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👋 Good morning! So interesting that Apple’s new monitor is the weakest link of its three new products that have seen reviews come out…

New phones

Galaxy A53 A33 Infographic Thumb1000

Samsung announced its A-series phones yesterday, featuring the Samsung Galaxy A53 and A33 in its presentation, while, for some reason, also quietly releasing the Galaxy A73 as well, the largest of the three, all with 5G.

  • The A53 is probably the sweet spot of these three mid-range value-packed phones, and the fact that the A53 gets a big processor upgrade with the new Exynos 1280 processor built on a 5nm process, an IP rating for waterproofing, 120Hz variable refresh display, and drops in price from the A52 down to $450 makes it a pretty strong contender, especially against the iPhone SE.
  • Plus, pre-orders include a set of Galaxy Buds Live. Not bad, if you don’t mind the bean look.
  • The A33 gets a jump as well, really leaping ahead by also packing the Exynos 1280 processor, a new 90Hz Super AMOLED panel, and 5,000mAh battery as well, though. As far as I can tell, US pricing for the A33 wasn’t released, and Samsung didn’t confirm it would make it to the US at all. In the UK, it’s £329, and US pricing based on that figure is usually something like $350 or so, but that’s pure speculation.
  • In any case, the A53 is the hero for Samsung for now, and pre-orders go until the end of March.

Meanwhile, in China, Xiaomi announced the Redmi K50 and K50 Pro, which also look to be priced under $500, at least in China equivalent pricing.

Why does this phone series matter? Two reasons:

  • The K-series is often given another life as one of Xiaomi’s other brands, like Poco or the older Mi T series.
  • We might again see the K50 or the K50 Pro as Poco F4 series devices, if the rumors are true
  • And why not: this is usually where Xiaomi is really hard to beat for its affordable flagship specs. The phones usually just miss a few of the higher-end features but packing so much in for your dollar is hard to ignore.
  • But the really interesting thing about the K50 series this time is that they’re not built with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, but, finally, the flagship MediaTek Dimensity chips.
  • The K50 Pro sports the Dimensity 9000, which was announced back in November last year, but hasn’t yet been seen in a phone you or I could buy today. I mean, Oppo did launch an Oppo Find X5 Pro Dimensity 9000 edition in China, but availability of that phone has been clouded.
  • Now, at least, a more available model is in China, and should the day come when the K50 series in any form is available in global markets, we’ll finally get our hands on what may challenge Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which has long been the default best-in-Android-chipset-class.

Roundup

👍 Second Android 13 developer preview is here: new handling of notifications, security tweaks, support for the next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio standard, and more. This is everything we know about Android 13 so far, too. (Android Authority).

🏆 Google Play Store will promote tablet apps with a “quality” ranking to boost better tablet apps, as part of the push to make developers crank out tablet apps (Ars Technica).

📺 Among a bunch of new Samsung 2022 model TVs, Samsung’s first OLED TV has arrived: QD-OLED is part of the branding, and the new Samsung OLED S95B comes in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, pre-order pricing at $2,400/$3,500. Here’s a first look(CNET).

👉 The tech that’ll make the smart home of right now and in the future much better, Matter, has been delayed again. Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and so on are all on board, but the launch in late 2020 slipped to 2022, and now it’s slipped to fall 2022. Why? “To further improve code quality and stability and accommodate the breadth of Matter devices and platforms, we’re extending our testing and validation events,” said a CSA blog post. It’s so important that it works and that it’s seamless and becomes the standard everyone uses, so I’m good with the delays (CSA).

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I mentioned the link to watch NASA’s very important SLS rocket head out onto the launch pad. But as Mashable points out, the star of that part of the show isn’t really the rocket.

It’s the crawler itself, which is:

  • Able to carry 18 million pounds or more than 8 million kilograms.
  • 131 feet long and 114 feet wide, i.e. a flat surface larger than a baseball infield.
  • Essentially carrying a skyscraper.
  • And, generally, quite remarkable, using tank-tracks to move.

Bonus: Please enjoy the story of a guy accidentally discovering his wife is the world’s best Tetris player. The kicker? “From now on you pack the car.”

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.





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