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⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 174th and final edition of the year here, with the Huawei P50 Pocket launch, a first official look at the Xiaomi 12 series, the latest Galaxy S22 leaks, and more.


🎄 I hope everyone who celebrated yesterday had a very merry Christmas! I’m in a bit of a post-Christmas dinner food coma this morning, as it should be, and trying to choose which board game to dig out for family time later!

December 26, 2021
Popular news this week
Huawei P50 Pocket white
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Huawei:

  • The Huawei P50 pocket launched December 23: A $1,400 Galaxy Z Flip 3 rival with a pretty solid spec sheet including a 6.9-inch foldable OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, a zero-gap design hinge, 4,000mAh battery, and the Snapdragon 888 4G SoC, powerful enough to tackle most tasks and games. It’s a China-only launch for now though, with no news on global availability yet.

Samsung:

Google:

Realme:

  • The Realme GT 2 Pro was teased at a special event on Monday, but all we know for now is it’s coming soon — and Realme talked about “new” technologies coming to the series (or possibly just the Pro?) including a 150° ultrawide camera.

OnePlus:

Xiaomi:

Apple:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews
OnePlus TV with Android Authority logo

Instead of reviews this week, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorites, best-ofs, and things we missed in 2021:

Features

Weekly Wonder

For this week’s festive Weekly Wonder, I thought I’d share five geeky and tech-related wonders I found while browsing the web in an egg nog and chocolate-fuelled state this week.

Home Alone in the 2000s

First up: Home Alone. It’s one of the nation’s favorite Christmas films, and a must for me every year, but what would it look like nowadays?

BuzzFeed shared a great piece a few years back which is a little dated now, but you get the idea… smartphones, iPads, Zoom calls, Google translate. Kevin’s stay at home alone would look a lot different now from how it did in the early 90s.

And a couple of years ago Macaulay Culkin himself shared what Kevin might get up to these days, which, let’s face it, looks a lot like most of us over the holidays…

This is what an updated Home Alone would actually look like. pic.twitter.com/sGj86933LA
— Macaulay Culkin (@IncredibleCulk) August 7, 2019

Tolkien’s letters from Santa

Between 1920 and 1943, The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote and illustrated Christmas letters from Santa to his children. Starting off simple, they grew more complex over the years, with Father Christmas’ token signature shaky handwriting, a polar bear sidekick and his hilarious antics, goblins, and snow elves. You can even buy the collection in a book, The Father Christmas Letters.

Santa’s tech

Next up: Ever wondered just how Santa keeps on top of his Naughty or Nice lists, manages billions of letters from children all around the world, and wraps and delivers his presents on time every year? This piece from Simon Pitt takes a pretty comprehensive look at the tech powering Santa’s operations.

Christmas dinner on the Apollo VIII

Whether you tucked into traditional turkey with all the trimmings yesterday, swapped the turkey out for duck, roast beef, or some other meat, or had a vegetarian or vegan option, we can all agree on one thing: Christmas dinner is the best!

It didn’t look that great for the crew of the Apollo VIII as they headed to the moon in 1968, though at least the key turkey, gravy, and cranberry-applesauce were there, even if it was thermo-stabilized turkey and freeze-dried sauce.

The first Christmas lights

What would Christmas be without strings of sparkling lights on our trees and houses — even if it takes some Clark Griswold-level effort to get them up sometimes?

  • But did you know the first Christmas lights were invented by Thomas Edison? On December 22, 1880, Edison strung the lights around the ouside of his Menlo Park Laboratory, so those traveling past by railroad saw their first electric light display. 
  • In 1882, Edison’s friend, Edward Johnson, put together the first string of electric Christmas tree lights, winding them around his tree — which, by the way, also revolved.
  • In 1923, US President Calvin Coolidge started an annual Christmas tradition when he lit the National Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve with 3,000 electric lights, on the Ellipse south of the White House.
  • But electric lights were initially reserved only for the wealthy, with most families using candles to light their tree, a house fire waiting to happen. Wiring electric lights was expensive and required a “wireman,” what we’d today call an electrician.
  • It wasn’t until 1903 that General Electric began offering pre-assembled strings of Christmas lights. 
  • There are some who say that prior to 1903, lighting an average Christmas tree with electric lights would have cost close to $2,000 in today’s money.
Tech Calendar
  • December 22-January 5: Steam Winter Sale
  • December 22-January 19: PlayStation’s holiday sale
  • December 28: Xiaomi 12 series launch
  • January 5-8: CES 2022
  • January 11: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE launch?
  • January 28: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection comes to PS5

Tech Tweet of the Week

The perfect packaging doesn’t exi… hold up!! pic.twitter.com/F6GrsxPaNA
— Frank ✌🏻 psa10.eth (@psa10memes) December 21, 2021

I’ll leave you with this:

Someone in my county set up a tree by her wildlife camera and caught these. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow? pic.twitter.com/EefTqJNkjd
— Chris (@mama_c6) December 23, 2021

Hard to believe it’ll be 2022 the next time we meet.

🥳 Until then, wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

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