Tag Archive: Editors

From the Editor’s Desk: Protest under assault

I have this vivid memory from the early days of 2020 that won’t subside.

It was January 6, before CES officially began, and I was at the Cosmopolitan hotel looking at Fossil’s new smartwatch offerings. The demo was finished and I was standing on this expansive balcony overlooking the city, a fake Eiffel Tower looming to my right. I was claiming a minute just for me, while inside my coworkers were chatting away contently. It was one of  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: OnePlus, growing up and keeping your soul

Is it possible to grow and flourish in the smartphone industry — or indeed any industry — without selling your soul?

OnePlus was once the darling of smartphone enthusiasts. But as the company has grown over the past half-decade, culminating in the recent launch of the OnePlus 8 series, it’s faced accusations that it no longer represents the core fans who helped build its brand.

Let’s start by contrasting the OnePlus of old with the company that  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: OK with getting it wrong

Happy Mother’s Day! It’s a bit different this year, of course, but I hope you get a chance to honor, if possible, the person who brought you into this world, and if you have one, the partner who’s helping you get through it.

I wanted to write this week’s column about how connecting with family during the pandemic has been fraught and confusing but ultimately rewarding as we all learn to grapple with the dysfunction of platform dependency  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: Phones for our new, weird reality

The world has changed, our lives have changed, and so too will our technology.

In an article published 54 days ago, I noted in passing that COVID-19 would surely become one of the defining stories of the year. Looking back now, that statement seems equally optimistic and naive. Lockdown-enhanced clarity, of course, is 20/20. This mess and its extensive fallout is clearly going to be the only story of this year, and probably also the next.

Everyone’s  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: Phoning it in while working from home

After I put the baby to bed on Wednesday, I got in the car to drive the five miles to my local Costco. It was snowing as the sun went down, and because I was driving west I spent most of the time both staring at, and trying to avoid, the star’s monstrous and comforting output.

I feel like I’ve been doing the same thing during my work days — in turns embracing and trying to avoid the  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: It’s chaos, be kind (to yourself)

It’s going to be a long road back to normal, but it starts with the acceptance that normal isn’t going to be possible for a while.

Last April, I capped off my birthday at the Magic Kingdom. I brought one of the oldest Whirley mugs in my collection back to Gaston’s and drank the last HEB Pure Cane Sugar cola I brought with me from Texas out of it. I sang along with the fireworks and rode  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: Unstoppable force, immovable object

Neither Huawei nor the U.S. government is budging. So what happens next?

If just about any manufacturer besides Huawei had faced such extreme restrictions on its software, its smartphone division would be facing a guaranteed death sentence. Yet here we are, nine months on from Huawei’s initial placement on the U.S.’s “entity list,” and the company’s consumer device arm is very much alive and kicking. More than that, in fact — it’s pushing ahead with building out  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: Call me, maybe?

“Do you mind if I call you?”

It was a simple text, but last Saturday, before most of North America was told to stay inside and only a few days after we learned what social distancing was, it hit me pretty hard. I don’t really call my friends that often — we text, or use WhatsApp, or respond to one another’s Instagram stories. Increasingly Telegram, too. But now we call.

The change happened quickly, as if people were  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: Prepare, persevere, and don’t panic

It’s going to be okay so long as we’re cautious, rationale, sensible human beings.

Good afternoon from Epcot, where today is the last day for some Disney Parks magic for at least the next two weeks — realistically, the next two months — and it is surreal. While Hollywood Studios had a semblance of a crowd trying to get on Rise of the Resistance or Runaway Railway one last time, Epcot feels empty during what should’ve been  [Read More…]

From the Editor’s Desk: The S20 Ultra’s 100X zoom severely under-delivered

That number looks great in marketing materials, but ultimately 100X photos are terrible.

Samsung made huge strides in camera quality with the Galaxy S20 series, to the point where in many situations the S20 Ultra is taking photos directly comparable to the Pixel 4 XL. Putting aside little quibbles around the details of how the photos look, I’m really loving what this camera is capable of, and I don’t feel like I’m using an inferior camera like  [Read More…]