If a company wants to release a smartphone towards the end of the year, it had better have something special to stand out among the slew of new smartphones that are typically announced in October.
This month we’re expecting new devices from OnePlus and Google, two phone makers that consistently put out superb devices that are nearly impossible to beat. If the wise are looking for a new smartphone around this time of year, they would usually wait to see what OnePlus and Google have conjured up.
So, what does the new LG V40 “ThinQ” have that could tempt the end-of-year smartphone buyer?
Five cameras. Three in the rear, and two in the front. Normally, phones have two, maybe three cameras total.
I hope this revelation doesn’t come across as anti-climactic. LG has done a great thing with the cameras in the LG V40, and it’s a good reason to strongly consider LG’s newest smartphone over those from OnePlus and Google, which aren’t likely to have the versatility that the LG V40 has, at least with their cameras.
Check out the LG V40 “ThinQ” and its five cameras:
The LG V40 is a beautiful device
The LG V40 is closer than most Android smartphones in achieving the edge-to-edge screen design of the iPhone X. I’m not applauding LG for getting closer to an iPhone design, but I am applauding it for reducing the noticeable size of the bezels surrounding the display.
And it has one the largest and best displays on any smartphone while staying slim and compact for its screen size
The V40’s 6.4-inch display is the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s, and yet it’s a noticeably smaller phone.
It’s also an OLED display like the Galaxy Note 9’s, which means the best display experience possible at the moment. You get those total blacks, deep and rich colors, and gorgeous contrast that normal LCD displays can’t match.
The glass back of the blue model I’ve been using is actually nicer than most glass backs on other phones
The glass back on the LG V40 is somehow smoother than most other glass backs on smartphones. The blue model I’ve been using has a depth and richness that you’d usually only see on phones with ceramic backs, like the Essential Phone.
But like all phones with glass backs, the fingerprints will ruin everything. And if you plan on using a case, the back of the phone won’t matter to you, anyway.
It’s incredibly light for a smartphone this size, which I love
The LG V40’s light weight is a sincerely welcomed feature. It’s unquestionably more comfortable to hold and use compared to heavier devices that can be unwieldy to handle. You don’t really notice that a phone is too heavy until you pick up a phone as light as the LG V40.
Let’s jump to the cameras, since they’re the main attraction here
One the LG V40’s camera lenses is a regular wide angle camera that every smartphone has
Another one of the lenses is LG’s signature ultra-wide angle lens
And the third lens is a zoom lens! It’s the most versatile camera system on a smartphone to date
You can even take a photo with all three lenses at the same time, but LG needs to tweak this a bit, as the photos don’t look that great. The bright parts of the photo are completely voided of detail
LG’s “AI Cam” feature unfortunately falls flat, but that’s fine because you don’t need to use it
The “ThinQ” in the LG V40’s name lets users know that the phone comes with the company’s “AI Cam” feature, which is supposed to automatically adjust the camera settings for whatever you’re pointing the camera at. It’ll automatically recognize flowers, for example, and take a photo with what it thinks are the best camera settings for flowers.
Unfortunately, AI Cam didn’t work very well in my initial test. It completely oversaturated the yellow color of the flowers in the photo above, which totally rid them of detail.
I’ll be doing more test shoots with LG’s AI Cam feature to see if it works better with anything else. But so far, you’re better off just sticking to the regular Auto mode for taking pictures.
The LG V40 can also take a “cinematograph” — a still photo with a single moving object.
It’s nice, I suppose, but it’s likely to become a feature that I forget is in the phone and end up never using.
So how about the two cameras on the front?
One is the usual wide angle lens that most smartphones have
And the other is an ultra-wide angle lens that all smartphones should have, especially for selfies
As for performance, there are no complaints here
The LG V40 runs on the most powerful mobile chip from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845. It’s to be expected from a premium smartphone these days, and the experience is fast and smooth.
LG’s layer of its own interface that runs on top of Android, often called a “skin,” isn’t too heavy, and it doesn’t seem to have much effect on the phone’s performance. The same can’t be said with other phones, especially Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones. Both of those Samsung phones run on the same chip, but can feel sluggish at times, and the likely culprit is the relatively heavy Samsung skin that runs on top of Android.
One of LG’s marquee features remains in the LG V40: The HiFi-quality DAC that makes music sound better than most other Android phones, at least with wired headphones
LG will soon be the latest holdout for the trusty headphone jack. And for those who prefer wired headphones, LG’s V40 comes with a treat. LG’s premium devices usually come with a higher quality DAC (digital-to-analog converter) than most other smartphones, and music sounds better for it. It’s especially noticeable with higher quality headphones, and I’d suspect that most who are still using wired headphones have a high quality pair they’re unwilling to part with.
$900 is actually a pretty good price for a phone that comes with more camera versatility — arguably the most used smartphone feature — than any other smartphone
At about $950 depending on your carrier, the LG V40 isn’t the most expensive phone out there, but it’s not significantly cheaper, either.
With that said, the LG V40’s $900+ price tag is in line with the features it comes with and the majority of the premium smartphone offerings out there. The triple-lens camera system is certainly the main “thing” about the LG V40 that helps justify its price tag. It gives you photo-taking versatility that no other smartphone has at the moment. You get the ultra-wide lens that typically comes with LG phones, as well as the zoom lens from the majority of Android phones.
If the price tag isn’t to your liking, I’d usually suggest you look at the $530 OnePlus 6, which offers about 90% of the experience of the LG V40. The main differences include a more standard LCD display, a less sharp 1080p resolution, and a dual-lens camera with a dedicated zoom lens. But the OnePlus 6T is rumored to be coming very soon, so if $900 isn’t within your budget, I’d wait for OnePlus to announce its new phone. But don’t expect the OnePlus 6T to come with a similar triple-lens camera system that’s as versatile as the LG V40’s.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.