Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, 5 November 2020

1. Best new drone: The DJI Mini 2 does it again

The new DJI Mini 2 has stolen the crown as the best drone you can buy for under $500 …from DJI itself, Jonathan Feist over at DroneRush.com tells me. He’d know, he has one already.

The just-announced new Drone had a few leaks in advance but now we know that this is the perfect successor to the DJI Mavic Mini, remaining a sub-250 gram drone for those FAA reasons (ie, you don’t need to register the Mini 2 with the FAA before you fly) and well-priced. Plus, it flies 150% further and now shoots 4K.

The quick details:

  • While externally the Mini 2 looks the same, the internals are much upgraded.
  • Importantly the camera is a key upgrade: the newer 1/2.3-inch sensor produces 12MP stills, and 4K video at 30 fps and 100Mbps data rate.
  • One of the better updates is lossless zoom, too
  • With up to 4X zoom, you can safely fly at distance from your subject, perfect for those pet photos or to capture shots of a waterfall in the distance without needing long fly times.
  • It’s $50 more than the previous Mavic Mini ($399) but it’s now quite a bit more advanced.

And here’s what Feisty wrote to me to get you, our beloved readers, up to speed:

  • “The DJI Mini 2 comes in at $449, and the additional price over the DJI Mavic Mini from 2019 bumps the drone up to 4K video capture, up to 4x zoom, far superior connection quality and range, a faster drone with more flight time, and a few other adjustments that make a sturdier machine that is easier to fly.”
  • The Mini 2 is up for sale now, and is a solid purchase for the price. As far as a flying camera goes, sub-$500 for a 4K shooter is tough to beat.
  • “We don’t expect the new drone to go on sale around Black Friday this holiday season, but we do expect more solid deals on the older DJI Mavic Mini, maybe even a permanent price drop after the Mini 2 takes off. (Pun intended.)”
  • Oh and there’s the usual Fly More combo, now for $599, which adds spare batteries, nifty remote, bag, spare blades, and more.

2. Apple A14 Bionic test: Is the latest 5nm iPhone 12 silicon still more powerful than Android SoCs? Short answer is that it boils down to yes, but there are interesting differences in how Apple approaches CPU, GPU, and memory performance targets (Android Authority).


3. Xiaomi’s new telescopic lens could make its smartphone cameras much better by… looking just like an old point-and-shoot style camera setup! As long as Xiaomi doesn’t call this innovation… (Android Authority).


4. Samsung’s next value phone could pack a 7,000mAh battery. Samsung’s following its own successes here in having mid-range or budget phones with comparatively huge batteries, without smartphones looking alien (Android Authority).


5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light review: Rise and shine, and buy it when it goes on sale (Android Authority).


6. Apple reportedly faces a shortage of power management chips for iPhone, and other devices. Its notable suppliers are likely prioritizing Apple orders, which may be leading to shortages for other manufacturers too (AppleInsider).


7. Future smartwatches might be powered by your movement. Watches have had similar tech to this in the past, but powering a ticking clock vs a whole device is a new breakthrough, should it come to fruition (Android Authority).


8. FCC fines T-Mobile $200M over Sprint’s alleged abuse of low-income subsidies (FCC filing).


9. It’s not that I keep up with the monthly directions from the Pope, but this month the Pope has asked for Catholics to pray “that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.” (Twitter).


10. Someone has transferred ~$1 billion from a bitcoin wallet in the last 24 hours that was dormant since 2013. Probably Silk Road related? (Ars Technica).


11. Astronomers trace mysterious space radio waves to a source within our galaxy (The Verge).


12. The future tech of Back to the Future II, ranked (Gizmodo).


13. “If I took a cat from Germany and put it in Japan, would it understand local cats?” A sweet story about a horse in the comments, too. (r/nostupidquestions)


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