Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s stunning Galaxy S23 camera leaks, Android code hints at Pixel 7 Ultra, Google’s hardware push, Honor X6 launch, a classic name for the next OnePlus smartphone, listen to Nothing costing a bit more, and Chrome’s tablet update.
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’s Stunning Galaxy S23 Camera Leaks
Samsung’s annual update to the Galaxy S series may not be due a reveal until February, but details from the supply chain are giving us a better idea of what to expect every week. How about a 200-megapixel camera? It’s doable, although Samsung may restrict it to a ‘regular’ mode and a ‘ridiculous’ mode with nothing in-between 12 MP or 200 MP:
“Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra or Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP camera, the S23 Ultra won’t actually shoot at the maximum resolution by default. It will reportedly capture 12.5MP images using pixel binning (a process that merges multiple small pixels into one single large pixel) for improved image quality, especially in low-light conditions. The option to shoot at the full 200MP resolution will no doubt be available, as well, but a new rumor says Samsung will not offer the ability to shoot 50MP pictures, unlike the competition.”
Stand By For A Pixel 7 Ultra
Just as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 pro were not the final word in the Pixel 6 family, could the Pixel 7 have more models in the future? A smaller Pixel 7a later in 2023 feels obvious, but what of something larger? Step forward the Pixel 7 Ultra, with hints of larger camera sensors and improved connectivity lurking in the software:
“According to developer Kuba Wojciechowski(opens in new tab), who delved into the source code for the Pixel 7 series, the Pixel Ultra (codenamed “Lynx”) will most likely ship with Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth chip (WCN6740) rather than the Broadcom BCM4389 found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 lines. If this is correct, the rumored device will see an upgrade in connectivity performance.”
Google may not stop its current smartphone ambitions with the mythical Pixel 7 Pro. Documents seen by The Information note not only Google’s more focused approach to its hardware but also highlighting Samsung’s falling market share compared to the iPhone. If Android needs a new flag-bearer, Google may be ready to step up with hardware to go with the software:
“Google is “doubling down” on Pixel phones and its own hardware. This apparently includes moving product development and software engineering staff to work on Google-branded devices rather than features for non-Google hardware.”
The Latest X From Honor
Honor has launched its latest budget-focused smartphone. The Honor X6, priced at £149 in the UK, stands out with a massive 5000 mAh battery, a triple-lens camera system at the rear, and removable storage that complements the 4 GB RAM and 64 GB Storage on the single option:
“Delivering a smart and seamless user experience, the HONOR X6 runs on HONOR Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12. Featuring HONOR Share, the HONOR X6 enables speedy wireless file transfers across HONOR devices including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. With the Efficient Smart Desktop feature, users can customise widgets on the home screen and access information without opening the apps, further boosting efficiency and productivity.”
It Just Goes To 11
Is OnePlus returning to a more streamlined product lineup for its flagship numerical devices? With the Nord series happily providing options at the low- and mid-range, a number of sources are suggesting the flagship range could be rationalized to a single titular model name in 2023… no Pro, no Plus, no Ultra Max Super Fine… just the OnePlus 11:
“If the information turns out to be true, one would assume that OnePlus is also looking into the option of streamlining its flagship series as a whole. The core flagship series will get no more than two models in the first half of the year with a potential “T” upgrade in the second half. That hasn’t been the case since 2018 and the OnePlus 6.”
Nothing Costs A Little Bit More
Nothing Tech’s first product, the Ear (1) true wireless buds, was launched last year at a $99 price point and offered a lot of value in the busy market. One of the key advantages – pricing – has gone in the face of economic conditions around the world and Nothing’s increased costs. The competition may be forced to follow, but for now $99 becomes $149:
“Nothing is hiking the price of its debut Ear 1 earbuds from $99 to $149, the company’s CEO Carl Pei has announced. Citing “an increase in costs,” Pei said that the new price will come into effect on October 26th. No price changes were announced for Nothing’s more recently-announced Phone 1 smartphone.”
With the upcoming release of Android 12L, Google is putting more visible effort into its tablet apps. Next up is Chrome, and the Google Keyword blog has more updates on improving the browser for your larger-screened devices.
“It can sometimes be challenging to grab the right tab on a smaller screen, especially when you have a bunch of tabs open. That’s why we added a new side-by-side design that makes finding the right tab easier in Chrome. If you’re switching back and forth between two tabs, the auto-scroll back feature can help you swipe back to your previous tab. And to help prevent you from accidentally closing tabs in the first place, we’ll hide the close button when tabs become too small. If you close a tab you didn’t intend to, one-step restore can get you right back to where you were.”
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!