Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s surprising launch, new Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip leaks, the Redmi Note 9T arrives, Honor and Qualcomm in 2021, a new 5G SnapDragon, and tracking the speed of the latest 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).
It’s Not Just The Galaxy S21 Samsung Is Showing Off
While we wait for the Galaxy S21 family to be revealed by Samsung, the South Korean company is going to whet our appetite for launch by holding an event for its new Exynos processor. Taking place on Monday 12th January, just 2 days before the S21 event, the feeling is that Samsung wants to put a lot of focus on its chipset. Twitter’s IceUniverse has the news:
“Samsung Exynos will hold an online launch event at 10pm Beijing time on January 12 to release Exynos xxxx. this is the first time Samsung has held a flagship processor launch.”
Flip Or Fold For Flagship Camera?
Meanwhile more details on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z range of folding phones. With the continued push for better imaging, the cameras in both the Flip and the Fold may be the areas with the greatest updates. Ilse Jurrien reports:
“A triple camera is visible – similar to that of the Galaxy S21. Last year, Samsung opted for a dual camera. In the meantime, stories have surfaced several times on the internet that Samsung wants to provide the successor to the Z Flip with a triple camera .
“However, the question remains whether this will be identical in configuration to that of the Samsung S21. Finally, based on the past year, it would make more sense if this camera system remains predestined for the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3”
More at Let’s Go Digital.
Redmi Note 9 Series Goes Global
Following the Chinese launches of the Redmi Note 9 Xiaomi has announced a global version of the handset, with the debut of the Redmi 9T (China’s Redmi Note 9 4G) and the Redmi Note 9T 5G (which was the Note 9 5G). Marco Lancaster covers the launch:
“Under the hood, the phone brings the 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset. This chipset has been available in China for a long time and it’s finally leaving the country to overseas markets. The chipset has two ARM Cortex-A76 cores clocked at up to 2.4GHz plus six ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz. The graphical tasks are ensured by a Mali-G57 MP3 GPU.”
More at Gizchina.
OnePlus Nord Arrives In America
The key feature for this price point is going to be the 90Hz fast refreshing screen, even if it is a 720p LCD screen. But there is a significant issue with the handset… the promised security and software updates are much lower than OnePlus supporters would expect. Ron Amadeo reports:
“The phones are launching with Android 10, they’ll be brought up-to-date with Android 11, and then OnePlus is done with major updates. For a phone that should be launching with the three-month-old Android 11 out of the box, this is basically zero years of major updates. The phone also won’t get monthly security updates as they are released, instead OnePlus is promising two years of security updates at a semi-regular, not-monthly pace.”
More at Ars Technica.
Honor’s Potential New Deal
Late last year, Huawei sold it’s sub-brand Honor and the now-standalone company is no longer part of the US Entities list that has damaged the former. It is being reported that Honor is now working with a key supplier… chip manufacturer Qualcomm. Hadlee Simons reports:
“Now, China Business News (via Sina Finance) reports that Honor and Qualcomm are indeed working together once again, citing Honor insiders. It’s claimed that Qualcomm didn’t require regulatory approval to work with the phone manufacturer, as Honor wasn’t on the Entity List.
“This partnership would be a major deal for Honor if true, as chipset supply was one of the biggest challenges for the brand (and its former parent company).”More at Android Authority.
Qualcomm Debuts New 5G System On Chip
The number of handsets shipping with 5G support should increase thanks to the launch of Qualcomm’s latest SnapDragon chip. The SnapDragon 480 is targeted at the low- to mid-range market, broadly speaking this would be the $250 price point, that . Andrei Frumusanu reports:
“The new Snapdragon 480 is an extremely impressive SoC not merely because of its 5G feature list, but also because it’s a major performance upgrade in many aspects, including the use of two Cortex-A76 cores as its main performance CPUs – a very large jump in the 400 series family, likely representing a major leap in performance for millions of low-cost devices in the market.”
More an Anandtech.
The speed of security updates to Android devices remain one of the key areas of differentiation between manufacturers. The team at Android Police have been tracking the updates on many devices, and have updated their rankings for January 2021. Google’s latest Pixel handsets share the top spot with Samsung’s S20, Note 20, and S20 Fan Editions. Corbin Davenport has the report:
“Pixel phones are the only devices we’ve tracked that didn’t miss a single month. There are a few instances where a security bulletin comes out a day or two before the Pixels get their updates, and vice-versa, but on average the delay is still zero days.”
More at Android Police.
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!