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Samsung Oscars Z Flip surprise, Moto fights back, and more tech news today


Your tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, February 10. 

1. The fold wars: Moto’s durability problems, Galaxy Z Flip teases

Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip phone during the Oscars 2020, with a 27-second ad teasing the device in a prime-time spot.

  • The ad hasn’t been posted officially but re-uploaded to YouTube here (screenshot above, sorry for the low quality.)
  • Samsung does have a long history of spending ad dollars with the Oscars, including back in 2014 when the Galaxy Note 3 captured the most retweeted picture ever – Ellen’s (sponsored) selfie.
  • The new Z Flip ad showed the Galaxy Z Flip first as a camera. The bottom of the folding display housing the capture interface, and the top showing the viewfinder.
  • Then we saw video calling capabilities, which was unexpected. Is this a key feature for the phone? Should it be?
  • Finally, a top-down view of a partial fold, and finally the tagline of the Unpacked show: “Change the shape of the future.
  • Interestingly, some fine print in the ad reads: “You may notice a crease at the center of the main screen, which is a natural characteristic of the screen.
  • In theory, we’ll find out price and availability tomorrow after the Unpacked event at 11am PDT.

Meanwhile… the first clamshell folding device, the Moto Razr, is under a durability spotlight.

  • Just one day after launch, Moto Razr durability problems begin to pile up, writes Ars Technica, noting “numerous” broken in-store demos and a failed folding test.
  • And just on that failed folding test run by CNET, Motorola wants you to know that it a) wasn’t fair and b) it is pretty pissed about the whole thing.
  • In response, Moto released a far more gentle and almost relaxing testing video of its own robot setup folding the Razr, which Motor calls ‘real’.
  • It’s clearly far less stressful on the hinge, and you only see it folding six times in a 26 second clip. It’s borderline pleasant to watch, while the other folding test was brutal.
  • Weirdly, while all phones are opened at the same time, they don’t all wake at the same time, with random delays between devices. Not a great look there.
  • By comparison, CNET’s SquareTrade FoldBot apparatus folded it more than 50 times in the same time frame.
  • Moto’s own test seems to be less about hinge stress and more about longevity, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.
  • Motorola also sent out a fairly robust statement to go with all this:
  • razr is a unique smartphone, featuring a dynamic clamshell folding system unlike any device on the market. SquareTrade’s FoldBot is simply not designed to test our device. Therefore, any tests run utilizing this machine will put undue stress on the hinge and not allow the phone to open and close as intended, making the test inaccurate. The important thing to remember is that razr underwent extensive cycle endurance testing during product development, and CNET’s test is not indicative of what consumers will experience when using razr in the real-world. We have every confidence in the durability of razr.”
  • Given Moto is offering almost free warranty repairs on any problems with the Razr, plus 24/7 support, the risk of buying a lemon is somewhat mitigated.

2. Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus hands-on: Moto’s remarkable new mid-rangers (Android Authority).


3. Don’t underestimate the Chinese app store alliance (Android Authority).


4. Sony is the latest company to pull out of MWC 2020, along with Amazon, Nvidia (Android Authority).


5. Apple has new lower cost iPhone, iPads, MacBook Pro coming this year, predicts analyst (CNET).


6. Backstage at the Academy Awards, after winning his first Oscar, Taika Waititi slammed Apple for the MacBook keyboard and said it’d given him shoulder problems. Apple did fix this with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, though? (Twitter).


7. Leaked LG V60 promo images show quad rear cameras, 5000mAh battery, and headphone jack. That all sounds pretty solid. (XDA)


8. Microsoft’s Surface Duo appears in the wild in new video (The Verge).


9. Fascinatingly dangerous domain corp.com is for sale (Krebs On Security).


10. New Trans-Atlantic flight record: with a little help from a storm, a British Airways 747 broke the subsonic record: four hours, 56 minutes, or 1 hour and 38 minutes ahead of schedule, clocking a maximum speed of 825 mph on its 3,450-mile journey (Jalopnik).


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