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Best of Android is back for a 2020 mid-year showdown, and more tech news today
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Monday, July 13.
1. The Best of Android: Mid-2020 is here!
My colleagues at Android Authority have been toiling away in the lab and behind the scenes seeking to bring you a guide to the best Android phones of 2020, in a mid-year review.
Previously a once-a-year-winners list, the new mid-year guide looks at all phones released in 2020 thus far, by “removing any uncertainty by subjecting the best smartphones of today to a battery of unique tests that can definitively separate the real deal from the hype machine.”
And there’s more to the story this time around:
- By now, most people understand that the overall experience they get from their phone is more than megapixel count, battery size, or how fast it charges.
- In 2020, we all know that phones are better than ever, but the intangibles around value, software stability, after-sales service, mainstream availability, are equally important. If you can’t buy it, it’s not much good sitting on the top step of a podium.
- And this time around, the data results haven’t been framed by third-party benchmarking tools, which can lead to clever tricks or cheating by maker. Instead, all of the performance and battery data used in Best of Android: Mid-2020 has been sourced from a custom version of Speed Test G, cooked up by Gary Sims himself.
The details cover lots of ground, offering a look at all key aspects of a phone. Here’s how it’ll shake out:
- Sunday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Audio (live now)
- Monday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Display (just live!)
- Tuesday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Battery
- Wednesday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Performance
- Thursday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Camera
- Friday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 — Value
- Saturday: Best of Android: Mid-2020 overall winner (Editor’s Choice)
- Sunday: Voting starts for the Best of Android: Mid-2020 Reader’s Choice winner.
- Sunday’s Audio award went to the LG V60 (above), thanks to its headphone jack and 32-bit Quad DAC which impressively powers just about any headphones you might have, all the way to low impedance headphones.
- Without getting too far into audiophile territory, with improving support for better codecs, aptX, HD/LDAC support, and even FLAC decoding, surprisingly decent audio quality is becoming more common.
- The overall takeout: audio quality is better than it ever has been for most smartphones.
Display: As I write, the Display category winner has just been revealed.
- Display tests for clarity, color accuracy, gamma, and quality revealed that OLED devices still rule the roost, with not a single LCD in the top-ranks.
- Top three? The OnePlus 8 Pro, 2020 Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra flagships, and the HUAWEI P40 the top three.
2. Somehow, 125W charging is coming this week. The idea is you’ll be able to get to 100% charge in 15 minutes, which is crazy. Very interested in how the battery chemistry can handle the heat generated, and how this affects the overall lifespan (Android Authority). Also, there’s a demonstration of 120W charging from iQoo (beware the audio is super loud).
3. You told us: Even with smart TVs, you’re mostly using streaming dongles (Android Authority).
4. Lenovo Yoga X: an Android tablet that can also be a second screen? (Android Authority).
5. One of the shocks on Friday was that Amazon had banned TikTok from phones accessing Amazon email accounts for security reasons. Within hours, though, Amazon issued a retraction and said the whole thing was in error. I’ve talked to a bunch of people who only saw the original headline and assumed it’s still true. Which it isn’t. For now. (The Verge).
6. Google has announced a $10 billion ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’ to help accelerate India’s digital economy (blog.google). On that note: Digital payment transactions in India reached an all-time high in June, as people avoid handling banknotes amid the coronavirus pandemic (Bloomberg).
7. Here’s a website that allows you to experience what it is like to live with dyslexia (geon.github.io)
8. The four biggest announcements from Ubisoft’s not-E3 event: FarCry 6, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, more (The Verge). Also: Three Ubisoft executives leave amid misconduct allegations (Engadget).
9. Why is this copy of Super Mario Bros. worth a record $114,000? (Ars Technica).
10. How to trick your brain to remember almost anything (Wired).
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