 x 2560 pixels)

- OS: Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)

- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808

- Memory card slot

- Internal storage: 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM.

- Primary camera: 16MP, f/1.8, 28 mm, laser autofocus.

- Secondary camera: 8MP, f/2.0

- Removable battery


Our likes


-  Great camera - it holds its own against the best phone cameras in the market.

- Battery life - the battery life is very good, it will most likely outlast most of the current premium smartphones.

-  The rear speaker is loud and has enough bass to complement any video you are watching.

- The option to rearrange the on-screen control keys at the bottom to complement your usage.

- While the screen is off, you can double tap the volume-down rocker to take a picture.


Our dislikes


- Presumable due to the sensors that the camera works with, when using the flash there is a noticeable lag when taking pictures.

- The tap to wake feature works 'sometimes'.

- The dual-screen option works with only a few apps, which is disappointing since the phone has such a large screen.

- It does not have a fingerprint sensor and if it wasn't a flagship phone, there would be no problem with this.


Design and build quality


The G4's display is curved like its stablemate the LG G Flex, but it isn't as drastic. With that said, this design made the 5.5-inch phone feels smaller than it really is.

The curve screen also contorts to the shape of your head, which makes it feel more comfortable when on calls. Ergonimical convenience was something LG pioritised when designing this phone and the exclamation point was placing the volume rockers and power button at the back of the phone. This complements the natural position of your index finger whenever you hold a phone. Once you have gotten use to these rear-mounted buttons you will be habitually reaching for them on other phones, even if they aren't there.

Another design choice LG took with the G4 is to use a well-stitched leather back cover for the phone, instead of the plastic one that is provided in the box.


Camera quality


The LG G4 has a commendable 16MP rear camera that performs well in both low light and daylight scenery. The shutter speed is fast and it captures colours well. LG also gives you full control over the camera by adding a manual mode for the real photo enthusiasts. While you can't do much post-production filtering in the camera app, there are multiple options to make adjustments when in the phone's picture gallery.


Battery life


Its battery life is quite impressive. We comfortably went through an entire day with moderate to heavy usage without recharging. However, if you are going to use it in a strictly moderate manner, you will definitely get a day and a half of battery life.


Final thoughts


The LG G4 isn't a perfect phone, and no company can say that they have that title. Its major flaw is the fact that it was quickly upstaged by the LG V10, which was released a couple of months after it.

The LG G4 will fit nicely in your hands, but you'll still need to do some finger gymnastics to use the entire phone with one hand. The LG G4 is hopefully the start of a line of LG phones that Flow Jamaica will be offering the Jamaican public.

Writers: Kareem LaTouche and Payton H. Wilmott

Microsoft axes production of Xbox 360 consoles


Microsoft will stop producing the Xbox 360, the decade-old video-game console that cemented the company's place in the living room.

The Xbox 360, the second version of the device aimed at extending the company's reach beyond personal computer gaming, debuted in 2005.

"Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft," Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a blog post. "And while we've had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us."

The Xbox 360 sold neck and neck with Sony's rival PlayStation 3, and eventually outsold the Japanese conglomerate's device in the US. At the peak of that generation of consoles in 2012, consumers were using about 57 million Xbox 360s, compared with about 65 million for the PS3, according to a report from Barclays, citing NPD Group data and company reports.

Microsoft will continue to sell its existing hardware inventory, as well as games for the device, Spencer said. Players plugged in to Microsoft's Xbox Live online matchmaking service will continue to be able to play on the Xbox 360.

The Seattle-area company is shifting its focus to the Xbox One in an effort to better link its group of console gamers with those who play on a personal computer.

The Xbox One stumbled out of the gate vs Sony's PlayStation 4 following the 2013 launch of both devices. Microsoft's console was hampered by a higher price tag and an ultimately abortive effort to tout the Xbox One as a living-room entertainment hub, a move that alienated some hard-core gamers. Sales of Xbox One are said to be badly lagging the PlayStation 4.

Microsoft has since refocused its public statements on the video game side of the Xbox.