🎄 Good morning! It’s our final Daily Authority newsletter of 2020, unless something crazy happens like ...a Google Car being released? Apple launching satellites? Tesla making a smartphone? Short of any of that, I'll be back in your inboxes January 4th, as we get straight into pre-CES times.
The annual winner of smartphone of the year is always important: a crowning moment, a guide for people looking to buy a new phone, and a topic of hot debate. What makes a winner?
The year’s best has been decided again, and the Android Authority team once again filtered the value from the budget, the top-tier from the mid-range, the overall best. First came a suite of objective tests, with seasoned, subjective analysis out of the results.
From there, the editorial team stepped in to offer a balanced view of specs vs price tags, features, performance, and quality. The Editor’s Choice!
The team split a tight vote down to five clear winners, ranked five-to-one. Two Google phones in the top three, while Sony sneaks in for the first time in years to a Best list.
Here’s four of the final five:
(*this was my vote!)
But to the winner go the spoils. Android Authority’s Editor’s Choice 2020 winner: the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G.
📺 Samsung has announced a First Look 2021 event for January 6, promising to show the “future of the display,” and it looks like more than just TVs — MicroLED and Mini-LED? (Android Authority).
🍎 The Apple car is back on. A Reuters report cites several anonymous sources that say Apple is targeting car production by 2024, may use self-driving technology developed by Apple, and it may involve a “breakthrough” battery design, including lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry, which Tesla said it would use in Chinese-made Tesla Model 3s, and a design that “bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials.” This is a much better report than the one suggesting an Apple car in 2021 from yesterday, and it more closely follows the rumors that have swirled around Apple’s Project Titan since 2014. However, Apple reportedly scaled back those efforts and reshuffled employees(CNBC). Any development still targeting a date three-plus years away probably shouldn’t make you change plans today (Tesla stock dropped on the news!), but like the Arm-based M1 chip Macs, when change does come, it comes all at once.
📆 Xiaomi announces Mi 11, with Snapdragon 888, launch date: December 28 (Android Authority).
💙 OnePlus 8T Concept announced: A phone with electrochromic glass on the back for color-shifting highlights and notifications. Kinda cool? (Android Authority).
💻 Galaxy Chromebook 2 leak hints Samsung will stick to its design guns (Android Authority).
🕴 OnePlus Nord SE might just be the current Nord with new clothes(Android Authority).
🤯 Cyberpunk 2077 is playable on Nintendo Switch through a Google Stadia workaround(GameSpot).
🛋 Stardew Valley adds couch co-op in its biggest update ever (Engadget).
🎶 Barack Obama has shared his annual list of top songs in 2020 and there’s plenty to like, I’m told. Informed (Twitter). I’m not exactly keeping up, still unearthing music that I think is new and that comes from 2018. Anyway, it’s here on Spotify too.
📚 26 of “the most fascinating books Wired read in 2020.” I have some catching up to do. (Wired).
💡 Eagle-eyed turn signal enthusiasts note a new detail about some modern blinkers on new cars. This is as fringe as it gets and I’m here for it (Jalopnik).
🤔 “What are some interesting or fun Christmas traditions you follow?” (r/askreddit). Some things are just hilarious across cultures: “We eat rice porridge and hide a peeled almond in it. The person finding it is the winner, and the price is a marzipan pig. (Norway)”
The last chart of the year, and it’s the RNA sequence of COVID19. This data represents the novel coronavirus, and the data used for an mRNA vaccine:
All the best – see you in 2021!
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor