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I’ve been waiting to see how reviews stack up for the new $159 OnePlus Watch, the firm’s first attempt at a smartwatch, and an important second-effort in wearables after the forgettable OnePlus Band.
My colleague Dhruv Bhutani has… mostly not good news. It’s not that the OnePlus Watch is bad, but it’s expensive, and more like a fitness tracker than a smartwatch. Some quotes out of the review:
- OnePlus is charging far too much money for its glorified fitness tracker.
- The design is fine, battery life is great, and there’s scope for very good fitness tracking.
- However, the OnePlus Health app is a letdown, severely lacking in functionality and inaccurate. Data analysis is weak, the ability to integrate into broader ecosystems just isn’t there, and the majority of the fitness tracking functionality is yet to come.
- It’s too basic, with no third-party apps, no voice assistant, comes in one big size that’s probably too big for many, and just not useful
- The OnePlus Watch isn’t a bad clever-ish watch, but you’re paying just a bit too much for the OnePlus brand and in a sea of established alternatives, it’s a tough fight.
It’s not just Dhruv, either. Wired’s review says “inaccurate and buggy,” with quirks galore, The Verge find it basic and boring, while CNET had constant connection drops.
- It all says, even for hardcore fans don’t settle for this on your wrist.
- Which is unusually strong for tech world reviews of even so-so devices.
- At best, wait for the OnePlus Watch 2.
Heh, it sure looks like Siri just revealed the date for the next Apple event, after someone noticed you could just ask the Apple-only voice assistant when the hotly-expected event would be, though only via Siri on a MacBook, not on iOS, and only on Apple accounts with a US ID.
When? April 20, one week from today:
- That’s the same date reported by Bloomberg so it all seems to be coming together.
- It probably goes without saying that it’ll be a live-streamed virtual event, hosted out of Apple Park.
- Later today I expect the usual suspects to get invites to the event where Apple will tease certain elements of the launch.
- But based on leaks and reporting, you’d expect the latest iPads Pro, likely featuring a 12.9-inch model running the new Mini-LED display we talked about yesterday.
- And possibly, just maybe, the Apple AirTags?
The other Apple report, by the way, is that the firm is in the early stages of working on new smart home products:
- A Bloomberg report says Apple is working on new flagship products in smart home.
- These are billed as hybrid products, including an Apple TV-HomePod and iPad-HomePod-camera-for-calling-people, a sign Apple isn’t walking away from smart-home efforts but stepping in with bigger ideas.
- Also, this sentence had me wondering if it was April Fools’: “Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.”
- Gizmodo has a pretty good take on why these efforts alone probably won’t address the weak points in Apple’s ecosystem, if they ever see the light of day.
🚄 FCC launches its own speed test app to chart the US internet landscape (Android Authority).
☎️ WhatsApp flaw lets attackers suspend your account using your own phone number (Android Authority).
😬 A Hong Kong-based cargo airline has reportedly announced a ban on Vivo phones after a major cargo fire at Hong Kong Airport over the weekend, possibly linked to a pallet containing Vivo Y20 phones (Android Authority).
⚡ How Disney’s ‘real’ lightsaber patent actually works (The Verge).
🚕 Uber for weed is …just Uber (Gizmodo).
🍕 Domino’s pizzas now delivered with autonomous cars in Houston, though only near a single pizza shop (CNET).
🆕 Chip news: Intel in talks to produce chips for automakers within six to nine months (Reuters), and Nvidia pushed into Intel’s lucrative server chip turf with an Arm-based server chip focussing on neural workloads (AnandTech). Nvidia also teased Atlan, its next-generation Drive chip for autonomous cars, but with a 2025 arrival date (Engadget).
🗣 Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion (The Verge).
⛏ The “second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” has been found: the lost golden city of Luxor. Wow! (Ars Technica).
🔧 Another milestone for in-space servicing as Northrop Grumman gives aging satellite new life, popping in new batteries and clamping on for five years (TechCrunch).
🚀 Blue Origin will run an ‘astronaut rehearsal’ during a launch this week to prep for human spaceflight (TechCrunch).
🛰 New wooden satellite (WOODSAT) is part advertising, part student project: “The wooden satellite with a selfie stick will surely bring laughter and goodwill.” (Ars Technica).
🧠 “ELI5: What makes us feel embarrassed, like biologically?” (r/explainlikeimfive).
Oh man our addiction to plastic is a problem:
- The facts presented above in this interested viz are via Geyer, Jambeck, and Law (2017), from a paper titled “Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” and compiled and discussed at dataetc.org.
- I’m shook. What a disaster we are.
- I did check to see how The Ocean Cleanup is going since last time. I don’t know what it means but Coldplay is now on board for one of the river-cleaning solutions called Interceptor, with a total of 5 set to be in place, but with big aims to get to 1,000.
- Thanks Coldplay?
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor