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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 signals 2020’s 5G focus, and more

👋 Happy Thursday, everyone! This is Nick again checking in for the last time this week. Barring any explosive news tomorrow, the next edition of the newsletter will go out on Monday.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and 765 hold promising signs for the future

We got a hint of news about Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865 and 765 processors yesterday, but now more details have emerged about the premium and mid-range chips that will power 2020’s smartphones.

  • As expected, 5G is a huge focus, with both chips offering 5G support. This should usher in a wave of both premium and mid-range 5G devices in 2020.
  • The upper-mid-range Snapdragon 765 and 765G (the latter a gaming focused variant) have an integrated 5G modem, but the 865 still relies on an external Snapdragon X55 modem for both 4G and 5G connectivity.
  • This is somewhat controversial, given that many competing chips feature an integrated 5G modem, but Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon explained that the company didn’t want to compromise performance on any front.
  • To pack in all of the features and capabilities it wanted, Qualcomm needed the modem to be a certain size.
  • Taking up space on the main processor means less computing power and more heat.
  • Plus, the X55 modem is a big step up from today’s X50 found in current 5G phones.
  • Download speeds jump from 5 to 7.6Gbps, and more 5G networks and spectrums are natively supported.
  • Better yet, it’s far more power efficient, meaning better battery life on both 4G and 5G.
  • To top things off, the 865 supports image processing speeds of up to 2 gigapixels per second, which is truly wild. The company said it’s working with partners to release a 200MP camera sensor.
  • Now that’s something we can all celebrate.

Of course, a processor isn’t any good on its own, but a number of brands have already confirmed that they have Snapdragon 865 or 765 phones in the works.

  • The list includes HMD, Xiaomi, Motorola, and more.
  • If history is anything to go by, you can count on OnePlus, LG, Samsung, and other big players to join the list as well.
  • Xiaomi appears to be leading the pack, with the Redmi K30 (powered by the Snapdragon 765G) slated for release as soon as next week.
  • The Chinese company also confirmed that its upcoming Mi 10 flagship phone will feature the Snapdragon 865, releasing in Q1 2020.
  • Overall, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for mobile internet users, provided you live in an area with 5G support.

Round Up:

📱 This one could be a big mid-range winner: Motorola One Hyper hands-on: 64MP camera, 45W charging, and pop-up selfies (Android Authority).

🤦‍♂️ In case you didn’t already hate TikTok: TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators (Slate).

🤬 Another one for good measure: TikTok’s parent company sued for collecting data on kids (The Verge).

🕵️ Kids really do have it rough these days. Schools Spy on Kids to Prevent Shootings, But There's No Evidence It Works (Vice).

📸 Beauty is in the lens of the beholder. The Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus camera module might look janky, but its peers don’t look much better (Android Authority).

👴 Remember Craigslist? The one that came out nearly 25 years ago? Well, it just released an official app. Better late than never, I guess (Gizmodo).

🚪 Lavish parties, huge giveaways, and offensive t-shirts. Inside Ring’s Quest to Become Law Enforcement’s Best Friend (Vice).

🍿 Plex launches ad-supported video-on-demand with thousands of free titles.Who can say no to free stuff? Not me (Android Authority).

♻️ Think you’re doing the right thing by recycling your old gadgets? Think again. The dark side of electronic waste recycling (The Verge).

🚽 A different kind of waste: Uber Office Had Separate Bathrooms for Drivers and ‘Employees’ (Vice).

Throwback Thursday

Given the big news this week about Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepping down from leadership roles at the company, I thought it would be nice to revisit the meteoric rise of the mysterious duo.

The Verge has an excellent timeline which you should check out, but here are a few of my favorite entries:

  • 1998: Page and Bring publish a paper at Stanford railing against ad-supported search engines.
  • 1999: Page and Brin attempt to sell Google for $1 million, then $750,000, and fail. Today it’s worth nearly $1 trillion.
  • 2002: Yahoo attempts to buy Google for $3 billion, but Page and Brin refuse. A lot has changed in 3 years.
  • 2005: Page buys Android for $50 million without telling then-CEO Eric Schmidt.
  • 2006: Susan Wojcicki convinces Page and Brin to purchase YouTube for $1.65 billion.
  • 2008: Sundar Pichai pushes the company to enter the browser wars with Page at his back, resulting in the Chrome browser we all know and love (and hate).

There’s so much more in there, but the journey from tech brats to $60 billion net worth hasn’t exactly been smooth for the two. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go contemplate some life decisions.


Tristan will be back at the helm from down under on Monday, but until then thanks for reading!

Nick Rowan Fernandez, Senior Writer

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