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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 178th edition here, with Microsoft's big purchase, Samsung's new chip, and Wikitrivia, the game keeping us all entertained while we wait for the day's Wordle...


🎨 This week as well as gaming and hunting down the week's tech headlines, I've been learning to make things out of resin: coasters, candle holders, you name it. Strangely satisfying!

January 22, 2022
Popular news this week
xbox series x review controller on top
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Microsoft:

Samsung:

OnePlus:

  • The OnePlus 10R leaked, with Dimensity 9000 allegedly under the hood, 120Hz display, and at least 128GB storage, likely in India and China only, sometime towards the end of Q2 2022.
  • OnePlus could be readying affordable phones with flagship chips: Leaks suggest the company’s working on a new phone line focused on performance and gaming, with a flagship processor, and a flat screen — doesn’t necessarily mean the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in theory, but we’ll have to wait and see.
  • OnePlus product timeline tipped: OnePlus 10 Pro in March, Nord N20 in February?

Google:

Huawei:

Oppo:

Motorola:

  • The new Motorola Frontier leaked, could have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus chip, 200MP main camera, plus 125W wired charging, though no word on battery capacity yet.

Apple:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews
OnePlus 9RT showing back of the phone on a box
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Features

Weekly Wonder

On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, BlackBerry discontinued service on its classic phones (including any devices not running on Android). And this week, on January 19, the BlackBerry celebrated its 23rd anniversary.

But the original BlackBerry devices weren’t phones. The BlackBerry 850 launched on January 19, 1999, a two-way email pager with that iconic QWERTY keyboard. Way back when, owning a BlackBerry was considered a status symbol, and BlackBerry addiction wasn’t unheard of. The devices became known for their physical QWERTY keyboards and BBM, BlackBerry’s instant messaging app that was around long before WhatsApp.

During its peak from 2009-2010, BlackBerry owned almost 20% of the global smartphone market, selling over 50m phones a year. But with the advent of the iPhone, BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, reportedly lost more than half its market value in two years.

In 2016, the company announced it would no longer be making devices. TCL picked up the license, but this ended in 2020, with Onward Mobility taking it on. IN 2021, Onward Mobility teamed up with FIH Mobile.

We thought we’d take a nostalgia-fueled trip back through the years and dive into some things everyone who owned a BlackBerry will remember. Did you own a BlackBerry 850, a 7100, or a Pearl? We’d love to hear your BlackBerry-related memories…

PING!!

Nowadays if your friends/crush/girlfriend/boyfriend isn’t texting you back, the best you can do is send another text, check your read receipts, and hope they reply. But BlackBerry owners could send a PING!!! It was more like spamming your friends with messages which read “PING!!!” and literally made their phones buzz loudly. We’re sure this was responsible for the demise of more than a few relationships.

What’s your Pin?

Remember BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)? Before WhatsApp and Signal, before Facebook Messenger, BBM was the way to keep in touch with your friends, share stories, and chat. To contact someone you just needed their eight-digit BBM pin (and later a scannable barcode). Speaking of BBM, it’s not dead yet, as BBM Enterprise is available on Android and iOS — but it’s no match popularity-wise for WhatsApp and other messaging apps.

“CrackBerry”

Smartphone addiction seems commonplace in the world we live in, but BlackBerry phones were probably the first phones people became addicted to. The brand’s devices were even dubbed “CrackBerry” due to their addictive nature.

Screen Muncher

Remember when taking a screenshot was fun? Nowadays we take screenshots all the time, without even thinking about it. In the heady days of BlackBerry’s peak in 2010, the Screen Muncher app took a screenshot of your screen, complete with a cute munching pink monster and accompanying sound… and that sound was loud. The above video should bring back some memories, good or bad — you can thank us later!

Let’s finish up with five things you (probably) never knew about BlackBerry:

  • Research in Motion (RIM), the original maker of the BlackBerry, started out in an office above a pizza shop in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • The name “BlackBerry” was actually chosen as marketing experts thought the QWERTY keyboard resembled berry seeds.
  • RIM used to give out BlackBerry devices for free at industry conferences, to promote the phones to business people.
  • RIM’s wireless network was one of the few to remain intact during September 11, 2001.
  • Perhaps the most famous fan of BlackBerry was former US President Barrack Obama, though he supposedly only had 10 numbers on his contacts list — we wonder who they were?
Tech Calendar
  • January 26: Huawei P50 Pocket and P50 Pro launch in Europe
  • January 26: Redmi Note 11 series global launch
  • January 28: Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection comes to PS5
  • 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 8: Samsung Unpacked? (possibly Galaxy S22 reveal, with pre-orders from February 9, and the S Series)
  • 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

Great not just for the picture, but for the associated Octopus-related knowledge we never knew we needed:

note to self: make a baby and put them in an octopus onesie pic.twitter.com/O6TnF9kVib
— Rob N Roll (@thegallowboob) November 15, 2021

A little something extra: Robot Spy Hippo keeps an eye on hippos from a (mostly) safe distance.

Until next week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor

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