Good morning! Looking forward to Unpacked today, though Samsung’s grip on the lid of leaks has been basically abandoned with what I saw last night. Still, pricing, availability, and how the Fold 3’s display protection I still want answered!
Xiaomi never changes, and why should it — it’s selling more phones than anyone else. (Let’s just not mention profits.)
Anyway, on this day, when Samsung launches its new foldables line, Xiaomi launched:
- A perfect copy of the iPad Pro
- A copy of Spot (the robot dog thing built by US firm Boston Dynamics)
- And, a very good looking new smartphone in the Mi Mix 4 that treads its own path. Credit where it’s due.
The added downside here is that Xiaomi’s launch was China-specific. We don’t have wider release details or pricing on any of the products, and not much from Xiaomi makes it to the US, so, read on for just a brief overview.
Mi Mix 4
- The 6.67-inch Mi Mix 4 smartphone launched with a 20MP under-display selfie camera, 120Hz refresh rate OLED, Snapdragon 888 Plus, 4,500mAh battery with 120W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, triple camera setup, and “unique UWB technology” with “point to connect” features for other Xiaomi smart home products to connect to.
- It also has a ceramic back, and is launching in China for about $770 on August 16, though pricing never really translates to other markets.
- Still, that is ~50% more than the Mix 3, but Xiaomi’s going for the branding/halo effect here, and playing into the “we did it before Samsung” vibe I’ve been talking about all week. In China, it’ll have a great chance to take more from Huawei.
Mi Pad 5
- Xiaomi announced three models: Mi Pad 5, Mi Pad Pro, and Mi Pad Pro 5G in China, opting for comparisons to the iPad Pro … by showing just how much like the iPad Pro the base option was:
- In short, each offers an 11-inch high-refresh-rate display with Dolby Vision support, and one of a Snapdragon 8-series chipset: the 860 on the vanilla, the 870 on the Pro versions.
- The Pro models also have better cameras and the Pro 5G, well, has a 5G modem.
- Aside from that, pricing starts at around ~$300 for the Mi Pad 5 bottom spec, while the top-spec Pro 5G goes to about $540.
- It is impressive that Xiaomi can copy an iPad that much cheaper, but a) there’s no word on these launching outside of Mainland China yet and b) sadly, Android tablets just don’t have sufficient developer support.
- Boston Robotic’s Spot is $74,500. Xiaomi’s CyberDog copy, which can backflip, and features a brain by Nvidia, will cost about $1,540 (9,999 RMB) though only 1,000 will be made and it’s only available to “engineers, enthusiasts, and fans.”
- It feels more like a proof of concept to get Xiaomi into robotics, and the company is making the design open-source.
- It’s at least partially menacing — Xiaomi’s released renders are not at all going for a cute, quirky look, but more of a ‘next police enforcement’ design.
- I mean, look:
- No, thank you .
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked is today! Watch the launch of Samsung’s latest from 10AM ET on anything from Samsung.com to Amazon to Reddit to YouTube to TikTok. (Android Authority).
HP’s new Chrome OS lineup includes a Chromebook detachable and an AIO desktop (Android Authority).
Bloomberg has details on the iPhone 13 which points to a fairly modest hardware update: smaller notch finally, faster fresh rate, ProRes recording for videos, and video Portrait mode which is something Samsung started but hasn’t exactly done well with (Bloomberg). Also, 2022 iPhones and Macs may feature 3nm chips, which just means TSMC’s next-gen, by the way (MacRumors).
The iOS 15 beta now has new features, like adding your driver’s license to your Apple Wallet (Wired).
TCL finally embraces Google TV, but it’s not giving up on Roku (Gizmodo).
Hackers steal $611m in major cryptocurrency heist from Poly Network, a DeFi application enabler. Despite crypto being decentralized, exchanges are limiting transactions, which is creating weird outcomes: someone was rewarded with 13.37 ETH for warning hackers about a blacklisting by Tether. The hacker is also “considering returning some tokens”. What a ride the crypto world is. (The Block).
Hit songs rely on increasing “harmonic surprise” to hook listeners, study finds (Ars Technica).
Salesforce has a video streaming service. No prizes for guessing the name: Salesforce+. It’s free at least, and is aimed at business use-cases, with some 50 editorial staff involved. 50! (Axios).
Rollable phone? Try an expanding car: Audi’s Skysphere concept is two cars in one, morphing at the push of a button (CNET).
Newly designed ‘smart’ insulin could improve Type 1 Diabetes treatment: less guesswork in balancing carbs and insulin with low-blood sugar problems, it seems. It’ll take a few years for this to go from lab to over-the-counter, though (ScienceAlert).
NASA’s plans to go to the moon by 2024 have been delayed by … spacesuits. On that note: “ELI5: How is it not possible for NASA to have usable spacesuits by 2024?” Good explanations here, though somehow $420M has already been spent… (r/explainlikeimfive).
Read NASA’s 41 page audit from the Inspector General here (nasa.gov).
And something different to end — “In Lionel Messi’s move, a dim portrait of modern soccer“: “That the Super League fell apart, of course, was a blessed relief. That this week has, instead, been given over to a dystopian illustration of where, exactly, soccer stands suggests that no great solace should be found in its failure.” (NY Times — gift link for TDA subscribers)
I hadn’t realized Jelly Belly had gone all-in on the Harry Potter-style Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans. Those Potterverse-candy/sweets had jelly beans with flavors including apple, chocolate cake, and, er, belly button lint, ear wax, and lobster.
There’s some kind of new “BeanBoozled” range that leans into that world with a sixth edition that features lookalike flavor duos.
- Get lucky and you’ll get a birthday cake flavor. Less fortunate, and your jelly bean is dirty dishwasher. Ew.
Here’s the rest of the sixth edition’s range:
- Liver and onions/cappuccino
- Old bandage/pomegranate
- Rotten egg/buttered popcorn
- Toothpaste/berry blue
- Stink bug/toasted marshmallow
- Booger/juicy pear
- Stinky socks/tutti-fruitti
- Dead fish/strawberry banana smoothie
I must say, hats off here: the old bandage flavor is truly inspired. What an olfactory jolt that is to even think about.
Catch you for post-Unpacked thoughts tomorrow,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor