Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes The Galaxy Note 10 fights the Galaxy S10, the Note 10 Pro appears, embarrassing problems with the Galaxy Fold, new details on the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, a review of the Nokia 9 PureView, the Honor 20 launch date is announced, and why 5G will be a big, bulky, battery killer.
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 S10 Losing The Fight Against The Note 10
Every phone is replaced by a better phone – that’s just a given with tech cycles and something that people buying on the cutting edge have to face up to. But with the Galaxy S10 family of devices there’s a growing feeling that the S10 portfolio is the wrong side of a jump in technology, and its biggest rival will be the Note 10. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly has more:
When Samsung shipped the Galaxy S10 range it did so just weeks before launching next-generation RAM, storage and camera technology. The promises for this tech were significant and now the first real-world benchmarking has broken and it confirms the extent to which Galaxy S10 owners are missing out.
Coming under the microscope is UFS 3.0 storage which has now been tested in its debut device, the Galaxy Fold, by Ice Universe. Samsung claimed UFS 3.0 would be twice as quick as the two-year-old UFS 2.1 standard inside the S10 line-up, and Ice’s testing proves it. Whereas the flagship Galaxy S10 Plus tops out at 792 MB/s and 193MB/s for sequential reading and writing of data, UFS 3.0 achieves 1478 MB/s and 383MB/s. There are also tangible gains in random reads and writes.
Galaxy Note 10 Pro Details
The near-seven inch display of the premium Galaxy Note 10 looks to be getting the ‘Pro’ moniker. Sitting alongside the Note 10e, the Note 10 Pro will carry more features in the larger chassis. Gordon Kelly takes (ahem) note of the features and the branding:
Samsung securing the Pro name is smart. For years, Apple has been rumoured to launch an elite iPhone Pro range and recent reports suggest 2019 may be the year. But now Apple, which is already dealing with the fallout from messy SE, Plus, Max, numbers and numerals branding, no longer has an easy way out now Samsung releases its Note range ahead of new iPhones each year.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Has A Horrible Problem
Ahead of its retail release, review units of the Glaaxy Fold arrived with a select number of journalists. Unfortunatly the review units have had a number of issues with the folding screen. Dieter Bohn of The Verge picks up the story:
…you can see a small bulge right on the crease of my Galaxy Fold review unit. It’s just enough to slightly distort the screen, and I can feel it under my finger. There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.
It looks like there are two areas at fault… the protective layer being removed by those who think it is a screen protector, and an issue with the hinge assembly.
A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.
While the geekerati would expect some issues with first-generation technology, to have the primary feature of the Galaxy Fold fail so quickly on units that presumably would have had extra care and attention placed on them (being review units) is unexpected at best. Naturally the situation is ongoing and we’ll have more on Forbes Tech in the days and weeks to come.
Release Dates And Multiple Models From OnePlus
The geekerati has pretty much decided that the next OnePlus launch event will be on May 14th, as noted at the start of the week:
While the date remains unconfirmed, it’s safe to assume Taniyama-Shimura is in effect here. The date is close enough to the OnePlus 6 launch date of May 16th 2018. The 6 went on sale six days after the launch on May 22nd, so a suggested retail launch of Monday May 20th does not feel out of place.
The question now is what will the Shenzhen based company announce. It’s looking more and more like we’re getting more than one handset. The latest clue comes from a third-party case leak:
…the renders of the handset clarify a number of points. This smartphone includes the widely discussed features of the triple lens rear camera and a radical pop-up selfie camera that leaves the screen clear of notches – but is clearly labeled as the OnePlus 7 Pro.
That means the phablet sized handset with the curved glass screen is likely to be OnePlus’ 5G model. The extra volume will likely accommodate the larger 5G antenna and increased battery capacity.
But with three models in the OnePlus 7 family expected, that leaves us a gap for a ‘OnePlus 7’ model with no suffix. Given the signals coming out of the geekerati, I’m expecting to see the OnePlus 6T design to be the base of the OnePlus 7 (or is that the OnePlus 6TT?), the new technology added to the 7 Pro, and the faster 5G circuitry as a standalone model released as carriers roll out the faster networks.
Nokia 9 First Impressions Review
With five lenses, the Nokia 9 PureView is targeting the photographer in all of us. But have the compromises for the penta-lens rear camera damaged the rest of the AndroidOne powered phone? I talked about my first impressions of the device earlier this week:
The Nokia 9 is for those looking for a modern ‘photographers’ camera. All the building blocks are there for a wonderful experience, but it’s not quite a unified experience. I’m looking to see what improvements are offered with the new firmware. These should address many of the reported issues with the camera software, and user interface.
Honor View 20 Ask You To Prepare For Four
The latest Honor smartphone will be launched on May 21st in London. Given the continued occurrence of the number four in the marketing, there’s an obvious inference about where the focus will be. Cho Mu-Hyun reports:
The company sent out invites on Monday for the unveiling event, which contained the unveiling date of “444+4x4x4+(4+4)/4+44/4” that adds up to 521 — the date of the show.
The event will unveil the latest model for the Honor 20 smartphone series.
The invitation also featured pictures of London Bridge, and the extensive use of the number four could also be hinting at a quad-camera setup for the back of the phone.
Just because you can buy 5G, should you? Ron Amadeo rephrases the age old question over the faster communications technology. Larger chips, increased power demands, and better antenna are just the first constraints. 5G, at least in these first generation handsets, will be big… physically big:
New networking hardware is “new” precisely because this is the first time it’s been made small enough to fit inside a smartphone. Companies don’t wait until they are well under the size requirements for a smartphone to ship a product; they design a new phone the very second new networking hardware will just barely fit. These 2019 devices will likely be bloated with 5G hardware—the biggest 5G hardware that will ever exist.
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!