Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, July 2.

1. Slowly filling in the gaps on the OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord Logo

The OnePlus Nord is the brand’s highly anticipated return to “cheaper” smartphones, but the details have been excruciatingly limited. Now, more than seven months after the device was first rumored as the OnePlus 8 Lite, the device is finally starting to take shape. Here’s what we know so far:

  • Initially rumored to have a MediaTek processor, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed the phone will have a Snapdragon 765G processor in an interview with TechRadar.
  • This is an upper-mid-range processor with extra graphics power for gaming, with built-in support for both mmWave and sub-6Ghz 5G.
  • It’s also the same processor that Google is rumored to use on its “flagship” Pixel 5 lineup.
  • Other specs still haven’t been confirmed, but you can check out the latest rumors here.
  • We also learned that the name Nord comes from “True North,” which is supposed to be some kind of reference to an inner compass.
  • The phone’s price hasn’t been specified, but we do know it will cost “less than $500.”
  • This could technically mean $499, which is $200 less than the cheapest OnePlus 8. Hopefully it’s even cheaper, but only time will tell.
  • Despite no firm price or release date, the phone was briefly available for pre-order in limited quantities for a €20 or £20 deposit.
  • If you missed the first round, there will be a second round of pre-orders on July 8th and a third on July 15.
  • This also means the phone likely won’t release until late July at the earliest.

Before you get too hyped, you should know that the OnePlus Nord won’t be available everywhere in the world, at least initially.

  • Check out the full list of release countries here, but noticeably absent are any countries in North America.
  • At launch, the phone will only be available in Europe and India.
  • OnePlus has previously limited global availability of its flagship products, but it’s disappointing that the company’s first affordable phone since the OnePlus X will skip the entire continent initially.
  • However, OnePlus has said that there will be a “select number” of North American users who can access the phone after launch in a limited beta program.
  • Until then, it’s looking like the Pixel 4a might be a solid alternative, if Google can get it out in time.

2. Welp, Samsung just leaked the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in a Mystic Bronze color. And boy is it pretty. (Android Authority)


3. Last chance: Google has discontinued the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. Hopefully this means the Pixel 4a is coming very very soon. (Android Authority)


4. Flash gaming legend Kongregate closed to new games, shutting down forums and chat. Sad day for those of us who grew up with flash games, but smartphones have changed the game for good. (ycombinator)


5. Speaking of which, the Asus ROG Phone 3 will make its debut later this month, although exact specs and pricing are still up in the air. (Android Authority)


6. Google is still paying Apple billions to be the default search engine in Safari. To be more precise, roughly $1.5 billion for the UK market alone. (The Verge)


7. Zoom misses its own deadline to publish its first transparency report. How many government data requests has the communication company received? The Magic 8-Ball says: Ask again later. (TechCrunch)


8. How Students Built a 16th-Century Engineer’s Book-Reading Machine. The bookwheel machine is beautiful, allowing users to switch between eight books at ease. Think of it like Chrome browser tabs from 1588. (Atlas Obscura)


9. Black Hole Sun is still an absolute banger, but this is terrifying: Monstrous black hole found devouring about one sun every day. (CNET)


10. 3D-printed plant-based steaks could arrive in 2021. One step closer to Star Trek replicators. (Engadget)


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