Best daily deals
Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 179th edition here, with the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked date, a possible Pixel 6a launch date, and International Lego Day.


😨 A persistent bug meant factory resetting my phone this week, and I had that hold-your-breath-don't-panic moment where you're sure all your data is going to be deleted, despite the fact it's clearly been backed up and is in the process of being restored. Happy to report, bug fixed!

January 29, 2022
Popular news this week

Samsung:

Google:

Huawei:

  • Huawei’s P50 Pro and P50 Pocket launched globally on Wednesday, though not in the US.
  • The P50 Pro has a 6.6-inch 120Hz OLED screen, Snapdragon 888 4G SoC, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and IP68 rating, running EMUI 12 rather than Harmony OS.
  • The P50 Pocket is similar spec-wise, with a 6.9-inch screen, a roughly 1-inch external screen, and triple camera setup – it’s also a properly glitzy design, if that’s your thing.

OnePlus:

Redmi:

  • The Redmi Note 11 series launched globally with four devices on offer: the Note 11 Pro 5G, the 4G alternative, the Note 11S, and the Note 11, all packing 5,000mAH batteries, LPDDR4X RAM, dual speakers, microSD card support, side-mounted fingerprint scanners, and 3.5mm headphone jacks, with some notable differences from Chinese models, starting from $179 for the Redmi Note 11.

Apple:

Motorola:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews
Amazon Halo View Activity Points1
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Features

Weekly Wonder

Friday marked International Lego Day, and whether you grew up playing with the iconic blocks or are an avid fan of Lego sets as an adult, there’s no denying the little bricks are one of the world’s most popular toys. In fact, Lego has become “The Apple of Toys.”

This week, we’re taking a deep dive into the history of Lego as well as a peek at how the company has embraced innovation and technology.

Some Lego facts

  • The Lego Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and started out making wooden toys — it wasn’t until 1946 that Kristiansen bought an injection molding machine and began making plastic toys.
  • The first stud-and-tube coupling LEGO bricks were developed with his son, Godtfred, in 1958 (and they still work with today’s bricks).
  • Today, Lego is the world’s largest and most profitable toymaker.
  • In 1999, the Lego brick was named “Toy of the Century.”
  • The Lego Group was named one of the 2021 Time100 Most Influential Companies.
  • Seven boxes of Lego are sold every second.
  • There are more little Lego people on the planet than there are real people!
  • Lego produces 22 billion plastic bricks a year — that’s around 500 bricks per second.

Enough Lego facts! How did the company get to where it is today?

Over-innovating and a rethink

Things weren’t always so rosy for Lego. In 1998, the company posted its first loss. By 2003, sales had dropped 35% in the US and 29% worldwide, leading to losses of $238 million. It was clear a shakeup was needed or the company faced bankruptcy.

Lego had fallen into the trap of “over-innovating” in an attempt to appeal to children in the age of video games. The company had lost its identity, branching out widely into video games, Lego-branded jewelry, and even its own clothing line, while at the same time simplifying its Lego sets so they were unrecognizable to fans.

The company restructured in 2003, hiring new CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, who spotted the trying-too-hard mentality that had led to Lego’s demise, and set up “The Future Lab” complete with a team tasked with “inventing new, technologically-enhanced ‘play experiences’ for children worldwide.”

Lego’s smart licensing

Back in 1999, The Lego Group’s licensing decision was a smart one that’s led to the little bricks appealing to adult fans of Lego (AFOLs) worldwide. It all started with an agreement to license Star Wars characters and vehicles. Since then, the company has sold over 200 million Star Wars Lego boxes, and branched out into a range of other agreements for licensed lines including Harry Potter, Batman, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more.

What about AFOLs?

Back to those adult fans of Lego. After the crisis of 2003, the company really started to pay attention to its adult fans. Prior to this, it seemed strange to the manufacturer that any adult would buy a Lego set for themselves. An AFOL engagement team was formed, and research carried out into those attending unofficial fan conventions and forming AFOL online groups.

In 2005, Knudstorp attended a fan convention, where he saw the hordes of adult fans for himself. The company started to work more closely with its fans: anyone could submit an idea for a set, and if enough fans liked the idea, the company would produce the set.

Today, the Lego Ideas line includes fan-favorites like a Delorean from Back to the Future, and a Big Bang Theory set. Lego continued to listen to what its fans wanted, creating an Ambassador Network and hosting the first official fan convention, Lego Con, in 2021.

Innovation, technology, and the environment

Lego’s come a long way since its first Garage and Esso Service Station sets in 1955. The company has embraced innovation and added the latest technology to its sets — like the creation of Mindstorms, Lego’s programmable robotics kit. Becoming popular in the mid-90s, the sets appealed to budding young engineers as well as adult geeks who wanted their own robots. Four years after release, the kits were still selling 40,000 units a year, becoming Lego’s all-time best-selling product.

In 2019, Lego launched eight AR-focused sets, part of the Hidden Side series, skirting the line between physical and virtual. Haunted house sets were linked to a free Hidden Side app, allowing children (and adults) to hunt, capture, and collect ghosts, alone or with friends.

Lego Lab Sets feature remote-controlled Technic vehicles, motorized lego sets, and the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox, helping kids aged seven and older to learn the basics of robotics, coding, and engineering.

Lego has also hit the headlines for its steps to become more sustainable. In 2018, it replaced the plastic used in some parts of its products with plant-based alternatives. In 2021, it announced it had found a way to use recycled plastic bottles to create its iconic bricks.

Although these recycled bricks are still a prototype, for now, Lego has also committed to removing oil from its supply chain entirely by 2030. It’s bold moves like this that ensure Lego bricks will continue to have a place in the toy boxes of the future.

Let’s finish with a few more Lego facts…

  • In 2021, Lego released the Home Alone set, a $250 fan-inspired Lego Ideas set recreating Kevin McAllister’s house from Home Alone. With 3,955 pieces, it’s the largest Lego Ideas set yet, packed with booby traps, movie references, and even the treehouse and zip line.
  • Lego’s most valuable sets include The Millennium Falcon and the Taj Mahal, First Edition — the former’s first edition once sold for $15,000.
  • The largest Lego set ever made is the Lego Art World Map, with a whopping 11,695 pieces, closely followed by the Lego Titanic, with 9,090 pieces.
Tech Calendar
  • February 4: Dying Light 2: Stay Human launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, and PC (plus a Cloud version for Switch)
  • February 9: Samsung Unpacked @ 10AM ET (3PM GMT) — Galaxy S22 reveal, and the S Series
  • February 11: Uncharted released in theaters
  • February 18: Horizon: Forbidden West launch on PS4/PS5
  • February 24: Samsung Galaxy S22 on sale? (TBC)
  • February 28-March 3: MWC Barcelona

Tech Tweet of the Week

Discord was down for many on Wednesday. But I feel like I’ve been doing this with a lot of things this week!

I’m going to fix my Discord the same way I fix everything else. Clicking on it repeatedly until outside sources correct the issue and I can take credit.
— TheGamer (@thegamerwebsite) January 26, 2022

A little bonus: Go on a sardine hunt with some penguins!

Signing off until next week,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor

Previous Newsletter
The Weekly Authority: Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard
The Weekly Authority
xbox series x review controller on top
Next Newsletter
The Weekly Authority: Sony buys Bungie
The Weekly Authority
Destiny 2 Google Stadia