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Read Now: LG Tone Free FP9W Review: Most unique pair of TWS earbuds we have come across – 101 Latest News



LG Tone Free FP9W Review: Most unique pair of TWS earbuds we have come across

#Tone #Free #FP9W #Review #unique #pair #TWS #earbuds

– Enjoyable and detailed sound output
– UV cleansing to kill bacteria
– Wireless transmitter mode
– Good build quality, comfortable in-ear fit
– Feature-rich companion app
– Volume control on the buds
– Good call quality
– IPX4 water resistant

– Average ANC
– Below par battery backup
– Lacks support for high-end codecs
– Expensive

Price: Rs 16,990

Rating: 4/5

Ever since Apple released their first Airpods, I have reviewed dozens of true wireless (TWS) earphones from various brands. I have practically seen the segment evolve from the initial teething issues to massive improvement in connectivity, sound quality and battery life over the years. Then came active noise cancellation (ANC) on earbuds priced at 20K and beyond, and all the way down to 2K. Just when I thought I had seen everything there was to see in the segment, the LG Tone Free FP9W came along.

Image Credit: Tech2 | Ameya Dalvi

While the buds are pretty much like most of their premium counterparts with programmable touch controls, ANC and the works, it is the charging case that goes beyond its usual call of duty and offers some truly unique features. Let’s get to know this new wireless audio product from LG a little better.

LG Tone Free FP9W: Design and Comfort (8/10)
The LG Tone Free FP9W buds arrive in a circular case. We got the Pearl White variant for review which has a smooth matte finish, and that applies for the buds and case both. The buds have short stems and angular tips covered with translucent silicone gel that enters the ear canals. They cause absolutely no discomfort even after wearing them for long hours and provide decent passive noise isolation. The top of the stems are touch enabled and accept various gestures to control the buds.

LG Tone Free FP9W

While the case is compact, its near one inch thickness doesn’t exactly make it totally pocketable. But this case packs more than just the 390 mAh battery, which I will talk about in the next section. It glows blue for a couple of seconds when you open the lid adding to the cool quotient. The case has two LEDs at the front, one for power level and the other for UVnano cleansing indication. There’s a tiny slider on the side to switch to transmitter mode and a USB-C charging port is located at the back. 

The build quality of the buds as well as the case feels premium. The earbuds have an IPX4 rating for sweat resistance. So you can wear them to the gym or for a jog without a worry. Three pairs of eartips are bundled, and it is important to choose the right sized pair for optimal ANC. While you can use these buds directly without installing the companion app, I would strongly suggest using the LG Tone Free app that provides a ton of customisation for these buds.

LG Tone Free FP9W Review Two LEDs

LG Tone Free FP9W: Features and Specifications (9/10)
Each earbud hosts an 8 mm dynamic driver and three microphones for calling and noise cancellation. You also get wear detection sensors to pause the audio when you remove a bud from the ear and resume when you put it back in. Touch gestures work well and you hear a beep every time you tap the touch enabled zones. The LG Tone Free app lets you configure the controls.

You can assign play/pause, previous/next tracks, voice assistant or nothing to single-tap, double-tap or triple-tap gestures. But wait, there’s more! This is one of the rare TWS buds that lets you assign volume up and down function to one of those gestures too. So you don’t need to reach for the phone just to change the loudness. The ANC toggle is assigned to touch and hold gesture, and you cannot change that. While that is fine, there is a weird issue with the toggle.

You can only switch between Noise Cancelling and Ambient Sound (transparency) modes from the buds. You can go to Normal mode (ANC and transparency both off) only through the app and not via any touch gesture on the buds. That is highly unusual, and I hope the company fixes that in a future firmware update. Else you end up using ANC even when you don’t intend to, and thus deplete the battery faster.

The LG Tone Free FP9W is Bluetooth 5.2 compliant and supports AAC and SBC codecs. Given the premium pricing, I was expecting support for a higher throughput codec like aptX or LDAC, but that’s not the case here. This product does offer two unique features that I have never come across before. Firstly, it has UVnano technology that uses UV light to supposedly kill 99.9% bacteria on the speaker mesh inside the buds in 5 minutes whenever you put the case on charge with the earbuds inside and lid closed. A great option to have for in-ear buds.

LG Tone Free FP9W Review Buds in case

Image Credit: Tech2 | Ameya Dalvi

The other unique feature lets you use the charging case as a Bluetooth transmitter. Using the bundled USB-C to Aux cable, you can plug the charging case into any audio device that doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity built in, and use the earbuds to listen to the audio. That is another great feature to have that breathes new life into your older gadgets and opens up a bunch of possibilities. You can use it with non-smart TVs, older MP3 players or stereos, or even in an in-flight entertainment console.

LG Tone Free FP9W: Performance (8/10)
Let’s start with the sound quality. These LG buds aren’t among the loudest I have tested and you will need to push the volume up to 70-75% for normal loudness even when indoors, and upwards of 80% when on the road. The good part being the sound doesn’t distort even at high volume. While the sound signature isn’t perfectly neutral, the output is thoroughly enjoyable with great detail and very good balance between the three major frequency ranges.

The sound has been tuned by the British HiFi audio brand, Meridian Audio. The default sound signature is a bit on the warmer side with slightly boosted lows. Despite that, the bass is fairly tight and not boomy, and provides a good thump that doesn’t overshadow the mids. The midrange reproduction is crisp with ample clarity in the vocals and good instrument separation. The highs are sharp, well tempered and with just the right amount of sparkle. 

The soundstage is one of the best I have come across in TWS earbuds. It is surprisingly broad and the sound feels immersive. The imaging is pretty much on the money too. The overall sound output feels refined and I just couldn’t stop wondering if it would have sounded even better with a better codec than AAC. The Tone Free app lets you play with the sound further by offering five equaliser presets and two more custom equalisers for you to configure. Natural, Immersive and Bass Boost were the best of the presets and should cater to broader sound preferences.

LG Tone Free FP9W Review Buds

Image Credit: Tech2 | Ameya Dalvi

There were no latency issues with no noticeable lag between the video and audio when streaming videos. As for ANC, it was functional at best and not something special that you expect from a premium product. It does reduce certain ambient sounds but not as much as it should. In comparative terms, it was similar to what you get on the OnePlus Buds Z2 that is priced 70% lower than these LG buds, but nowhere close to the Sony WF-1000XM4 that sells in the same price bracket as this product.

The Ambient Sound mode here sounds quite natural. The microphones let ambient sounds through to let you be aware of your surroundings or have a conversation without removing the buds from the ears. The app offers you Listening and Conversation modes under Ambient Sound to boost background sounds or voices respectively.  The wireless range is good with the earbuds retaining a strong connection at 10 metres with no obstruction between the source and the buds.

LG Tone Free FP9W: Call quality (8/10)
The call quality is pretty good on these LG buds. The array of microphones and the noise suppression tech work well to improve voice clarity. People on the line were perfectly audible to each other indoors as well as outdoors. The buds manage to keep the wind noise and other ambient sounds like traffic noise in check pretty well. Another interesting feature here is the Whispering mode, which when enabled from the app lets you whisper into the right earbud (held closer to your mouth) and be heard more clearly by the person on the line than the one next to you on a train. 

LG Tone Free FP9W: Battery life (7/10)
The company promises 24 hours of playback with ANC off and up to 15 hours with ANC on for the buds and case combined. As I mentioned earlier, turning ANC off is quite a task here. With ANC on, I got five and a half hours for the buds at 75% loudness and an additional 7.5 hours or so with the charging case, thus taking the overall battery backup under an hour short of the advertised figure of 15 hours with ANC. While the claim is honest, 14 hours is not a great number in this day and age when competing brands have been managing upwards of 20 hours with ANC on.

LG Tone Free FP9W Review USB-C charging

Image Credit: Tech2 | Ameya Dalvi

Ironically, 5.5 hours with ANC is perfectly acceptable battery backup for the buds. I wish the case had a bigger battery and could recharge the buds a few extra times. The LG Tone Free FP9W supports quick charging too. Charging the case with the buds inside gives you almost an hour of playtime, which is not bad at all. The buds take about an hour to charge fully, while the case takes two. The battery level of the earbuds and the charging case can be seen in the companion app. 

LG Tone Free FP9W: Price and verdict
The LG Tone Free FP9W can be purchased for Rs 16,990 with a one year warranty. It may not be the most affordable TWS earphones around, but you do get a refined sound output with impressive detail and a broad soundstage. More importantly it offers features that none others I know of do. Be it the extra level of hygiene courtesy of UVnano cleansing or the option to turn some of your old audio players wireless using the case as a transmitter, if you factor in these features, the premium is somewhat justified.

In terms of pure sound quality and ANC, while this LG pair sounds good, it is not the best under 20K. That honour goes to the Sony WF-1000XM4 with segment defining ANC along with an even better output for a couple of thousands extra. If you do not care about UVnano or transmitter mode, and just want comparable sound quality with ANC at a significantly lower price point, you should strongly consider the Oppo Enco X for Rs 9,990. Having used all three products, I can say one thing for certain that neither will disappoint you.


Read Now: Best phones under Rs 40,000 (May 2023): OnePlus 11R 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G to iQOO 9 5G – 101 Latest News



Best phones under Rs 40,000 (May 2023): OnePlus 11R 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G to iQOO 9 5G

#phones #OnePlus #11R #Samsung #Galaxy #S21 #iQOO

There were quite a few handsets vying for a slot on our sub-40K list of phones this month. After much deliberation, we have shortlisted five. This budget gives you access to some premium features like flagship-grade processors, high quality cameras with OIS, excellent high refresh rate displays and more. You get phones suitable for gamers as well as photography enthusiasts in this budget. So let’s take a look at the best options you can get your hands on under Rs 40,000 this May.

Best phones to buy under Rs 40,000 in India

OnePlus 11R 5G
OnePlus had a strong start to the year courtesy of the launch of the OnePlus 11 series. While the flagship OnePlus 11 5G is loaded with more bells and whistles, the more affordable 11R 5G is no pushover either, and borrows a lot of goodness from its more premium sibling including the design. This stylish phone looks just like the 11 5G from the front and back, barring the placement of the front camera and a missing Hasselblad logo at the back.

The OnePlus 11R has a curved display too, measuring 6.74-inch with an unusual (higher than Full HD) resolution of 2772 x 1240 pixels. You get a standard Fluid AMOLED display here instead of the more premium LTPO3 variant on the 11. This HDR10+ compliant screen supports 10-bit colour, 120 Hz refresh rate and can get up to 1450 nits bright. This phone is powered by Qualcomm’s previous generation flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, and you get its 8 GB RAM and 128 GB UFS 3.1 storage variant in this budget.

The 50MP primary camera with OIS but without Hasselblad’s colour tuning is quite impressive and does most of the heavy lifting. The support cast is modest with an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro camera. There’s a 16MP selfie camera too. Its 5000 mAh battery can last for a day and a half of moderate use, and the bundled 100W charger promises to juice it up in just 25 minutes. The phone runs OxygenOS 13 based on Android 13 and one can expect several OS and security updates going forward.

OnePlus 11R 5G price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8GB RAM/128GB storage

Motorola Edge 30 Pro 5G
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro 5G seems to have received further price cuts and you can now get it under 35K. This phone is powered by Qualcomm’s previous flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which is still extremely powerful, and comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. Its 6.7-inch Full HD+ OLED screen flaunts a 144 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ compliance and can display over a billion colours. You get Corning Gorilla Glass protection against scratches at the front and back.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro 5G

The photography department on the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is impressive too, starting with a 50MP primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and another 50MP camera for ultra-wide photography; there’s a 2MP depth sensor too. The 60MP front camera is bound to impress the selfie crowds. This phone has a 4800 mAh battery that comfortably lasts close to a day and a half of moderate use and supports 68W fast charging as well as 15W fast wireless charging. This phone launched with Android 12, and an Android 13 update has started rolling out. Like most Motorola phones, you get a clean and near-stock user interface.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro 5G price in India: Rs 34,999 for 8GB RAM/128GB storage

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is another great option in this budget. This phone has a sleek design and also flaunts an IP68 rating for dust and fluid resistance. It has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with HDR10+ compliance, 120 Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. It is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 2100 chip which can be found in several premium phones from the company. You can get its 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage variant in this budget. The phone launched with Android 12, and is upgradeable to Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G

Photography department on the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G consists of three cameras at the back starting with a 12MP primary camera with OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide camera with 123 degrees FOV and an 8MP telephoto camera with OIS that provides 3X optical zoom. The camera performance is impressive with excellent detail and wide dynamic range, and with a strong low light performance too. A 4500 mAh battery keeps the phone running for close to a day and a half of moderate use and supports wireless charging as well.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8GB RAM/128GB storage

iQOO 9 5G
The iQOO 9 5G is for those looking for a solid camera phone with ample storage under 40K. It is powered by Qualcomm’s earlier flagship Snapdragon 888+ chip, and you get its 12 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage variant in this budget. Its 6.56-inch HDR10+ compliant Full HD+ AMOLED display has 120Hz refresh rate and can display a billion colour shades. The phone launched with Android 12 with FunTouch OS 12, and the company released an Android 13 update for the phone a few months ago. One can expect more software updates for this device in the future.


The rear camera department here is quite versatile too. You get a 48MP primary camera with Gimbal stabilisation, accompanied by a 13MP ultra-wide camera and a 13MP 50 mm professional portrait camera for great portrait shots. The 16MP front camera is more than handy for selfies and video calls. The iQOO 9 5G has a 4350 mAh battery that can last over a day of moderate use, and the bundled 120W fast charger claims to charge it fully in just 18 minutes.

iQOO 9 5G price in India: Rs 37,990 for 12GB RAM/256GB storage

Asus ROG Phone 5s
Here is a surprise entrant in this list. A relatively old phone but still highly relevant for mobile gamers, and certainly a very interesting option at this price point. We are talking about the Asus ROG Phone 5s. Other than powerful processing hardware, the phone has several optimisations and enhancements to give gamers an immersive gaming experience. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ SoC which is still fairly powerful for gaming, and you get 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage to go with it.

Asus ROG Phone 5s

Its large 6.78-inch Full HD+ 10-bit AMOLED display has a 144 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ compliance and can get up to 1200 nits bright. This phone is targeted primarily at mobile gamers, but it can handle photography reasonably well, courtesy of a 64MP primary camera, 13MP ultra-wide snapper and a 5MP macro camera. The Asus ROG Phone 5s has a large 6000 mAh battery for long gaming sessions, and the bundled 65W fast charger can recharge it briskly. This phone launched with Android 11 and Asus’ ROG UI, and a stable Android 13 update has started rolling out recently.

Asus ROG Phone 5s price in India: Rs 39,999 for 8GB RAM/128GB storage

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Read Now: Blade Runner Show Possibly Delayed a Full Year as Companies Refuse to Pay Writers – 101 Latest News



Blade Runner Show Possibly Delayed a Full Year as Companies Refuse to Pay Writers

#Blade #Runner #Show #Possibly #Delayed #Full #Year #Companies #Refuse #Pay #Writers

Image: Warner Bros.

You can now add the upcoming Blade Runner 2099 TV show to the list of shows impacted by the Writers Strike.

According to the BBC, the Prime Video series was set to start shooting at Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland. The ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America also affects writers whose shows or films are filming outside of the US, such as 2099. And even though it hasn’t even been a full month since the strike started, the sci-fi series may not end up starting up production again until spring 2024.

Speaking to the outlet, Northern Ireland Screen (the country’s national screen agency) said it was “extremely disappointed” by production being halted. Its CEO Richard Williams added that the company “hope a fair deal is reached soon so crew can get back to work.” In the meantime, NI Screen plans to find something else to take up 2099’s production schedule, while being mindful that “many freelance crew and supply chain companies were relying on this project for work in the months ahead.”

Blade Runner 2099 was officially picked up by Prime Video last September as a limited series with original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott on hand as an executive producer. We know that it’s set 50 years after 2017’s Blade Runner 2049, but details on the show have otherwise been basically nonexistent. The biggest piece of recent news was back in March, with Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer reportedly in talks to star.

The news of 2099’s production being halted comes not long after Marvel Studios decided to kill production for both Thunderbolts and Wonder Man for the foreseeable future. Countless other films and shows have stopped production in the month of May as a result of picketing writers, which has to be a blow felt by all the companies as solidarity for the writers grows and the WGA may not be the only ones picketing for better pay and profits from streaming services.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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Read Now: Watch this Nvidia demo and imagine actually speaking to AI game characters – 101 Latest News



Watch this Nvidia demo and imagine actually speaking to AI game characters

#Watch #Nvidia #demo #imagine #speaking #game #characters

Image: Nvidia

At Computex 2023 in Taipei, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang just gave the world a glimpse of what it might be like when gaming and AI collide — with a graphically breathtaking rendering of a cyberpunk ramen shop where you can actually talk to the proprietor.

Seriously, instead of clicking on dialogue options, it imagines you could hold down a button, just say something with your own voice, and get an answer from a video game character. Nvidia’s calling it a “peek at the future of games.”

Unfortunately, the actual dialogue leaves a lot to be desired — maybe try GPT-4 or Sudowrite next time, Nvidia?

Here’s the entire conversation I hastily transcribed:

Player: Hey Jin, how are you?

Jin: Unfortunately not so good.

How come?

I am worried about…

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