Nicolas Magand on the internet

Comments about tech, media, nature, &c.

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Filtering by Tag: mobile

OnePlus reveals the OnePlus 6

After weeks and weeks of teases, leaks, rumors, the OnePlus 6 was unveiled earlier today. Marques Brownlee is part of the first batch of YouTubers that were able to do a "hands-on" video of the phone. A few notes on the successor of the OnePlus 5T, which is the phone I use every day:

  • Why does it have a glass back if wireless charging isn't available? Maybe it will come with the 6T? Glass is obviously more fragile than metal, ceramic, or plastic. It is heavier, and also more slippery. The only good reason to have a glass back is wireless charging. It may look more shiny, but most people will then use a case or a skin anyway.
  • Mandatory and welcome camera and chip upgrades, but nothing really new besides this glass back, water resistance, and yeah, the notch. I don't mind notches. What I do mind is having a notch while having a "chin" or bottom bezel: It makes them look a bit asymetrical. Notches obviously became a marketing feature, for the phone to be part of the iPhone X-class of phones in the eye of the potential buyer. So far, I think only Apple, Xiaomi, and Essential Phone really nailed the "bezel-less" design. Vivo's prototype sure looks interesting, but a prototype if far from becoming a device shipping to millions of customers in just a few months. Pretty sure every compagny has a prototype like this by now, they just decide not to show it.
  • Speaking of marketing, I am not a big fan of the marketing campaign for this phone: I really can't figure it out. Not a big fan either of the recent venture of OnePlus into the ugly world of cryptocrurrencies. I am sensible to what brands do outsides of the products I end up buying, because I am now limiting the numbers of brands I buy from, choosing them more carefully.
  • The usual six-month cycle update from OnePlus: improvements here and there, consistant build quality and software polish, fantastic value.

1. Update: Apparently the glass helps with network connectivity, allowing the device to reach faster 4G speeds. ↩︎ 

2. Thankfully there is a software feature to "disable" the notch, which makes the phone look much better IMHO. (Symetry!) ↩︎ 

3. The Mix 2 from Xiaomi I think had the best design of all, along with the Essential Phone. I considered it for a while before getting the 5T. The Mix 2S did not really live up to this particular design: the new camera placement ruined, guess what, the symetry. ↩︎ 

US intelligence mentions risks of buying Chinese phones, provides no evidence

Matthew Miller, writing for ZDNet

The US intelligence chiefs first referenced US government employees and state agencies in the briefing, but then they expanded concerns to private citizens and recommended we not use products from Huawei and ZTE. As a US military veteran and man who bleeds red, white, and blue, I'm willing to give up on such products — provided there is actual evidence of nefarious activity. So far, none has surfaced.

Regardless of what is happening with ZTE, Donald Trump, and the US right now (unsurprisingly it is a big mess), the last sentence of that quote is intriguing to say the least.

Maybe the evidence will come later. Maybe the US intelligence doesn't feel it needs to share this evidence with the public. Maybe they just don't have any. I wonder how it will impact brands like Lenovo (who owns Motorola), and OnePlus.

Come for the rant about emails, stay for the gif

MG Siegler, writing on 500ish Words:

There are two things at work that everyone seems to universally hate: email and meetings. And I think the hatred stems from the same basic reason: they’re both black holes in which time enters and never returns. Sometimes such a use of time is worthwhile and necessary. But far too many emails and meetings are quagmires that distract us all from doing actual work.

I've always liked to read tech rants (and I've written my share of them in the past), but when they are about emails, I usually love them. Some great points made by Siegler here, about how email is basically a black hole for productivity and efficiency. Well worth a read (and a link), but the gif chosen to illustrate the piece is absolutely perfect.