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June 30, 2021
👋 Good morning! I found a cafe doing Nitro Coffee near me today, can't wait to try later on!
Mini-LED TV competition gets bigger

Back at CES 2021 we saw (virtually) that the year ahead would be the start of LCD TVs with mini-LED-based display technology. Now, with LG launching its TVs in July, the games begin.


  • Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs offer mini-LED backlighting, with models including the 8K QN900A selling now for around $5,000 or so, with a range of screen sizes.
  • LG announced its QNED technology as its first-ever mini-LED display, but until now, hadn’t put out its range. 
  • There’s a nice deep write-up explaining LG QNED vs Samsung Neo QLED next-gen display tech, though the reality is they’re going to be fundamentally similar.
  • OLED TVs remain the benchmark for superior contrast ratios, but mini-LED tech goes a long way towards closing the gap, while presenting advantages like a much brighter display, and, in theory, much longer endurance and reliability given that OLED is generally less robust.
  • Last thing: Micro LED displays are the next great technology, offering the same per-pixel lighting of OLED, but without organic thin film, meaning smaller LEDs, brighter displays, and faster response times too. It’s a clear winner if the technology can be perfected, and Samsung does sell these TVs for more than $100,000 right now.

LG’s latest:

  • Now LG announced it is getting its promised TVs to retail: It now offers an 8K QNED99 and QNED95 series models along with 4K QNED90 series models, in a range of sizes.
  • Pricing wasn’t released yet but given it is a new technology, it isn’t exactly cheap. The only reference I’ve seen is a previous report from FlatPanelsHD, listing the 8K QNED99 at $5,000 for the 75-inch model, while the 4K QNED90 was listed at a reported $4,000 for the 86-inch model.
  • LG says of its 86-inch 8K TV, “30,000 LED lights arranged to create about 2,500 local dimming zones to deliver 10 times better contrast ratio than conventional LCD TVs.”

By the way, mini ain’t mini:

  • So, 30,000 tiny little LEDs offer way more dimming zones and performance than older types of LCD LED TVs. It’s still a lot of LEDs, and a better TV display than anything other than OLEDs.
  • But the “mini” term for LED sizes is absolutely nothing like a standard. 
  • For example, Apple’s latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with mini-LED tech (which Apple calls “Liquid Retina XDR”), packed 10,384 LEDs ( in an area that’s close to 97.5% smaller (
  • That means you can fit about 39 iPads into the same size as LG’s monster 86-inch TV. 
  • And if you did that, it’d give you something like 410,000 mini-LEDs! Check my math! (Wolfram Alpha).
  • I’d expect Samsung and LG to keep climbing up the mini-LED counts over the next generations….

📂 Foldables: A fresh Galaxy Z Fold 3 leak gives us plenty more renders to look at, and here’s our first detailed look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: attractive two-tone design, a larger outer display, and an under-display camera (Android Authority).

🔜 Samsung phone, likely Galaxy S21 FE, just hit the FCC certification pages (Android Authority).

⚓ Yes, Windows 11 was just ported to a six-year-old smartphone (Android Authority). Also, Windows 11 includes new Dynamic Refresh Rate feature to save laptop battery life, dropping refresh rates just like Android smartphones do (The Verge).

🐚 How’s your Google Pixel 5 outer shell holding up? (Android Authority).

🔽 Netflix introduces new features for watching partially downloaded content, but only for Android and not iOS (yet) (Ars Technica).

💻 Xiaomi’s new flagship laptop packs an OLED screen, Intel 11th Gen CPUs, but no word on availability outside of China (Android Authority).

📶 5G phones are more affordable than ever, but the killer app is still missing (CNET). Speaking of: Hundreds of users sue Korean carriers over disappointing 5G service (Android Authority).

👉 GitHub and OpenAI launch a new AI tool that generates its own code as you write it — still in a restricted technical preview for now (The Verge).

Steve Jobs emails Bill Gates: February 3, 1998 (Twitter).

🛍️ Shopify dropped its App Store commissions to 0% on developers’ first million in revenue, just like Apple, Google and Amazon, and its flat fee dropped to 15% too. Also, a new Online Store 2.0 debuted for ecommerce operators (TechCrunch).

🎮 Control, easily one of the more memorable games in recent years, is getting a co-op spin-off(Engadget).

🌊 An actual space laser shows how catastrophic sea-level rise will be (Wired).

🚀 After the 20th SpaceX launch of the year was halted just seconds before launch, Elon Musk calls rocket launch regulations ‘broken’ (CNBC).

🛫 AirCar prototype completes its first inter-city flight (Engadget).

🧬 What mRNA is good for, and what it maybe isn’t (Science).

🥚 “ELI5: What determines whether a hard boiled egg is easy to peel or not?” (r/explainlikeimfive).

Wednesday Weirdness

No one imagined giant lizard nests would be this weird, writes The Atlantic, digging up the dirt on a dirt-digging lizard that no one expected would dig up so much dirt just to bury some eggs. 

I mean, look at this corkscrew nest (image via The Atlantic):

  • The yellow-spotted goanna’s nests are deeper than other creatures known for corkscrew nests, including scorpions and an extinct beaver — extending as far as 13 feet below the surface.
  • “That’s a ridiculous depth,” said Sean Doody, a herpetologist from the University of South Florida.
  • He explains: “The yellow-spotted goanna faces a unique challenge. Its large eggs need to incubate for eight months before hatching — a period that takes them through Australia’s brutal dry season, when several months might go by without any rain. 
  • “At shallow depths, the eggs would cook and desiccate. Only in deeper soil, which is cooler and wetter, can they survive.”


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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