Weekly Authority: Edition #156
Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 156th edition rolling on…
All the hot news, broken down into spicy chunks, coming up.
Popular news this week
- Galaxy Fold 3: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 reviews are now coming out and our man Eric Zeman put in days and 6,000 or so words to explain all the details about what makes this a true successor to the Fold 2: much more solid build, still no real rival in most of the world, and now with S Pen, water resistance, improved multitasking and app support, and more. But, it’s still $1,800, and still just something that’s too expensive for most people. Nice to see Samsung perfecting this build for those who can get the most out of these devices.
- Pixel 5a: My take on the Pixel 5a launching this week was Pixel 5a does almost nothing, does it well, and I stand by that a few days later. Our review of the device basically gave it plenty of ticks for taking the Pixel 4a 5G and adding useful features including IP67, a vastly bigger battery, and adding a metal build. That makes it more robust in just about every meaning of that word. It’s also $50 cheaper, but that’s because Google kept the same 60Hz panel, same camera, and same chipset, which seems to have some overheating issues. Anyway, at $450 in the US, it’s very much a great long-term buy, especially if the Pixel 6 series is $1,000 or so. Google has discontinued the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, so get them while they last if you wanted them…
- Motorola launched its new Motorola Edge for 2021, targeting North America with a bunch of neat tricks to keep costs down while bringing premium features like a 6.8-inch LCD with 144Hz refresh rate, a solid sounding triple camera setup, Snapdragon 778G processor, 6/8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of non-expandable storage, 5G with Sub-6 and mmWave, a 5,000mAh battery, and 30W Turbo Power charging, for $699. At that price, it’s going to be tough, but it’ll launch for $499 which looks pretty mega. The main miss is only two years of major Android updates, I’d say.
- Gaming phones: Asus announced the new Asus ROG Phone 5S and ROG Phone 5S Pro with almost nothing over the previous 5, other than the Snapdragon 888 Plus, which does a little, not a lot, for gamers.
- Qualcomm phone: Qualcomm’s Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is a brand-building tech-spec sheet built into a phone you can buy for $1,499. It’s for Qualcomm fans. The company is clearly making an effort to create A Brand that you’ll want to own, something like how Intel Inside worked as marketing for a generation of PCs and made AMD an outsider. But … it’s Qualcomm.
- Intel Arc: Speaking of Intel, Intel’s unveiled the name and a few details about its first discrete GPU to rival Nvidia Geforce and AMD Radeon graphics cards, called Intel Arc. Only some limited spec details for now, but it’s still not scheduled to arrive until 2022, so don’t hold your breath just yet…
- Tesla Bot: At Tesla’s AI Day presentation, something that went for more than 2.5 hours, Elon Musk unexpectedly unveiled the Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot utilizing Tesla’s vehicle AI to eliminate “dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks.” Tesla wants to remind you and potential AI researchers it’s more than a car company, and it’ll hire you, probably.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: “A $200 price cut and added features mean more value for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but it’s still a stretch for most people.”
- Motorola Edge (2021) hands-on impressions: Redefining the budget flagship?
- Honor Earbuds 2 Lite review: An honorable AirPods alternative.
- RedmiBook 15 Pro review: “Aims to make a dent in the market, but makes one in Redmi’s reputation instead.”
- Take note: Samsung is betting the farm on mainstream foldables, will it pay off?
- Would you pay a subscription fee for ad-free Android and long-term updates?: “The cost of a budget smartphone is a lacking software experience — subscriptions could be the incentive to do better.”
- Androids: The Team That Built the Android Operating System is a new book out about Android! Chapters four and five are published at Ars Technica, and the book is out via paperback and e-book now — longtime Android engineer Chet Haase is the author who’s donating proceeds to Black Girls Code and Women Who Code.
- Point-to-point Wi-Fi bridging between buildings — the cheap and easy way (Ars Technica).
- Audio gear under x-ray: What Apple AirPods, Fender Stratocasters, and Technics turntables look like on the inside (Wired).
- The Dresden Job — The Sopranos of Berlin: A Brutal Crime Family and a Billion Dollar Jewel Heist (GQ).
- Sikh drivers are transforming US trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway (LA Times).
- September 8: Lenovo Tech World 2021
- Also in September: As many as three Apple events? (iPhone 13, Watch Series 7, MacBooks, AirPods 3, more)
- Soon: Android 12?
Tech Tweet of the Week
First: This Twitter bot selects random roadside restaurants from around the world, with a Street View image and then the first three pictures from Google Images.
how am i supposed to live laugh love in these conditions
— llama in a tux (@LlamaInaTux) August 15, 2021
Have a great week!
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor