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The Weekly Authority: Samsung Unpacked

The week's top tech news hitting your inbox, from Samsung Unpacked to Android 13 and an NFT home sale.
By
February 12, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra bottom edge
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 181st edition here, with the lowdown on Samsung Unpacked, Android 13, and the OnePlus Nord CE 2 launch date.

📱 I’ve been having fun playing Hidden Folks on Android this week — sort of like “Where’s Wally?” but much more addictive!

Popular news this week

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra bottom edge
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung:

  • Samsung Unpacked was on Wednesday and we finally saw the long-anticipated S22 series. Some people watched in the Metaverse, and Bridgerton made an appearance. Not sure what we’re talking about? You can catch up here.
  • Samsung explained it’s using abandoned fishing nets to build the Galaxy S22 flagships and also confirmed five years of security patches and four Android upgrades for the new S22 series, surpassing even Google.
  • The S22 Ultra‘s the top-of-the-line handset, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 5,000mAh battery, S Pen, and Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with variable refresh from 1Hz-120Hz — and it looks amazing, now starting at a Note-worthy $1,200 for the 8GB/128GB version, $1,300 for the 12GB/256GB version which is the one everybody most likely should go for.
  • The S22 Plus and Ultra got a 45W charging boost too, and pricing starts at $799 for the S22, $999 for the S22 Plus (8GB/128GB models), expect to pay $50 more for the 8GB/256GB option.
  • Find out all you need to know about the S22 series in our buyer’s guide, or see what we thought about the S22 and S22 Plus. Plus, here’s which markets are getting the Qualcomm or Exynos variants: India’s confirmed as receiving the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
  • Pre-orders are open now with delivery for launch date on February 25, but some reported a few pre-order hitches on Wednesday.
  • Samsung’s also pushing ads for the Galaxy S22 on the S22 Ultra, months after announcing it was halting ads in its stock apps.
  • Also at Unpacked: the Galaxy Tab S8 series goes official with iPad-killing Ultra model — All models pack the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, bundled S Pen, and 45W charging.
  • Samsung confirms Galaxy Watch 4 (and future smartwatches) will receive four years of updates.
  • Meanwhile, Samsung might be saying goodbye to the Galaxy S21 Ultra: the phone has vanished from Samsung’s US site and the US version is no longer available from Amazon…

Google:

OnePlus:

Motorola:

  • Mark your calendars! Motorola’s next flagship is going global on February 24.
  • And the Motorola Edge 30 Pro could have stylus, but won’t be a Galaxy S22 Ultra rival: the phone itself won’t store the stylus, so you’ll need a separate case.
  • An outward folding flip phone could be a thing for some reason: It sounds pretty strange, but Motorola has reportedly filed a patent for an out-folding Razr, which would theoretically mean an external screen without a separate external display, but would also expose the folding screen to scratches and damage.

Apple:

Facebook/Meta:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra color family on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Features

Weekly Wonder

Bored ape NFTs on an auction website
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Fed up hearing about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming? It feels like NFTs are everywhere these days.

There’s been plenty of debate over whether NFTs are a total scam, what their point is, and why people actually want to buy them, but you can’t deny the fact that they seem to be taking over, from gaming to the art world.

Now things have gone too far though and NFTs are more than just apes on a page — they’ve invaded the real estate market. Say what? That’s right, what’s thought to be the first US real estate NFT transaction is happening this week as a house in Gulfport, FL goes up for auction. Bids start at $650,000 ether.

The sale’s being handled by Propy, a real estate tech company that previously sold an apartment in Ukraine owned by Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, as an NFT just last year.

  • The NFT replaces the property’s deed by “representing a limited liability corporation that owns the property rights.”
  • This in effect means that the winning bidder receives an NFT of a company that owns the house. So you’re buying a company, and the company owns that house. But what are you really buying?

Leslie Alessandra, founder of a decentralized finance company, is the Gulfport property’s current owner and wonders whether NFTs are just hype, or if there’s a real-world application, going on to explain that the auction is designed to stimulate conversation surrounding this. But critics worry traditional real estate law and crypto’s volatility could make NFT-linked real estate a risk in future.

  • Technically, nothing much is changing in the sales process. All the standard-issue paperwork and deeds plus title transfers are handled in the same way, alongside the digital sale. So this is really just a gimmick, for now anyway.
  • It’s important buyers ensure that their digital purchase confers legal ownership of a home through traditional means, though.
  • And there could be legal concerns about who’s on the other end of the deal. What exactly have you taken ownership of? What if real estate taxes aren’t up to date, or if you’re sending payment to somebody in Iran, or other sanctioned countries?
  • Buyers will need to do their due diligence or risk things going wrong — or even face a higher tax bill, depending on how the NFT sale is structured.

This could just be the start. In future, NFTs could be used to sell off pieces of a home’s ownership, or the sale of an NFT could convey the right of first refusal to buy a property, giving buyers the option to purchase a property at a set, agreed-upon price for a specific time period.

Tech Calendar

  • February 16: Redmi K50 series launch (China)
  • February 17: OnePlus Nord CE 2 launch
  • February 18: Horizon: Forbidden West launch on PS4/PS5
  • February 24: Motorola’s next flagship global launch (Edge 30 Pro?)
  • February 25: Samsung Galaxy S22 on sale
  • February 25: Steam Deck hits markets for pre-orders
  • February 25: Elden Ring launches for PS4/PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC
  • February 28-March 3: MWC Barcelona

Tech Tweet of the Week

Remember what we said about some people watching Unpacked in the metaverse? This brings back memories of Second Life  (remember that?).

Hello! I’m going to be covering today’s #SamsungUnpacked event happening at the Samsung 873X place in @decentraland
This is part of Samsung’s efforts in the #Metaverse, I’ll be sharing my thoughts over at @CNET after pic.twitter.com/ahEzK4FhOv
— Russell Holly (@russellholly) February 9, 2022

A little something extra: The winners of Minnesota DOT’s Name a Snowplow contest are in. Betty Whiteout takes the prize, with Ctrl Salt Delete 😂 and The Big Leplowski in close second and third place.

Until next weekend (When I’ll finally be playing Horizon Forbidden West)!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.