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 S24 Ultra camera details, Galaxy Unpacked details, OnePlus 12R’s impressive battery, Pixel 8 Pro parts for sale, ROG Phone 8 details, basic watches and wearables, and the importance of Android security updates.
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 Unpacked Promises AI Revolution
Samsung has announced the next Galaxy Unpacked event. As expected, it will take place on January 17th, and while there will be several new Galaxy smartphones, the focus is squarely on the software… the AI-powered software.
“Instead, the focus is on Galaxy AI. Samsung has previously announced Samsung Gauss… No doubt, Gauss will be one of the tools that will help deliver on the promise that “Galaxy AI is coming.” The Galaxy S handsets are a key part of the proposition, with the press release noting that “[Samsung will] unveil the latest premium Galaxy innovations, providing an all-new mobile experience powered by AI.”
Galaxy S24 Ultra’s AI Zoom Secrets
Samsung has already spoken of its AI ambitions and how it can enhance the smartphone experience. One area is in the camera. Working with the new specs, AI can boost the images for improved clarity
“The Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to “downgrade” the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s powerful 10x optical telephoto lens to a 5x version, albeit at a much higher sensor resolution of 50 megapixels… the gap between 5x and 10x magnification will likely be filled using digital zoom and new AI processing, digital zoom being helped greatly by the much higher 50-megapixel resolution of the new 5x camera.”
OnePlus 12R Specs Shock
New details on the OnePLus 12R ahead of its launch at the end of January are available. The screen is one essential upgrade—thanks to 4th generation LPTO technology there will be faster switching between refresh rates and thus a smoother UI. But it’s the battery that’s worth paying attention to:
“The battery will have 5,500mAh capacity, the largest yet in a OnePlus phone. The company says this makes it ideal for playing games extensively. It also uses the Supervooc fast charging common to OnePlus phones so it should be fast to recharge when the battery finally dwindles. There’s also something called Battery Health Engine technology which, the company claims, helps keep the battery in tip-top condition longer than rivals”
Pixel 8 Pro Parts To Purchase
Google’s partnership with iFixit to supply spare parts for seven years—alongside seven years of software updates and security support—went live this week with key parts on sale to consumers:
“The ‘big ticket’ item many will look for first is the screen. The Pixel 8 screen and digitzer is available for $159, or $229 for the Pixel 8 Pro version. A new battery for either Pixel is $42. These can all be bought individually or as part of a fix kit, which includes the necessary tools to replace the part, including suction handles, pry tools, cleaning cloths, and 4mm bits.”
The ROG Of The Mainstream
Asu’s next gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone 8, will have some interesting design changes. It looks to be moving away from pure gaming choices towards something more mainstream:
“If the previously leaked ROG Phone 8 renders are accurate, it will sport an RGB ROG logo instead of the dot matrix-style LEDs. Interestingly, this appears to be the only design difference between the ROG Phone 8 and its Pro sibling. Both models will feature a redesigned chassis with slimmer bezels surrounding the 6.78-inch flat display, a squared-off chassis, and a bigger camera bump housing three sensors.”
The Growth Of Basic Watches
The wearables market is set to grow in 2024, according to the latest numbers from Canalys. Curiously, it’s not going to be driven by expensive smartwatches. Instead, It’s all about the “basic watch” with a real-time OS and running built-in apps:
“Basic watches emerged as the standout trend in 2023, with the category expected to form more than 40% share of wearable band shipments this year,” said Jack Leathem, Research Analyst at Canalys. “The success of basic watches can be attributed to a perfect blend of affordable pricing, appealing product designs and a consequent soaring demand in emerging markets. These devices, which balance style and tech at a wallet-friendly price, have emerged as a practical, short-term alternative to more expensive smartwatches.”
The latest Android security update shows how important they are—with close to 100 issues addressed.
“The Google Android December Security Bulletin was a hefty one, fixing nearly 100 security issues. The update includes patches for two critical issues in the Framework, the most severe of which could lead to remote escalation of privilege with no additional privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation,”
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!