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Daily Authority: 👉 Small Android phone?

A small Android phone crowd effort gets started

Published onMay 18, 2022

iPhone 13 Mini Pink

🌲 Good morning! Keep reading for weird redwood leaves…

Pebble guy: Who else wants a small Android phone?

Eric Migicovsky is the founder of Pebble, which made neat smartwatches that probably kickstarted the whole smartwatch industry.

  • He’s also 6’6″.
  • And despite being a big unit, he wants to make and use a small Android phone as his daily driver.

He says, on his website, quote:

“I love small phones because they:

  • fits [sic] nicely in pocket
  • are much lighter
  • are easy to use one-handed without dropping
  • won’t fall out of my pocket while bicycling”

Also, Eric Migicovsky doesn’t like iOS, preferring the flexibility of Android, which rules out the iPhone Mini. And, he basically ywants an iPhone 13 Mini but running Android, and says a price of around $700-800 is the ballpark.

  • Maybe you agree with this. Maybe you’re good with a 6.8-inch large phone, of which there are many.
  • But if you do, Eric is taking names.
  • For this project to get off the ground, at least 50,000 interested buyers need to turn up — a number he says will be enough to convince a manufacturer to build and sell a small Android phone.
  • If you’re interested in expressing support, there’s a form you can fill out that just seeks some basic, non-binding information.
  • Apparently, 6,000 people have signed up already.


  • The biggest problem with smaller smartphones has been battery life: less room means less space for all those mAh you need, even on the iPhone mini.
  • Migicovsky acknowledges this: but the size matters most. Quote: “The drawbacks of a small phone (smaller screen, smaller battery) are fundamentally less of an issue than the size, for me at least.”
  • My brief comment is that it’s possible Eric is aiming too high.
  • He wants a flagship spec small smartphone with something like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering it.
  • Realistically, that’s a problem. There’s a trade-off between high-end flagship processors and battery life.
  • It’s possible something like a slightly lower-tier Snapdragon 7 series (which may be announced in China on Friday?) would offer a better deal on performance vs energy consumption.
  • But it’s all very early: the main thing you might want to take away here is that Eric has a pretty good industry reputation, including former Pebble employees saying he was a good dude.
  • And this sort of from-the-ground-up approach to a new phone harkens back to the realms of the early smartphone and connected device industry.
  • But it’s a long way from a bunch of risk-free signups to an actual good device at a reasonable price.
  • Final thought: at least two of the reasons Eric wants a small phone are solved by clamshell foldables like the Samsung Z Flip 3. It fits in a pocket pretty well! I’d like to hear why a foldable doesn’t work (other than the expense, which is fair!).


📳 vivo X80, X80 Pro launch globally: Still waiting on final pricing in more regions, but it’s rolling out… (Android Authority).

🎶 YouTube Music on Wear OS finally gets streaming support (Android Authority).

⌚ Crazy person installs Wear OS on 2016 Galaxy Gear S3 because why the heck not? (Android Authority).

🍎 A report (the first of two parts) from The Information details what’s delayed Apple’s mixed reality headset launch by years, initial pushback from Jony Ive’s team, and struggles to get resources in the shadow of the iPhone without Tim Cook’s involvement (9to5Mac).

👉 Remember the machine learning guy who quit Apple over its remote work policies (or lack thereof)? Now he’s (re-)joined Google Deep Mind (Engadget).

🚀 UAPs (the new name for UFOs!) went to Congress for the first time in 50 years: Pentagon has 400 reports, but “We have no material… that would suggest it’s anything non-terrestrial in origin.” (The Verge).

📺 Star Wars content flurry confirmed: New Disney+ series, film updates (Ars Technica).

👉 The Internet origin story you know is wrong (BBSs baby!) (Wired).

🚀 Billionaires sent to space weren’t expecting to work so hard on the ISS — it strained the crew and the astronaut (Gizmodo).

🚒 America’s first electric fire truck joins the Los Angeles Fire Department (Jalopnik).

🃏 I have no idea what this is about but: “Popular Yu-Gi-Oh card unbanned after 17 years(Polygon).

📞 “When you look at the disk space a video game consumes, what kind of data typically takes the most space (i.e., Textures, geometry, binaries, etc.)?” (r/askreddit). (Answer: textures!).

Weirdness Wednesday

At times like this I want to go back and study biology to figure out what’s going on, but here’s the gist: Redwoods grow weird leaves to suck water from air (Scientific American).

  • Trees managing to get some water from a humid environment has been thought to be a fact for some years.
  • But as one of the team behind a new study said, “No one ever really figured out how the water gets in there.”
  • What a study published in the American Journal of Botany seems to show is that redwoods grow special leaves that absorb a lot more water, and the trees adapt depending on their environment.
  • “The study found that redwoods in drier, southern areas have more axial shoots that are located higher up than on northern trees, which helps the former pull extra water from summer fog and light rain. Other tree species may have similarly specialized shoots; pines, for example, have two types that might be analogous to those on redwoods”

In the image below, the asparagus-like leaf on the right absorbs water “at about four times the rate of ordinary-looking “peripheral” shoots.”


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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