March 27, 2023
Android Circuit: Powerful Pixel 8 Pro leaks, Honor teases foldable flagship, Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch

Android Circuit: Powerful Pixel 8 Pro leaks, Honor teases foldable flagship, Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch

Looking back on seven days of news and headlines across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s victory over Airbus, Pixel 8 Pro leaks, how the Pixel Watch beats the Apple Watch , the first details on Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, Honor teases the next generation of foldables, Huawei is still excluded from 5G activities and the Niagara launcher escapes the Google Play Store.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of some of the many things that happened around Android in the past week (and you can find Apple’s weekly news digest here).

Samsung’s Airbus victory

Samsung’s latest big win isn’t in the flagship space, at least not in the consumer flagship space. Samsung France has won a contract to supply more than 400,000 Xxover 6 Pro series rugged phones and the Tab Active 3 tablet. It should be noted that the former is one of Samsung’s most easily repairable phones:

“The company announced today that Samsung France has been selected as a consortium partner co-sponsored by Airbus and Capgemini. Following this partnership, Samsung says it will work closely with Airbus to equip approximately 400,000 employees with Galaxy rugged devices.”


Powerful leak of Pixel 8 details

It might take a while, but just as more details on the iPhone 15 come out ten months before launch, so do details on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The codenames lurk in the code, but also details of what would be Google’s third system-on-chip design… and the supposedly named Tensor G3 boosts the raw power:

“The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro appear to be codenamed ‘Shiba’ and ‘Husky,’ respectively, and this naming convention is consistent with Google’s current flagships, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, which are codenamed” Panther “and Cheetah,” respectively. The report ties in nicely with an August report which indicated that the third Tensor chipset would also be made in collaboration with Samsung. The third-generation proprietary Tensor chip is said to be codenamed “Zuma” and will feature the same Samsung-made G5300 modem as the Tensor G2.

(WinFuture via Phone Arena).

The connected watch on the podium is…

Google’s Pixel Watch is the obvious point of comparison to the Apple Watch Pro (somewhere in the corner, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is hoping to be included in Christmas comparisons). Kaitlyn Cimino does the first and sometimes the second, with five key areas of both smartwatches under the microscope:

“Google Assistant is a huge benefit of the Pixel Watch. After waiting an excruciatingly long time for the voice assistant to make its way to Samsung’s Wear OS-powered Galaxy Watch series, it’s wonderful to see the latest generation of Wear devices OS present the assistant out of the box. Of course, Apple offers Siri, but many rank Google’s voice assistant higher in terms of integration and usability. Google Assistant on the Pixel Watch is responsive, reliable and a feast for the eyes.”

(Android Authority).

First details on Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro

OneLeaks has new details and renders for Xiaomi’s upcoming flagships, the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro holders. The Chinese company is relying on a premium look and feel for the competitively priced lineup, with curved screens for the 13 Pro, center-hole=punch selfie cameras, and an aluminum chassis that looks eerily familiar in the side profile:

“Additionally, the aluminum sides also feature a strikingly similar design to the iPhone 14, right down to the subtle horizontal lines for the antenna bands…Rather than producing distinctive new designs, it looks like the Most smartphone makers have taken a new approach this year, with styles that seem to be drawn around the same blueprint – the results are hard to tell apart.

(OnLeaks 1,2Zoutons and CompareDial).

Honor teases next-gen foldable

Chinese manufacturer Honor has teased the launch of the Magic Vs, its second iteration of a foldable smartphone. This follows the Magic V, which launched in late 2021 as Honor’s first foldable smartphone. Given the trope of an “S” device, this could be a polish on the Magic V, as opposed to a wholesale revamp of the model to a Magic V2:

As a reminder, the Magic V featured a 7.9-inch foldable OLED display, 6.45-inch OLED cover display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB RAM, 256GB/512GB storage, 4GB battery 750mAh with 66W charging and side fingerprint reader. It came with a 32-megapixel front camera and a 50-megapixel (main) + 50-megapixel (wide) + 50-megapixel (ultra-wide) triple camera.


Huawei still excluded from the 5G game

Following U.S. sanctions prohibiting collaboration with certain Chinese companies, Huawei was unable to work with Qualcomm for key components and new technologies in its Kirrin line of system-on-chip devices. The hope that 5G technology would get an exemption appears to be incorrect, as Huawei confirms no new processors are expected in 2023. Options are limited, but that has hampered the company’s progress.

“The Chinese smartphone maker will have to reuse some of its older Kirin SoCs for which it still has licenses. Its other option is to stick with Qualcomm’s 4G processors only. Huawei has resorted to the second workaround with its recently launched Mate 50 series phones after Qualcomm obtained US government clearance to allow it to sell its flagship processors to Huawei – but without the 5G radios.”

(android font).

And finally…

The popular and minimalist Android launcher Niagara consciously disconnects from the Google Play Store to implement its own registration and payment system alongside the existing one. It has the advantage of already being well-known, but it shows that there is another route beyond Route One via the Play Store:

“With its latest release, the Pro version of Niagara decouples from the Google Play Store and goes global, allowing Huawei devices and Android phones that ship without Google Play Services to purchase the app. This move will also benefit millions of consumers. Android users in China.”

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Android Circuit rounds up 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, let us know!

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