Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Microsoft’s Android Ambition, Pixel 2 Secret Feature – Forbes
Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes some new colors for the Galaxy S9, new Qualcomm and Exynos chips for Android, the ambitions of Android Go, Nokia 8 reviewed, Microsoft updates OneDrive on Android, Pixel 2’s secret AI core activated, and power user tips for the Pixel 2 XL.
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).
A Bundle Of Colors
With the Galaxy S9 expected to deliver a number of iterative updates, the ‘fashion’ of Samsung’s flagship handset for 2018 will be one of the key marketing points. That means a splash of new colors will be one of the attractive features when the handset launches. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:
Yes, Samsung is looking to expand the number of finishes for the Galaxy S9 with SamMobile reporting purple, black, gold and blue will all be available for launch (and silver and grey likely to continue). The first of these is the biggest change as the others have all been seen on the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note ranges at some point.
Making The Heart Of The S9
Samsung has started production of its next generation system-on-chip products. According to the press release, these will be used in handsets that will reach the market in the first months of 2018. That pretty much guarantees these chips will be destined to feature in the Galaxy S9. I reported on the news earlier this week:
Traditionally Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets have come with two flavours of system-on-chips – Samsung’s in-house Exynos SoC, and Qualcomm’s SnapDragon SoC. Because of the varying frequencies and systems offered by 4G networks around the world, Samsung needs to cover the various options so the Galaxy S handsets can be truly ‘world’ phones. That means mixing up the production with Exynos and Qualcomm.
…But The S9 Has Two Hearts
That takes care of the Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 handsets. What about the SnapDragon side of things? Samsung is expected to receive the lions’ share of Qualcomm’s latest system-on-chip, the SnapDragon 845, which was announced this week. Expect many of next year’s Android smartphones to be running the 845. David Ruddock examines the offering:
Qualcomm detailed its next-generation chipset, the Snapdragon 845, at a press conference in Hawaii this morning. The chip features a ground-up redesign of the company’s Kryo CPU (now the Kryo 385) and Adreno GPU, marking a major evolution of the platform. The changes to the new Adreno 630 GPU will result in 30% faster graphics performance, and Qualcomm anticipates the platform as a whole will be up to 30% more power-efficient than Snapdragon 835, a chip that has already proven to be excellent on battery life.
No Memory? No Problem
Google continues to push Android towards lower-spec hardware which is far more accessible to many consumers in the world. Android Oreo (Go Edition) is the latest project, which is designed to run effectively on OEM handsets with 1 GB or less of RAM. It’s not available as a direct download. Rom Amadeo looks at the release:
Android Go was announced at Google I/O 2017 as a special configuration of Android 8.1 Oreo for low-end devices. The new configuration is meant for all Android devices with less than 1GB of RAM, and it strips down Android to use less memory, less storage, and run better on cheap phones. The goal with Android Go is capturing the so-called “next billion users.” Only about half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are online, and when these new users first log into the Internet, they’ll be doing it on the cheapest general-purpose computing device available: a smartphone. Google wants to capture this flood of new users, so Android Go and the “Go” Google apps are designed for these ultra-cheap devices with limited connectivity.