Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Wednesday, 26 August 2020.
1. Asus Zenfone 7 is here
The Asus Zenfone 6 was one of the steals of 2019, with our review from last year finding incredible value at just $499 — quote: “if you want 90 percent of a flagship for 50 percent of the price, this is the phone to beat.”
Now, it wasn’t perfect, held back by an LCD display and left out things like water resistance to stay lean.
So, what’s good with the just announced Zenfone 7, and new addition Zenfone 7 Pro?
- The Zenfone 7 packs the Snapdragon 865 processor while the Pro variant ups the ante a little with the Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset.
- Both devices feature 90Hz OLED screens, triple cameras, 5G, and 5,000mAh batteries.
- Both take photos with a triple camera, using a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor and 12MP ultra-wide sensor (IMX363), plus 8MP telephoto.
- The Pro model adds OIS to those camera lenses for better shots.
- The flip camera is back: a motorized swivel moves the rear cameras to the front for selfies. And it’s able to offer more subtle movements, that helps you take panoramas and pictures/videos from all sorts of angles. You just move the swivel.
- While we didn’t hear any complaints about reliability, Asus says the swivel is now good for 200,000 flips or 100 flips daily for five years, up from 100,000 flips from the Zenfone 6.
- There’s a nice unboxing and first impressions video from my colleague Ryan Thomas-Shaw.
- On the negatives, the phone has dropped the headphone jack, and there’s no wireless charging, while the flippy camera means there’s no real water resistance or IP rating.
- Oh, and it’s nothing like the bargain of the Zenfone 6. While this is based off initial pricing in Taiwan, the 7 starts at approximately $750, while the 7 Pro runs about $950.
- …that’s dramatically more expensive, and probably accounts for the addition of 5G. But that’s a blow to the Zenfone status which was a bit of a plucky underdog, with the Zenfone 6 at that $499 price point in the US.
- (Also, it makes the Zenfone 6 feel like even more of a bargain.)
- In any case, this isn’t final pricing, we don’t yet have availability details, and early impressions are just that. Detailed reviews to come!
2. LG Wing video leak
My colleagues were on the receiving end of a leak from the new LG Wing, an unusual and compelling device, with a twisty dual display.
Here’s a short clip of the leaked video:
- Going off this, it looks like the LG Wing has been twisted into this ‘open’ position.
- The specs being talked about include the bigger 6.8-inch main screen and the 4-inch secondary screen, likely powered by the Snapdragon 765 or 765G.
- You may recall something like this from the T-Mobile Sidekick a decade or two ago, and LG itself has been looking at dual-display devices for years now, including the current LG V60 with secondary screen accessory.
- The leaked video didn’t come with additional information around final specs, availability, or pricing, but a later report out of Korea suggested a ~$1,600 price point in its home market. Which, uh, will leave a small market of enthusiasts.
- But new products are rarely cheap, and it’s good to see LG forging ahead with a release. The same report suggested an end September, early October launch.
3. This could be our first look at the Sony Xperia 5 II (Android Authority).
4. ZTE Axon 11 5G review: More than just affordable 5G? (Android Authority).
5. Smartphone sales plunged 20% in spring 2020 due to the pandemic (Android Authority).
6. Chrome tabs in Android will eventually chew less of your phone’s battery, with a beta version of the browser tab throttling (Android Authority).
7. Fitbit has three new, uh, Fitbits: Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3, and Fitbit Inspire 2, and the Sense smartwatch can take your skin’s temperature to help you manage stress (Android Authority).
8. This wireless charger imitates Apple’s AirPower tech that wasn’t—almost, kinda (Wired).
9. Harvard and Sony built a tiny surgery robot inspired by origami (Engadget).
10. Japan facing credit card number shortage as people stay home and shop (Mainichi)
11. The riddle in The Batman trailer has been solved, here’s how to work through basic cryptography! (Twitter).
12. I might need to read this a few more times to understand it: Self-charging, thousand-year battery startup NDB aces key tests, and lands first beta customers (TechCrunch).
13. Russia declassifies footage of 1961’s Tsar Bomba, the largest hydrogen bomb ever detonated, with a mushroom cloud higher than seven times the height of Mt Everest. Video footage here, starts just after 22:30 (TheDrive).
14. “Can we accelerate in space with the power of a flashlight and if yes – how fast?” (r/askscience).
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