Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Monday, 31 August 2020

1. 7,000mAh

Samsung’s M-series of Galaxy smartphones promised plenty in early 2019 when they were first unveiled as proper mid-range devices, mostly focused on India.

  • While the more European/US-focused Galaxy A-series has worked well, with the current A51 and A71 models attractive devices in the US, the M-series didn’t do that much on launch in India.
  • That’s mainly because it was hard up against competition from Xiaomi and Realme, on both price and specs.

Now we’ve seen rumors of the new Galaxy M51 with a huge battery, and Samsung surprised everyone with the phone quietly going official on Samsung’s official German website.

  • Only, not all specs — including dimensions — are listed.
  • So while it’s clearly not a svelte device, we don’t know the thickness.
  • Although in this helpful spinning render, the thickness doesn’t look odd:

Otherwise, the leaks were right:

  • The new phone does bring a 7,000mAh battery, making it quite possibly the biggest battery in a phone from a major manufacturer in 2020.
  • It’s also 4G LTE only, and with an expected Snapdragon 730 processor on board, per previous leaks that match up with Samsung listing an unnamed octa-core processor, it should easily have two or three-day battery life.
  • Check out my colleague Hadlee Simon’s detail about all the rest of the M51’s specs!

2. You can now watch select Netflix originals for free without a subscription or an account: Strangers Things, Bird Box, Grace and Frankie, and more, free! Only first eps for TV shows, but you do get full movies (Android Authority).


3. Tested: How much does Bluetooth actually drain your phone battery? Thankfully, not much, but an interesting process here (Android Authority).


4. Samsung doesn’t mind touting its manufacturing prowess with memory chips, but this is one time where it made a particularly notable breakthrough: 16-gigabit LPDDR5 mobile RAM chips, first to be made using extreme ultraviolet lithography, coming to smartphones in 2021 (XDA).


5. ICYMI: Apple terminates Epic Games’ App Store account (TechCrunch).


6. Elon Musk trots out pigs in demo of Neuralink brain implant (The Verge).


7. NASA’s Mars Rover will be powered by US-made plutonium: Oak Ridge National Laboratory produced the first plutonium fuel in the US in nearly 30 years. Now it’s headed to another planet (Wired).


8. Players are fixing Microsoft Flight Simulator’s missing or messed up monuments with Google Maps (rockpapershotgun.com)


9. Kymeta raises $85.2 million led by Bill Gates to speed growth of its satellite-cellular antenna tech. No moving parts makes a big difference. (TechCrunch).


10. These new shape-shifting materials get super cool, super fast (Wired).


11. Watch ULA abort a rocket launch at the very last moment (Engadget). But that abort didn’t impact SpaceX, which launched a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday that was historic for two reasons: 100th mission, polar corridor (Ars Technica). And finally in rocket things: Rocket Lab’s Electron makes a successful return to flight out of NZ (YouTube).


12. Meet the “menu engineers” who optimize restaurant revenue (The Hustle).


13. “What’s an industry secret in the field you work in?” (r/askreddit). Interesting one: job “requirements” are more of a wish-list situation so don’t think you need to check every box to apply.


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