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Daily Authority: 🎁 Another big new phone

An early release from Vivo with key changes, plus US states vs entire countries
By
April 26, 2022
Vivo X80 series orange
Vivo

🐤 Good morning! Elon Musk buying Twitter: links to come. My thoughts? I mean, it doesn’t sound great, but if you’ve followed Musk, if you’ve read this newsletter, you’ll know the difference between a Musk promise and a timely outcome are wildly different things.

Vivo X80 series announced

Vivo X80 Pro blue
Vivo

Hot on the heels of Vivo’s first foldable comes the Vivo X80 series: flagship stuff from Vivo again. So, why does it matter?

  • As we keep seeing from the likes of Vivo, there’s a launch in China first, followed by a later global release expected in May.
  • Vivo targets a wide range of countries — if you recall, sponsoring the FIFA World Cup in Russia just a few years ago — but still hasn’t pressed the “go” button on a launch in North America, yet.
  • But this is a new generation from Vivo with a bunch of interesting specs.
  • Though some will be hanging out for the X80 Pro Plus which was teased and seems set for a July-September release

X80 details:

  • The X80 Pro is the big one, and Vivo is betting on both the Mediatek Dimensity 9000 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship SoCs.
  • It’s intriguing as the Pro phones are identical otherwise: 6.78-inch OLED screen with 120Hz refresh made by Samsung (a Samsung E5 display), a 4,700mAh battery, 80W wired charging, and 50W wireless charging, plus ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor with a very big scanning area.
  • It’s possible that the global launch of the X80 Pro will only have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, not the Dimensity 9000 option, but we don’t know.
  • There are a bunch of camera details my colleague Hadlee gets into here, looking at the use of a new Samsung Isocell GNV sensor, as well as the retained Zeiss T* lens coating that the X70 series made use of, and Vivo’s own imaging chip.
  • The X80 is only available with the Mediatek Dimensity 9000, and we don’t know if it’ll get a global release either, though one report said it will.
  • The X80 starts for around $565 for the 8GB/128GB version, while the X80 Pro starts at $840.

What does it all mean:

  • Another day, another phone, yes. But there are a few things to note here.
  • One is how early this phone launched, beating the usual launch cycle by months. I can’t say exactly why that would be?
  • It also follows very quickly after the X Fold, X Note, and Pad, again all launched in China, just a few weeks ago.
  • Again, that’s a confusing stance: why cram all these releases into April?
  • And one of the big marketing points of the X70 Pro was the micro-gimbal stabilization it had on its ultrawide camera. Now that’s gone.
  • I asked Hadlee about it and he told me to tell Daily Authority readers this: “I do wonder about the gimbal setup. The Vivo X70 Pro Plus had a cool micro-gimbal stabilization system on the ultrawide camera, but this has now moved to the 2x zoom camera on the X80 Pro. We’ll need to get our hands on a review unit to figure out why this is, since it’s seemingly a step back for low-light ultrawide shots.”

Roundup

📸 Mysterious OnePlus phone leaks on certification website as some kind of OnePlus-Oppo Find X5 hybrid? (Android Authority).

🐤 Musk buys Twitter and wants to make it better than ever. Probably nothing changes in the short term but let’s see in a year or two… The financials are interesting: a lot is contingent on Twitter actually making money, and if Tesla shares fall, Musk has some problems with a margin loan. Peter Kafka at Vox points out Twitter is weirdly low revenue for something half the world uses, and really has to make more money to be viable for Musk, so will need to cut costs, grow the audience, more ads, sell access to Twitter, etc. Galaxy Brain looks at a variety of scenarios including what’s most likely via The Atlantic.

🥽 Meta is opening its first retail store next month in California: Buy the Quest 2 or at least try it out, order Ray-Ban glasses, whatever, …in a tiny little store that’s only open Monday-Friday? (The Verge).

🔋 The F-150 Lightning is finally shipping — is Ford ready? (The Verge).

📸 Diablo Immortal was built for mobile, but now it’s coming to PCs, too: June 2 launch (Ars Technica).

🎮 Dune: Spice Wars early access preview: “Beautiful but complicated” (CNET).

🏠 The pandemic is changing home design: Architects and builders report a demand for open plan homes but with more, smaller rooms as well, for separating office space, play rooms, or gyms. Bigger bathrooms too! Bigger everything (Axios).

😬 The Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram and Discord were apparently hacked, which lead to posts about a fake mint, and saw a lot of very expensive NFTs seemingly get stolen (CoinDesk).

📦 Amazon as a Service: Amazon’s Buy with Prime is going to be a major new service, and disruption for Shopify (Stratechery).

💵 Reddit launches $1 million fund to support user-driven projects: events, meetups, whatever benefits a subreddit (Engadget).

👉 Advice column: Do I really need to back up all my data? (Wired).

🖊 “What is your favorite thing from Japan?” (r/askreddit)

Chart Tuesday

This is pretty wild — comparing the GDP of US States with that of countries:

us gdp state
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
  • Loads of comments marveling at the size of states like California, NY, Texas, Florida, comparisons to Canada, Ukraine.
  • Just note Ohio isn’t actually as big as China, but the Republic of China, aka Taiwan.

Warmly,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.