Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Hardware Leaks, Google Pixel 2 Details, Microsoft’s Android Love – Forbes

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the latest details on the Galaxy Note 8 and potential launch dates, Samsung ’confirming’ the phablet, the design of Google’s Pixel 2 XL, the Nokia 3 going on sale in the UK, sample images from the OnePlus 5, Android Nougat’s market share, a fix for the BlackBerry KeyOne, and Microsoft’s latest Android update.

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).

Looking At The Galaxy Note 8 

Opening Circuit once more with the Galaxy Note 8, the latest renders illustrate the new screens that will grace Samsung’s phablet. Just like the Galaxy S8 family the ‘infinity screen’ is curved at the side to minimise the visual impact of the bezels and chassis. Gordon Kelly reports:

…This aligns with multiple reports of the Galaxy Note 8 having a huge 6.3-inch display, up 0.6-inches from the ‘explosive’ 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 7. The render also shows the Galaxy Note 8 will switch to the same elongated 19.5:9 aspect ratio as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which makes larger phones easier to hold and use one handed.

The move makes sense as Samsung typically applies (and refines) the cutting edge tech introduced in each Galaxy S generation with the launch of each new Galaxy Note later in the year. Whether 6.3-inches proves a step too far for some users remains to be seen.

More on the new screen here on Forbes.

Samsung ‘Confirms’ New Handset

Now, about that screen… Samsung’s latest promotion of its Exynos system on chip shows a blatantly branded chip resting on top of a smartphone with the curved edges of the aforementioned infinity display seen on the S8 and S8 Plus… but the handset’s bezels suggest a different handset. Has Samsung confirmed the design of the Note 8 to the delight and social media frenzy of its fans?

 In the meantime Samsung has kept quiet about the image while – crucially – not removing it… The ‘accidental’ reveal builds interest ahead of the launch while the silence on adds to it. It’s Smart Marketing 101.

Furthermore the angle of the handset Samsung shows does not answer the most contentious aspect about it: whether the fingerprint sensor will be integrated into the bottom of the display or not. Multiple leaks suggest Samsung hasn’t been able to pull this off and it will remain rear mounted in a slightly less ridiculous place.

It’s almost as if Samsung want all the mystery and the publicity…

Samsung

Ewan Spence

Samsung promotes the Exynos 8895 with the Galaxy Note 8? (photo: Samsung PR)

Timing The Note 8

There’s also been intense speculation around the launch date of the Note 8. With positives and negatives for every choice, it’s going to be a tough call for Samsung. Does it go incredibly early in August as it did in 2016 to get a free run of the digital press ahead of the iPhone 8 launch? Does it wait until after Apple’s announcement to capitalise on a potentially weak launch? Personally I think the right call is going head-to-head with Tim Cook.

I cannot see Samsung taking the risk of hiding the Note 8 from the IFA crowds, which means that the announcement has to be before the start of the Berlin show. That suggests and ties in with reports of an August press launch for the phablet… I’m assuming that Apple will go for a date early in the second week of September for the iPhone reveal as the US press return from [Berlin’s technology conference] IFA, which points to Tuesday September 12th.

With August 26th previously mentioned as the launch date, that would give Samsung its typical two-week window between the launch event and the retail release to seed review units and marketing campaigns. It puts the South Korean phablet in direct competition with Apple’s launch.

More thoughts on the Note 8 launch date here.

Is This The Pixel 2 XL’s New Look?

Google’s second generation Pixel smartphone has also picked up a detailed render to show off the potential look of the handset. Android Police has gathered together as much information as possible and put together the best look yet at the handset, which is expected to be announced in October. David Ruddock reports:

This new design, while evoking the theme of the first-generation Pixel XL in some very clear respects, is also a very substantial departure from that phone, as well…

The rear of the new XL is curved like last year’s phone, though perhaps with sharper corners this time around. The fingerprint scanner now sits below the glass “window” at the top of the phone, as opposed to inside it, likely because the window itself seems substantially smaller than the one on the 2016 XL.

…Moving to the front, we see the star of the show: an LG-made AMOLED display 6″ across at a 2:1 aspect ratio with minimal bezel and rounded corners.

More about 2017’s Pixel XL on Android Police.

HMD's Nokia 3 (photo: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

HMD’s Nokia 3 (photo: Ewan Spence)

Nokia 3’s UK Availability

The United Kingdom was one of Nokia’s key battlegrounds in the smartphone market with Symbian and Windows Phone. Now it looks set to be the beachhead of a European return. Although China picked up the first sales of the Nokia 6 in January, the Nokia 3 (announced at MWC this year) is now on sale in the UK.

The Nokia 3 is going to be HMD’s workhorse model – the high-end flagship to challenge the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 models will show up closer to Christmas – but it offers the same balance of value and functionality that made Nokia a popular choice in the past.

The five-inch HD touchscreen fills the front of the device, three illuminated Android control keys are hiding in the polycarbonate case just below the screen, and the 16GB of storage can be increased by up to 128GB with a microSD card.

More at Metro.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Hardware Leaks, Google Pixel 2 Details, Microsoft’s Android Love – Forbes

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