Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung delaying the Galaxy S8 flagship, Samsung’s new screen design, details on the Note 7 battery fires, the leaked Nokia Heart, the iPhone 7 Plus vs the Google Pixel XL, the hoarding of the SnapDragon 835, Hugo Barra leaving Xiaomi, and Donald Trump’s smartphone.
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 Galaxy S8 Delayed
As expected and predicted by many, Samsung will be delaying the launch of the Galaxy S8. The traditional event at the start of MWC will not feature the flagship handset. Forbes Gordon Kelly has more:
Speaking to Reuters, Samsung’s President of Mobile Koh Dong-jin has said that – unlike previous Galaxy S smartphones – the Galaxy S8 will not be ready to launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which kicks off next month.
Koh declined to say when Samsung will launch the Galaxy S8, but Reuters reports the reason is the company’s pledge “to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.”
Galaxy S8 Looks To Luxury Bathroom Design Cues
Samsung is working on reducing the bezels and creating an almost unbroken edge-to-edge experience with new display technology for the Galaxy S8. This ‘infinity display’ should also allows the Galaxy S8 screen to be physically larger while the overall handset dimensions remain constant. I’ve taken a closer look at the value:
There are hints that this will be labeled an ‘infinity display’, presumably in a nod to luxury swimming pool and bath designs where the water flows over the edge, although this could easily be a codename used in manufacturing that will be changed by the marketing department. That said, ‘the Galaxy S8 with Infinity Display’ does have a nice ring to it.
The display’s design will feature on two sizes of Galaxy S8, one sporting a screen around the five-inch mark, another at the six-inch mark. While these handsets will be in the same proportions as previous Galaxy S handsets, the reduced bezels should mean a larger screen in the same physical footprint. That also implies that the top and bottom bezels will be reduced in size – an approach which ties in to the information that Samsung is removing the physical home key from the S8 family and using on-screen buttons and alternative biometric sensors for security.
Galaxy Note 7 Battery Issues Explained
Samsung has released the findings of its investigation into the Galaxy note 7 issues that caused a number of handsets to catch fire, which triggered two global recalls and the subsequent cancellation of the phablet. Forbes’ Aaron Tilley covers the announcement and the two headline faults with the batteries:
The issue with the first version of the Note 7 — with what Samsung calls “Battery A” — was that the battery’s negative electrode had a slight deflection, allowing the positive and negative electrodes to meet. And when that happens, fires start.
The second version of the Note 7 — the second model came with a new battery from a different manufacturer that was supposed to resolve the issue — showed that “Battery B” had abnormal welding burrs (slight bumps leftover by welding) on the positive electrode. The welding burrs caused direct contact between the positive tab with the negative electrode.
Who Will Heart Nokia’s Heart?
With the Nokia 6 selling out and the Nokia 8 expected to be the lead story to come out of MWC, what of the other devices promised by HMD now it manages the Nokia brand for mobile devices? While an 18-inch tablet is a delightfully wonderful demonstration of skill and vision, the real value is likely to be in Nokia’s old stomping ground – the high performance at a mid-range price handset. Which is why Phone Arena’s news of the Nokia Heart is probably worth more attention:
Thanks to graphics benchmark program GFXBench, we know that the Nokia Heart unsurprisingly runs Android 7.0 Nougat – just like the Nokia 6 released this month in China.
Another thing that the Nokia Heart and Nokia 6 have in common is that both are powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processors. But similarities end here, as the Nokia Heart seemingly sports a 5.2-inch 720p display (as opposed to the 5.5-inch 1080p screen of the Nokia 6), while offering 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory. GFXBench’s tests reveal that the Nokia Heart has a 12 MP rear camera and a 7 MP front-facing camera, though the actual Megapixel count is likely 13 MP and 8 MP, respectively.