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⚡ Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that casts an eye back across the top Android and tech news from the week.
🌞 Tristan Rayner with you again, as we finish the 15th week of the year. Where does the time go...
Apple and Samsung announced events, Sony did its best to impress with its Xperia event, while its PS5 sales are reportedly massive even if it’s still extremely difficult to buy. I’m surprised!
Let’s take a look:
- Xperia Mark III: Sony’s Xperia launch this week showed off its Mark III devices coming in summer: the Xperia 1 III, 5 III, and 10 III. Sony was keen to talk about the trio’s photography chops, display, and sound technologies. While Sony cryptically didn’t give us a price or release date for any of the three devices, Sony Russia seems to have spilled the beans: the Sony Xperia 1 III will cost 99,990 rubles (~$1,308) and is scheduled launch date of July 20, 2021.
- TCL: TCL also launched devices this week. The TCL 20 series features the TCL 20 Pro, 20L Plus, and 20L. The 20 Pro is the top-spec option, but the Snapdragon 750G processor tells you it’s gunning for the mid-range. The price of €549 (~$657) suggests it’s going to be a tough fight. TCL also showed renders of a new foldable rollable concept.
- Samsung Galaxy Z: A leak suggests Samsung is working on the Galaxy Z Fold Tab, a tri-fold zigzag with a double hinge for a full tablet size device, possibly coming Q1 2022. Samsung is also expected to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 in July. Yes, Flip 3, not Flip 2.
- Surface: Microsoft announced its new Surface Laptop 4 and new Surface accessories, with the Surface Laptop 4 packing faster 11th-gen Intel CPUs, and a “Microsoft Surface Edition” version of AMD’s older Ryzen 5 CPU. Still the same 13.5-inch and 15-inch design without slim bezels. A few pain points remain but more battery life than ever — up to 19 hours claimed. Pricing starts at $999.
- Android 12: More Android 12 features and tweaks just leaked. Expect new emojis, new permissions, and the ability to trigger Assistant via the power button.
- Apple event: Apple announced its next event, dubbed Spring Loaded, for April 20, though Siri gave away the event a little ahead of time if you happened to ask the right question. One report suggested the event — likely focusing on the next iteration of iPad Pros — won’t feature anything “particularly innovative” (MacRumors).
- Samsung event: Samsung also announced its own Unpacked event for April 28th, likely focusing on new laptops sporting Intel’s 11th-gen CPUs. Leaks suggest extra-thin Galaxy Book Pro laptops.
- PS5: The PlayStation 5 likely just set a sales record even though you still can’t buy one. No hard numbers here
- Earth timelapse: Google Earth had its biggest update in years to become a 3D time machine, with a zoomable timelapse video of Earth across 37 years.
- OneWeb, SpaceX scrambled to dodge a potential “Red Alert” collision in orbit (The Verge).
- OnePlus Watch review: A big bad fail here by OnePlus. Our review and reviews around the web were absolutely scathing, one pointing out the device got a step count wrong by 10,000 steps.
- Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review: More gimmick than gimme, as the price tag puts it up against the very best, and it falls a little short in a few areas. Also, it’s top-heavy which is likely to hurt your hand.
Would you drink a fancy whiskey aged in days, not decades?
- OnePlus 8 Pro one year later: Is it still worth buying?
- Can smartphone makers stop with the ludicrous branding on the back of phones?
- The future of facial recognition blends AI and IR.
- Can DJs on Twitch replace clubs? The lifeline during the pandemic needs Twitch to care, first of all (Vice)
- What Octopus dreams tell us about the evolution of sleep (Wired).
- How many T. rex ever existed? Calculation of dinosaur’s abundance offers an answer: 2.5 billion (Nature).
- Whiskey world at war as tech allows spirits to be ‘aged’ instantly (FT).
Another bustling few weeks coming up — I’ll be surprised if Apple blow us away on Tuesday, but stranger things have happened…:
- April 20: Apple Spring Loaded event
- April 28: Samsung Unpacked
- May 18-20: Google I/O 2021
- May 19-20: Qualcomm 5G Summit 2021
Tech Tweet of the Week
Woman in the library asked to borrow my charger. She used it for an hour or so then told me “thanks, add me on fb” and literally guided me, looking at my laptop over my shoulder, to her profile. I sent a request bc it felt awkward not to and now I see she rejected the request— Tradia (@amalieskram) April 16, 2021
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.