LG confirms G Flex coming to U.S., spills more info on webOS smart TV platform
Just as the rumor mill predicted, LG today confirmed that it will be bringing its curvy G Flex smartphone to U.S. shores. During its CES 2014 press event, LG revealed that the G Flex will launch on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the first quarter of 2014. The G Flex that hits U.S. stores will be just like the international model, including that curved 6-inch 720p display, 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 3500mAh battery. LG says that pricing and availability for all three G Flex variants will be shared at a later date.
Moving on to products with slightly larger screens, LG also spilled more details on its webOS smart TV platform. LG says that there will be three major features of its webOS televisions that are meant to help the user setup their new unit and easily navigate between apps and connected hardware. First up, LG has created an animated character named BeanBird that will walk the user through the initial setup of a new webOS-powered TV. The unit can also recognize when a device has been plugged into it and then identify what the hardware is.
Once the setup is complete, owners will be able to use the new webOS Launcher, a horizontal menu that can switch between broadcast TV, smart TV content and media on external hardware without needing to go back to a Home menu. The new Launcher also enables users to search for and download content without leaving the show or game that they're involved in. Finally, a Live Menu keeps the TV's search functionality, recommendations and channel lineup easily accessible.
The final pole in LG's webOS TV tent is content discovery. The recommendation service includes a Today menu that can suggest popular TV shows and movies for the user as well as any shows that he or she might've missed. An LG Store with apps, TV shows and games will also be included with webOS-powered television sets.
Just as with the G Flex, LG hasn't revealed any specific pricing or availability details for its webOS-powered smart TVs. The company does say that the platform will be used on more than 70 percent of the smart TV sets that it plans to launch in 2014, though, so it shouldn't be long before webOS makes its big return to retail stores.
The final product detailed by LG today is its Lifeband Touch wristband. The smart activity tracker uses a built-in accelerometer and altimeter to follow the wearer's distance, speed, step count, calorie consumption and more. The included touch OLED panel can display time and biometric info as well as incoming calls and music controls when paired with an Android or iOS smartphone.
Consumers that'd like to track their biometric info even closer can check out LG's Heart Rate Earphones, which measures the wearer's heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption using the external part of his or her ear. The Heart Rate Earphones can be linked up to LG's Lifeband Touch, both of which can then be paired with the LG Fitness app or third-party apps like Runkeeper so that the user can easily view and understand all of the data that the devices are gathering. LG's Lifeband Touch and Hear Rate Earphones will launch in the U.S. in the first half of 2014.