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The Weekly Authority: Our best of MWC 2022
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 184th edition here, post-MWC 2022, fresh from a bunch of new devices, previews of what’s to come, and more.
👋 Tristan from the Daily here with you, with Paula back next week. I’m still in Barcelona over the weekend, sampling some of the city now that things are calmer…
Popular news this week
- Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 series was announced at Samsung’s MWC Event, with Samsung launching four new Intel 12th-gen laptops running Windows 11. The highlight was the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360, which won an award from us, but key detail: the 13-inch version wins over the 15-inch, with the bigger model’s display looking a little stretched.
- There was controversy about performance throttling on newer Samsung phones. Many apps and games were slowed in order to extend battery life. In response to backlash from customers, there will soon be a toggle to turn off the throttling.
- In light of Samsung nerfing your favorite game, the folks at Geekbench have delisted many Samsung phones from their benchmarking charts, including the Galaxy S series, from the S10 up to the S22. All of the phones that Geekbench concludes are using Samsung’s Game Optimizing Service.
- This week we heard more about the Pixel 6a and the rumored Pixel Watch. The latter has been rumored for years and years, but seems to be getting closer.
- 150W charging is a big deal, and OnePlus is determined to launch it this year. That’ll be the ability to fully charge your phone in under 20 minutes. Not bad!
- Buzz about the next Apple event coming up reached a fever pitch and finally Apple sent out invitations for its “Peek Performance” event on March 8.
- Expectations are for: an iPhone SE 2022, or a third-generation of the older iPhone platform with the A15 Bionic chipset, plus a refreshed iPad Air, and new Macs.
- Speculation is about an M2 chip, but it’s hard to know where that will land.
- A rocket from China’s Chang’e 5-T1 booster smashed into the moon on March 4, hitting the Hertzsprung Crater on the far side of the moon.
- Finally, Steve Wozniak’s new venture via Privateer has been announced: It’s taking aim at space junk, with improved tracking.
- After the early teases, it sure looks like Nothing is working on a smartphone: reports being that Carl Pei was showing off a prototype at MWC 2022 to executives.
- Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon X70, its next-gen 5G modem that can connect to every band, and has claims about AI providing improved energy efficiency.
- Mediatek launched the 5nm Dimensity 8000 series, a new affordable flagship chipset that aims to bring strong competition to the Snapdragon 888 and 870 for phones in the $400-$700 price range.
- Android 13 might bring controls to brighten or dim the flashlight, like on iPhone.
- The Sony Xperia 1 IV leaked big time, with a bunch of renders.
- OnePlus walks back ‘unified OS’ plans, Oxygen OS is here to stay. We gave this move a thumbs up, and an Honorable Mention in our Best of MWC 2022 awards.
- We live blogged MWC 2022, keeping up with each day’s big announcements, and what we found from the booths and exhibitions on the show floor.
- Intel, AMD, Samsung, TSMC, and other industry heavyweights create a new standard for chiplets: UCIe 1.0 could be better for manufacturing and collaboration (Ars Technica).
- Did you see the leaked info for the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Band 7?
- This is the cable we all need! Your security is in mind with the OSOM USB Type-C transfer cable. Safely plug into any USB power source while in charging mode, reserving the data transfer mode for when you know your security is not at risk.
- Disney Plus will soon be available for a slashed price tag, if you don’t mind ads.
- Speaking of ads, we asked if you are paying for YouTube Premium. Looks like most of you would rather pay the premium.
- Interested in some upcoming new shows? Check out the trailers for Human Resources, Slow Horses, The Adam Project, and more.
- Here’s our list of the best movies that landed on popular streaming platforms recently. Grab some popcorn and enjoy some classics.
- Gran Turismo 7 launched for Sony PS5 and PS4.
- The Nintendo Switch is set for its best year of games, possibly ever.
Lots of hands-on from MWC 2022 this week:
- The Oppo Reno 7 Pro impressed us on the outside, but had us wondering about its overall value.
- Adventurers might consider the new Garmin Instinct 2 smartwatch. It’s not a piece of jewelry, but we had lots of good things to say about it.
- The Blink Video Doorbell proves to be a decent option for a touch of home security.
- The Huawei MateBook E was one of our favorite products from MWC. A familiar looking 12.6-inch, 2-in-1 Windows tablet with OLED display.
- Honor’s Magic 4 Pro is a true competitor to the top flagships on the market today.
- Realme also jumped into the premium market, launching the GT 2 Pro.
- What happened to Android One? (Android Authority).
- Is Wi-Fi good enough? Sometimes an Ethernet connection is the way to go. Know the difference and find out which is best for you.
- Got 5G? We list all the U.S. cities that have 5G coverage.
- What is HMS? Hint: It has to do with the Huawei ban.
Jonathan Feist from DroneRush wanted to take a moment to address a concern that some of us may have:
Where are all the drones?
Decades of entertainment and a few years of promises had us believing that we’d be flying around in, and have our groceries delivered by drones by now. That’s obviously not the case, but why?
Truth is, the largest obstacle to soaring the blue skies are a bunch of pesky drone laws.
Most countries around the globe require Unmanned Aerial Systems to be operated within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) to the pilot. With a law like that, let’s be honest, if your Amazon delivery driver can see your house, it’s usually faster and easier to just walk the package to your doorstep. Until flights Beyond VLOS are allowed, drone deliveries are not a likely thing to happen.
It’s also against the law for most pilots to fly at night. Licensed drone pilots with night certification are the exception, at least in the United States. Being that darkness falls early for a large portion of the year, not being allowed to fly after sunset is a major drawback for operations such as drone deliveries.
Finally, the US is currently rolling out Remote ID requirements. That means that any drone put on the market today could be obsolete in just a few months. That being said, we’re excited for all of the possible new drones that could be hitting the market closer to the end of the year. We’re certain to see new drones from DJI and more once the FAA starts certifying the various Remote ID technologies.
What about flying cars and passenger drones?
There are some exciting looking passenger drones in the works, but the truth is, as soon as an aircraft reaches 55lbs, it is no longer a “drone” in the eyes of the FAA, it is now just an aircraft. It would be better to consider passenger drones the same way you consider a helicopter today, and expect to have to abide by helipad locations for your travels. As such, is there really a rush to introduce a new breed of helicopter? We look forward to it, but our dreams of flying our own cars from our own driveways are more than a few years out of reach.
- Don’t forget to keep tabs on our partner site Drone Rush for more details.
- If you’re looking to buy today, the DJI Mavic 3 Cine is about the best consumer drone you can buy. The DJI Air 2S is a more affordable alternative, and the DJI Mini 2 is a solid starter camera drone.
- March 4: Gran Turismo 7 lands for PS4/PS5
- March 8: Apple Spring event
- March 9: Redmi Note 11 Pro / Pro Plus launch
- March 11 – 20: SXSW
- March 15: Xiaomi 12 global launch date
- By end of March: OnePlus 10 Pro global launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
In stark contrast to the awesome OSOM cable above, this sign was spotted in the wild.
Make no mistake, this cable concept has no data transfer capabilities for your phone, but it will get you from 4% to fire in record time.
Signing out for now,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.