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December 21, 2021

☕ Good morning! Just a few more newsletters before a well earned break for us both!

Launch time

It’s launch season? At this time of year?!

  • On Thursday, Dec. 23, Huawei will launch the Huawei P50 Pocket.
  • The Xiaomi 12 series is coming next week on Dec. 28.
  • The OnePlus 10 Pro is coming in January, months ahead of OnePlus’ usual schedule.
  • Those are now all confirmed launches. 


  • There’s also a Realme GT 2 series launch coming soon — Realme held an event just to talk about “new” technologies coming to that series (or just the Pro?), including a 150° ultra-wide camera and other bits and pieces.
  • Plus, of course, coming sometime soon is the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, though maybe not until Feb. And as far as rumors go, multiple leaks point to the Galaxy S21 FE launch on Jan. 11th, which has been coming for months.

What chip shortage?

  • With the launch of the Snapdragon Gen 1 freeing up Snapdragon 888 chips, and with smartphone makers adjusting to chip and component shortages, it’s possible that we’ll see less smartphone launch date slips, or just not launching at all.
  • This list of smartphones we didn’t see in 2021 include devices from OnePlus, Google, and Realme, that just didn’t launch at all, some through major changes (LG quitting mobile, Samsung killing the Note), and shortages, like the Realme 9, and possibly the OnePlus 9T series, too.
  • Add into the mix that Samsung is now trying in China again, after suffering absolutely dismal smartphone sales there for years. Next year’s smartphone scene will be a spicy one.
  • Which comes in handy: 60% of you voted that you’re getting a new phone in 2022. It’s easier to vote yes than actually spend money, of course, but it’s a sign.

👉 Earlier than expected: OnePlus says OnePlus 10 Pro is coming in January, months ahead of schedule (Android Authority).

📆 The Xiaomi 12 series is coming next week on Dec. 28, with a first official look now out (Android Authority).

🔎 A veteran leaker may have just revealed the Galaxy S21 FE launch date: Jan. 11? (Android Authority).

💻 With Intel 12th-gen CPUs looming, LG’s debut gaming laptop …opts for 11th-gen (Ars Technica).

📴 Google is turning off the controls for OnHub routers at the end of 2022 (The Verge).

⛓ Crypto guy/Block CEO Jack Dorsey has caused a mild uproar by dismissing Web3 as a venture capitalists’ plaything (Bloomberg).

📺 Here’s why streaming services are always duking it out over channels (The Verge).

🔌 Waze finally adds EV chargers to its app, joining Google and Apple Maps (Ars Technica).

👉 Someone spotted a stealth bomber in flight on Google Maps (, discussion here).

🎯 And now me linking to stuff I like: “The Matrix Trilogy has always been a masterpiece,” (Defector)Detailed footage reveals what triggers lightning,” and “EPA announces strictest fuel efficiency standards ever, reversing Trump-era rollback” (Engadget), and there’s a new First Dog(AP).

🤔 “Can other people’s phones “hear” LTE traffic that’s addressed to your phone? If data is broadcasting from a cell tower, then how does your phone differentiate your traffic from other people’s traffic?” (r/askscience).

Chart Tuesday

Once again, it’s time for 2021’s Trending Google Searches by US state to be visualized, for each day across the year (r/dataisbeautiful):

google search trends
  • This random point in time shows searches for Gabby Petito, in less fun news, and in more fun, Squid Game, Battlefield 2042, and fired NFL coach Urban Meyer.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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