Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the latest Galaxy S11 leak, Samsung’s confidence in the Galaxy Fold, latest Pixel 4 details, a review of the Asus ROG Phone 2, Huawei’s Android loophole for Google Play, and a cheeky Nokia 5G hint.
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 S11’s Camera Superpower Leaked
In the week that Apple pushed the camera software on the new iPhone 11, Samsung’s plans for a similar machine learning post-processor for images taken on the galaxy S11 have come to light via noted leaker Ice Universe. Tom Bedford reports on the benefits for 2020’s South Korean flagship:
If Samsung does bring an advanced machine learning function to the Samsung Galaxy S11 (and names it something less vague and terrifying than Deep Fusion), it could blow the iPhone 11 camera out of the water. We’ll have to wait until early 2020 to find out if this happens, though.
Samsung’s Folding Screen Warranty Worries
Meanwhile Samsung is looking to build up confidence in the bendable screen of the Galaxy Fold that is promoting the discount on a replacement screen if you need to repair the key feature. That’s both ‘a reassuring comfort’ and a ‘why would you need to be prepared to replace the screen’? Adnan Faroqui reports:
Customers who pick up Samsung’s most expensive smartphone can rest assured that they won’t have to pay full price for a screen replacement. Samsung’s guarantee only covers the internal foldable display which makes perfect sense. It’s the most expensive component on this smartphone.
We hear that in addition to the warranty that all Galaxy products come with, Samsung will commit to one screen replacement of the Infinity Flex Display at a discounted rate. All Galaxy Fold customers will be eligible for this within one year of the date that they purchase the device. Customers who have insurance coverage for their device will only have to pay a deductible for the replacement.
One Big Advantage For The New Pixel
Google is set to bring a key feature to this year’s new Pixel smartphone that is going to outclass much o the opposition. By including a 90Hz screen in Android’s ‘baseline’ smartphone design, Google is pushing the industry to the adoption of screens with faster refresh rates and smoother UIs. Forbes Gordon Kelly reports:
Google has left code buried inside Android 10 which confirms the Pixel 4 will come with a 90Hz display. For those unfamiliar with 90Hz, it’s a game-changer and a massive advantage over the 60Hz Galaxy S10 and Note 10. Moreover, it even looks set to be an advantage over the Galaxy S11.
What XDA-Developers found was a commit from Google inside Android 10 that it will add an enable/disable option to toggle a 90Hz mode on the ‘P19’ – which we already know this is a reference to the ‘Pixel 2019’. After all, the only Pixels released in 2019 to date are the Pixel 3a and 3a XL and – as great as they are – they are budget-friendly devices which don’t have 90Hz panels.
Latest Pixel 4 Selfie Camera Updates
It has been a busy week for Pixel 4 leaks, with factory samples allegedly on sale, and almost all of the handset details available if you go hunting. A number of details are being showcased, including the new face detection software and Google’s new Pixel Theme in the UI. The final details to come out concern the camera, and Rita Khoury reports on the latest all-important selfie details:
Next up is a seemingly new advanced setting that lets you save the selfie like it was previewed, without flipping its orientation. You may have noticed that when you try to take a selfie with your current Pixel, the orientation is mirrored, but the saved photo is flipped to show what the real image (with correct text orientation for example) would be like. That makes sense. But if you usually spend hours agonizing over a pic’s angle only to see the cam flip things for you, you can now choose to disable that and save the pic as you saw it first, in its mirrored state.
ROG Phone 2 Reviewed
The latest Asus gaming phone, the ROG Phone 2 (under the Republic of Gamers brand) is packed with expensive hardware for the best mobile gaming experience at the expense of other more rounded features. The team at GSM Arena has put the device through its paces for their review, noting the overpowering shadow it creates:
Even with its near showcase status, the ROG Phone II can still be considered a milestone device for the industry as a whole. Boasting the title of “world’s first and fastest 120Hz 1ms AMOLED with 240Hz touch response”, it offers a glimpse into the future of smartphone and general end-user display tech as a whole. And that’s just the cherry on top of the sundae. The ROG Phone II is so vastly overengineered in so many ways that even trying to go through it all in a review manner is a daunting task. That being said, we’ll do our very best to showcase it in all of its trend-setting and affluent gaming glory.
How Huawei’s Android Workaround Could Work
With Google unable to offer Google Play Services support on the new Mate 30 (thanks to Huawei’s inclusion on the US Trade Department’s Entity List), the Chinese-based manufacturer is thinking outside of the box. Will side loading allow users to self-install the missing Google services beloved by many? I looked at the issue earlier this week:
Devices that ship with Google Services have side loading turned off. The only source of applications is the Google Play Store and these applications are both tested and monitored for malware and other security issues. But Android offers users the option to install applications from other sources…
I would assume that Huawei are looking at a similar system – once the Google Apps are on your smartphone, you can lock down your smartphone once more to trusted sources (presumably Huawei’s helper app will add the Play Store to this list).
Meanwhile, it looks like we’re going to see some 5G powered Nokia phones in the near future. Juho Sarvikas – Chief Product Officer at HMD Global – has posted a congratulatory tweet to Qualcomm regarding its upcoming 7xx Snapdragon chips running 5G. We could potentially see a Nokia 5G at MWC 2020 in February next year.
Congrats to our friends @Qualcomm on announcing the new #Snapdragon 7 Series Mobile Platform with integrated #5G. We are thrilled to be working closely with you to bring the benefits of 5G to everyone in a beautifully crafted Finnish design @Nokiamobile
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!