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⚡ Happy New Year! Welcome to a bright shiny edition of The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 175th edition here with the Xiaomi Series 12 launch, what to expect at CES 2022, and more.
🥳 New Year's Eve celebrations in Scotland were canceled due to the pandemic, but I was actually glad to have a cozy meal at home and some gaming time with family — giving The Medium a go right now, but I'm not brave enough to play alone!
- The Xiaomi 12 Series launched on December 28 in China, bringing faster charging, better displays, and camera improvements: Both the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC — the Xiaomi 12 has a 6.28-inch AMOLED 120HZ screen compared to the 6.73-inch display on the Pro, battery life comes in at 4,500mAh and 4,600mAh respectively, and while the Pro offers 120W wired charging, you’re stuck with 67W wired charging on the regular model. The Pro also launches with MIUI 13.
- Speaking of, MIUI 13 launched too: The latest version of Xiaomi’s Android skin features performance, security, and design updates as well as a tablet version, MIUI 13 Pad.
- The Xiaomi Watch S1 also launched alongside the Xiaomi 12 Series with a sapphire glass lens, stainless steel body, 12-day battery life, and more for under $200 in China.
- A new Motorola Razr foldable is coming: The Motorola Razr 3 will have a better design and improved power, could launch in China first.
- Samsung’s double-folding phone design detailed again in new patent: With two hinges and three distinct sections, it folds in a Z shape, looks like a small tablet when opened. Seems like a natural evolution of the foldable, but who knows if it’ll ever be launched?
- The Galaxy S23 series could be the first to feature Samsung’s 200MP camera, according to leaks.
- The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE case options spilled in yet another leak: We can expect at least five different case options, including a Smart View case and a silicone option.
- And according to fan site SamMobile, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could offer up to 1TB of storage, something we’d welcome since Samsung dropped the microSD card slot on the S21 range.
- Samsung started the official stable rollout of Android 12 to the Samsung Galaxy S20 family, but One UI 4 rollout for its Galaxy phones was paused to fix Google Play bugs — now resumed.
- The Galaxy Note 20 stable Android 12 update has also started rolling out, in Switzerland first, but hitting handsets elsewhere soon, as well as the Note 10 series update.
- Meanwhile, a surprise Android 12 update landed on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series: According to SamMobile, the Android 12-based One UI 4 is making its official appearance on the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e, starting in Germany.
- Oppo Find X5 Pro (or X4 Pro) renders leaked showing a weird camera bump, looks like no under-display selfie camera.
- The OnePlus Pro 10 launch date will be announced January 4, and already available for pre-registrations in China.
- Latest OnePlus 8 series update brings December patch, oddly specific fixes: WhatsApp users might want to grab this update ASAP to reduce crashing risks.
- And the OnePlus Nord 2 finally gains December patch with camera, Bluetooth fixes.
- Rumors say the iPhone 15 Pro will come without a SIM card slot, but this doesn’t come from a reliable leaker, so take it with a pinch of salt.
- Another hint that Apple’s AR/VR headset could be coming soon: According to Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter, Apple’s hired Andrea Schubert, formerly head of communications and public relations for augmented reality at Meta.
- And some Apple engineers rewarded up to $180K in stock bonuses as incentive to stay, rather than moving on to companies like Meta.
- Microsoft could add more hinges, screens to its future foldables: A new patent details the company’s foldable ambitions.
- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launched on Christmas Day: It’s so big it was folded origami-style to fit into the Ariane rocket’s nose cone.
- New views from space show Comet Leonard zooming towards the sun: The year’s brightest comet approaches closest to the sun on January 3.
- Moon, Mars, and asteroid missions top 2022 space goals: Scientists will learn “more than ever before about objects in the solar system and far beyond it.”
- Alexa told a 10-year-old girl to stick a penny in an electrical outlet — luckily she didn’t, but here’s how that happened.
- Several LastPass users received a security email scare alerting them to failed login attempts — LastPass says no accounts have been compromised, though it’s continuing to monitor and investigate.
- A Finnish man decided to blow up his Tesla rather than pay $22,600 to replace the battery, as you do…
- And LG Display announced its newest big-screen television technology, OLED EX, with a display up to 30% brighter than conventional OLED screens, coming sometime in the second quarter of 2022.
- Meanwhile, Honor Magic V specs leaked, looks like it could pack the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a 120Hz foldable screen, and 50MP primary camera.
- Some stuff I enjoyed this week: Mashable’s roundup of the most anticipated electric vehicles of 2022, The Hustle‘s 22 predictions for 2022, and Kotaku’s tips and tricks for your PS5.
- You told us: Truly terrible camera phones are tough to find nowadays: Almost 95% of our readers think their smartphones are decent pocket cameras, with nearly 47% saying they believe their phone takes great photos.
- A new trailer for The Batman landed showing off a dark and sinister Riddler, could live up to the legacy of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
- And a new image from upcoming HBO Max series Peacemaker gives us a closer look at the Judomaster character.
- Meanwhile, the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett dropped on Disney Plus, with new episodes every Friday.
- Scream 2022 hits theaters on January 14 and a retro-styled poster shows Ghostface paying homage to classic horror.
- Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 takes a break until February 10, but there’s plenty more Star Trek to keep you busy — Star Trek Prodigy returns from January 6, and a second season of Picard’s on its way too.
- Here’s everything you need to know about Bridgerton Season 2. Can’t wait for season 2? Here are shows like Bridgerton to watch until then.
- Check out Netflix’s best documentaries for some intelligent New Year viewing, including Wild Wild Country, Strong Island, and more.
- First, some sad news: John Madden, the star of EA’s Madden NFL series, has died at 85.
- In delays: Final Fantasy XVI delayed by almost six months due to the pandemic: It’s looking like a spring 2022 launch.
- And God of War: Ragnarok’s release date may have leaked on the PlayStation Network database: September 30, 2022, though this is likely to be a placeholder rather than a confirmed release date.
- The 11 best cozy games that helped us survive 2021: Unpacking makes a worthy appearance here.
- There are some great games in Nintendo’s End-Of-Year Hidden Gems sale, like Kentucky Route Zero (great if you love a good story), Subnautica, Ashen, and Risk of Rain 2.
- The first age ratings for Horizon Forbidden West have landed: It’s been rated a “T for Teen” game that’s not suitable for younger players, tagged as having “Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol, and Violence,” which is hardly surprising really.
- The Oculus Quest VR app was the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store over Christmas weekend, suggesting many were gifted the Meta-owned VR headset.
- And despite everything, Cyberpunk 2077 was a Steam top-seller and most-played title in 2021.
- Meanwhile, Dead by Daylight players can get 250K Bloodpoints for logging in before January 6: The goodwill gesture follows last week’s outages.
- And it looks like the next Mass Effect will be made in Unreal: BioWare began using EA’s in-house Frostbite engine for its games after the first three Mass Effect titles (which used Unreal Engine 3), but the company’s job listing for a programmer with UE4/5 experience suggests a return to Unreal.
- Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen) review: Power with finesse — More than just a fast wireless charger for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it wirelessly charges a range of other phones too.
- Google Nest Mini review: A better-sounding in-home assistant — With improvements to music quality plus voice recognition and speed, this is the Google-made smart speaker to get if you’re on a budget.
- Coros Vertix 2 review: A fine Fenix alternative — Excellent battery life and GPS accuracy, but there’s work to do on software, heart rate algorithms, and offline mapping support.
- TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE review: A solid, but aging, Wear OS watch with LTE — “It’s the best Wear OS smartwatch with LTE support out there, but it’s still lagging well behind non-Wear OS rivals.”
- Apple Watch SE review: The smartwatch for the masses — “The Apple Watch SE is the smartwatch most people should buy. It delivers a solid feature set at an affordable price.”
- Got a new phone? Here’s how to switch like a pro: For those lucky enough to unwrap a new phone this holiday season, here’s all you need to know (Android Authority).
- Streaming services are a mess, but JustWatch keeps me sane: The app that helps you keep track of what you’re watching and where could be your new best friend (Android Authority).
- The Race to Find ‘Green’ Helium: “Helium is a critical—and finite—resource. The future of our most indispensable technologies depends on a new supply” (Wired).
- The story of the fight to archive the internet: The Internet Archive celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021, but it’s facing threats (TechRadar).
- Where four-legged robot dogs are finding work in a tight labor market: Other use cases are catching on, from defense to hospitals and even nuclear power plants (CNBC).
The Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) is the world’s largest tech convention, held in-person this year in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 5 to 8. Although many major players like Intel, AMD, Amazon, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Google have already canceled plans to attend in person due to the pandemic, things are still going ahead as planned, and there’s plenty to anticipate.
We thought we’d take a look at what to expect this year, including some of the more weird and wonderful concepts and products.
- We’re not expecting to see flagship devices from Samsung, though some are anticipating the announcement of the Galaxy S21 FE (originally tipped for a January 11 launch. More likely to make an appearance are some new mid-tier handsets (possibly some A-series phones).
- Samsung’s also likely to introduce its QD-OLED (Quantum Dot OLED) panel technology, and some colorful fridges with integrated cameras are also on the horizon.
- And Samsung’s C-Lab division’s projects showcased at CES will include an AI-powered smartphone app that aims to improve your device habits, a smart guitar with built-in LEDs to help you learn, and a multifunctional modular serving robot.
- New TVs, sound systems, headsets, and PlayStation-related things are all a possibility from Sony this year — rumors say to expect some premium headphones, a new lineup of digital media players, wireless speakers, and some new 4K and 8K screens.
- We’re expecting the Moto Edge X in early 2022, but could we see Motorola announce it at CES? Watch this space…
- We may see the TCL 30 series launch at this year’s event: TCL announced the TCL 20 5G and TCL 20 SE at last year’s CES, so we’ll have to wait and see. We could also see new 6-series Mini LED TVs, following last year’s TCL 6-series 8K.
- Nvidia promises to “address the latest breakthroughs in accelerated computing, from design and simulation to gaming and autonomous machines” at CES this year, so while we’re not expecting new GPUs, anything’s possible.
- Intel’s been working on its GPUs, with rumors rife that they might be announced at CES 2022. We might also get some news about their Alder Lake CPUs.
Weird and wonderful
There are some really exciting concepts that we could see at this year’s event, too — here are just a few that stand out:
- The Owo Game Haptic Vest, which lest you feel being shot, punched, and even insect bites — though not sure why any of these are good things (!) — and LG’s egg-like Media Chair.
- XPG imagines a gaming mouse that can store 1TB of games: The XPG Vault is a “concept” mouse that CES 2022 attendees can get a peek at, featuring a built-in SSD to make gaming libraries truly portable from your mouse. According to XPG’s official press release shared by The Verge, the “current prototype can integrate up to 1TB of Solid State memory running at 985MB/s, with USB-C connectivity.
We’ll be covering the event next week, so stay tuned for all the latest.
- January 4: OnePlus Pro 10 launch date announced
- Until January 5: Steam Winter Sale
- Until January 19: PlayStation’s holiday sale
- January 5-8: CES 2022
- January 11: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE launch?
- January 28: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection comes to PS5
- February 28-March 3: MWC Barcelona
Tech Tweet of the Week
This is the last Christmas-related thing I’ll share until next year, promise:
— Zaid Admani (@AdmaniExplains) December 28, 2021
Resolving to not make any New Year’s resolutions I can’t keep this year,
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.