TLW #012: Asus Zenfone 9, Moto Edge X30 Pro & Razr 2022, Warrantless access to Nest cameras, EV credit for Tesla might be back

Asus Zenfone 9 starting at €800

Asus officially announced their new Zenfone 9, a compact flagship phone sporting the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The Zenfone 9 has a 5.9 inch 120Hz full HD OLED display, a 50 megapixel wide camera, 12 megapixel ultrawide camera, and 4300 mAh battery. It is one of the few phones left that still include the 3.5mm headphone jack. What is noticeably missing is a telephoto lens and wireless charging. Below is specifications:

  • 📺 5.9″ OLED 1080 x 2400 120Hz
  • 🧠 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • 🗃 8/16GB RAM 128/256GB
  • 📸 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP selfie
  • 🎨 Midnight Black, Moonlight White, Sunset Red, Starry Blue
  • 🔌 30w wired
  • 🔋 4300 mAh
  • 💸 €800+/$700+
  • 📆 EU: 2022.08 US: TBD

At €800, the price of this phone does seem a little high. The lack of wireless charging and telephoto lens does sting a little. The good news is that the phone will have a charger in the box (unlike every other manufacturer at this point). There aren’t many small flagship phones left in the Android space so manufacturers having pricing power. The only small flagship I could think of is the upcoming Sony Xperia 5 IV (which should have similar specs but cost closer to $1000). The Asus Zenfone 9 will be coming to the US at a later date. The price for the 8GB RAM 128GB storage model will cost $700. No word on when though.

Read more on Asus’ website

Motorola Edge X30 Pro and Razr 2022 announcement invite

Motorola is announcing the Razr 2022 and Edge X30 Pro next week

Motorola is set to announce the Razr 2022 and Motorola Edge X30 Pro on August 2nd in China. The new Razr phone is rumored to finally have a top of the line CPU (the previous generation had the Snapdragon 7 series chipset). The Edge X30 Pro on the other hand is rumored to be the first smartphone to use Samsung’s  ISOCELL HP1 200 MP camera sensor.

It is kind of odd that Motorola is choosing to announce the Razr 2022 in China rather than the rest. If they are interested in capturing the nostalgia factor of the Razr phone, it would have been more effective to do a worldwide announcement. I am pretty sure the Chinese consumer holds little sentimental value to the Razr line. Though, perhaps they are trying something new given how badly the previous generation foldable Razr flopped in the west.

Read more on gsmarena

Google Nest Cam

Google will let the police see your security camera footage without a warrant

Google has officially come out with a statement saying that they will share security camera footage from Nest products with police without a warrant in certain cases of emergencies. This is similar to Amazon’s policy for its Ring video doorbell and other security camera systems. Although Google states that they have yet to fulfil any request from law enforcement, Amazon has already regularly given Nest footage to police in the past couple of years.

Some people seem to argue that this is a good thing. It is not practical for the police to ask for permission to access security footage when there is an emergency. Although that may be true in certain cases, I think the problem here is who defines what is an emergency. Having either Google or the police define it is a conflict of interest. Better laws are needed to codify what the proper usage is here. If we don’t do that, this may very well end up being a loophole that is used to avoid red tape.

Sharing data with the police without a warrant may see like standard practice, but other companies like Arlo, Apple, Wyze, and Anker have specifically stated that they will not do this. Some of these devices also support end to end encryption, making it impossible for the company to share your data with police departments without your decryption code.

Given how prevelant these cloud security cameras have become, even if you don’t own one and have no plans of owning one, you have most likely been on someone else’s security footage.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you own an Amazon or Google security product? Will you continue to do so?

Read more about this on theVerge

Tesla Model 3

Inflation Reduction Act could restore EV credit for GM, Tesla, and Toyota

I generally don’t talk about politics and law here, but this one has got me genuinely excited. Currently there is a bill in congress that would revive the EV credit for GM, Tesla, and Toyota. This bill would ditch the 200K EVs sold limit and switch to a price and income based limit for the EV credit. In order to qualify for the $7500 credit, the following must be true:

  • The car you are buying must be priced at $55K or under for a sedan and $80K or under for a SUVs, trucks and vans.
  • The car must be must be assembled in North America and the majority of the battery components must be from North America or from a country that the US has a free trade agreement with.
  • You must make less than $150K a year (for couples it is $300K).

The new credit would be offered at the point of sale rather than a tax refund effectively lowering the price of the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, Bolt EV/EUV, and Toyota BZ4X. In addition, there will be an EV credit for used electric vehicles. The credit for an used EV would be 30% of value of used EV with $4,000 cap. The used vehicle also must be purchased via a dealership. Private sales do not qualify for this credit. Both credits will officially end December 31, 2032.

Although this is part of the Inflation Reduction Act, I am doubtful this would be effective in reducing EV prices. Right now EV supplies are so tight that the biggest issue is getting enough stock. Reviving this tax credit might just increase demand and further exacerbate the issue. Here is to hoping the dealership won’t just raise their prices again and eat up the new credit.

Read more on Electrek

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