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August 16, 2021
🔜 Good morning! As I write and hit send, it sounds like the Pixel 5a might arrive this week, as early as tomorrow if the reports are true?
Gamers need it all
Asus ROG Phone 5 ROG RGB logo
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Phones for gamers are a pretty incredible niche that has arguably helped progress experiences in handheld gaming and made elite-level mobile gaming with mobile esports possible for many.

  • You could definitely make an argument that through gaming phones, innovati1ons in high-refresh rates displays and thermal cooling were pushed along.
  • The Razer Phone was first to a 120 Hz display back in 2017, something that still hasn’t yet hit an iPhone, for example.

At the same time, gaming phones put makers in a bind: what’s the point of having a gaming phone with all the blistering bells and whistles if it’s not the absolute fastest on the market?

  • Just no one point out that pretty much any flagship Android phone is easily fast enough for games, unlike in the PC world.
  • Mind you, few phones prioritize sustained speeds and most can get quite hot and start to hit thermal limits pretty quick.

Anyway, Asus is stuck in this bind so it felt the need to announce the new Asus ROG Phone 5S and ROG Phone 5S Pro:

  • These are pretty much identical to the ROG Phone 5 series: the new spec is the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset, which offers a small boost in performance through an overclocked CPU chipset by some 5.5%.
  • There’s also a faster touch response rate: the new devices offer a 360Hz sensing rate for touch, which is better than the 300Hz rate on the original models, though again, it is nominal — but that does mean it’s the world’s fastest 24.0ms latency. The previous phone held the record at 24.3ms touch latency … so it’s not much, but it’s all about those marginal gains.
  • In the 5S series, there’s no Ultimate device this time, but the 5S Pro was upgraded to a beefy 18GB of RAM (LPDDR5) and 512GB of storage (UFS 3.1).
  • The 5S retains features Asus likes to talk about, including a GameCool 5 cooling system for additional overclocking and thermal controls, and its substantial 6,000mAh battery remains, split into two 3,000mAh units, to minimize heating effects.
  • Even then, true pro gamers will want to hook on the external AeroActive Cooler 5 cooler to keep temps down.
  • So, it’s all a fairly natural improvement for the series, and there’s no need for any ROG Phone 5 owners to upgrade — but if you do buy one the new models are the latest and greatest, and Asus says the new models will replace the original models as stock depletes.
  • Asus didn’t announce global pricing for whatever reason … mind you, the base ROG 5 was a $999 release, jumping upwards as you added top-spec features, and it would seem unlikely there’d be any discount on offer?

👉Early ongoing reviews are emerging for new Samsung phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 3, with CNETgoing into detail about the bigger larger cover screen on the outside (CNET).

😃 You can soon control your Android phone with your facial expressions as part of an update coming to the Android Accessibility Suite in Android 12 (Android Authority).

📸 “Google’s Pixel 6 camera finally gets competitive, and I couldn’t be more excited” (Android Authority).

Leaked Fitbit Charge 5 renders shed light on tracker’s big redesign (Android Authority).

😬 Huge T-Mobile hack could have compromised personal data of 100 million users. I know we’re all increasingly numb to this stuff, but boy oh boy…. (Android Authority).

🎮 Google Stadia’s first game that responds directly to touch is coming this August (The Verge).

📈 The Switch is the first console to sweep Japan’s game sales chart in 33 years (Engadget).

💻 ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 review: It’s a new ThinkPad so that automatically makes it matter to a lot of people (The Verge).

⚖️ Huawei accused of pressuring US firm into installing a data backdoor in a new lawsuit (Engadget).

📗 “Androids: The Team That Built the Android Operating System is a new book from longtime Android engineer Chet Haase. Haase has been on the Android team since 2010, and he interviewed dozens of Googlers for this book, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at early Android development. Chapters four and five are published at Ars Technica, and the book is out via paperback and eBook — Haase is reportedly donating proceeds to Black Girls Code and Women Who Code. Here’s a review of the book, too (Ars Technica).

🏎️ Lamborghini’s Countach LPI 800-4 is here: an 802-horsepower hybrid supercar, only 112 will be made (Engadget).

🐜 Seven nature photo winners that show the quiet drama of life (Earther).

Monday Meme

First, Delta variant memes: My Fall Plans / The Delta Variant might apparently do us good, per Wired.

delta variant meme

“…the Delta variant is already warping our risk perception, and after more than a year and half of lockdowns and uncertainty and fluctuating mandates, it’s hard to put the severity in context. Which is why, perhaps, this meme can help.”

Second: The number of times Netflix has done this to me…

  • On that note, my colleague Roger Fingas wonders if Netflix is still worth subscribing to, juggling various pros such as its original titles, from Stranger Things to The Witcher, documentaries, comedy specials, and movies that come and go. 
  • On the negative side, stack up quickly canceled original titles that go nowhere fast, and a lack of third-party content as other services have emerged.
  • Still, what I think is missing from this take is that … you can very easily come and go on any service. Pay for a month, unsubscribe when you find you’re not watching. 
  • There’s very little to lock you in, though other services angle for the annual payment to “save” you money I guess?


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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