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The Weekly Authority: Prelude to MWC 2022
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 183rd edition here, with more Pixel 7 leaks, a Galaxy S22 Plus review, and a preview of what’s to come at MWC 2022.
👋 Nick here covering for Paula while she enjoys some well-deserved time off. Tristan will be with you in the next edition after spending the week at MWC in Barcelona, with Paula making her triumphant return the following week.
Popular news this week
- The Galaxy S22 lineup is now officially on sale. You can buy it online or in stores around the globe, and apparently demand is high. Samsung claims that pre-orders have doubled those of the S21 lineup.
- Galaxy Book 2 360 renders leak: Samsung has new laptops in store for MWC – Wintel only or Snapdragon-based?
- Here’s when your Samsung phone will get the Expert RAW camera app: Goes back to the S20 Ultra/Z Fold 2, but no earlier phones.
- Samsung announced the changelog for Good Lock 2022, with parallax effects for wallpapers and the ability to run apps on the Z Flip 3’s external screen.
- Researchers discovered that millions of Samsung phones (including the S8, S9, S10, S20, and S21 models) shipped with a major security flaw. Don’t worry, it’s already been patched, but the process behind the security issues might be interesting over your weekend.
- This week we got even more Pixel 7 leaks, including our first renders from two separate leakers. Externally the two phones are pretty much identical to the Pixel 6 lineup, so we’ll have to see if it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
- Google tests a busier Google.com homepage with a row of info cards.
- The Pixel 6 Wi-Fi bug is finally getting a fix in March.
- OnePlus is readying a new Nord product and it’s not a phone. A new leak indicates what could be Nord-branded earbuds, and the first hints of the OnePlus 10.
- The OnePlus 10 Pro broke in half in durability test: YouTube Zack Nelson put the phone through its paces — looks like the battery replacement could be responsible for the structural failure.
- Having trouble with the Gallery app on your OnePlus phone? The company is aware of the issue and a fix is coming soon.
- Motorola’s latest flagship phone, the Motorola Edge Plus 2022 launched on Thursday. It features excellent specs, but is it really a viable alternative to the Galaxy S22 lineup?
- Apple will reportedly debut an M2 chip with four new Macs this year, according to Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter and The Verge: A 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, 24-inch iMac, and redesigned MacBook Air are all expected.
- Apple reportedly completes production test for AR/VR headset.
- We’re not prepared for contamination between worlds (Gizmodo).
- On this week (Feb 22) in 1966, two Soviet space dogs launched on a mission, setting the record for the longest spaceflight.
- Researchers unlock the keys to designing an interstellar sail: A light sail is pushed by light instead of wind, seems promising.
- Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona kicks off on Monday. Scroll down a bit further to see our predictions and expectations.
- The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could finally gain a key missing feature: Better video streaming quality could be on the way with AV1 support.
- Nubia’s latest budget gaming device, the REDMAGIC 7, is now available and offers a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor starting at $629.
- Redmi K50 Pro leaks: What a POCO F4 Pro or Xiaomi 12i could look like?
- Plus — It’s official: The BlackBerry revival is dead as Onward Mobility shuts down.
- The OPPO Find X5 lineup launched on Feb 24. The Find X5 and X5 Pro offer a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and a custom MariSilicon X imaging chip for improved low-light photography and videography.
- Renders for the Redmi K50 and Redmi K50 Pro leaked this week, which could give us a sneak peak at what will become the POCO F4 and POCO F4 Pro in the West.
- Speaking of POCO, an Amazon listing in France leaked the details for the POCO X4 Pro, which was scheduled to be announced next week at MWC. WHOOPsies.
- Details are here for new Snapdragon Wear 5100 chipsets for next Wear OS watches, and they indicate a big move toward energy efficiency.
- Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black are reuniting for a new movie: The Iron Man and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang duo are working on Parker, a movie about Donald Westlake’s career criminal.
- It’s a week for reunions as Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis, and Eric Roth (who all worked on Forrest Gump) have a new project in the works too: Here, the film adaptation of Richard McGuire’s graphic novel.
- Can’t find anything to watch? Here are the best Netflix original movies in 2022.
- Or check out the best new TV shows to stream this week, including sci-fi series Severance.
- We already knew that Netflix’s Marvel shows were leaving the platform, but it appears that they’re headed to Disney Plus very soon.
- Paramount is reportedly spinning up a live-action Beyblade movie from the maker of Transformers and National Treasure.
- After months of delay, the Steam Deck launched on February 25th. Of course, if you didn’t pre-order don’t expect to get your hands on one for another six months. Reviews have been… mixed. Check out reviews from Linus Tech Tips, Digital Foundry, The Verge, PC Gamer, Gamers Nexus, and others online. Or just keep reading.
- Most reviewers agree that the hardware is excellent. Miles better than PCs in its price range, and game support is also excellent. However, they almost universally agreed that the software lacks polish. For now it’s really more of an enthusiast’s device rather than a true consumer product like the Switch, although that may change after a few months of updates.
- In other words. If you have to wait to get a Steam Deck, that might not be a bad thing.
- Elden Ring was also released on Friday, and to fairly rave reviews. IGN‘s Mitchell Saltzman gave the game a 10/10, Polygon garnished it with a Polygon Recommends badge, Eurogamer gave it a Eurogamer Essential badge, and PC Gamer gave it a 90/100.
- Sony showed off its upcoming PSVR 2 hardware in a blog post this week. No pricing or release dates yet, but the design itself is a welcome upgrade.
- Destiny 2: The Witch Queen landed on Tuesday, though its pre-load was held up on PlayStation 4 due to “unforeseen issues,” with PS4 users unable to download the game’s content files (around 72GB) ahead of it going live.
- Nintendo announced it’s shutting down retro gaming “Virtual Console” stores for pre-Switch hardware including the Wii U and 3DS.
- Last week’s Capcom countdown ended with a Street Fighter 6 confirmation and teaser trailer, plus a new fighting game compilation arriving June 24, including titles like Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, and Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors.
- And Steam Next Fest started on Monday, running until February 28, with demos and livestreams of upcoming games.
- After last week’s next-gen patch, Cyberpunk 2077 was totally broken for PS4 disc owners, with issues on PC too.
- Playing Horizon Forbidden West? Kotaku shared the 10 best skills to get ASAP.
- Modding of Android games now possible thanks to BlueStacks via its new Creator Studio and Creator Hub. And even better, it’s all available completely free of charge.
- EA may ditch the FIFA branding for future games. Apparently, aside from World Cup years, Andrew Wilson doesn’t think the FIFA branding brings enough to the table to justify the cost.
Some major reviews out this week, including two flagships.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review: The all-rounder Android phone to beat — “The Galaxy S22 Plus is one of Samsung’s very best and the top Android phone to beat for those who don’t need a stylus.”
- OPPO Find X5 Pro review: Beautifully bespoke, both inside and out — With a very unique design and custom hardware, OPPO’s latest flagship has a lot going for it.
- OnePlus Nord CE 2 review: (Nor)d is for derivative — “The OnePlus Nord CE 2 isn’t a bad phone, but it’s as bland and uninspired as smartphones get.”
- realme 9 Pro Plus review: Compromises galore — Bloatware and unpowered specs prevent this budget phone from standing out from the competition.
- HUAWEI Watch GT Runner review: A premium watch in athletic clothes — A fantastic running watch if you can get past the troublesome setup process.
- 5 shady battery tricks smartphone brands got caught doing: “Whether it’s misleading users about charging time or lying about wattage, smartphone OEMs are guilty of sketchy practices” (Android Authority).
- A joint Google account is the best advice I can give to couples: A single accounts for all your bills, reservations, purchases, and documents (Android Authority).
- Bored of Wordle? Try these challenging alternatives: More languages, more letters, more puzzles, and more than just words (Android Authority).
- 5 great features I love about Kindle readers: Tablets and smartphones are great, but there’s something enticing about dedicated e-readers (Android Authority).
- Why Nasa is exploring the deepest oceans on earth: Could our understanding of the deep ocean help unlock the mysteries of outer space? (bbc.com).
- Driving while baked? Inside the high-tech quest to find out: Cognivue’s computerized test could be the future (Wired).
- The professor who beat roulette: How a renowned researcher beat the odds, stumped casino owners around the world, and walked away with a fortune (The Hustle).
Next week is the 2022 edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. After a canceled event in 2020 and a much smaller affair in 2021, this year will be the first full-scale (ish) MWC in years. Stay tuned to the Daily Authority newsletter for the latest (Tristan is ready and waiting in Barcelona), but here’s a quick list of what to expect in the coming week:
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked (part 2)
- Technically the event starts on February 28, but Samsung’s second Galaxy Unpacked event for 2022 is scheduled for the 27th.
- Samsung has already announced its flagship phones for the year, so this event will probably be focused on laptops.
- That means a new Galaxy Book and potentially new Chromebooks to look forward to.
OnePlus 10 Pro global release?
- 2022 has been a strange year for OnePlus, with the company already announcing the OnePlus 10 Pro in China, but withholding any information about a global release.
- That could change at MWC. OnePlus isn’t traditionally heavy on MWC announcements, but since we already know what the device is, added fanfare might not be necessary.
- One controversial element of a global release would be software. The Chinese version ships with Color OS 12 instead of Oxygen OS 12 as a result of the “OnePlus 2.0” strategy of merging OPPO and OnePlus.
- And even Oxygen OS 12 is more similar to Color OS than most fans would like.
- We also haven’t seen the vanilla OnePlus 10, so this might be our first look.
New phones from Xiaomi, HONOR, and realme
- Like OnePlus, Xiaomi has already announced several devices in its native China, but MWC may be the first time they’re shown off to an international audience.
- That includes the flagship Xiaomi 12 lineup and new devices under the more affordable POCO branding.
- Then again, we’ve already seen the POCO X4 Pro thanks to Amazon France, as mentioned above.
- HONOR is set to announce the HONOR Magic 4 and a host of other devices. We may even see a global release of the Magic V foldable, which until now has been limited to China.
- realme will launch the GT 2 Series on Monday, and the company has hinted at new charging tech.
- The company is also expanding aggressively outside of China, so it will probably launch a wide variety of tablets, wearables, and other devices.
- HUAWEI will be in attendance, and while its smartphones all but disappeared from global markets, its laptops are still going strong. I’m excited to see updated devices in the Matebook lineup, particularly the Matebook X Pro (which I’m currently typing this on).
- Lenovo is also in attendance, albeit only virtually. Expect new laptops and more.
- HTC will make an announcement, but it’s probably not a phone. Perhaps more VR gear?
- Google will make an appearance, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what it will announce. New hardware is doubtful, so expect software news.
- Motorola already announced the Moto Edge 2022 earlier this week, but it may surprise us with a first look at the Razr 3. This is unlikely, however, as it would steal the thunder of its just-announced flagships.
- Nokia will be present, but the company has largely lost its hold on the smartphone market. Expect some relatively unexciting budget devices, at best.
- February 27 @ 1PM ET: Galaxy Unpacked (next-gen Galaxy Book)
- February 28-March 3: Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 in Barcelona
- March 4: Gran Turismo 7 lands for PS4/PS5
- March 8 (TBC): Apple Spring event
- March 9: Redmi Note 11 Pro / Pro Plus launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
Really, @macworld? Really? pic.twitter.com/7Rh9ZByrEH— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) February 24, 2022
Something extra: Convinced you used the term “bucket list” prior to 2007? The Mandela Effect could be to blame. Redditor sleuths confirmed that the term didn’t exist until it was popularized by the 2007 movie “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. More here.
Signing out for now,
Nick Fernandez, Editor