Trending February 2024 # Daily Authority: New(Ish) Nintendo Switch, And More Tech News Today # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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New 7-inch OLED screen with reduced bevel, better contrast, and more vibrant colors.

Wider kickstand that adjusts to different viewing angles.

LAN port added to dock for improved online play.

Internal storage bumped up to 64GB (from 32GB).

Slightly improved speakers.

Now comes in a new white colorway.

What Ninten-didn’t:

No improvements on internals. It features the same chipset, RAM, and battery life as the standard Switch.

No improved resolution. The OLED panel is still 720p, meaning reduced sharpness due to lower PPI.

No 4K output. Docked play still maxes out at 1080p.

No Bluetooth audio. You’ll still need to buy a dongle.

No upgraded Joy-Cons. Expect drifting over time.

Who is this for?

If you already have a Nintendo Switch, it isn’t much of an upgrade. The larger OLED screen is great for handheld gaming, but since the resolution remains the same it isn’t a game-changer.

If you don’t already have a Switch and don’t want the non-dockable Nintendo Switch Lite, it’s probably worth the extra $50 over the base model.

If you primarily play on a TV in docked mode, there’s very little reason to get the OLED model. Aside from the LAN port in the new dock, performance will be exactly the same as the cheaper model.

From a business perspective, the new model may be less about pleasing hardcore gamers and more about stabilizing demand. As

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella

puts it:

Back in the day, Nintendo portable revisions would stabilize the demand curve and firm up ASPs. They were about maintaining sales performance, and preventing the pull of price drops and stale inventory. The Switch OLED is right out of this successful playbook

.”

Note that there’s still no mention of a Nintendo Switch Pro, which is what most fans really wanted/expected. That doesn’t mean it isn’t in the works, but it’s unlikely to see release before late 2023, perhaps paired with the highly-anticipated Breath of the Wild Sequel.

My favorite take? “The real Switch Pro was the friends we made along the way.” (via Reddit user u/FinalHero13).

Roundup

👂 Nothing continues to trickle out information about its first product, the Ear 1 earbuds. In this case, it’s a sub-$100 price tag and active noise cancellation (Android Authority).

📷 The megapixel wars may be slowing down, with Samsung rumored to be sticking to a 108MP sensor in its upcoming Galaxy S22 lineup, focusing on “polish” rather than more raw pixels (Android Authority).

📱 Speaking of Samsung, the Galaxy S21 FE was recently spotted passing through China’s TENAA certification agency, revealing key details about the upcoming device (Android Authority).

🐌 Recent findings indicate that the OnePlus 9 Pro may be slowing down performance in Chrome (AnandTech).

🛠 Sources indicate that President Biden may push the Federal Trade Commission to create new “right-to-repair” rules. This would be huge news for consumer tech like smartphones, but the big winners would actually be farmers (Bloomberg).

👃 Amazon is now selling COVID-19 test kits for $39.99, with results in 24 hours. Relive the excitement of incredibly invasive nasal swabs from the comfort of your own home! (Tech Crunch).

🕹 In what could be a huge boon for game developers, Amazon is making its Lumberyard game engine open-source, providing a free alternative to licensed products like Unity (VentureBeat).

🏎 Peugeot has revealed its new hypercar that will be used for the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race and several other events in the World Endurance Championship series (Ars Technica).

Weirdness Wednesday

In what is perhaps the pettiest use of AI tech in recent years, digital artist Dries Depoorter used facial recognition to spot how often Flemish politicians are distracted by their smartphones while parliament is in session.

Each time the software detects an errant glance, the politician is named and shamed on Twitter under the handle The Flemish Scrollers.

You might argue that they could be doing important work on their phones, but there is a bit of history to the contrary. For example, Flemish Minister President Jan Jambon sparked outrage in 2023 when he was spotted playing Angry Birds on his phone during a policy debate in Parliament (via The Brussels Times).

I, for one, welcome this kind of accountability (at least while I’m still working from home).

Until tomorrow,

Nick Fernandez, Editor

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Samsung’S Best Ever Devices But You’Ll Need Big Bucks, And More Tech News Today

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, 6 August 2023.

There was one big surprise with Samsung announcing it’ll increase its device support to three years, matching what Google offers and beyond the usual two years of availability.

That’s great news for many reasons, both for supporting longer life-cycles but also just reducing unnecessary obsolescence from devices that keep working beyond 24 months.

The announcement of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 came right at the time, but it was its best device. This is bleeding-edge technology that improves upon the controversial original Galaxy Fold and makes it look like a true first-gen device.

This second-generation Fold now has a full-size outer display, at 6.2-inches, and it unfolds now to a bigger 7.6-inch inner display, and the chunky notch at the top is gone.

It also features a 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s protected by ultra-thin glass, doing away with the problems of plastic in the original Fold.

The hinge is improved, too.

Samsung, probably cleverly, didn’t announce full specs, pricing, or availability. I think that’s smart because it’s still probably going to be about $2000. Announcing it in full would’ve detracted from Samsung’s other devices.

Make no mistake. All my tech friends and true geeks are super excited about the new Fold. That’s because the original was actually a great device.

Early gadget-guy excitement doesn’t always tell the full story. Niche devices do stay niche. But sometimes that does overflow into the mainstream.

I don’t think the Fold 2 will, based on the expected pricetag alone, but with the compromises fixed, it looks great.

The Fold seems to be the new Note series. Samsung used to push the boundaries further with the Note, one of the first popular big screen devices.

We find out all the details on September 1st.

Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

There’ll be a lot said about where Samsung has positioned the Note 20 range now, because figuring that out is not easy.

The new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra devices remain super-premium, with the focus on the huge screen, refined design, S-Pen, a Swiss Army knife camera system, and top specs including 5G.

Which, ahem, is also what the Galaxy S20 was about this year as well. The Note 20 is a flat 6.7-inch device, the Note 20 Ultra is a more curved 6.9-inch device, 120Hz refresh rate, and all the best specs you could want.

So why Note 20? Well, actually, I’m not sure about the base model. It will retail for $1000, and it’s slightly smaller in display and drops back in resolution, and offers 60Hz refresh rate only, and fewer camera lenses. And it features a ‘glasstic’ back, doing away with glass and going for a glass mimic, with plastic. It may be durable, but it may not be that nice at $1000. We await full reviews.

The Note 20 Ultra, though, looks like everything you could want. But you’ll have to pay $1300 to get it, and that value looks stretched even with all of Samsung’s efforts to make this the best.

I look forward to reviews that will have to balance the price with the performance. In any case, it goes head-to-head with the OnePlus 8 Pro at $900/$1000, the LG V60, the S20 range of course, and the iPhone 11 Pro for now starting at $1250. Plus the top-spec iPhone 12 is out within a month or two.

Daily Authority: 📱 Diy Foldables

👋 Hello, and welcome to Thursday’s Daily Authority. If you’re thinking it feels like we just saw each other, you’d be right! Paula here covering for Hadlee today, and if you’re already subscribed to the Weekly Authority, you’ll see me for the third time at the weekend. Lucky you!

Flipping marvelous

Scientific and technological aesthetics/YouTube

While you’re probably not about to rush out and build your own foldable when there are phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Z Fold 4, and Motorola Razr 5G around, that’s exactly what a Chinese YouTuber and his teammates did.

The team made a foldable iPhone, complete with functional iOS software.

The project took almost a year to complete, and wasn’t nearly as simple as we’re about to make it sound.

Parts from different iPhones were used to create the foldable, including internals from the iPhone X.

These internals were packed inside a Motorola Razr flip phone chassis to create a foldable iPhone.

Trial by fire

Hours of meticulous construction and plenty of trial and error were required to get the device working.

As well as using materials from other iPhones, some parts had to be 3D printed, and the battery used was a tiny 1,000mAh cell that doesn’t support MagSafe or wireless charging.

It’s still pretty impressive that the phone runs iOS smoothly and has touchscreen functionality, though.

Foldable future

The Youtuber wanted to preserve as many parts of the donor iPhones as possible during the build.

After testing various foldable hinges, including the Galaxy Z Flip’s hinge, they settled on the Moto Razr hinge as it caused the least amount of creasing.

They even named their creation: The “iPhone V.”

Though it’s a far cry from what a foldable iPhone of the future could look like, it is impressive!

Roundup

Consoles still draw power even when they’re off completely, though it’s a tiny amount, with the PS5 drawing 0.1W of power and the Xbox Series X slightly more at 0.2W.

Gamers in the UK could be spending up to £22.70 per year ($25.85) by leaving their consoles in rest mode.

Most of us have left our console idling while making a snack or doing something else, but it might surprise you to know that your console doesn’t draw much less power while idling. The PS5 draws 57.4W per hour (costing 1.95 pence), while the console drawing the least power is the Nintendo Switch at 7.8W per hour.

It’s likely more efficient to use a streaming stick or smart TV than your games console for that Netflix binge — A Chromecast at peak load uses around 2W of power per hour, while the PS5 uses a whopping 80W, and the Xbox Series X uses 44.8W.

Finally, the question on all our lips: How much is your gaming habit actually costing you? Playing demanding games (CyberPunk 2077 in performance mode, in this instance) can be costly. The PS5 used up to 230W of power per hour, costing 7.54 pence (9 cents), while the Xbox Series X used up to 190W, costing 6.12 pence (7 cents).

That means a three-hour gaming sesh on the PS5 could cost you 23 pence in the UK, £1.60 ($1.82) if you game this way every day for a week, and £7 ($8) for a month. Most of us probably don’t game this much, but if you do, it could cost you £84 ($96) per year.

If you’re in the US, these costs will obviously vary, but you can still use the energy consumption figures to work out how much your gaming habit is costing you based on rates in your area.

Daily Authority: ❌ New Iphone Se Gets It Wrong

Apple

☕ Good morning! Back in Berlin and enjoying homemade coffee again.

Apple announced the latest iPhone SE will be $429, with a new A15 Bionic processor, same color options (don’t be fooled by fancy names), same screen, same Touch ID login, same size, same camera*.

The differences are: 5G connectivity, but only sub-6GHz, not mmWave, and battery life: now up to Apple’s impossible-to-quantify 15 hours of playback, up from 13 hours.

One of the worst things to stay the same is the 64GB storage default, too.

So, the guts of this iPhone are from the iPhone 8 in 2023. Yet, Apple is charging $30 more.

Why I can’t:

The problem here is Apple charging more for what’s basically a specs bump that it should’ve incorporated.

Ignoring the A15 chip, these specs are so average that it’s obvious Apple’s margin is enormous. It should’ve lowered the price, or maintained it. Raising the price for what is effectively a currently limited 5G experience just doesn’t do it for me.

The benefits of 5G will only be seen properly later. US carriers have spent $100B on 5G and yet it just hasn’t impacted consumers in a meaningful way.

And, 5G modems draw more power, so how this affects overall battery life will be interesting.

As for the chip, the A15 Bionic is great and all, and adds longevity to the platform, but the A13 Bionic in the previous iPhone SE was already easily sufficient for the hardware. It’s in the iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 is still excellent.

Anyway, I’m disappointed, for the first time in years, at this Apple iPhone.

I’ve been delighted each time Apple announces a new iPhone at the same price, or even cuts its prices, since they are the default for so many people, and serves to keep people in Apple’s very-very high margin ecosystem.

Grabbing the 128GB version, which is the only one you should recommend to anyone, means this is a $480 phone.

The best Android competitors here are the likes of the Pixel 5a ($450 but has been on sale) and the Samsung Galaxy A52 ($450). Both are much bigger and brighter devices, with better cameras and more photography versatility, faster charging, long-term Android support, IP rating, and solid battery life.

As expected, Apple didn’t pull the trigger yet on an M2 chip, but the M1 Ultra showing modularity by combining two chips looks extremely competitive for Apple in the long term.

The iPad Air 5 getting an M1 chip shows the future of the iPad and Apple retained the iPad Air price point (unlike the iPhone SE!)

The Mac Studio will be a default choice for plenty of folks looking at high-end solutions for design/photography/video work (Gizmodo).

And the same goes for the Studio Display, which is $1,600 but will tick a lot of boxes. Only the $400 height-adjustment element looks outrageous at the price, but that’s the Apple we all know!

Roundup

Weirdness Wednesday

NASA

Been wondering why asteroids roaming our solar system or beyond are so weird? You’re not the only one. See the rubber ducky known as 2014 JO25.

LiveScience has more:

A rubber duck. A spinning top. A pair of pancakes. These are just a few of the shapes astronomers have observed across the solar system.

While planets and moons are round, due to gravity, asteroids don’t have enough stuff to really cause gravitational attraction that would pull everything to a middle and shape a sphere.

The asteroids Bennu and Ryugu, meanwhile, are roughly diamond-shaped rather than round, and Bennu and Ryugu “are rubble piles,” said Alessondra Springmann, a researcher who studies asteroids at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. “They are just piles of gravel.”

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

Daily Authority: 👏 Flagship Foldable Revisited

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

🥵 Good morning all, and welcome to the Daily Authority. It was absolutely sweltering here this past weekend, so much so that I seriously considered sleeping outside. I didn’t because I dislike mosquitoes even more than the heat.

Six months of foldin’

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Z Fold 4 (unfolded)

We gave the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 our nod of approval when it launched in August 2023, but is the foldable worth getting this year? With the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 looming large, C. Scott Brown revisited the current foldable flagship six months after launch to weigh the positives and negatives. Should you buy one now or wait for the new model? Find out below.

It’s still very good

Some elements of Samsung’s smartphones don’t seem to age, and one of these is the software.

This is especially true on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Currently running One UI 5 on top of Android 13, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 still “feels so intuitive,” according to Scott.

“It includes tons of multitasking features, a desktop-like home screen dock, and smooth, easy-to-understand transitions as you open or close the display to varying degrees.”

The smart camera controls are a particular favorite.

“If you fold the phone halfway, a new camera interface appears that puts the controls on one half and the viewfinder on the other, allowing you to prop the phone on a table for a timer-controlled group selfie.”

The camera hardware also still holds up.

The 50MP+12MP+10MP combo is the first time Samsung introduced a flagship-level camera experience on one of its modern folders.

Finally, the price isn’t too bad either.

Yes, it’s one of the most expensive devices you can buy, but C. Scott argues it’s no longer an issue.

“Thanks to the rapid depreciation Android phones experience within only a few months of release, it is incredibly easy to get a Galaxy Z Fold 4 at a much, much cheaper price.”

The bad is still bad

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

You’ll get a vast display with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but you’ll also get a large crease down the middle.

“This appears in the middle of the phone when it is fully opened, and it’s just as much of an eyesore now as it was in previous generations.”

It’s especially jarring when rivals have found ways to minimize the crease impact on their devices.

Then there’s the battery life.

Samsung didn’t upgrade the battery on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, giving it the same 4,400mAh capacity as its predecessor.

Charging also remains notably slow compared to today’s flagships.

Just 25W wired and 15W wireless features.

Finally, let’s talk about the under-display camera.

This is Samsung’s second take on the technology, after the Z Fold 3, but Scott said images taken with this camera were “pretty weak.”

At least you have the rear cameras and the smartphone screen’s selfie camera if you want higher quality snaps.

Should you buy one?

Well, do you need a foldable phone right this minute?

If yes, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still worth it.

It remains the best foldable on the market, has great software, and can be had at a relatively low price.

However, if you can wait, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 (as well as several other foldables) is launching this year.

Roundup

Andy Walker, Editor.

Daily Authority: 🚴 The Ultimate E

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

🌡️ Good day, and welcome to the Daily Authority. I’m putting back a fresh cup of coffee while reflecting on my wonderfully relaxing weekend. It promises to be plenty hot today in my neck of the woods, too, so I forecast some iced coffee a little later as well.

A traditional cyclist goes electric

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

We’re looking at something equally as energizing today. AA’s C. Scott Brown is an avid cyclist who recently joined the e-bike craze. The segment is showing massive growth in some areas of the globe and is slowly picking up speed in the US. But is the transition from a traditional bicycle to an e-bike easy, and more importantly, worth it? He answered those questions in a weekend feature.

The toughest decision

There are plenty of options available in the market, but due to the availability of a nearby store, Scott opted for a Rad Power model.

Initially, he wanted a bike that looked and worked like a traditional bike, but that’s not always easy to find.

E-bikes can be a lot heavier and bulkier due to the batteries and drivetrain.

That means ditching any preconceived notions about traditional bikes when buying an e-bike.

Eventually, he settled on a Rad City 5 Plus, even though it was nothing like riding a regular bike.

“I figured if I’m going to commit to an e-bike, I need to abandon my attachment to a traditional cycling experience.”

The experience

If you buy an e-bike online, you’ll have to put it together yourself. In Scott’s case, it took around 90 minutes to complete.

However, if you happen to live near a showroom, you should be able to purchase a fully-assembled e-bike.

Riding it is far simpler.

There are two types of propulsion on an e-bike. There’s power-on-demand, which mimics a traditional throttle you’d find on a scooter, and PAS, or the pedal assist system.

The latter uses battery power to make pedaling easier, and Scott felt this was perfect for city riding, even switching it off when going downhill.

Higher settings are great for climbing hills without breaking too much of a sweat.

Due to the e-bike’s heavier frame, getting it off the line quickly by simply pedaling would be a challenge. That’s where the throttle comes in.

“From a dead stop, a pull of the throttle zooms me through an intersection without any grumbling motorists.”

This may be disorientating for long-time cyclists, but C. Scott got used to it in his two-week test.

Then there’s the battery life. He got between 27 and 58 miles from one charge, while one charge takes eight hours.

Importantly, owners will need to practice regular maintenance.

Should you buy one?

It depends on what you want.

C. Scott notes that riding an e-bike is more like a trimmed-down car than a souped-up bike.

“This is why, fundamentally, I think buyers should think about an e-bike like the Rad Power Rad City 5 Plus as a car replacement and not a bike replacement.”

Pedaling the e-bike isn’t as enjoyable, but they’re far more environmentally friendly than a car and are arguably a more practical city runabout than a bike.

However, if you’re considering getting a car, think about getting an e-bike first.

“If you use a car to get around, at least some of those car rides could be e-bike rides instead.”

Just don’t expect an e-bike to replace your actual bike.

“It’s a new mode of transportation — and a very useful one — but if you buy one looking for a cycling experience, you won’t find it.”

Roundup

Andy Walker

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