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November 23, 2021
☕ Good morning! Hope your Thanksgiving plans are shaping up. I'm reaching out to a special someone for some insights into your dining experience. More to come on Wednesday or Thursday!
Oppo's Cat
cat eye

So here’s something: The upcoming Oppo Reno 7 series will apparently feature the world’s first Sony IMX709 cat-eye lens.

  • Slated for a November 25 launch in China, and ignoring the world of Thanksgiving, the Reno 7 has the usual specs, going for a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 Max SoC, a 4,500mAh battery, and a 6.5-inch AMOLED with a 90Hz refresh rate.
  • But what’s on offer here is something it’s calling the cat-eye lens from Sony. 
  • Oppo’s marketing, mostly distributed on Weibo for its launch in China, including this 15-second video teaser, says it will use a RGBW array, adding white to the usual RGB sensor. 
  • In short, Oppo hints that the phone will be given a boost for shooting night-time and low-light shots, and be used as the selfie camera.
  • The words “cat-eye lens” are pretty particular. A cat’s eye in the daytime narrows to a vertical slit, as you can see in the pic. But at night, its full pupils are used to seeing a lot better than we do in the dark.
  • It’d be pretty weird if Oppo/Sony is calling it a cat-eye lens without it having some sort of similarity, but hey, we do live in a strange world.
Qualcomm's rebrand
qualcomm gen 8 1
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

This is pretty minor, but ahead of Qualcomm’s big Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii kicking off on November 30, it’s been confirmed that there will be a rebrand to its mobile chipsets in 2021, including the renaming of its chipset models. In short: Snapdragon is bigger than ever, but the old numbering conventions of 845/855/865/888 etc. are out, making way for something simpler.

  • To be clear: the current Snapdragon 8xx, 7xx, 6xx, etc., names will be no more.
  • Qualcomm has now said “a single-digit series and generation number” will be the new name of the chipset.
  • With this video it releasedm you can see an 8, and with the name Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 rumored, it now all seems pretty much confirmed without being confirmed explicitly, yet. Maybe it’ll start at Gen 0, who knows.
  • So that’s it: a rebrand is on the cards. 
  • Much more interesting will be Qualcomm doling out specs on its next flagship, and midrange chipsets, including CPU, GPU, and ISP developments. Expect that to emerge by late November 30…

📸 Google Pixel 6 second opinion review: “The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro aren’t just great value for money, they’re the best smartphones Google has ever made” (Android Authority).

🤔 OnePlus could make things even more confusing with a phone name change with its 9RT offering (Android Authority).

😬 This is pretty crazy: It’s emerged Qualcomm has a (stifling) exclusivity deal with Microsoft for Windows on ARM, but MediaTek/Samsung may be able to join in before long (XDA).

📁 OnePlus patent suggests a dual-hinge foldable phone may be in its future (Android Authority).

🔧 HP Chromebook x2 review: As far as a useful portable goes, it’s just a price cut away from being great, and sales happen where it’s priced more like ~$400, so keep your eye out… (Ars Technica).

📈 The chip shortage is boosting US manufacturing: What you need to know (CNET).

💡 Tile is selling its business to Australian company Life360 for $205 million: Tile will continue as a brand (The Verge).

📺 TikTok keeps working on its TV apps, now out for more TV devices in the US and Canada, including Google TV, Android TV, LG/Samsung smart TVs, and more (Engadget).

👉 Gizmodo plans to publish the Facebook Papers in batches, redacting sensitive information with help from NYU, UMass Amherst, Columbia, Marquette, and the ACLU (Gizmodo).

🥽 Niantic raises $300M at a $9B valuation to build the ‘real-world metaverse’ as opposed to a sci-fi metaverse (TechCrunch).

🔋 GM backs electric boat startup in $150 million deal (The Verge).

🔫 The ConstitutionDAO aftermath: Everyone is mad and/or confused, which is a shame and partly it comes down to gas fees (Vice).

🔭 An “incident” with the $10B James Webb Space Telescope has occurred: launch is now set for December 22, the same day The Matrix 4 is released, btw (Ars Technica).

🧠 Researchers want to restore ‘Good Noise’ in older brains (Wired).

🤔 Here’s a fun one: “What is something you call by a company name instead of the actual thing it is?” Eg. “My dad calls all chicken nuggets, “chicken McNuggets,” or the much more perplexing: “Trampoline is a rebound tumbler” (r/askreddit).

Chart Tuesday

Here’s the hottest hour of the day in the USA (r/dataisbeautiful):

hottest hour of the day

Here’s a comment left in the thread that says it all: 

  • “I really love this map, specifically because of the time zones. Maps that show explicit relationships between physical geographic features, like elevation vs temperature, are much more common (at least in my field which, to be fair, is closely tied to physical geography). But I love how the time zones enhance this map to illustrate the experience of living in these different places.
  • “I grew up in a red zone and it was ingrained in me that the hottest time of the day was early evening. But when I moved to a blue zone, it actually did take me a few years to update this piece of “common knowledge”. It’s just fascinating to me to see this variability mapped out across a larger space!”

Bonus: Here’s a spooky timelapse of a glacier — you’ll see it growing during winter and then calving during summer.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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