Tech Bites #8
According to Travel China Guide, 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. With a pronunciation of ‘Ba’ in Chinese, number 8 sounds similar to the word ‘Fa’, which means to make a fortune. Amongst the Tech companies seeking to make (or build on) a fortune this week are Lucid Motors, a new Tesla car competitor, Samsung with their third iteration of a foldable phone and one company taking a circuitous route to a pot of gold, Epic Games.
Up first is Tesla’s newest competitor, Lucid Motors. The Verge released an extensive article on Lucid’s newest vehicle, the Lucid Air. An electric car designed to compete against Tesla’s Model S under the direction of former Tesla lead engineer, Peter Rawlinson.
Lucid Motors aren’t the first to design an electric vehicle that attempts to compete with Tesla. They are, however, the first to design a vehicle which either matches or outperforms Tesla in some areas. The Air boasts faster acceleration, charging time and longer range than its competitor – drawing remarks from Tesla’s enigmatic CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.
One of the cool features of the Lucid Air is Amazon Alexa integration, allowing users to change navigation, radio stations and answer calls amongst a plethora of other features. Andrew J. Hawkins over at Verge insists that voice control is not just a gimmick and in fact made him a better driver. He found it less distracting to change directions, temperature and music all with his voice, as opposed to his hands.
With impressive specs such as up to 517 mile range, 1080 horsepower and 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, soon we will see if Tesla has a true competitor in the luxury electric vehicle market.
Epic Games vs. Apple (continued…)
In the ongoing legal battle between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Tech behemoth Apple, it was announced that ‘Sign in with Apple’ will no longer be available for Epic Games accounts as of Friday 11th September. This was later retracted, as Epic Games were granted an indefinite extension to use this sign in option. Nevertheless, Epic have urged users to be prepared for a potential removal of this feature.
Whilst a lot has been written about the noble intentions of Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Apple will not bow down to those who use their platform, no matter how big, and that an unlikely victory in the lawsuit may be a pyrrhic one.
You can read about some of the previous back and forth between the two companies here.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Third time lucky? The Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung’s third attempt to create a mass market foldable phone has arrived. When I say mass market, the £1,799 price tag is slightly at odds with this statement. And I think Samsung know this too. Even the most optimistic Samsung executive would surely recognise that this phone is out of budget for most people. That isn’t to say it’s a bad idea. First mover advantage is a real thing and it would be fair to say that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is an investment in future market share from Samsung.
Samsung are the first major smartphone manufacturer to fully commit to making a foldable phone feasible. And Dieter Bohn at The Verge thinks they are only one or two iterations away from creating a phone that will be a direct competitor to the more traditional smartphones.
What do the tech specs look like? A 120 Hz refresh rate screen, which when extended is an impressive 7.6 inches. A Snapdragon 765 Plus processor, 12 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage and a 4500 mAh battery. This all is quite impressive, but for the price, you could buy two other flagship smartphones.
Should you buy this device? No. Unless you especially want a luxury device with a definite wow factor, and money is no object. Otherwise, I’d probably wait a generation or two.