Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes more Galaxy S10 details, Note 9 discounts, Samsung’s new smartphone innovations, Pixel 3 photo problems, OnePlus leaks OnePlus 6T pictures, Nokia 7.1 review, Huawei fighting Apple, and a history of the Android OS.
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).
Latest Galaxy S10 Details
More details on the Galaxy S10 are coming to light ahead of a launch on Q1 2019. The latest comes from Sam Kim at Bloomberg. As well as some details on its folding phone, he takes a closer look at the new technology that will be packed into the three variants of the Galaxy S10, and the big decision to be made over the audio output.
The standard S10, codenamed “Beyond,” features an OLED screen curved on both sides, round-shaped corners and almost no bezel at the top and bottom, [BayStreet Research analyst Cliff Maldonado] said. It will be about the same size as the current 5.8-inch S9 model. The S10 has triple cameras on the back while the front camera is visible and tucked under the screen, the people said. Samsung also plans a bigger “plus” version for next year.
The cheaper version of the S10 lacks the dual-curve “edge” screen that has been a hallmark of Samsung’s premium phones since the Galaxy Note Edge in 2014 and may come without a fingerprint sensor under its display depending on costs, they said. Samsung is also toying with an S10 prototype without a headphone jack, indicating that it may follow Apple in going completely wireless with its devices.
Bloomberg has more.
Not Quite A Discount For The Galaxy Note 9
Samsung has introduced a number of new offers to boost the popularity of the recently launched Galaxy Note 9. While it’s not yet a discount, it will make the Note 9 more attractive to buyers ad hopefully increase the sales of the phablet. That’s needed, because the retail performance is lower than last year’s Note 8, as I pointed out earlier this week:
Many believe that the Note 9 was set a target of 12 million unit sales, 1 million more than the Galaxy Note 8. That can probably be marked down in the ‘ambitious’ column. In the first rush of sales, the Note 9 took five days longer to reach the million mark than the Note 8 (53 days compared to 48 days).
Although the company has not started obvious discounts and price cutting to shift stock, it has increased the value of promotional items sold with the device, and increased the trade in price for hardware offered in part-exchange for the 6.4 inch phablet.
More on the changes here on Forbes.
The Future Innovation For The Galaxy Smartphones
Meanwhile, Samsung has presented its future smartphone plans – or at least the technology that will drive the new concepts – to a number of partners. Gordon Kelly reports:
The company held a private event for 20 top business partners this week at the Shenzhen Marriott Hotel in China and prolific leaker Ice Universe managed to get eyes inside. What Ice learnt is Samsung is preparing new bezel-less, notch-less displays which not only integrate a fingerprint sensor but the front-facing camera and speakers as well. And Samsung broke down how this will work.
More details here. And if you consider that the mid-range Galaxy A8s announced this week ships with a forward facing camera that sits under the screen with only a tiny aperture hole (requiring no notch), what will the South Korean company add to the flagship S10?
Pixel 3 Has Some Photo Problems
Earlier this week, user issues with the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL came to light. Google’s latest smartphone is having problems saving photos to both the handset and the cloud. David Nield reports:
anything official about the bug, but considering the number of users apparently frustrated by it, we’d say a fix should be rolling out sooner rather than later. If there is an official statement issued, we’ll update this article – otherwise you might just have to sit tight if you’ve found this happening on your own Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.
It’s possible that the problem is related to the way Android handles images in general, or the Google Photos cloud sync, rather than a specific issue with the Camera app. For now though, just give your shots as much time to process as you possibly can.
More at Tech Radar.
OnePlus Keeps Pushing The 6T… Before Launching The 6T
The OnePlus 6T will be revealed next week, but OnePlus is determined to make sure that world is aware of the key features before the reveal. This week the camera output was in focus, highlighting the potential ‘night mode’ of the flagship smartphone. James Peckham reports:
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau uploaded the photo you can see below to Weibo (that’s a Chinese social networking site), alongside a caption that when translated from Chinese says something similar to “bring your own filter”.
This is a night shot of the city of Shenzhen and we expect this is Lau’s way of teasing improved low light performance, and it may even be a way to hint at the newly rumored Night Mode.
More at TechRadar. Of course OnePlus will be making doubly-sure that the pre-release information gets out there, as the announced launch has had to move to the 29th thanks to Apple making an incredibly rare appearance in the same city (New York) on the same date (October 30th) to tempt the press to the iPad Pro launch:
Although there will be a shortened news cycle for the 6T as the geekerati preview the second-tier Apple hardware, I think the change of date is one of the best outcomes for the long-term success of OnePlus.
There has been a huge amount of discussion around the topic in the last twenty-four hours. Far more consumers will be aware that the OnePlus 6T is ready for release. Every decent discussion of the 6T has listed the key features such as the in-display fingerprint reader, all handily pre-announced by OnePlus over the last few weeks, and all of it will be associated with the Apple brand.
More thoughts on the clash here on Forbes.
Nokia 7.1 Review
HMD Global’s recently launched Nokia 7.1 has been picking up a lot of attention. The AndroidOne powered handset is just $349, but still delivers a solid smartphone experience that would be enough for most consumers. Damien Wilde reviews the handset and starts by reminding us why this is an important handset:
Having had plenty of time to make a decision on the handset, I’m almost certain that this could be one of the best sub-$400 smartphones on the market. With the software update security net of Android One on top of a solid build and quality experience, anyone looking for a great backup or an Android device for a tech-fearing loved one, the Nokia 7.1 deserves some serious attention.
More at 9to5Google.
Huawei Goes Into Battle Against Apple And The Rest Of Android
As the final players reveal their smartphones that will lead the festive sales, many are pitching Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro as Android’s champion in the fight against the iPhone XR. While there are other options, these two are taking the lead in the comparison articles. David Phelan looks over some of the choices:
Like the iPhone and the Sony Xperia XZ3, the Mate 20 Pro can be charged wirelessly. Huawei has a special extra: reverse charging. If another device is wireless chargeable, simply hold it back to back with the Mate 20 Pro and the Huawei phone will transfer power. This is a unique feature. The phone’s battery life beats the iPhone, lasting up to two days.
The back of the phone has a shimmery, colour-changing effect in its green and blue versions that’s very eye-catching.
You can leave the iPhone in a metre of water for 30 minutes, while the Huawei can remain safe in two metres. Other phones, like Sony’s flagships, have been waterproof for years.
More at The Evening Standard.
October 22 2008 saw the debut of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android-powered smartphone for consumers. A lot has changed in the last ten years, and The Verge staff have put together a delightful look at the operating system’s evolution over the last decade:
After 10 years of being the world’s most dominant OS, we wanted to take a look back at how Andy Rubin’s brainchild has evolved into the industry titan that it is today. What’s changed? What has (sometimes stubbornly) stayed the same? What new updates came with every version? Because Android is an open sourced OS, different manufacturers have applied their own skins — i.e. Samsung’s TouchWiz, OnePlus’ OxygenOS — so we’re focusing on stock Android for this visual history.
The Android we know today — with all its machine learning capabilities and digital voice assistant — wasn’t without its fair share of clunkiness before getting to where it is now. Its many innovations would inspire, borrow, or improve upon other features seen on its main rival, Apple’s iOS.
More at The Verge.
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!