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🌞 Good morning! I'm reading every Fold 3 review there is. Give me all of them!
August 19, 2021
Fold 3 reviews
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with S Pen stylus
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 reviews are now out! Though, let’s be real, for most people, it doesn’t matter. 

  • The $200 price cut and raft of small improvements that led to a big useful generation update don’t count for much. Samsung’s device is still $1,800 (though, yes, generous offers and trade-ins apply).
  • That kind of cash isn’t there for most people.
  • More people are interested in the Flip 3: 60%, in fact, of more than 1,100 people we polled
  • Maybe that’s the $999 price tag — now that it comes in under that $1,000 limit, it starts to look better than ever.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 and Flip 3 sitting open
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

But there’s a lot of good going on with the Fold 3:

  • The reason it’s worth reading reviews, which are dense with information on all the new bits and pieces is that Samsung has made a much better device.
  • Yes, it’s still bulky when it’s folded up. It barely fits in a pocket and at 271g, it weighs nearly 50g more than the heavy iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • Reviews will never stop saying it’s awkward to use unfolded in one hand, because it is.
  • But what we do have is a better feeling, single, uniform device, compared to previous models, which provides more confidence in use, and waterproofing.
  • There’s still a crease, but with long-term use, it mostly “disappears” from view and isn’t something that bothers at all. Other design touches make it nicer to use.
  • Usability-wise, Samsung is at pains to explain: “about half of the global top 100 apps have specifically adapted to the Z Fold 3’s main screen, allowing for special features such as dedicated control panels.”
  • And there’s the S Pen as well, if you like that kind of thing.
  • The under-display camera doesn’t take a great selfie, but the display doesn’t suffer a notch or hole, with an uninterrupted look.
  • So, there’s a lot of good, and the reviewer notes are fascinating.
  • But even despite all that, and acknowledging some negatives like still only so-so battery life, and a camera that is a clear second-best to the S21 Ultra … .it’s still $1,800.
  • You have to be a pretty big smartphone user to be seriously considering it. Which makes the core features of ongoing usability and added robustness much more important.
Roundup

📸 Oppo’s camera day announcements: Continuous zoom, a new generation RGBW sensor, improved “5x axis” OIS system (something used in professional cameras but difficult to miniaturize) — and Oppo showed off its latest under-display selfie camera tech (Android Authority).

📳 Saygus CEO charged with fraud, now has more lawsuits than released phones (Android Authority).

🆕 Google’s Fuchsia OS will soon roll out to all first-gen Nest Hubs (Ars Technica).

Nvidia admits its big-time acquisition of Arm may take longer than 18 months, due to regulators and political machinations (The Verge).

🍎 Apple’s been playing it too MagSafe: Almost a year in, Apple’s charging tech has barely trickled out (The Verge).

🍏 Despite not being activated yet, Apple’s NeuralHash, its scanning software, has apparently already been fooled by non-CSAM images. Apple says the algorithm that was tricked isn’t the final version, and any false positives will be identified, as “humans will also review images,” meaning … it’s not just algorithms? Anyway, the mess continues (Vice).

🍪 Truly bizarre stuff: Facebook, trying to show that its most popular content is a mix of benign and boring — and not at all overrun with political conspiracies and the like — has released a glimpse of its most popular posts for the first time ever …but we don’t learn much (TechCrunch). We did see that an obscure Green Bay Packers site became the biggest thing on Facebook through low-rent memes like “Pick one cookie variety to live without” (Wired).

💵 PayPal will no longer charge late fees for buy now, pay later purchases for people in the US, UK, and France (Engadget).

🤖 Here’s what to expect at Tesla’s AI Day later today, starting at 5PM PT / 8PM ET. Elon Musk said the “sole goal” is to persuade experts in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence to come work at Tesla (The Verge).

🔋 I saw Mercedes win the Formula E title here in Berlin, but then it announced it will quit the series at end of 2022, joining BMW and Audi as manufacturers who joined in and then got out. Why? Apparently Formula One offered Mercedes a more “rich potential for technology transfer.” Really, though, it’s about a big new generation of Formula E car in 2023 that presents teams with significant challenges, including as much as 600kW fast charging for pit-stops.

⚛ A US national lab just achieved a ‘Wright Brothers moment’ in nuclear fusion: “a hot-spot the diameter of a human hair, generating more than 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power for 100 trillionths of a second,” a written statement enthuses. (CNBC).

👖 Welp, this seems unlikely: “It’s time to bring back cargo pants: The much-maligned fashion trend is actually perfect for stashing your huge slab of smartphone.” (Wired).

⌛ The first look at Amazon’s Wheel of Time series, now just a few months away, is here (Gizmodo).

Throwback Thursday
Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G logo on back closeup

It’s been ten years since Xiaomi first launched a smartphone: the Xiaomi Mi 1.

The August 16, 2011 release was a pretty good spec device, boasting a four-inch LCD from Sharp, using a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 chipset running at 1.5GHz, with 1GB RAM, 8MP camera, 1,930mAh cell, and Android, of course.

  • Xiaomi registered 300,000 preorders and ended up selling, it says, 184,600 units at 1,999 yuan (~$308) each. 
  • That worked out to 370 million yuan, or $57 million today.

But the story is: Xiaomi announced it’s giving a refund to everyone who pre-ordered and bought its first phone.

  • That story was the most read on Android Authority over the past weeks, as people figure out if they can get a refund. Or, trying to buy one for peanuts and hoping they can turn that into refund cash?
  • In any case, it’s a chance to remind you that Xiaomi’s first product wasn’t a phone, but MIUI.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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