Looking back on seven days of news and headlines across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit includes new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 details, a closer look at the Pixel 6a, nothing does not light up, a second chance for the Surface Duo 2, the successful quarter of MediaTek, the last Mi Band of Xiaomi, and what is the use of the Open Source project of Android?
Android Circuit is here to remind you of some of the many things that happened around Android in the past week (and you can find Apple‘s weekly news digest here).
Inside and outside flip and fold
News on the interior and exterior of the upcoming Galaxy foldable phones. The first step is the customization of the Galaxy Z Flip 4; Building on last year’s options to choose the various external color shells under the “Bespoke” brand, Samsung is expanding the lineup for the launch of the new handset which is expected in early August, SamMobile reports:
“The only difference [with the Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition] is that customers can mix colors for the top and bottom half of the back panel. Choose from a matte or glossy black frame and select one from 49 possible color combinations for a truly personalized handset. This is how it will also work for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 Bespoke Edition. We hear there will be a lot more than 49 color combinations on offer. It will also be available for purchase in more markets.
As for the interior, there’s tacit confirmation that the Z Flip 4 will have the option of 512GB of internal storage, while the Z Fold 4 might be considering a 1TB model:
“The Galaxy Z Flip 4 with 512GB of storage and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with 1TB were recently spotted on a Korean website called Handphone. It’s run by the Korea Association for the Advancement of ITC, and according to editors, the website manages lost cell phone information and sometimes lists devices that are on their way to the Korean market… Galaxy Z Flip 4 with 512GB storage is listed with model number SM-F721N .Galaxy Z Fold 4 with 1TB storage is listed with model number SM-F936N.
A closer look at the Pixel 6a
We’re still over a month away from the retail launch of the Pixel 6a, but we’re getting more information and taking a closer look at the game-changing mid-range handset as the weeks go by. The latest include leaked promotional photos:
“All three colors are on display – chalk (white), sage (green) and anthracite (grey) – and there are also lifestyle photos to look at. Although the pictures don’t really tell us anything that we didn’t know about these phones, there are plenty of them, so if you’re planning on buying a Google Pixel 6a in late July, these shots should keep you going until then.
(Evan Blass through TechRadar).
Nothing lights up
Nothing, the company with a pun for a name that never gets old, offered more details on the upcoming phone (1). Following last week’s look at the design and sculpting of the phone’s back. the Glyph interface – an array of 900 LEDs – was demonstrated. Why have one notification light when you can have 900?
“The Glyph interface will have a set of ten ringtones that will also offer synchronized LED patterns. Users will also be able to associate light patterns with specific contacts. Customizations can even be made within apps, giving users an idea of what type of notification has arrived. Although it may seem dull, it is important because it is the evolution of the notification LED. The Glyph interface can even be used as a fill light when taking photos or videos. Lastly, there’s also a flashing red LED that shows people when you’re recording.”
A second look at the second Surface duo
It’s been six months (more or less) since Microsoft released its second dual-screen device, and there’s been a bit of a renaissance when it comes to the Surface Duo 2. Thanks to Microsoft’s constant updates and improvements to the software, and reviewers are spending more time with the devices, Duo 2’s unique proposition is highlighted, as Dan Seifert explains:
“And reader, I can finally say I got it. The Duo 2 is the most unique mobile device I’ve used, allowing me to do things I simply can’t do with a traditional smartphone. It also does some things, like multitasking and reading ebooks, better than the Z Fold 3’s single large screen… There’s undeniably something satisfying about completing a task on the Duo 2 and then folding it like a book and slip it into my pocket.
MediaTek’s rising star
MediaTek continues to advance in the mobile system-on-chip space with its Dimensity series. The new 8000 and 9000 chip families have been used by major manufacturers including Oppo, Xiaomi and Honor, which is reflected in a strong set of quarterly results:
“MediaTek has seen a positive response from OEMs wanting to include MediaTek’s next-level Dimensity chips on their flagships. vivo, Xiaomi and Honor all have recently released smartphones that feature these chipsets.”
Xiaomi’s successful fitness tracker
Continuing its line of smaller, more affordable fitness trackers that perform a number of smartwatch features, Xiaomi has launched the Mi Band 7 in a global market, switching the name to the Mi Smart Band 7 outside of China.
“The updated tracker has an ever-larger 1.62-inch AMOLED display compared to the Mi Band 6’s 1.56-inch screen. Xiaomi has also refreshed the Band UI with redesigned icons , new effects and improved data visuals.In terms of features and tracking capabilities, the Mi Band 7 offers more than 110 sports modes, including three all-new ones for measuring training load, recovery time and the training effect. There is also a new professional training analysis VO₂ max, which measures the maximum amount of oxygen users use during exercise.
Android is notoriously open source, even if the additional services added by Google and the various manufacturers are not. How usable is the “clean” version of the Android Open Source Project? David Ruddock talks about AOSP implementation on the latest Android Bytes podcast:
“…critical components like the Google Play Store, Google Play Services, and most Google apps are missing. What you might not know is that fixing this issue isn’t as simple as to flash a few applications, and that AOSP even contains its own GMS dependencies which may or may not be documented. This makes AOSP largely unusable “out of the box” as an operating system. and fill in the gaps in functionality. But how can you even figure out where those gaps are, let alone how to fill them?”
Android Circuit rounds up 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, let us know!