Looking back at seven days of news and headlines around the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit features the latest Pixel Fold leaks and benchmarks, FCC confirms Galaxy S23 Ultra details, iQOO 11 Pro launch, Nothing Phone (2) news, Google Maps acquires Waze and Thunderbird Android development continues.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of some of the many things that have happened around Android over the past week (and you can find the weekly Apple news roundup here).
Pixel Fold design leak
Not much has been confirmed from Google about the forthcoming Pixel Fold, but a double shot of leaks this week makes things a bit clearer. First of all, there is the aspect ratio, and this is perhaps the most curious. Instead of the thin folded design of the Galaxy Z Fold or Honor Magic, Google is going for a more Surface Duo-esque dual notebook look:
“…the Pixel Fold is significantly wider and has a squarer aspect ratio than the Galaxy Z Fold 4… In the past, one of the biggest design issues of the Galaxy Z Fold series has been the narrow cover screen. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 solved address that issue to a reasonable degree, but it seems Google may have gone too far the other way. The Pixel Fold may be too wide for a smartphone and could prove unmanageable.”
Pixel Fold Benchmarked
We’re also taking a look at what will be at the heart of the Pixel Fold, and this is where it gets a tad more interesting, if not mainstream. The Pixel Fold comes with the latest chip technology in Google’s Tensor G2 – it might not win the raw benchmarks, but the potential for machine learning will be high:
The Geekbench 5 list (shared by TheGalox(opens in new tab)) for an unknown “Google Felix” device shows results for a phone with a Tensor G2 chip, 12 GB RAM and Android 13, just like the Pixel 7 Pro. It scores slightly worse than the Pixel 7 Pro in the single-core portion of the test, though it does slightly better in the multi-core test.”
FCC documents confirm S23 Ultra details
Not to be outdone in the leaks, the ever-reliable FCC documentation confirms the Galaxy S23 ultra’s charging and battery potential, and something is missing. About 20 watts fast charging:
“The FCC describes the Galaxy S23 Ultra as capable of 25W fast charging, a downgrade from 20W on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now that this downgrade also applies to the Galaxy S23 Plus, it seems Samsung doesn’t want to differentiate between Plus and Ultra models. Instead, it has harmonized charging powers across its Galaxy S range, though it’s unclear why at this stage. Samsung may have dropped 45W support due to the instability.”
iQOO 11 and 11 Pro launched in China
Industry watchers have been expecting it for some time, but iQOO’s latest handsets have launched, packed in high spec alongside Qualcomm’s high-end on-chip system:
“iQOO unveiled its new flagship line in China and Indonesia after numerous speculations and leaks. It includes the iQOO 11 and 11 Pro mobile devices. So the Pro version adds 200W charging along with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, a 144 Hz refresh rate screen and the Vivo V2 ISP processor.”
No phone (2) “Soon.”
Nothing Tech broke through the smartphone market this year with the Nothing Phone (1). Right now, this doesn’t look like the first in a stream of smartphones, with co-founder Carl Paid writing on Twitter that the focus is on shrinking the portfolio and maximizing what’s already out there:
“Phone (2) isn’t launching anytime soon. We’re focused on doing a few things right and won’t release dozens of products a year like many others. Phone (1) is our main focus. We’re cooking something great on the field of software, Android 13 and above.”
Google is consolidating map services
After purchasing the Waze map company, Google ran it as a separate unit. That is no longer the case and the Waze team will now be part of the future Android Auto experience.
“The Geo division will absorb more than 500 Waze employees, which has been independent of Google since its acquisition in 2013 and has maintained a distinct culture. Waze offers an Android Auto experience, although we are waiting for it to support the split-screen redesign while it just announced an Android Automotive app that will be more widely available next year, while Google services, such as YouTube Music, integrate with Waze for in-app audio control.
There are many email solutions. With Mozilla’s purchase of K-9 Mail, the popular indie email client is in the process of becoming Thunderbird for Android, thanks to significant engineering time and a development process that incorporates as much feedback as possible. This week’s feedback topic is about the layout of the post preview:
“The road to a great Thunderbird email experience on Android devices begins with K-9 Mail, which joined our family earlier this year. And we’ve been busy improving K-9 Mail as we transition to Thunderbird for Android in Summer 2023. Last week we showed you the new Swipe actions in K-9 Mail 6.400. Today it’s even more exciting: a completely redesigned message view!”
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 hereand if you have news and links you’d like to see in Android Circuit, get in touch!