Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this weekâ€™s Android Circuit includes disappointing Galaxy Note 10 details, Samsungâ€™s Exynos problems, the Galaxy Tab 6 leak, Google’s Pixel 4 spotted on the London Underground, an Android powered feature-phone, the Nokia 2.2 arriving in the UK, reviewing the OnePlus 7 pro screen, and Outlook going dark on Android.
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).
Two Big Missing Features
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch event on Wednesday August 7th, the final few specifications are leaking out. Unfortunately two beloved features that many feared would be for removal appear to be missing form the FCC certification. Both the 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD expansion slot are nowhere to be seen. Gordon Kelly reports:
â€¦the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just gave the game away by accidentally publishing photos of the phone as part of its certification process. And itâ€™s not the only bad newsâ€¦ itâ€™s not immediately clear from them whether the microSD slot is still present. Reports have claimed it will be limited to the new Galaxy Note 10+, which has an eye-watering price tag.
Even if the microSD slot does survive, however, itâ€™s astonishing that Samsung is looking to feature strip from the Galaxy Note 10 given these are features present on the Galaxy S10 line-up and it is the Note which is famed for its do-all business credentials.
More here on Forbes.
Disrupting The Heart Of The Note 10
Itâ€™s also worth keeping an eye on the stock levels. Japan has recently placed economic sanctions on South Korean, which is making it harder for certain raw materials used in smartphone displays and semiconductors. Thatâ€™s going to cause production of the Exynos chip inside the Note 10 to be shuffled around. Adnan Farooqui reports:
Local Korean broadcaster JTBC quoted a Samsung official in a report as saying that â€œThis month, Samsung has cut by 10 percent the target production of the Exynos, a mobile processor that will be used for the Note 10,â€ adding that the missing 10 percent will be produced next month.
The Galaxy Note 10 will be powered by the Exynos 9825 processor. Itâ€™s the 7nm iteration of the Exynos 9820 which was introduced with the Galaxy S10 earlier this year. Samsung will offer the Snapdragon 855-powered Galaxy Note 10 but only in select markets. The Exynos variants account for the bulk of its shipments so Samsung will be concerned about this.
More at SamMobile.
Samsungâ€™s Latest Tablet Leaks
Of course a real alternative for the Note 10 would not be a similarly sized S handset, but a full blown tablet. Step forward the Galaxy Tab 6. With renders obtained by Android Headlines, Samsungâ€™s return to the large format device features a groove for the S-Pen, a dual camera with a potential time of light sensor, and four AKG tuned speakers. John Anon has more:
These images paint a very clear picture of Samsungâ€™s next flagship tablet and do seem to confirm many of the features that were previously suggested, as well as some additional information that was otherwise unconfirmed.
It had been suggested that Samsung will skip the â€œGalaxy Tab S5â€ moniker in favor of not confusing matters with the recently released Galaxy Tab S5e. Android Headlines is of the understanding this is correct and the new tablet will launch as the â€œGalaxy Tab S6.â€
More at Android Headlines.
Googleâ€™s Pixel 4 Is Leaking Underground
Following last weekâ€™s reports on the Pixel 4 camera, Googleâ€™s upcoming smartphone has been spotted in public. Presumably the handset was out in the â€˜real worldâ€™ to test it under the harshest conditions possibleâ€¦ Londonâ€™s Undergound.Â Abner Li reportsÂ on the sighting:
Sharp-eyed 9to5Google reader Luis spotted the Pixel 4 on London Underground today. While the Made by Google flagship is in a case, the phone is clearly identifiable thanks to the sensor arrangement.
In these latest shots, we see the main camera and what weâ€™ve since suspected to be a 16MP telephoto lens. We learned that spec last week thanks to a leaked version of Google Camera from an unreleased build of Android Q. There is also a spectral sensor above and flash below. In the bottom-right, we see another cutout for what is presumably a microphone.
More at 9to5Google.
Feature Phones And Android
The team at 9to5Google has been following up the theme of an Android powered feature phone, and they believe that they have images of one of the first handsets. While the manufacturer is not identified, the font and styling on the keys suggest that it is a Nokia branded handset.Â Kyle Bradshaw reports:
Prominently placed at the top of the screen, we see Googleâ€™s standard microphone icon, which could indicate easy access to the Google Assistant on Android feature phones, though Google has also used this microphone for normal voice searches. Just below that, we find a suggestion to â€œChange speaking language.â€ Weâ€™re not sure if this is tied directly to the microphone button, or if that location on the home screen will be used to provide suggested actions.
Continuing downward, we can see a row of app icons, with what looks like an app drawer icon in the center, using Googleâ€™s four-color scheme. Of the visible apps, three of them are clearly Camera, Chrome, and YouTube, leaving us with a mystery icon. This mystery app appears to have a Material Design icon, even using Googleâ€™s usual green and yellow shades and a fold in the corner reminiscent of the Files by Google app icon. Unfortunately, the icon alone wasnâ€™t enough to find more information about the app.
More images and discussion at 9to5Google.
UK Retailers Pick Up Nokia 2.2
Meanwhile, the Nokia 2.2 has been launched in the UK. HMD Global are pitching this as an Android One handset with access to Google Assistant and an AI tinged interface that learns how you use your phone to improve the experience. And itâ€™s all priced at Â£99 ($125). From the press release:
The Nokia 2.2 delivers sophisticated AI powered low light imaging and Google Assistant at the press of a button, all at a truly astonishing price. It is the first 2 series Nokia smartphone to be part of the Android One programme, delivering the latest full Android experience on a modern 5.7â€ screen with a discreet selfie-notch. Shipping with Android 9 Pie, Nokia 2.2 is Android Q ready and will receive two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates, ensuring access to all the latest innovations from Android.
More details on the Nokia 2.2 at HMD Global.
The Glorious OnePlus 7 Pro Screen
OnePlus widened its portfolio this summer with both the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. The latter picks up a number of new features that puts it squarely into the premium/flagship territory, The key feature is the screen, andÂ Dylan Raga has taken a closer look at it, starting with the high refresh rate:
Itâ€™s one of the most enjoyable and stand-out features of the phone and is a huge novelty factor to look forward to if you are looking to buy the OnePlus 7 Pro. The difference is definitely noticeable, even to the non-tech savvy. Iâ€™ve let my friends and family play around with the OnePlus 7 Pro and the fluidity of the phone is always noted, even without me telling them about the increased refresh rate, which is impressive in an era where the latest smartphones are all fine in speed and smoothness. The OnePlus 7 Pro is set to an auto-90Hz rendering mode by default which switches between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on the app, but you can force the display to always render at 90Hz with one simple adb command if you wish to.
More at XDA Developers.
To accompany the evolution of Androidâ€™s dark mode, users of Outlook on Android have been waiting for the long-promised dark mode for the PIM suite. Itâ€™s almost here and Zac Bowden takes a look at the theme in action:
Microsoft announced last year that Outlook for both Android and iOS would eventually be getting a dark mode to match the other versions of Outlook available on Windows 10 and online. It’s been quite a while since that announcement was made, but it appears the wait might almost be over. Windows Central has received official renders that reveal the new dark mode on Android, showcasing the mail, calendar, and search UI with dark mode enabled.
You can find the images at Windows Central.
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Donâ€™t forget to follow me so you donâ€™t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last weekâ€™s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links youâ€™d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!