OnePlus Nord compromises detailed, reaching 160Hz, and more tech news today

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Monday, July 27.

1. Mid-range heats up

OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord reviews dropped this morning, and the focus is on compromises: is it worth saving that $200 from the OnePlus 8, or should you just get a flagship with all the bells and whistles? (That is, assuming you can get it, given it’s not yet slated for US release.)

Common themes are emerging – here’s what we’ve picked up from around the review scene:

  • Great design that feels flagship, killer 90Hz display that almost keeps up with the OnePlus 8 in terms of smoothness, well-rounded offering.
  • It’s powerful enough plus it has 5G connectivity, although without the mmWave 5G connectivity that isn’t hugely available, yet.
  • The value here for a dependable Android smartphone is huge. Again, if it comes to the US.
  • And while the six cameras are good enough sometimes those six cameras feel excessive, given that great photos can’t be taken with any of them.
  • Was six better than just one or two really good ones?
  • That last point feels important. The iPhone SE 2020 takes good photos but never amazing photos and the Nord does better (in comparisons I saw thus far).
  • The Pixel 4 easily beats the Nord in the shots I saw, but at the price, that’s the kind of compromise OnePlus is betting plenty of people will make, while those who really want a great camera will keep looking out for cameras that push the limits of smartphone photography, and wallets.
  • Good news too: The OnePlus Nord beats the 7T Pro at sustained performance (Android Authority) by keeping things cool.

The best mid-rangers are wildly different: 

  • With the Pixel 4a added into the mid-range mix in the next few weeks, there’s going to be around three or four hot contenders in the mid-range mix.
  • If everything goes right, the Pixel 4a should have a brilliant camera. But can it match the competition, or will it just be a Pixel 3A 2020?
  • The price point here really matters. Will the 5G model be the better option, should it appear?
  • One interesting point we’re kicking around on Slack about mid-range phones is that for these better brands, there isn’t really a right way or wrong way to offer an affordable mid-range phone.
  • The iPhone SE 2020 has most power, IP rating, and wireless charging, but misses 5G, bigger 90Hz display, and multiple cameras.
  • The Pixel 4a should have the same 765G processor as the Nord, but that’s likely where comparisons will finish.
  • In this battle, shopping around is much more interesting than looking at flagships, given you can more clearly decide what matters to you.

2. Your Best of Android Reader’s Choice winner (after 45,000 votes) is the OnePlus 8 Pro (Android Authority).


3.  Lenovo Flex 5G review: Insane Windows laptop battery life, at a $1500 cost (Android Authority).


4. We asked, you told us: 2019 was the worst year in smartphone history (Android Authority).


5. ASUS ROG Phone 3 has a hidden 160 Hz screen mode (Android Authority).


6. Apple now sells a $129 Thunderbolt 3 Pro cable. The weird thing? It’s not cheap but there’s no competing option that offers the same for less (The Verge). USB-C is quite the mess.


7. Massive Nintendo leak reveals early Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon secrets. This is all about classic games that never were, well worth a look (Polygon).


8. “Intel’s decision to consider outsourcing manufacturing heralds the end of an era in which the company, and the US, dominated the semiconductor industry.� (Bloomberg). Mark Cuban chimed in, too (Twitter).


9. 20 years ago, Steve Jobs built the ‘Coolest Computer Ever.’ It bombed (Wired).


10. Roundup of the many trailers unveiled this weekend during [email protected] (Ars Technica).


11. Apple eyes new streaming strategy after Tom Hanks drama breaks records (Fast Company).


12. The North Poles of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede probed, for the first time ever (nasa.gov).


13. Here’s a list of 50 authors with 50 sci-fi stories shorter than novels (blogspot). Plus discussion here (HN).


14. “Why do mountains have peaks instead of having “flat tops�?� (r/askscience).


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