The Weekly Authority: Realizing the Word limits, fortunate 888 for Qualcomm, and extra

samsung galaxy note 20 review punch hole

Credit score: Oliver Cragg / BestAppsIneed

Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the BestAppsIneed collection that recaps the highest Android and tech information from the week and what all of it means. Tristan Rayner on the stylus, and I’m speaking all concerning the Samsung Galaxy Word collection and the S Pen on. However first…

Common Information

Loads of essential information this week, none extra so than what you’re getting from the next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon.

  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 was introduced over a two-day summit, now fabbed on a 5nm course of, a sooner and extra environment friendly CPU and GPU, and built-in 5G modem. Our deep dive into the specs tackled all of the element. Right here’s a listing of the confirmed Snapdragon 888 telephones and types up to now
  • Following that information, Xiaomi seems to be saying the Snapdragon 888-powered M11 collection as quickly as this month (BestAppsIneed).
  • Apple was fined $10M by Italian regulators as a result of water in actual life is totally different to lab checks. It means Italy’s common thinks the precise water-resistance in iPhones didn’t reside as much as the, er, splashy advertising and marketing. Italy’s regulator does give Apple 60 days to reply, although!
  • (BestAppsIneed).
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is likely to be less expensive than its predecessor, which is a welcome prospect. It’s nonetheless beginning at a supposed $849, and as much as $1,299 for the S21 Extremely mannequin, however the S20 Extremely was $100 greater than that. Reductions are at all times welcome! The issue? The iPhone 12 begins at $829 for the SIM-free mannequin ($879 for 128GB storage, although).
  • Spotify launched its 2020 Wrapped marketing campaign for the 12 months, which blew up on social media. Individuals actually prefer to see their music stats and share insights. I’d be amazed if Spotify didn’t attempt to amplify this success in several methods, not simply yearly.
  • And Warner Bros set its total 2021 film roster to debut on HBO Max together with cinemas together with Dune, Matrix 4, the brand new Area Jam, and The Suicide Squad, to go along with the already introduced Marvel Lady 24.

There are a number of leaks and rumors floating round as properly:


The busy season for brand new gadgets isn’t over, however as we’re busy placing new gadgets via their paces, you get a light-weight studying week.

  • Xbox Sequence X evaluation: The Xbox Sequence X is mainly sensible however you’re banking on the longer term being filled with traditional video games, as a result of there’s none but. It’s a reasonably secure wager, a minimum of – by Ollie Cragg.
  • And right here’s a unique one: Nurvv Run evaluation, good insoles which may show you how to together with your kind, when you can tolerate the slight oddness of them – by Jimmy Westenberg. (I have to ask Jiimmy in the event that they may also help me get from laptop computer to fridge with higher kind…)

Options & Opinion

Our options crew was fairly busy on the Snapdragon 888 entrance this week:

Prompt Authority: The top of the Word

samsung galaxy note 20 review s pen writing

Credit score: Oliver Cragg / BestAppsIneed

The information out of Reuters this week appears to verify studies from South Korea which were circulating for a while: Samsung could discontinue high-end Galaxy Word smartphones.

From the report:

As a substitute, the Galaxy S collection’ prime mannequin, the S21, may have a stylus and the subsequent model of Samsung’s foldable cellphone will probably be appropriate with a stylus, which will probably be bought individually, one of many sources mentioned.

A second supply mentioned firm improvement efforts that usually would have been directed to the Word would now be channelled into its foldable cellphone vary.

This makes an excessive amount of sense to argue with. Samsung’s foldables proceed to impress, and the Galaxy S collection does what the Word does, simply earlier within the 12 months.

The autumn of the Word:

As soon as upon a time, proudly owning a Samsung Galaxy Word felt like a press release. It was the anti-Apple, enormous display screen, really bleeding-edge gadget that took specs to the max, and pushed your pockets’s restrict to the max as properly.

I owned the Galaxy Word 2, purchased for $669 Australian {dollars} in January 2013, or about $600 in freedom bucks on the change charges as they had been in 2013.

The Word 2 was a dream. I had an iPhone 3Gs earlier than it, however the Word 2 had 4G capabilities, NFC, a then-huge 5.5-inch show, battery life for what felt like days, a split-screen function for apps, and the S Pen. After all the S Pen, with as much as 1,024 ranges of sensitivity strain!

However I hardly ever used the S Pen as a result of… why would anybody? It was kinda enjoyable to scribble and jot notes, and a minimum of I didn’t lose it, however I didn’t fairly make a deep connection to the stylus. I didn’t actually get hooked again in on a Word after this.

After that, and whereas reviewing gadgets, the likes of the Nexus 6P simply had the suitable Google feeling and I used to be uninterested in TouchWiz. I keep in mind attempting prolonged opinions with the Galaxy S6 Edge, however by the point I used to be seeking to purchase once more the Word 7 occurred — unavoidably talked about right here as one of many few complete disasters we’ve seen within the smartphone world.

As Samsung has progressed the collection lately, it’s more and more felt like simply iterative modifications from the Word 9, to the Word 10, and at last to this 12 months’s Word 20 Extremely. In the meantime, the S collection, which as soon as didn’t maintain a candle to the Word line, began to really feel like the identical cellphone with out a stylus.

Value vs innovation troubles:

Regardless of the Word step by step shedding its attraction, Samsung continued to boost costs.

Right here’s the way it felt to me, through a hand-drawn made graph of how worth vs innovation appeared to go on within the collection. Paradoxically, I want I had a Word round to have used the S Pen:

Samsung Note price vs innovation 2

Credit score: Tristan Rayner / BestAppsIneed

And whereas innovation is difficult to quantify, for precise information on these costs in an precise graph, right here’s a whole checklist of the Word costs at launch, from the primary Word in 2011 to now:


The Word has reached a pure plateau. Sure, the collection is healthier, brighter, now has 5G, the cameras can do extra, DeX is beneficial, the stylus has improved, and far more. However little is within the realm of true innovation. That’s now the Galaxy Fold line. Samsung didn’t attempt to preserve the Word line going by going with a Word Fold or related branding. Eric Zeman, our opinions editor, gave an in depth breakdown of the professionals and cons which reads properly and is smart.

In brief, the stability has tipped in direction of the Word line coming to a halt. As my colleague, C. Scott Brown mentioned in his private farewell this week: “The Galaxy Word collection had its day, and that day is over.”

The identical plateau is hitting different producers too, however Samsung’s Word vs S vs Fold downside was stark.

What’s in retailer for 2021?

What this implies is that Samsung has much more wooden to place behind fewer arrows.

As a substitute of awkwardly procuring the Word and the Fold on the identical time of 12 months, the Fold line will get all the eye, the advertising and marketing {dollars}, and gained’t must attempt to justify the place the Word suits vs the Galaxy S and the Fold. The Fold line will reportedly stretch to a few gadgets this 12 months, together with a lower-cost choice, which may very well be enticing to these delay by the excessive worth of foldables up to now.

And on the S collection, the Galaxy S21 may very well be among the best new Samsung smartphones in years with the promising Snapdragon 888 powering the gadget.

It’s excellent news for Samsung. Whereas rivals gained’t have the Word as competitors, it gained’t be simple to compete with a refined, extra wise lineup.


A bit of suggestions from us on the offers entrance with a Black Friday recap! I talked to our crew to seek out some information on the highest gadgets that individuals purchased or had essentially the most curiosity in through the Black Friday/Cyber Monday gross sales extravaganza. That is all based on our personal tough information, nothing official.

The following gadgets had been in style:

  • Smartphones: Moto G Energy (which had a minimum of a 50% worth drop), Pixel 4a, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, and the Google Pixel 5. The Galaxy S20 was the very best promoting higher-end flagship.
  • Common devices: Google Nest Wifi router 2-pack, Samsung Evo 512GB microSDXC playing cards, and, apparently, the Nintendo Swap Professional controller (which I personal and love, too!).
  • Headphones and earbuds: Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2, Sony WH-1000XM4, and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.

The excellent news is that issues don’t actually return to “regular” after the late November deal-fest.

Tech Tweet of the Week

tech tweet of the week

Credit score: Tristan Rayner / BestAppsIneed


Subsequent week is wanting quiet, except you rely US states planning to sue Fb for attainable antitrust violations, mentioned to be occurring this week coming (Reuters).


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

That’s it, people! We’ll have extra prime Android tales for you subsequent week. To remain updated on all issues BestAppsIneed within the meantime, make sure you subscribe to our newsletters on the hyperlink beneath.

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