Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s Android 13 delay, Pixel 7 Pro details confirmed, Pixel Watch price surprise, OnePlus 11 Pro leak, Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate reviewed, Google’s new audio format, and lusting after the Dynamic Island.
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).
Does Samsung Need A Hero Development Phone?
With Samsung’s leading position in the Android space, many would assume that it would be in pole position to be the first OEM with an Android 13 update to the existing handset (it looks like the OnePlus 10 Pro and OxygenOS takes this prize). Anyway, Samsung’s breadth of handsets means more testing is needed for a full rollout… but Abhijeet Mishra argues the South Korean company needs a development track to accelerate the process and become “first”:
“To that I — and many others here at SamMobile — simply say: come on, Samsung, release the stable version of Android 13 to at least one device/device series already! And just generally get faster at bringing out these big operating system upgrades in a stable form once Google releases them for Pixel devices. Yes, that could mean that more bugs slip through the cracks, but that’s a problem that should be easily solvable considering all the resources Samsung has at hand.”
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Pixel 7 Pro Launch Date Confirmed
Google is doing a lot of the PR and pre-launch work ahead of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s official event on October 6th. Given the leak culture is not going away, why not take control and make any potential leak a piece of news you can publish? As it is with the pre-order news… they open the same day as the main event, presumably as the event closes we’ll get “pre-order yours right now by following this link.”
“The devices will go on pre-order on the same day as the event [on October 6th]. This was rumored since early August, and now Google has confirmed the move with the small print in the video. We’re going to then assume that the October 13 rumored shipping date is also going to pan out, but let’s see what happens.”
Pixel Watch Price Leak
Google doesn’t seem as forthcoming with the Pixel Watch details – although the broad strokes showed up at I/O the Pixel Watch is a brand new product so there’s still more story to be told to consumers. As for the price, well that’s been under wraps …until some of the online stories leaked the price:
“9to5Google first reported on the Pixel Watch price of the cellular model being $399.99 in late August. Thanks to a retail source, we were able to further corroborate that price, as well as now being able to confirm the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi model price, which will start at $349.99.”
OnePlus 11 Pro Specs Leak
Following on from news about the return of the Alert Slider, more details of OnePlus’s 2023 flagship have leaked. The top line specs (including a welcome 5000 mAh battery, certainly suggest a flagship-defining handset is on the way next Spring:
“Along with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, we’re also seeing a couple of demanding internal specs in the OnePlus 11 Pro. The device will feature up to 16GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. Outside lies a 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display, similar to what its predecessor offered. The display is also said to hide an under-display fingerprint sensor. The real kicker comes in the battery loadout, where a 5,000 mAh battery sits inside.”
ASUS ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Review
For the average consumer, Asus’ Zenphone 9 is a great all-around Android device in a small form factor. It’s the Republic of Gamers (ROG) phones where the gaming action happens, and the latest ROG 6D Ultimate delivers, as GSM Arena’s review lays out:
“Not only is ASUS taking up a MediaTek chip this time around, but it is also clearly staking quite a bit on it by giving it the “Ultimate” moniker. Today we have the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate in for review. Just like its historical predecessors, the Ultimate edition is largely based on the vanilla design, but with some small additions here and there as a sort of “icing on the cake”. This year the Ultimate doesn’t get extra inputs but rather a new AeroActive Portal – a motorized air duct that gives the AeroActive Cooler 6 attachment a channel to directly cool the innards of the device.”
Google’s New Audio Format
Google is working on a new audio format that could challenge the might of Dolby’s various systems in the open market. Given the amount of media Google delivers – not least through YouTube – any alternative offered would have a large market on Day One that could establish the format:
“Google shared plans for the media formats, which are internally known as Project Caviar, at a closed-door event with hardware manufacturers earlier this year. In a video of the presentation that was leaked to Protocol… The company’s primary focus for Project Caviar is YouTube, which does not currently support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision. However, Google also aims to bring other industry players on board, including device manufacturers and service providers.”
“Google didn’t respond to a request for comment.”
Apple’s new UI around the front camera cut-out has been courageously called a “Dynamic Island” and the faithful are lapping it up. So are some voices in the Android OEM market with RealMe and Xiaomi checking in with social media on how desirably a feature this might be in the future:
“Realme asks its community members whether they want a “dream island.” It doesn’t specifically refer to the feature from Apple, but the company’s description makes it clear it would emulate Apple’s design…. On the other hand, Xiaomi China’s Present Lu Weibing has posted to the social media network Weibo… to see if the company’s fans would want to see a “smart island” in the future Xiaomi phones. :
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!