The Weekly Authority: Prelude to MWC 2022

The Weekly Authority: Prelude to MWC 2022

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 183rd edition here, with more Pixel 7 leaks, a Galaxy S22 Plus review, and a preview of what’s to come at MWC 2022.

👋 Nick here covering for Paula while she enjoys some well-deserved time off. Tristan will be with you in the next edition after spending the week at MWC in Barcelona, with Paula making her triumphant return the following week.

Popular news this week

Samsung:

Google:

OnePlus:

Motorola:

Motorola’s latest flagship phone, the Motorola Edge Plus 2022 launched on Thursday. It features excellent specs, but is it really a viable alternative to the Galaxy S22 lineup?

Apple:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

After months of delay, the Steam Deck launched on February 25th. Of course, if you didn’t pre-order don’t expect to get your hands on one for another six months. Reviews have been… mixed. Check out reviews from Linus Tech Tips, Digital Foundry, The Verge, PC Gamer, Gamers Nexus, and others online. Or just keep reading.
Most reviewers agree that the hardware is excellent. Miles better than PCs in its price range, and game support is also excellent. However, they almost universally agreed that the software lacks polish. For now it’s really more of an enthusiast’s device rather than a true consumer product like the Switch, although that may change after a few months of updates.
In other words. If you have to wait to get a Steam Deck, that might not be a bad thing.
Elden Ring was also released on Friday, and to fairly rave reviews. IGN‘s Mitchell Saltzman gave the game a 10/10, Polygon garnished it with a Polygon Recommends badge, Eurogamer gave it a Eurogamer Essential badge, and PC Gamer gave it a 90/100.
Sony showed off its upcoming PSVR 2 hardware in a blog post this week. No pricing or release dates yet, but the design itself is a welcome upgrade.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen landed on Tuesday, though its pre-load was held up on PlayStation 4 due to “unforeseen issues,” with PS4 users unable to download the game’s content files (around 72GB) ahead of it going live.
Nintendo announced it’s shutting down retro gaming “Virtual Console” stores for pre-Switch hardware including the Wii U and 3DS.
Last week’s Capcom countdown ended with a Street Fighter 6 confirmation and teaser trailer, plus a new fighting game compilation arriving June 24, including titles like Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, and Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors.
And Steam Next Fest started on Monday, running until February 28, with demos and livestreams of upcoming games.
After last week’s next-gen patch, Cyberpunk 2077 was totally broken for PS4 disc owners, with issues on PC too.
Playing Horizon Forbidden West? Kotaku shared the 10 best skills to get ASAP.
Modding of Android games now possible thanks to BlueStacks via its new Creator Studio and Creator Hub. And even better, it’s all available completely free of charge.
EA may ditch the FIFA branding for future games. Apparently, aside from World Cup years, Andrew Wilson doesn’t think the FIFA branding brings enough to the table to justify the cost.

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera module on pink

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Some major reviews out this week, including two flagships.

Features

5 shady battery tricks smartphone brands got caught doing: “Whether it’s misleading users about charging time or lying about wattage, smartphone OEMs are guilty of sketchy practices” (Android Authority).
A joint Google account is the best advice I can give to couples: A single accounts for all your bills, reservations, purchases, and documents (Android Authority).
Bored of Wordle? Try these challenging alternatives: More languages, more letters, more puzzles, and more than just words (Android Authority).
5 great features I love about Kindle readers: Tablets and smartphones are great, but there’s something enticing about dedicated e-readers (Android Authority).
Why Nasa is exploring the deepest oceans on earth: Could our understanding of the deep ocean help unlock the mysteries of outer space? (bbc.com).
Driving while baked? Inside the high-tech quest to find out: Cognivue’s computerized test could be the future (Wired).
The professor who beat roulette: How a renowned researcher beat the odds, stumped casino owners around the world, and walked away with a fortune (The Hustle).

Weekly Wonder

MWC logo

Next week is the 2022 edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. After a canceled event in 2020 and a much smaller affair in 2021, this year will be the first full-scale (ish) MWC in years. Stay tuned to the Daily Authority newsletter for the latest (Tristan is ready and waiting in Barcelona), but here’s a quick list of what to expect in the coming week:

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked (part 2)

Technically the event starts on February 28, but Samsung’s second Galaxy Unpacked event for 2022 is scheduled for the 27th.
Samsung has already announced its flagship phones for the year, so this event will probably be focused on laptops.
That means a new Galaxy Book and potentially new Chromebooks to look forward to.

OnePlus 10 Pro global release?

2022 has been a strange year for OnePlus, with the company already announcing the OnePlus 10 Pro in China, but withholding any information about a global release.
That could change at MWC. OnePlus isn’t traditionally heavy on MWC announcements, but since we already know what the device is, added fanfare might not be necessary.
One controversial element of a global release would be software. The Chinese version ships with Color OS 12 instead of Oxygen OS 12 as a result of the “OnePlus 2.0” strategy of merging Oppo and OnePlus.
And even Oxygen OS 12 is more similar to Color OS than most fans would like.
We also haven’t seen the vanilla OnePlus 10, so this might be our first look.

New phones from Xiaomi, Honor, and Realme

Like OnePlus, Xiaomi has already announced several devices in its native China, but MWC may be the first time they’re shown off to an international audience.
That includes the flagship Xiaomi 12 lineup and new devices under the more affordable Poco branding.
Then again, we’ve already seen the Poco X4 Pro thanks to Amazon France, as mentioned above.
Honor is set to announce the Honor Magic 4 and a host of other devices. We may even see a global release of the Magic V foldable, which until now has been limited to China.
Realme will launch the GT 2 Series on Monday, and the company has hinted at new charging tech.
The company is also expanding aggressively outside of China, so it will probably launch a wide variety of tablets, wearables, and other devices.

Other expectations

Huawei will be in attendance, and while its smartphones all but disappeared from global markets, its laptops are still going strong. I’m excited to see updated devices in the Matebook lineup, particularly the Matebook X Pro (which I’m currently typing this on).
Lenovo is also in attendance, albeit only virtually. Expect new laptops and more.
HTC will make an announcement,  but it’s probably not a phone. Perhaps more VR gear?
Google will make an appearance, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what it will announce. New hardware is doubtful, so expect software news.
Motorola already announced the Moto Edge 2022 earlier this week, but it may surprise us with a first look at the Razr 3. This is unlikely, however, as it would steal the thunder of its just-announced flagships.
Nokia will be present, but the company has largely lost its hold on the smartphone market. Expect some relatively unexciting budget devices, at best.

Tech Calendar

February 27 @ 1PM ET: Galaxy Unpacked (next-gen Galaxy Book)
February 28-March 3: Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 in Barcelona
March 4: Gran Turismo 7 lands for PS4/PS5
March 8 (TBC): Apple Spring event
March 9: Redmi Note 11 Pro / Pro Plus launch

Tech Tweet of the Week

Something extra: Convinced you used the term “bucket list” prior to 2007? The Mandela Effect could be to blame. Redditor sleuths confirmed that the term didn’t exist until it was popularized by the 2007 movie “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. More here.

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