Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Galaxy S23’s SnapDragon success, Google confirming Pixel problems, Oppo launches Find N2 Flip, App Stores get Android upgrade, OnePlus 11 5G goes on sale (and gets a surprising review), and LineageOS debuts on the new Pixel phones.
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).
Samsung’s SnapDragon Difference
Following the reveal at Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 family of devices are now on sale in 55 countries. Many of those countries are seeing their first SnapDragon-powered Galaxy S smartphones after years of receiving handsets using Samsung’s own Exynos chipsets. That change has made a huge difference to the handset experience, as Danny Dorresteijn explains:
“Merely two weeks of using the Galaxy S23 Ultra has made me feel robbed by Samsung for years with its Exynos variants. The recurring issues were one of the reasons why I shifted to the company’s foldables that have always shipped with Snapdragon chipsets only. Using this device now daily and experiencing all of the ways in which it’s better than previous Exynos variants makes me disappointed that I was never able to get the best possible experience from earlier flagships.”
Pixel’s Problematic Scrolling Will Be Addressed
Not long gayer the launch of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro handsets, many users started to report issues with the scrolling; tearing images, stuttering while scrolling, and not matching up with their inputs. Google has publicly acknowledged the problem on the Android issue tracker, and a fix is coming:
“”We are aware of this issue and working on improvements for an upcoming software update”. With the February 2023 update already rolled out, the next opportunity will be in the update planned for the first week in March 2023.”
Oppo Folds The Future
Oppo launched a global version of its foldable flip phone this week. The Find N2 Flip builds on Oppo’s previous foldable models, and the initial critical reception is positive. Oppo VP Billy Zhang spoke about the importance of foldable to the company earlier this week and why they will lead the way in their global premium smartphones. Why:
“The most straightforward answer is growth. While the overall smartphone market in 2022 saw a decrease in sales, the foldable markets showed measurable growth both around the world and in Oppo’s home market of China. With sales up and a strong positive reaction from the market, the decision to expand the foldable portfolio to the global market is easy.”
Google Improves Everyone Else’s App Store
The Google Play store is not the only App Store for Android in town, but its deep links into Google’s flavour of Android make it one of the most convenient, especially when you look at the limitations other App Stores have to deal with. Google has addressed one of these concerns in Android 14, and App Store developers are getting to grips with it in the current public preview of the codebase:
“Android 14 has added a new API that lets third-party app stores check whether certain conditions are met before they go ahead with automatically updating an app. The PackageInstaller.InstallConstraints API “can be used by app stores to deliver auto updates without disrupting the user experience (referred as gentle update) – for example, an app store might hold off updates when it find [sic] out the app to update is interacting with the user.””
OnePlus 115G On Sale
Following on from last week’s launch of the OnePlus 11 5G (you can read my review of the handset here on Forbes), the Shenzhen-based company’s latest smartphone is now on sale, with UK pricing starting at £729. To go along with the “buy now” message, OnePlus has released details on the stress testing put on the handset to simulate multiple years of usage to prospective customers:
“The final test station puts OnePlus 11’s battery lifespan and capacity to the test by constantly charging and discharging the phone. OnePlus 11’s features Battery Health Engine and Battery Healing technology which means the device’s battery supports up to 1600 charging cycles, more than four years of daily charging.”
Nothing’s OnePlus Review
Carl Pei, Founder of Nothing Tech, was previously known in smartphone circles as the co-founder of OnePlus. With the Oneplus 11 5G now released, Pei has posted his thoughts on the new handset, a few touches of history, and a balanced comparison to the Nothing 1:
“Pei’s stance is what most people, including myself, feel about the phone… Pei also mentions that OnePlus 11 is a great overall phone but has “no real identity.” With each release, the entire design of the phone changes with no cohesion whatsoever. You remove the branding, and you won’t be able to tell what phone you are holding.”
Supporters and users of LineageOS – an open-source variant of Android – have not been able to install a supported version on Google’s newest Pixel devices, specifically those using Google’s Tensor Mobile chipset. That changed this week, with the Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 6a, 7, and 7 Pro now supported:
“Up to this point though, the ROM has not supported any of Google’s newest phones, starting with the Pixel 6 series. This is likely because of Google’s decision to switch to using its own Tensor chips in its phones. Since the chips aren’t found in any other devices, presumably work can’t be shared as easily as it would between phones built on the same Snapdragon chip.”
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!
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