Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung Galaxy A54 reviews, Pixel 8 Pro specs, Redmi Note 12 launch, Huawei’s three P60 phones, Nothing’s new Ear (2) buds, Tecno’s first foldable, and Android fights Apple in the premium space.
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 A54 Review
Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G has to follow the insanely popular A53 smartphone, and on paper, it manages this nicely… but the real world has a slightly different answer. Reviewing the handset for SamMobile, Abhijeet Mishra notes that the hardware is a delightful improvement, but the software is going to need time to sort out the bugs:
“Samsung has made plenty of upgrades to justify the Galaxy A54 5G’s increased price, like the glass back, the flagship-level autofocus on the rear camera, the brighter display, and, at least on paper, the more powerful Exynos chip.
“But Samsung’s failure to optimize the software to take advantage of the new chip, and its failure in fixing the intermittent stutter and lag in the phone’s performance that plagued last year’s Galaxy A53 5G, makes it incredibly hard to suggest the Galaxy A54 5G right now.”
There’s A New Foldable In Town
Chinese company Tecno has caused a bit of a stir this week with the launch of its foldable tablet-esque smartphone. The Phantom V Fold has picked up a number of reviews, and the chipset performance has drawn plaudits:
“The Phantom V Fold runs on the Dimensity 9000+ SoC, which is last year’s flagship MediaTek chip, and although it’s been succeeded by the more powerful 9200, it’s still a highly capable chipset… The Phantom never got too warm, either, even during extended gaming sessions, and we really enjoyed playing with the extra screen real estate. Some titles work better than others, as the UI has to scale to the unusually-square aspect ratio, but all of our favourites were perfectly playable.”
Opening The Heart Of The Pixel 8 Pro
Google’s next Pixel family, including the presumptively named Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro expected to launch in the back half of 2023, will have the next-generation Tensor Mobile chipset, probably called the Tensor G3. With manufacturing support from Samsung, could the internet have found the first confirmation of the G3?
“The kernel provided by the leakers is for a Samsung Semiconductor chipset codenamed “Quadra”, believed to be officially titled the Exynos 2300. As the Pixel 6’s Tensor was based on the Exynos 2100 and the Pixel 7’s Tensor G2 is related to the Exynos 2200, it fits that this would be the chip Google would use as the basis for a Tensor G3.”
Redmi’s Notes On A Budget
Xiaomi’s Redmi brand has launched the new Note 12 family of devices this week, with a high-end display and 5000 mAh batter boosting the appeal of the mid-range ‘big handsets’; but do note the SnapDragon Series 4 chipset will limit the performance compared to more established and higher priced models. Lewis Painter has taken a closer look:
“…my first impressions of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G are largely positive, with a great 120Hz AMOLED display and the same 5000mAh battery found in some flagships. Of course, performance isn’t that great with a Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, and despite a high-res 48MP camera, initial tests weren’t overwhelmingly positive. Still, at the budget end of the market sacrifices have to be made, and if display and battery life are the most important elements of a smartphone for you, you’ll struggle to find one better specced at a cheaper price.”
Huawei’s Three New Handsets
The P60, P60 Pro, and the fashionable P60 Art have all been announced by Huawei this week, with the main differences being either an improved camera or a sculpted artistic look for the fashion catwalk
“All three phones share the same core hardware – 6.67-inch LTPO OLED screen with FHD+ resolution (1220×2700 px) and a 1-120Hz refresh rate. The panels are protected by Kunlun glass and sport a built-in fingerprint scanner.”
Nothing More To Listen To
Nothing Tech has announced its next generation of true wireless earbuds. The Ear (2) buds were announced this week, with clear voice technology, LHDC 5.0 codecs, and a Personal Sound Profile:
“Personal Sound Profile that adjusts the equalizer in real-time, so the music is optimized to the listener’s hearing. Dual Connection (Bluetooth MultiPoint) enables two devices to be connected to the earbuds simultaneously. Switching between the two is seamless, so moving from music to a phone call and back to the music is easy. Nothing has used its own Clear Voice Technology to make clearer phone calls and claims that it is the smartest iteration yet.”
The latest smartphone numbers from Counterpoint Research focus on the premium market – typically flagship devices but also expensive bleeding edge devices such as foldables. Sales are slightly up – one percent – year on year, while taking more than half of all smartphone revenues. But for the Android manufacturers fighting for this space, they have some way to go:
“Among OEMs, sales for Apple grew 6% YoY in the premium market, expanding its share to capture three-fourths of the total sales in the segment. Apple could have grown more, if not for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max supply disruption during the peak holiday season in 2022. Apple also gained from Huawei’s decline in China.”
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!