• November 28, 2022

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Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung Galaxy S23 software details, Pixel 7a leak, Pixel Fold specs, Qualcomm’s new SnapDragon, OnePlus is ready to be first, an immortal smartphone from Asus ROG, and DuckDuckGo offers another privacy win.

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 Galaxy S23 Will Have The New One

While it won’t be a surprise to those watching the cadence of OneUI releases and Android releases to a yearly cycle, Samsung looks set to do a refresh of One UI 5 (announced in October) to One UI 5.1 for the launch of the Galaxy S23 family:

“…the company appears to be working on One UI 5.1. Indeed, the Galaxy S23 series is expected to run a new version of One UI rather than 5.0, and it hinted at this last month in an official blog post. The company hasn’t said much about One UI 5.1, so we’re not sure exactly what we can expect. But as expected, the Galaxy S23 will have a few exclusive software features at launch, most of which (if not all) Samsung will make available for older Galaxy S flagship models once they get the future One UI 5.1 firmware update.”

(SamMobile).

Pixel 7a Fixes The Biggest Pixel Problem

As well as an improved camera, Android code suggests that the Pixel 7a will address issues around the lower specced screen compared to the vanilla and Pro numbered handsets. Stand by for a faster refreshing screen and a higher resolution as some of the big takeaway items:

“The Pixel a series should receive upgrades in other areas too, such as a high refresh rate display and wireless charging support. Purportedly, Google has equipped Lynx with a 90 Hz and 1080p display produced by Samsung, presumably an OLED panel. In short, the Pixel 7a promises to be a significant upgrade over the Pixel 6a, with a Google Tensor G2 chipset to add to the improved cameras, faster display and wireless charging capabilities described above. The Pixel 7a should arrive in early 2023, with an introduction at I/O 2023 likely at this stage.

(NotebookCheck).

Pixel Fold Details leak

Google is clearly building out the Pixel brand; this year saw the Pixel Phones joined by the Pixel Watch, and Google has teased (but not yet launched) the Pixel Tablet. What comes next? Many are expecting the Pixel Fold to be on-deck for 2023. By gathering all the leaks together, we can get a good idea of the plans:

“Unfold it and you’re greeted with a much larger foldable display, but unlike its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the foldable screen here doesn’t have a punch-hole camera. Instead, there are surprisingly large bezels above and below the display, with one of them housing a selfie camera. Other details shared here are that the cameras on both screens are apparently 9.5MP, the phone is clad in metal and glass, it supports 5G, and it will come in just white and black shades.”

(FrontPage Tech via TechRadar).

Qualcomm Announce New Top Of The Line System on Chip

For all of the fun specifications, cute design choices, and broad hardware decisions, many of the leading smartphones have the same heart; Qualcomm’s 8 Series of system-on-chip designs. The company has now debuted the SnapDragon 8 Gen 2, which will be one of the biggest influences on smartphones over the next 12 months:

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“However, the CPU isn’t the only part that’s been improved. Nearly every part of this SoC has seen a change for the better, with the new Adreno GPU sporting Vulkan 1.3, AV1 decode support, and both 25% better performance and 25% more efficiency. Hexagon Direct Link is also an interesting addition, as it serves as a direct link between all parts of the SoC and the Hexagon DSP for AI calculations, improving latency between core components that may need AI, like graphics and memory.”

(XDA Developers).

OnePlus Takes The Lead

While many handsets will pick up the chip, there’s always a benefit to being first. OnePlus has declared that it will have the honor of being first… which means there must be a new OnePlus handset coming out in the very near future:

“OnePlus confirmed on Weibo that the OnePlus 11 “will be the first” to offer the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It remains to be seen if the device will truly be the first smartphone using Qualcomm’s new chip, but it will certainly be the first from OnePlus. There aren’t any other teasers of the device, but one thing that stands out as notable is that the device is simply called the “OnePlus 11” rather than the “OnePlus 11 Pro.””

(9to5Google).

When You Need An Immortal Smartphone

Asus’ gaming brand ROG (the Republic of Gamers) has announced a new branded version of the ROG Phone 6, picking up details and embellishments from Blizzard’s Diablo series. The phone packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage:

“The ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition features a “Hellfire Red” semi-matte finish on the back, which gives off a special flame effect when viewed at different angles. There’s also an RGB-lit Diablo Immortal logo next to the game’s titular demon, though I personally would have preferred some light trick on the Lord of Terror itself instead. Everything else — including the 65W charger and cable — remain the same.”

(Engadget).

And Finally…

DuckDuckGo – the search engine that focuses on privacy – has updated its Android app’s public beta with “App Tracking Protect”. This reduces the amount of information collected and sent to web services while you use your phone:

“The DuckDuckGo for Android app is a privacy-focused web browser, search engine, and data protection utility, downloaded over 10 million times from Google Play. It includes numerous privacy features, including search term anonymity, hidden tracker blocking, email tracker protection, auto-HTTPS, and one-tap browsing history clearing.”

(Bleeping Computer).

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!

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