Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes OnePlus 10T surprise, Galaxy Unpacked launch details, Pixel 6a pre-orders, Nothing Phone (1) reviews, Google Play opens up billing system in Europe, Qualcomm’s next big Snapdragon event announced, and Microsoft’s missing Surface Duo.
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).
OnePlus 10T 5G and OxygenOS 13
Sporting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ and focused on performance, the OnePlus 10T is set to debut on August 3rd. The return of the “T” designation signifies not just a jump in raw performance but also battery life, battery life, and more:
“…the OnePlus 10T uses the same T nomenclature that has, since the debut of the OnePlus 3T, always represented a holistic performance upgrade. With the OnePlus 10T, we’re taking this concept to the next level – evolving the device’s upgrades beyond improvements to speed alone by leveraging new technologies to deliver key advancements to the OnePlus experience.”
Galaxy Unpacked details
Also having a confirmed launch date is be Samsung’s next Galaxy handsets – widely expected to include the new Z Fold and Z Flip. That event takes place a week later than OnePlus, on August 10th:
“Innovation isn’t just about radical ideas; it’s about unlocking new experiences that transform our daily lives for the better. Meaningful innovations go beyond the technical and provide a platform upon which our everyday lives become richer and more versatile — opening us up to greater possibilities than ever before…. Galaxy Unpacked will be streamed live on Samsung.com and Samsung’s YouTube channel beginning at 2:00 p.m. BST.”
Pixel 6a Pre-Orders Open Up
Thursday saw the Google Pixel 6a available to pre-order in several territories around the world. Those deciding to do so will receive a set of Pixel Buds A-Series from a number of retailers:
“Pre-orders for the highly anticipated Google Pixel 6a go live today at 1 pm EST in the U.S. and have already opened up in Europe and parts of Asia. Google’s new “budget” smartphone is expected to be well received and likely to become the company’s new best seller, considering its affordable price tag and similarity in features and design to the flagship Pixel 6/6 Pro line.”
Nothing Phone (1) Review
Following last week’s launch, the first reviews of Nothing Tech’s Phone (1) have been published. The price and specs are highlighted, but the big point of difference is the standout visual features on the transparent back of the phone:
“That transparency also allows for the lightshow; a set of LED strips, which Nothing calls the “glyph,” light up across the back panel to alert you to incoming calls or notifications or even to use as a fill light when recording video. It’s certainly unique and it’s nice to see some different ideas on phones, especially in the budget sector, which is often awash with forgettable gray or black slabs.”
Google Opens Up Billing In Europe
The Android App Store has opened itself up to allow developers to choose alternative billing systems. This is not yet a global option, instead being limited to Europe’s EEA:
“Google announced today that it would soon allow nongaming Android apps to offer users in Europe (European Economic Area) an alternative to Google Play’s billing system. This is in response to the Digital Markets Act, with Google saying it’s “committed to meeting these new requirements while ensuring that we can continue to keep people safe on our platforms and invest in Android and Play for the benefit of the entire ecosystem.”
(Google Blog, via (9to5Google).
Qualcomm’s Next Generation Snapdragon 8
As the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ smartphones get ready to ship and lead their respective manufacturers’ charge towards the holiday season, Qualcomm has confirmed its winter event. Of interest will be the presumed launch of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2… which is no doubt going to lead the 2023 flagship market:
“Specifically, this year’s Snapdragon Summit will run between November 15 and November 17, two weeks ahead of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s anniversary. While Qualcomm is only teasing details at the moment, it bills November’s event as ‘the biggest showcase of the year’, setting expectations suitably high for the release of another flagship chipset. It remains to be seen whether Qualcomm will unveil any other chipsets at this year’s Snapdragon Summit too.
“As for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm is expected to have built it around an ARM Cortex-X3 prime core, plus two Cortex-A715 and four Cortex-A510 cores. Codenamed SM8550, the SoC should also feature an Adreno 740 GPU. Based on ARM’s performance numbers, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could deliver over 25% better CPU performance, a 40% GPU uplift and over 15% lower power consumption. Presumably, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphones will debut in the winter and will be available globally in early 2023.”
A prototype of a new Surface Duo has shown up on Ebay, offering a tantalising glimpse of what could have been Microsoft’s next Android device. The company is focused on the Surface Duo 3, expected in 2023, so what looks like a more affordable version of the Surface Duo 2 will remain a “could have been” footnote.
“It featured an upper mid-range Qualcomm SoC, a dual-camera array on the back, non-curved displays without the glance bar, and a fully plastic exterior. To compare, the flagship Surface Duo 2 features a Snapdragon 888 SoC, a triple-camera array on the back, 90hz curved displays with the glance bar, and a plastic + glass exterior.”
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!