Best daily deals
Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Daily Authority: 🤔 The mmWave mistake

Your mmWave 5G smartphone costs more and does so little, plus a Florida Man record!
By
April 18, 2022
iPhone 12 Pro 5G antenna window
David Imel / Android Authority
5G mmWave Antenna

☕ Good morning! It’s a peaceful Easter Monday, which many parts of the world have as a holiday. But, there’s plenty of good reads out there…

mmWave woes

Poor old mmWave technology isn’t getting any better. A year ago I wrote a Daily Authority looking at a report on mmWave 5G usage.

  • The problem is that mmWave 5G is one genuinely impressive piece of 5G technology: you get blisteringly fast downloads, the fastest available we’ve ever seen on our smartphones.
  • The problem a year ago was the average takeup time was less than 1%.
  • The most recent report from the same organization, OpenSignal, showed no improvement six months later: far less than 1%.
  • Now, the idea of mmWave is to add “significant extra capacity in very busy locations,” at stadiums and events.
  • I said a year ago that it’s not as bad as it looks but that the hype around it was “way overblown.”
  • I don’t think I was tough enough: it’s looking like mmWave is a technology almost no one needs.

mmWave dead-end:

  • Ron Amadeo over at Ars Technica reviewed the OnePlus 10 Pro and found, like many reviews (including our first and second opinion reviews of the phone) that it’s lukewarm at best.
  • OnePlus didn’t include mmWave in the US version of the phone. At first glance, that seems like something that’s important for a new flagship-level smartphone because even if it’s not in use, you want your $900-$1,000+ to be future-proofed.
  • But Ron let rip at mmWave generally, believing it to be “an expensive, dead-end technology that can’t scale, and it’s time we got rid of it.”
  • So ignore the OnePlus piece of this: the argument is building that not including mmWave at all is the way to go.

Quotes: 

  • “Dumping mmWave is smart. mmWave is expensive and near useless, and it should probably go the way of WiMax as a radio technology that didn’t work out. mmWave adds around $100 to the cost of a phone, so it’s not something you want to pay for unless it provides a big upside. Mobile surveys regularly show that customers use mmWave less than 1% of the time, so most people will almost never use it.
  • “mmWave is an attempt to make use of the spectrum that nobody wants, but that spectrum is free because it has terrible range and signal characteristics. It’s no surprise that mmWave has proven difficult to scale, and given that we’re four years into the mmWave rollout, the situation seems unlikely to change. The 2022 iPhone SE also skipped out on mmWave, and I think more vendors should follow suit. Let mmWave die.”

Oof:

  • Ron is well known for his strong opinions, and this is scorching hot.
  • No doubt there’s a subsection of US enthusiasts who know exactly where their mmWave towers are and want to be able to download gigabytes of content within seconds.
  • But there’s also a whole lot of people paying $100 more for the cost of their phone who aren’t getting it 99%+ of the time.
  • It’s worth wondering if it’ll be in the next flagships offered in the USA — and it may depend on how much carriers can twist the arm of suppliers.

Roundup:

📸 What can Samsung’s Expert RAW app do for your photography? (Android Authority).

💻 A Windows 11 tool to enable the Google Play Store was …actually malware (Android Authority).

Apple is readying a bunch of new features for its Apple Watch line, including a new low power mode and satellite connectivity. Sadly, blood-glucose monitoring seems like it’s still five years away (Android Authority).

👉 Lasers make everything cool, vacuuming included (Android Authority).

🎮 Ayn Odin review: a well-built Nintendo Switch with Android and games from the Play Store for under $300. Not bad! (The Verge).

🚗 Like Apple not including the charger and cable, Tesla will now no longer include a mobile charger with new vehicle purchases. Why? “Usage statistics were super low, so seemed wasteful,” said CEO Elon Musk (Engadget).

🔋 The rise of brand-new secondhand EVs: car life spans are very weird right now. (It absolutely won’t last! But while it does…) (Wired).

🌡 Yes, there’s a specific temperature you should set your thermostat to this summer to lower your bill/save energy: 78°F when at home during the day (25.5°C), and a bit warmer at night, which has set people off. But hey, that’s the energy (CNET).

🚀 Oh dear: NASA to roll back its mega-rocket after failing to complete countdown test (Ars Technica).

⚽ Fan Tokens from Manchester City, PSG, FC Barcelona, Arsenal, and other clubs have proven to be a disappointment: prices seem to drop within days, though trading by betting on transfers seems somewhat lucrative? (Bloomberg).

📹 Meet the off-screen workers who keep the adult webcam industry running (NSFW) (Rest Of World).

🌸 How plants turned predators: There are 800 known carnivorous species, and evolution “is sneaky and flexible.” (Knowable Magazine).

🤔 “What can’t you believe still exists in 2022?” (r/askreddit).

Monday Meme

I saw this and it broke my brain for a little bit:

chrome 2022 04 18 10 35 08

Bonus:

  • “Florida Man saw Spider-Man: No Way Home in theaters nearly 300 times, breaks record.”
  • Some 720 hours of Spider-Man, $3,400 spent, all while holding down a full-time job and fam!

Thanks for reading! Hope it was a chocolatey Easter weekend,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor