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January 10, 2021

⚡ Welcome back to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority series that recaps the top Android and tech news from the week. We're back from holidays fresh and ready to go, just as CES 2021 starts to heat up again.

🏃‍♂️ Tristan Rayner back on deck, working off the Christmas excess by ...typing!

Popular news this week
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 side profie 5
David Imel / Android Authority

Everything else:

Reviews

Features & opinion

Sony Xperia 1 II back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The team put on some thinking caps and channeled our annual requests and wishlists for some of the biggest smartphone makers in the world:

Five things we want to see from these makers in 2021:

  • Samsung — More value, a compact flagship, and what about Exynos?
  • Google — Fix Wear OS, sort out its media variety, a new Pixelbook, and what about a high-end Pixel? (I’m not sure I want the last from Google, what do you think?)
  • Xiaomi — Put together a more cohesive brand identity with an understandable variant scheme, and how about a foldable in 2021?
  • Apple — Open the Apple Watch, and the end of the Lightning port are just two requests.
  • OnePlus — Trend-setting not trend-following please, and can the Nord line do something more?
  • Huawei — The return of Google apps, and a HarmonyOS smartphone please.
  • LG — Competitive budget phones, top-tier camera quality, and more Explorer Project ideas would be very welcome.
  • Sony — A polished Xperia 5 II, PS Now for Android, and more.

And as a bonus: 6 things we want to see from the Nintendo Switch in 2021 — A Nintendo Switch Pro, streaming apps, more games, and how about new Joycons?

Instant Authority:

Our 10 best-performing articles of 2020

 

top ten
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

Here’s a look back at our 10 best ideas, best features, and popular posts — as decided by you, our audience, and your reading habits.

Executive Editor Kris Carlon passed on this list for Weekly Authority readers to get a look at the top posts written in 2020 by Android Authority’s talented crew.

And, you might be a little surprised by what topped the list. What would you have guessed?

  • Some breaking news about Samsung, OnePlus, or Google Pixel?
  • A review of a major device?
  • A technical deep dive?

Something important to remember is that the biggest tech news in our Android-focused world rarely emerges as a single moment that has everyone reading the same news.

Loads of news in this space comes out in pieces as the OnePlus Nord overplayed last year. Also, factor in the leak game being so strong that it’s rare for a new device from a big player to drop out of nowhere. The final aspect is the event cycle: tracking launch date rumors, official invitation, the event itself, confirmed information and specs, hands-on articles, and finally a full review. Chances are you that spectacle doesn’t keep you gripped across what could be months of dripped out news.

That makes our biggest pieces a little more encompassing or intriguing in different ways.

With all that in mind, here are the top 10 pieces:

  1. Did you know: The most popular music streaming platform isn’t Spotify
  2. 8 new features WhatsApp should add from other messaging apps
  3. Camera shootout: Google Pixel 5 tested vs the best Android camera phones
  4. US-China trade war: Why every Chinese phone maker should prepare for the worst
  5. Why Google chose the Snapdragon 765G for the Pixel 5
  6. Tested: How much does Bluetooth actually drain your phone battery?
  7. Compact camera vs smartphone shootout: It’s not even close
  8. Did you know: The Samsung Galaxy Note was mocked and predicted to flop at launch
  9. Android 11 on OnePlus 8: Hands-on with all the new Oxygen OS 11 features
  10. Tested: The Google Pixel series has a serious USB-C transfer problem

What a great list! Funnily enough, the top post won by a huge margin after it went viral all across the globe. It was the perfect headline to inspire intrigue (“There’s a better Spotify that everyone knows about except me??”), and the punchline that it’s YouTube still makes sense and makes you wonder.

Other notables here: just exactly what Google is doing with the Pixel line had some big wins: camera comparisons, why Google went with the Snapdragon 765G, and the USB-C transfer problems with the phone are all important considerations.

As a bonus, here’s a couple of others that just missed the top ten but are still awesome reads:

I get it. These are three pretty much instant reads. Not just because they’re from my colleagues (like technical wunderkind Rob Triggs, or ridiculous instant-recall-on-all-things-Android-dating-back-as-far-as-you-like, Hadlee Simons) but because they satisfy big Android questions we want to know.

Tech tweet of the week

Tech calendar

Coming up this week:

  • CES 2021 — pre-briefings happening right now, and the event from Jan. 11th through to Jan 14th.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 launch — Thursday, Jan 14th.

Giveaway

This January, we’re giving away three prize packs. Enter the first heavily Samsung-themed giveaway of 2021 for your chance to win.

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