Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the launch of the Galaxy Note 9, the Note 9 vs the Note 8, leaked details of the Galaxy S10, a massive Pixel 3XL leak from Google, the Nokia 6.1 which will take on the world, and the Android P name reveal.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 9
The premium Galaxy technologies come standard with Note9: fast wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance and Samsung services such as Samsung Health and Samsung Pay. Galaxy Note9 features Samsung’s trusted, defense-grade Knox security platform and biometric security options including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning and facial recognition capabilities to keep important information safe.
The company also highlights the 4000 mAh battery, the storage choice of 128 GB or 512 GB, and the use of 10nm processors. What it doesn’t mention is the US will be getting the slower SnapDragon handsets, while the rest of the world rocks with the Exynos system – quietly noting that the processor may differ by market and mobile operator.
Is The Note 9 A Worthy Successor?
Of course the obvious handset to compare the Galaxy Note 9 to, is the Galaxy Note 8. With no major additions to the technology but a bump in specifications and power across the board, is the Note 9 a worthy upgrade? Forbes’ Gordon Kelly investigates, starting with the design:
Hand someone the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Note 8 and it would be difficult for many people to tell them apart, but they may notice the slight increase in size and weight. While it’s surprising for smartphones to get thicker and heavier, these are minor differences. Especially considering the larger display and much larger battery (more later).
Aside from dimensions, Samsung has added some new tricks: finally there are stereo speakers and they have been tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos branding, though the latter seems silly given stereo speakers cannot truly recreate Atmos audio. The fingerprint sensor is also more sensibly positioned below the rear cameras, a move Samsung made with the Galaxy S9.
Is This The Galaxy S10 Design?
Now the Galaxy Note 9 is out, the next major flagship from Samsung, and arguably the one that will have more impact on the company’s bottom line, is the Galaxy S10. Concept Creator has taken all the leaks, rumors, and information we have, to illustrate what the S10 design may look like. Adnan Farooqui reports:
It goes without saying that this concept video doesn’t confirm or deny anything about Samsung’s 2019 flagship smartphone. It’s merely a visual representation of everything we have heard so far about the device. Emphasis added because it’s still early days for the Galaxy S10 and things may change down the line.
The Galaxy S10 is expected to be Samsung’s first smartphone with a triple camera system and this concept suggests what that might look like in a horizontal housing at the back of the device. It also envisages an exceptional screen-to-body ratio. Samsung is expected to push the envelope on the screen real estate without increasing the dimensions too much for the Galaxy S10.
Massive Google Pixel 3XL Leak
Thanks to a misplaced handset, there are a raft of details on the Pixel 3 XL, including the increased size of the notch, the lack of notifications, huge bezels, and headphone support limited to USB-C. Gordon Kelly reports:
Like Apple’s famously lost iPhone 4, a fully working and branded Pixel 3 XL has slipped out of Google’s grasp and Android Police spotted a Ukrainian tech blogger has published a complete breakdown to his Telegram channel. From this, we get a look at the specifications, a tour of the new user interface, and a full unboxing of its retail packaging. All of which delivers several big surprises.
More Problems For The Leaked Pixel 3 Family
Further details on Google’s larger Pixel (the upcoming Pixel 3 XL) have been found through the online benchmarking tool Geekbench. And it has led to a worry about performance of the flagship:
Picked up both on Reddit and by the consistently reliable WinFuture, GeekBench scores have been uncovered for the Pixel 3XL (codename ‘Crosshatch’). The breakdown reveals predictable aspects such as the phone running Android P and using a Qualcomm 845 chipset at its heart. But it also shows Google is going to deliver the new Pixel range with just 4GB of RAM, and this is problematic for several reasons.
What reasons? Find out more about the issues here.
Nokia 6.1 Ready To Appear
Although the Nokia X6 had a limited release earlier this year, the ‘global’ version, expected to be marketed as the Nokia 6.1, looks set to be announced at the end of this month. Srivatsan Sridhar reports:
HMD Global has sent out invites for the launch of a new smartphone in India on August 21st. The invite just says that it will be the company’s next big unveil, but this will likely be the Nokia 6.1 Plus, the global version of the Nokia X6 smartphone that was introduced for the global markets last month, starting from Hong Kong.
And Finally… I Was Told There Would Be Pie
Meanwhile, the next major build of Android has revealed the marketing secret. Android P will be known as Android ‘Pie’. As well as confirmation of the name, the OS is now available over the air on Google’s Pixel devices and the Essential smartphone (with more to follow). Samuel Gibbs reports:
Right now, if you have one of the recent Google Pixel smartphones or the Essential Phone via an over-the-air update. Either wait for the notification to update or head to Settings > System > Advanced > System update and hit the “Check for update” button.
Others will have to wait for their smartphone manufacturer to deliver the update. Those with phones such as the OnePlus 6 that were included in the Android P beta programme over the last couple of months will probably see the update soon. Those with Samsung, Huawei or other mainstream manufacturer devices may have to wait some time to see the update on their phones.
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!