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August 15, 2021

⚡ Welcome back The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 155th edition starts now

🌌 How did the new Galaxy of foldables appeal to you? I've been interested to see lots of interest in the Flip 3, but the battery size may be a limitation if word out of very very early reviews is true...

Popular news this week
Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 bottom edge
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung’s August 11 event launched, on cue, the new Galaxy Z Fold 3, Flip 3, ($1,799/$999) its new Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic ($250/$350) and the Buds 2 ($160).

  • The foldables focused on improved mechanics and refined designs, with some calling them “S-year” releases, perfecting the previous generation rather than going for a revolution. We’ll know more when reviews emerge.
  • I’m also waiting for reviews on the new Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic releases. The new Wear OS, chipset, and calculation of body fat from the wrist via a body composition sensor is neat and all, but let’s see how it all works in practice.
  • Finally, the Buds 2 seemed like the weakest release given how it muddles the waters. More affordable earbuds are always welcome, but if someone wanted to understand if the Buds Pro or Buds 2 were better based on names, or even prices when the Buds Pro are on sale (they usually are, and $120 was the lowest recorded price so far), they might be a little stuck?

Samsung Rollable: Coming soon? Samsung recently patented a rollable phone and some crafty renderers figured out what it might look like. Samsung also trademarked the name Z Roll and Z Slide.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 4: This was a powerhouse release in the traditional non-foldable world, with Xiaomi adding an under-display selfie camera. Intriguingly, Xiaomi exec Lu Weibing, via Weibo, suggested that the phone prioritizes a full-screen display over selfies, and said directly (via translation): “If you are particularly concerned about the effect of selfies, I recommend you buy a [punch-hole] screen.”

  • Xiaomi also launched a questionably threatening CyberDog robot, while the Mi Tab 5 release was stifled by no word of global availability and an approach to just copy the iPad Pro.

Honor Magic 3: This new flagship from Honor was a fresh start for the former Huawei offshoot, and still has plenty of roots in Huawei design touches and specs — but that’s not unexpected given the cycle of phone releases. The Magic 3 launched as a series, with the top-spec Pro Plus sporting all the latest features, at a price tag to match: €1,499 (~$1,759) for the only configuration, a 12GB/512GB device.

Pixel 5a: It looks like the Pixel 5a could be out any time soon, possibly even next week, based on reports. The problem is, it’ll only be out in the US and Japan for reasons unknown, though likely related to supply shortages.

Apple: iPhone 13 (aka the next iPhone) reports came through this week from Bloomberg, which highlighted refinements such as new camera features, better displays with higher refresh rates, improved performance, longer battery life, and a smaller notch. That is, basically what iPhones do most years, with the series sticking with a mini, Pro Max, and two models in-between. Will Apple really stick with the classic unlucky 13 or mix up its naming system?

  • Also at Apple: Its decision to check photos on devices for CSAM reverberated through the week with criticisms and concerns, and revelations Apple employees have been busily arguing about it as well in its internal Slack channels (MacRumors).
  • VP Craig Federighi had to come out and admit Apple handled it poorly, emphasizing scans only apply to photos sent to iCloud, and in the US only for now.
  • It may be a little late on the damage control front, but has this translated to the average iPhone user at all?
Reviews
Poco F3 GT with RGB light on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

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Have a great week!

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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