The Weekly Authority: Most important phones, Samsung Galaxy S21 confirmed, more

The Weekly Authority: Most important phones, Samsung Galaxy S21 confirmed, more

Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority collection that recaps the highest Android and tech information from the week. We’re beginning to run out of days within the 2020 calendar however Tristan Rayner right here once more, and with a heat cup of cocoa available to maintain you firm.

Popular information

  • The largest smartphone information of the week got here from our personal Adamya Sharma who scooped the cellular world after Samsung’s largest retailer in India spilled the beans on the Galaxy S21 collection. The retailer confirmed the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra gadgets might be coming inside a couple of month, plus a bunch extra particulars. We now know nearly the whole lot apart from worth, together with the worldwide date for launch: January 14th. No doubt Samsung might be sad, however yearly we see leaked launch data for Samsung’s flagship collection. Maybe solely Google is worse at maintaining its Pixel secrets and techniques?
  • The Galaxy S21 handed FCC certification too, confirming the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC within the US.
  • Apple’s new AirPods Max headphones have been introduced this week at an eye-popping $549, coming December 15th.
  • Disney confirmed it’s all in on Disney Plus at its massive Investor Day 2020, asserting practically 50 new reveals and movies. This consists of huge expansions within the Marvel and Star Wars universes. With all that got here a $1 per 30 days worth hike, beginning March 2021.
  • OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has an audio firm, with merchandise coming subsequent 12 months. Pei as soon as offered white-labeled MP3 gamers in China, so his first post-OnePlus enterprise marks a return to his roots of kinds.
  • Facebook had a nasty week: it was focused by three antitrust fits from the FTC, 48 states, and Germany. The final one got here for its Oculus headset requiring a Facebook login, a “function” of the most recent Oculus Quest 2(The Verge).
  • And Cyberpunk 2077 launched, possible the most important sport of the 12 months, though Animal Crossing followers would possibly disagree. It’s been a super-mixed launch, a gem of a sport caught ready for patches, particularly on console. But hey: Cyberpunk 2077 has already recouped its growth prices(Polygon).

There are a couple of leaks and rumors floating round as effectively:

  • A leaked slide confirmed Samsung is engaged on 600MP smartphone cameras as a future objective. That’s not going to be simple with out making the digital camera bump 3 times thicker than we’re used to seeing from Samsung telephones.
  • This might be our greatest look but at what the OnePlus 9 appears to be like like in actual life, from a pre-production unit.
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  • Sony PlayStation 5 overview: A phenomenal, speedy improve from last-gen, and but extra reward for the DualSense controller — by Sarah Chaney.
  • Samsung Q950T soundbar overview: at $1,800, this is able to wish to be good, however fortunately it’s —by Chris Thomas.

Features & opinion

  • Did you recognize: The hottest music streaming platform isn’t Spotify — by Eric Zeman.
  • QuantumScape could have solved a 40-year-old battery downside? — Daniel Oberhaus, Wired.
  • Cybersecurity large FireEye acquired hacked. Now what? (VICE).

Instant Authority: Most vital smartphones of 2020

Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE 2020 backs 1 1

As we are saying goodbye to 2020, and all its faults, there’s some good to be discovered within the gadgets and merchandise launched throughout the 12 months.

Android Authority might be publishing loads of end-of-year content material within the coming weeks, together with our award for the perfect smartphone of 2020. Ahead of that, I wished to spotlight a number of the telephones that I feel we’ll look again on as being one thing extra vital than simply one other product after 2020 involves an in depth.

LG: Wing

The novel cellphone with a swiveling show provided one thing actually completely different from LG’s ordinary flagships. The LG Wing confirmed that LG can create what we known as an engineering marvel in our overview, with good {hardware} and succesful software program.

Plenty of cellphone makers are keen to point out off prototypes that by no means see the sunshine of day. LG went for it. At $999, it was far cheaper than different first improvements from others, too.

I didn’t purchase one in 2020, nevertheless it’s doable LG’s Explorer Project lineup can shake up smartphone design in the identical manner that Samsung is making an attempt with its foldables. Speaking of…

Samsung: Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 confirmed that Samsung actually could make excellent improvements that final. After a combined reception for the unique Galaxy Fold, its spectacular follow-up units the stage for the collection to be a giant a part of Samsung’s future.

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But the long run typically takes longer to reach than we’d suppose. The Galaxy S20 FE, although, is correct right here and now. It wowed reviewers, and patrons snapped it up. The Galaxy S20 FE returned Samsung to its profitable Galaxy S10e components. It took all of the vital bits from the Galaxy S20, made a couple of minor compromises, and dropped the worth to compete with OnePlus and extra within the reasonably priced flagship section.

That refreshing strategy got here as each the Galaxy S and the Note collection struggled to distinguish themselves from one another, whereas shifting even additional out of attain for patrons unwilling to stretch to that $1,000 mark.

Google: Pixel 4a

The Pixel 4a arguably represents the strongest Pixel product Google has ever put ahead. The price ticket at $350 made it tremendous engaging, and amazingly, went on sale with higher specs and a less expensive worth than the Pixel 3a. The flagship digital camera and Google’s software program simply made up for some lacking options.

Personally, I purchased the Pixel 4a 5G, as a result of I used to be joyful to pay slightly extra for a few of these higher-end options together with the higher processor, 5G, and the extra wide-angle digital camera. But the Pixel 4a was even on sale for as little as $299 this 12 months at time.

What a discount, and what a no brainer for these searching for the perfect of Google on a finances.

Apple: iPhone SE (2020)

Apple cramming flagship velocity and top-notch options — together with IP score and wi-fi charging — into an iPhone SE at $400 modified smartphones in 2020. At that low worth, this turned a default improve for a lot of Apple-friendly customers, and even Android followers have been fast to understand what was on provide. Apple’s 2020 version of the iPhone SE offered effectively all 12 months, nevertheless it was particularly related throughout the early pandemic interval again in April.

Also: It alone could have been a catalyst for Google’s engaging Pixel 4a worth, and will have pushed OnePlus to debut its OnePlus Nord line at below ~$400 in Europe and different markets. But I’m solely giving it a side-mention as a result of the Nord didn’t hit the US. Instead, OnePlus kneecapped it , and introduced out the virtually unhealthy Nord N10 in North America as an alternative, leaving the true Nord for everybody else.

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Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft Surface Duo in hand book mode from under

Here’s one which was vital for nearly all of the mistaken causes.

The Microsoft Surface Duo was a brilliant attention-grabbing gadget from Microsoft. The dual-screen smartphone/pill/tiny workstation confirmed lots of ambition, and potential round a brand new form of approach to work. It was additionally priced at $1,399 as a part of a presumed branding technique to make this really feel like a premium gadget.

But, it fell utterly flat. The hinge and improvements round dual-screen utilization have been nice, however disastrous software program bugs at launch, the $1,399 price ticket for yesteryear’s specs, a roundly unhealthy digital camera, fragile USB-C port, and efficiency points made it a must-avoid.

Microsoft can take these classes and do higher — I’ve learn long-term opinions which have sounded encouraging for smoothing out the software program points at the very least. But why launch it with these bogs? Microsoft must be taught quite a bit if it desires to maintain its Surface cellphone desires alive. And I actually hope it does, as a result of competitors and innovation are very important for Android.


If you’re searching for tech proper now, take a look at these fashionable offers:

  • This OnePlus 7T deal makes it cheaper than the Pixel 4a: simply $329
  • Save $350 on a 2018 iPad Pro and extra of the perfect vacation iPad offers.

Tech tweet of the week

needs to be my favorite shakespeare quote

— three smart pams 👑 (@alexandrakuri) December 8, 2020

Mac… Chimney….

— sarah@Future Gadget Laboratory (@winocm) December 10, 2020


This month, we’re giving freely three prize packs! Enter the December giveaway in your likelihood to win.

  • First prize: An Xbox Series X and an AA hoodie
  • Second prize: A Google Pixel 4a 5G and an AA hoodie
  • Third prize: A Garmin Vivoactive four and an AA t-shirt


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