Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the phone that beats the Galaxy S10, the hidden Galaxy Note 10, Huawei P30 Pro leaks, Nokia 9 PureView camera reviewed, OnePlus finding a winning UI, and a new camera for the Twitter app.
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).
The Galaxy S10’s Speedy Successor
Samsung has a Galaxy S10 challenger that is going to be faster than the new flagships… it’s the Galaxy Note 10. Of course every smartphone is going to be ‘bettered’ six months after launch, but as Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports, the S10 has been held back a touch:
Picked up last week, Samsung took a performance shortcut with the entire Galaxy S10 range which is hard to swallow. Every Galaxy S10 model is fitted with UFS 2.1 storage, despite Samsung announcing the commercial availability of UFS 3.0 which is twice as fast and more efficient, so it has less battery drain.
Samsung has already confirmed the Galaxy Fold will have UFS 3.0 when it launches next month and every Samsung flagship phone will feature this next-generation storage from now on. But the Galaxy S10 line-up has been left in the cold. This is a real shame given everywhere else the models are full of cutting-edge tech.
(L to R) Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 with 5G and S10+, exhibited during the Mobile World Congress, on February 25, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)Getty
Note 10 Also Picks Up 5G Version
We all ‘know’ the Galaxy Note 10 is on its way, but what we weren’t sure about is if there was a 5G variant. Tucked into the kernel code of the Galaxy S10 is the phrase 'davinci5g’… davinci being the Note 10 codename, and 5G being an obvious suffix, as I reported earlier this week:
While it will not come as a surprise to the geekerati that a 5G version of the Galaxy Note will be available, this is the first sign of confirmation from within Samsung that such a device is planned. The Note series typically carries Samsung’s biggest innovations, although a 5G Galaxy S10 has been noted, the first 5G handsets from many manufacturers are tied closer to network roll-out schedules rather than the reliable launch dates we see year in and year out.
New Huawei P30 Pro Specs Leak
In the week that Huawei noted ten million sales for the Mate 20, details of the upcoming P30 Pro have leaked. Although we’re still waiting on details of the lenses in the quad-lens camera, and confirmation the forward facing depth sensor will be replaced for a higher resolution camera (no doubt for facial recognition), details on the screen in use are coming out. James Rogerson reports:
…the Huawei P30 Pro will have a 6.47-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED screen, making it bigger but lower resolution than the 6.39-inch 1440 x 3120 screen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
The screen might also have a trick up its sleeve, as according to this information the earpiece is built into it, meaning the screen would vibrate to produce sound and act as a loudspeaker. That sounds similar to a feature found on the LG G8.
Nokia 9 PureView Camera Thoughts
With five camera lenses, great things were expected from HMD Global’s Nokia 9 PureView. With the first handsets now reaching consumers and reviewers, the camera is getting tested extensively. Does it live up to the promises of the Finnish company? GSM Arena takes a closer look including comparisons to the iPhone XS.
We think the biggest leap forward might actually be in the quality of the scene depth mapping. You see, having five cameras with different vantage points aimed at the same scene gives the Nokia 9 PureView a highly accurate depth map of said scene. It's not only the resolution of the depth map - there's plenty of phones with high-res imagers. The key is in the levels of depth that can be recognized - Nokia says that while most phones can recognize up to around 10-15 focal planes, the Nokia 9 PureView captures up to 1,200 and through AI extrapolates those into infinite numbers of layers.
This leads to two advantages - the ability to create photos with a realistic defocus effect and the ability to snap a shot and choose a different focus point later (so if you've missed focusing on a person's face it could be fixed, potentially).
You can see the comparisons pictures between the Nokia 9 PureView and the iPhone XS here. It’s also worth nothing the first batch of handsets are running early software so check for an update to address voltage drop-outs in the camera and the operation of the fingerprint scanner, as noted by Chief Product Office Juho Sarvikas..
The new Nokia 9 Pure view is displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 27, 2019. (Photo by ADRIA PUIG/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Getty
OnePlus Finds A Winning UI
What happens when you ask your community for a new software feature, and you are handed a portfolio and website that rips up and reworks the entire user interface? If you’re OnePlus, you know you’ve found the winner of the #OnePlusPMChallenge.
It comes from Léandro Tijink (known as 'Its.Leandroo’ in the community). Rather than pick up on one feature or an additional application, Tijink has taken a high-level look at the user interface of OxygenOS and proposed a cleaner approach to the UI emphasising both ease of use and a consistent design language for applications.
More here on Forbes, and watch for the new UI to work its way into OxygenOS during the year.
As well as testing a beta app on iOS (twitr), Twitter is rolling out an update to its main mobile app on iOS and Android. This will bypass the camera software on a handset in favour of Twitter’s in-app camera software. Holly Twitter reports:
The new in-app camera sounds exactly like the one Facebook and Instagram added to be more like Snapchat: you swipe left from the main screen to access it, and your photo or video can be made more annoying with overlaid text, hashtags etc.
Oddly, you're not currently allowed to upload existing images to the new feature, so tough luck if you took a perfect sunset photo in your actual camera app and wanted to post it with #blessed. That used to be the case with Snapchat as well, and they eventually capitulated, so we expect Twitter will do the same before long.
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!