Posted Fri Jan 5, 2018 at 05:30 PM PST by Steven Cohen
We've compiled the latest gear news, including the AT&T's plans for mobile 5G, new Roku TVs, and more.
From product announcements and streaming app updates to general industry news and recent gear trends, keeping up with the latest tech news can be a daunting task. With that in mind, we're here to offer you a roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.
For this edition, we're covering the AT&T's plans for mobile 5G support in 2018, new Roku TVs from Magnavox, a new Raspberry Rose edition of the LG V30 smartphone, the arrival of ESPN and Freeform streaming on 2017 Samsung smart TVs, and the release of BuddyPhones WAVE headphones.
So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:
AT&T has announced plans to launch mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018. The move is poised to make AT&T one of the first US companies to introduce widespread 5G support.
"5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment," said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. "We're moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more."
AT&T will u se the industry standard for 5G as a basis for its 5G services. On that note, 3GPP (the international wireless standards body) recently completed key elements of 5G new radio standards, and these specs will allow hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers to start developing 5G products. And beyond an increase in connection speed, 5G is also set to offer much lower latency, reducing the delay that occurs between the moment a user starts requesting data from a network and the moment the network actually starts sending that data.
In addition to upcoming mobile 5G offerings to consumers, AT&T also plans to trial 5G tech with businesses. Likewise, the company is working on other network technologies as well, including LTE upgrades, Fixed Wireless Internet, AT&T Fiber, and G.fast.
Roku has announced the addition of Magnaox to its Roku TV program. Other manufacturers and brands already part of the program include TCL, Hisense, Philips, Insignia, Element, Sharp, RCA, and Hitachi.
As part of the new agreement, Funai Electric will start producing Roku smart TVs under the Magnavox brand. Though exact models have not been announced yet, Magnavox Roku TVs will all run the Roku OS, offering access to more than 500,000 movies and TV episodes and more than 5,000 streaming channels, along with automatic software updates to make sure that the sets remain up to date with all of Roku's latest features.
An firm release date for Magnavox's first slate of Roku TVs has not been announced yet, but the initial lineup is set to debut in the US sometime in Spring 2018. In addition to new smart TVs, Roku also recently announced a new wireless whole home entertainment feature dubbed Roku Connect and a new voice assistant feature dubbed Roku Entertainment Assistant.
LG has revealed the latest version of its flagship V30 smartphone. The upcoming Raspberry Rose edition debut at CES 2018 next week, and will feature an eye-catching red design scheme geared toward fashion-conscious buyers.
The LG V30 smartphone features a 6-inch 18:9 QuadHD+ OLED FullVision Display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 and 538ppi. Under the hood, the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM. A rear dual 16MP/13MP camera and a front 5MP camera are integrated as well, along with a non-removable 3,300 mAh battery. In addition, the phone includes support for HDR10 playback from apps like Netflix. HDR is an advanced display and image mastering technology that offers expanded brightness to improve contrast between dark and light aspects of an image, bringing out deeper black levels and more realistic details in specular highlights -- like the sun reflecting off of an ocean -- in specially graded HDR material.
An exact release date for the new Raspberry Red LG V30 has not been announced yet, but the device is expected to roll out in Korea following CES before expanding to additional key markets in Europe and Asia. The new model joins the previously available Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue and Lavender Violet color options.
ESPN and Disney have announced the arrival of their Freeform and ESPN streaming apps on the Samsung smart TV platform. As part of the launch, all 2017 Samsung smart TV will support the apps.
The ESPN streaming app allows users with an authenticated pay-TV subscription to stream live sports events, clips, highlights, and on-demand sports programming, including the upcoming Alabama-Georgia College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T, and ESPN's MegaCast production, the Titans-Chiefs NFL Wild Card game, and the NBA. Meanwhile, the Freeform app allows users with an authenticated pay-TV subscription to access 24/7 live viewing of the network, along with on-demand content, including series like grown-ish, Alone Together, and The Fosters.
Beyond 2017 Samsung Smart TVs, the ESPN and Freeform apps are also available via computers, smartphones, tablets, and an assortment of streaming devices.
BuddyPhones has detailed its latest headphone model. The WAVE is a wireless and waterproof headphone with a volume-limiting feature designed for kids. The headphones are currently available on Amazon for $80 and are set to be on hand at CES 2018 next week in Las Vegas.
The headphones include four listening modes geared toward different age groups and surroundings, including a Toddler Mode (75Db), Kids Mode (85Db), Travel Mode (94Db), and Study Mode (94Db). The latter mode uses proprietary technology pioneered by ONANOFF to offer clearer vocals and speech to help kids focus on educational videos or streaming lectures. In addition, the device features Bluetooth wireless connectivity and over 24 hours of battery life.
An optional travel kit including a protective hard case with a water-resistant zipper and an airplane plug is also available.
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