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March 1, 2021

☕ Good morning! Sorry for the late send, the Android Authority hosting service took a lil tumble which prevented anything from being published! We're back...

The OnePlus four?

Welcome to March! And it’s a busy one for new smartphones, including, OnePlus, which has one of its most important launches in years.

It’s been tipped for months that OnePlus will drop its latest flagship range in the OnePlus 9 series this month, and possibly a smartwatch too. The latest date rumored is March 23 for launch, though nothing is confirmed.

What to expect:

  • Tips suggest OnePlus will launch up to four devices — three smartphones and new smartwatch for the first time for the brand. 
  • The expectation is that we’ll get the usual OnePlus annual release, including a 9 Pro and a standard 9. 
  • What is new is that leaker Evan Blass found web evidence that OnePlus will reportedly launch a “9R” phone as well.
  • That seems to be the name for a “Lite” version of the OnePlus 9 series, which was rumored to be called a 9E or 9 Lite before. More on that in a second.
  • The fourth device is the likely debut of a OnePlus smartwatch: a circular-shaped watch based on Wear OS that very likely takes tech and cues from the Oppo Watch, which was released by the sister-company in early 2020.

9 and 9 Pro

  • These are expected to be flagship models. On both we expect the latest Snapdragon 888, at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and the Pro at least will show a 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
  • The Pro camera will host a quad-cam setup with a 48MP, 50MP, 8MP, 2MP lenses, and Hasselblad branding that suggests some expert guidance on the camera system.

9R

  • While it is a new name, the 9R/Lite/9E had a bunch of specs leak out from normally reliable sources, indicating it’ll be the most affordable, with a 6.5-inch display running at FHD+ at up to 90Hz, a Snapdragon 690 chipset, 8GB/128G RAM and storage, 64MP primary camera, and a 5,000mAh battery.
  • Which is an interesting set of choices. Those details are almost exactly what you get right now from the Nord N10, which has less RAM (6GB) and smaller 4,300mAh battery pack. 
  • I don’t quite understand how this fits between the Nord and the more flagship numbered series, but it’s possible the leaks aren’t on the mark?

OnePlus Watch:

  • As for the watch, there’s been a host of confirmations from OnePlus itself, and leaks including from India’s tech certifier suggested two variants known as the W501GB and W301GB (Twitter).
  • We expect OnePlus to borrow from the Oppo Watch hardware, but the real question is if the software experience will be that much better. OnePlus did say it’s worked with Google on developing more features, likely using Wear OS as the basis. 

No real word on pricing for any of these devices yet but it’s the big question.

  • Will OnePlus take the lead from Samsung and release new 2021 flagship phones cheaper than the 2020 models?
Roundup

📈 Xiaomi, not Samsung or Apple, is the maker taking most advantage of Huawei’s woes in Europe(Android Authority).

📅 Oppo Find X3 Series launch date announced, plus Pro specs revealed: March 11 is the date (Android Authority).

🔬 There are signs that the Redmi Note 10 series 5MP macro camera might actually be good. Until proven, I’d still rather a different extra lens… or a cheaper phonewithout one (Android Authority).

🗞 The Weekly Authority: Redmi K40, Steve Jobs and Apple Car potential, and more (Android Authority).

🔋 Verizon tweeted that consumers could turn off 5G to preserve battery life, and then regretted tweeting that and covered it up with mixed messaging (Mashable).

🍎 Report: iPhone 13 to offer 1 TB storage option, which would line up with Apple doubling the iPhone’s max storage timeline (9to5Mac).

👉 Good dive into real-world iPad Pro productivity/computing limitations: “Rumor has it a new iPad Pro is around the corner, which means Apple is about to make another big pitch for the iPad as a productivity and content-creation device. But … there are still a bunch of minor annoyances or “nope, you can’t do that” limitations that sabotage Apple’s intentions.” (Ars Technica)

📑 Facebook just admitted it has lost the battle with Apple over privacy: a new ad campaign that shows just how worried it is about Apple’s upcoming privacy changes (Inc).

👫 This is pretty weird: a new AI technique, “Deep Nostalgia,” brings old photos to life. Including very very old photos, which animate faces in a way that’s very cool, and a little bit weird. Also on the deepfakes front, the Tom Cruise one is tricking people/freaking them out (The Verge). 

🔓 GabLeaks: Far-right platform Gab has been hacked—including private data, which is being made selectively available to “journalists, social scientists, and researchers” (Wired).

🚲 Lime bought Uber’s very good JUMP bikes, and has now made them better: new motor, better battery in the latest ebike, and coming to 25 more cities. These are easily first or second on my list of favorite e-mobility options! (TechCrunch).

📥 Here’s Warren Buffett’s annual letter, which came out this weekend [PDF], and talks about Berkshire’s 5% stake in Apple (CNBC).

💉 There’s an mRNA vaccine for malaria that looks very promising (Academic Times).

🔋 Lordstown Motors’ electric race truck is going to enter an off-road race, the San Felipe 250. Quandary: the race is 290 miles long, the truck has a published range of 250 miles, and that’s definitely not when going hell-for-leather. It’s most likely Lordstown will strip down the truck and/or add some spare battery? (Autoblog).

🧀 TIL that cheese is the most stolen food in the world: ~4% of global cheese supply is stolen every year (r/todayilearned).

Monday Meme

With Twitter heading towards a new mode of operation featuring the same Twitter we know and love/hate, along with subscriber-only tweets, I can’t quite crystal-ball how it’s going to play out.

In lieu of making a real prediction, I just hope random accounts like ladies and gentlemen, the weekend 😌 and Everyday Cow Facts hang around.

aerodynamics
  • (Sorry, ground effect not included.)

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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