The 2nd-gen Moto Razr 5G, Surface Duo reviews drop, plus more tech news today

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Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, 10 September 2020

1a. Moto Razr 5G: Is second-gen the one?

Motorola’s second-generation foldable, the Motorola Razr 5G, is here.

  • Like the second-generation Samsung foldable effort finally released a week or so ago, the second-generation RAZR really cleans up a lot of the early problems.
  • Some of those problems were just the competition.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip was a premium 2020 spec device, and cost less than the RAZR’s 2019 effort. It blew away the RAZR pretty badly, and was much more universally acclaimed.

But Moto is back, and is looking to redeem itself.

Let’s dive in with what’s new:

  • The new 5G RAZR is priced at $1,399, which is $100 off the previous model.
  • It’s no longer a Verizon exclusive which is a big deal in the US, and will be coming widely across North America, Europe, India, and so on.
  • Another big deal is the specs jump.
  • There’s a dramatically better processor, now running the much better Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G (like the OnePlus Nord, ZTE Axon 11 5G and LG Velvet), and ditching the two-year-old processor found in the first-gen.
  • There’s more RAM too: 8GB, up from 6GB.
  • There’s also a much, much better camera. The original foldable RAZR had, um, a weak camera to put it mildly. Now, there’s a 48MP shooter on the rear that should produce much better results, and a 20MP front-facing camera too, but you can snap selfies with the rear camera too.
  • That’s because the external screen on the outside – for when you shut the phone – remains, and is still a 2.7-inch G-OLED.
  • The fingerprint sensor is now on the back too.
  • And the battery has been given a boost. It’s now up to 2,800mAh which doesn’t sound amazing still, but I’ll leave it to the testing to judge.
  • Otherwise, the hardware is better. The hinge no longer squeaks, with improvements including better springs; Motorola says the new model will be able to last for five years of open and shutting 100 times a day.
  • The phone body also has an aluminum frame, and the back is glass, doing away with plastic, the screen itself will feel a little more-taut.
  • There’s also a round of software improvements, with Moto suggesting better functionality on the external screen.

So, what’s missing?

  • Only one camera means no wide-angle or telephoto lens, and there are no features like wireless charging.
  • Battery life may still be missing that extended range, especially with 5G demands on the power cell.
  • And the other missing element is a more affordable pricetag. Yes, $100 off helps, but $1,399 is still way out of reach of most people.
  • The one thing is that there may be deals! Moto did offer some big discounts, including a buy-one-get-one free offer back in May that effectively halved the cost of the original device.

1b. Surface Duo reviews are out!

Good news: Finally we have Surface Duo full reviews. And they’re fascinating, I love David’s introduction here.

Bad news: Uh-oh, it’s not good. The software experience is not good. Read on! or watch above! (Android Authority).


2. Report: Samsung is making a healthy profit on every Note 20 Ultra sold, with a full bill of materials listed. That said, hardware costs don’t include R&D, marketing, and so on (Android Authority).


3. You can now monitor your heart-rate via your Xiaomi phone camera (Android Authority).


4. Huawei’s Harmony OS 2.0 announced: The homegrown OS will debut on smartphones next year (Android Authority).


5. Hands-on with Huawei EMUI 11: Still working through the Google divorce (Android Authority).


6. Amazon has caused a ruckus by appointing the former head of the NSA to its board (The Verge).


7. Your move, PS5: Microsoft has gone first and revealed the cost of the next-gen Xbox. How will Sony react? (The Verge).


8. Google Finance will make it easier to follow TSLA rollercoaster with new design (Mashable).


9. “The sky is on fire in San Francisco, and we flew a drone through it” (The Verge).


10. Portland officials pass strict ban on facial recognition systems (Engadget).


11. Researchers demonstrate in-chip water cooling (Ars Technica).


12. AI ruined chess. Now, it’s making the game beautiful again (Wired).


13. Dune’s first trailer is a beautiful, unstoppable journey (Gizmodo).


The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!

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