Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Galaxy S24 problems, Pixel 8 Pro details, Google confirms Pixel launch, Pixel Tablet’s media magic, Honor Magic V2 details, Oppo Fold N3 Flip confirmed, Fairphone 5 launch, and how Android lost America.
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).
Galaxy S24 Snapdragon Wants To Be Everywhere
Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets have a curious relationship with its System On Chip. While most run Samsung’s Exynos chipset, Snapdragon-powered handsets have popped up in the line-up. Last year saw Snapdragon used exclusively. And with the extra performance, many are hoping that they can get the Snapdragon version rather than the Exynos:
“The theory now is that the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ will use the unannounced Exynos 2400 SoC in some markets and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in others, while the Galaxy S24 Ultra will employ the Snapdragon chip everywhere in the world to appease fans.”
A Porcelain Pixel 8 Pro
Several new details on Google’s upcoming Pixel phones leaked out this week via Google’s own Pixel Store. One picture, one alt text tag, and we know the special smartphone colour we’re getting for 2023:
“Sure, the device looks like the renders and images that have already leaked, including from a supposed internal Google video, but how can we be sure it’s that phone in that color? In a win for accessibility, the tipster notes that the image’s alt-text description removes all doubt, reading, “A person takes a call on a Pixel 8 Pro phone in Porcelain.”
Pixel Launch Event
Also on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro front is the launch date. Google might not have specifically mentioned its next phones, but everything points towards the reveal on October 4th:
“The in-person Made by Google event is set to take place in New York City at 10 a.m. ET, Google said Wednesday. Though Google didn’t name any specific devices, it implied in a post on Threads that the event will include the reveal of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Google has released a next-gen Pixel phone every fall since 2016.”
Pixel Tablet’s Media Magic
While the focus is on the Pixel phone this week, Google’s biggest Pixel device, the Pixel Tablet, is in line for a rather helpful software update that will help improve the media focus in the Tablet’s OS:
“More details on the media handoff feature (potentially called “hold close to cast”) come from Mishaal Rahman, who has been exploring the latest Android code. To activate the feature, all you will need to do is hold your smartphone close to the Pixel Tablet, and the media will digitally jump from the phone to the tablet seamlessly.”
Honor Prepares Next Foldable For The International Market
At its IFA Keynote, Honor confirmed that its second folding smartphone will pick up a global release. Currently available in China, the 9.9mm thin Magic V2 builds on the the success of its predecessor while offering a smaller profile, more batter power, and an improved camera:
“The Magic V2 will go on sale in parts of Europe and the UK, among other countries, before the first quarter of next year. Honor says there are currently no plans for a release in the United States. The company didn’t reveal pricing information but in its native China, the V2 starts at 8,999 yuan. This converts to roughly $1,250, £970 or AU$1,850. “
OnePlus Reaches For Fourteen’s Crown
With Android 14 in the final stages before launch, it will not be long until manufacturers start shipping phones with the new version of the mobile operating system. As it stands, OnePlus could well be first to bring it to market when it updates Oxygen OS on September 25th:
“A public beta build of OxygenOS 14 is promised to be released in the coming days for the OnePlus 11, OnePlus 11R, and OnePlus Nord 3. While you may thus assume that all three of those devices are getting the stable release on September 25, the wording is vague enough that we feel the need to caution you here – there was no mention of which specific model(s) will be blessed to run the next iteration of the OS on that day, so we’re going to assume it’s just going to be the OnePlus 11.”
Flips, Folds, And Telephotos
Also on the foldable front is Oppo’s flip-styled Find N3 Flip. It’s currently only available in China, but much like the last generation, expect a global release in 2024. With the rate of change, even an iterative update in the folding world is significant. And while the core specs and the screen are only slightly better, the real difference is in the camera:
“…one of the main gripes users have with flip phones is that they just aren’t up to scratch with comparably priced Android phones. It’s a fair criticism – you’ll have to sacrifice some battery capacity and camera functionality on most devices. But having that telephoto camera on-board signals a change in this regard. It marks a point where parity between those who fold and those who don’t is closer than ever.”
Fairphone 5 Launch
Fairphone has a relatively unique place in the smartphone space. Thanks to the modular nature of its phones, replacing damaged parts is as simple as using a screwdriver. And the new Fairphone 5, launched this week, continues this tradition, as well as the ethical approach to consumer electronics:
“[Fairphone] looks to source materials from sustainable sources and use recycled or ethically mined materials as much as possible (with the company quoting seventy per cent of the handset uses these grades of materials). It also ensures a living wage is paid to those who work on the assembly line for the phone and its components.”
The latest sales figures suggest that Android has fallen behind iPhone in America. While success can be found in other regions, notably Europe, what has happened United States?
“The iPhone is so dominant in America that it’s considered the default best phone. In American culture, there are memes mocking Android users, news reports of teens feeling left out at school if they’re on an Android, and people being left off family group chats if they’re not on iMessage. Android phones are considered second-grade devices to many Americans.”
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!