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May 27, 2021

☕ Good morning! Anyone around here tried Geisha coffee? Super expensive but I hear good things!

Today’s deep dive into the daily world of tech is brought to you by OnePlus! This Memorial Day weekend, save 5% off the OnePlus 8T and get a FREE case to protect your new device. Click the link below for the full scoop, but act quick - this offer only lasts until Monday!

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Nintendo Switch Pro soon
PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch 11

Well, well. Yesterday, we talked Valve working on various prototypes for a handheld, portable PC device, just like a Nintendo Switch. 

And the Switch is in the spotlight today, because there are serious hints that Nintendo may launch the Switch Pro ahead of E3.

  • The virtual E3 event is set for June 12, which is just over two weeks away. So, soon?

Timeline:

  • Bloomberg reported it first, then Eurogamer added confirmations with additional sources, more or less suggesting a release around “September or October”. 
  • What makes this really hot, though, is that some hints out there suggest the Switch Pro could even be announced as soon as today. 
  • Why today? There are hints. And with tomorrow the start of a holiday weekend in the US, it could be the right time.

Switch Pro details:

  • The big Switch Pro specs that have emerged are a swap to an OLED panel, sourced from Samsung, running at 720p. 
  • Plus there’s reportedly a big switch to NVIDIA Tegra graphics with DLSS, that will allow the console, when docked, to output 4K to a TV.
  • The current Switch will be quietly removed from shelves, though the Switch Lite will still be available.
  • No word on pricing, but “more than $299” is being reported.
  • As for the chip shortage hurting availability, Bloomberg’s report says this: “Production lines are better prepared for the potential component shake-up and the parts Nintendo is using are subject to less competition than those in its rivals’ more powerful consoles. Still, the company’s ability to meet consumer demand won’t be guaranteed.” 
  • And I mean, Nintendo admitted as much this month, already: “Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said at its earnings press conference earlier this month that demand for the Switch remains high and the company wasn’t able to produce as many units as it wanted.”
  • About a year ago we talked about what we want to see in an upgraded Switch Pro console, including Bluetooth audio support, better Joy-Cons, and more.
Roundup

👉 Google Pixel 6 series may use a GPU found in some Galaxy S21 models (Android Authority).

🎮 Sony hints at mobile games based on first party PlayStation franchises, and a PC version of Uncharted 4 has already been confirmed (Android Authority).

🆕 OnePlus TVs with 1080p camera, Google Duo support to launch soon (Android Authority).

🏀 LeBron James may have just proved the unannounced Beats Studio Buds are real (The Verge).

👍 Instagram will allow you to hide the like counter, or just keep it enabled. After initial trials to hide like counts, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri wants to let people choose (BBC).

🎞 Amazon’s $8.5 billion bet on MGM is the latest sign that tech is transforming Hollywood (Insider). For Amazon, it’s all about reducing Prime churn(Vox). Confirmation that Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO on July 5, too, after 27 years.

👀 This is amazing — and I missed it until just now, so bear with me if you’ve already seen it: For some reason, a Canadian get-rich-quick conference booked Edward Snowden, who proceeded to speak for a few minutes, before then sharing his screen with the audience to display a news article that exposed the host, at his own conference (Vice). It gets wild here at the 8 minute mark, including a view of the live chat of participants floored by the revelations (YouTube).

😬 “Lemonade: JK, JK, we don’t use facial recognition to reject your insurance claims(Gizmodo). The neo-insurer had weirdly bragged that the company uses “AI” to identify more than 1,000 “non-verbal” cues that “traditional insurers” might not be able to pick up on. Which is a dystopian hell, if it’s even close to being correct.

🌓 Here’s some blood moon pics from last night (Gizmodo).

📻 “ELI5: Why, although planes are high tech, do their speakers and microphones “sound” like old intercoms?” (r/explainlikeimfive).

Throwback Thursday

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was released nine years ago this week, back on May 29, 2012.

The S3 was a big moment for Samsung. It built on the popular Galaxy S2 that had already established Samsung as the biggest rival to the Apple iPhone, and it worked: the phone sold around 70 million units by 2015, with record profits in the books for Samsung.

  • It was hotly anticipated as the flagship Android phone, with months of speculation leading to the launch on May 2.
  • It had a 4.8-inch 720p display, 4G LTE model, with an 8MP rear shooter. It also came with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and saw major updates including Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Android 4.4 KitKat.
  • It retained the swappable battery setup so beloved early in the smartphone game, but the base 2100mAh battery was huge for the time, too. NFC was bundled in with the battery, too.
  • And it’s fun to read old reviews about how big it was, considering the 6.8-inch Samsung S21 Ultra people grapple with today.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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