Android Circuit: Galaxy S8 Launch Date, New Nokia Smartphone Leak, Apple Beats Samsung

I look at the impact of  mobile technology and online media.

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes disappointing Galaxy S8 leaks, Samsung’s MWC teaser, dreams of Nokia’s new smartphone, a new camera for the Pixel 2, comedian Tim Allen shows off his latest BlackBerry, new pictures of the LG G6, Razer buying NextBit, and Samsung losing out to Apple.

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).

Galaxy S8’s Disappointing Fingerprint Sensor

With all the talk of rapid change and advances in the Galaxy S8, the recent leaks have tended to the negative side. From the potential of permanent on-screen branding to the loss of the ‘under the glass’ fingerprint sensor, the S8 has had a rough week. Forbes Gordon Kelly has more:

According to a tweet by Evan Blass (aka evleaks), arguably the world’s most famous leaker, the narrowness of the Galaxy S8 bezels means Samsung won’t be able to fit its branding onto them. But minimalist fans should not rejoice because Blass says the company is planning what would surely be a hugely unpopular workaround: “the top 1/4″ of screen will be hard-coded to display SAMSUNG”.

…Recent leaks show the Galaxy S8 will simply reposition the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone (some hate this, I love it) yet the real irritation is precisely where. Common sense has seen smartphone makers put rear fingerprint sensors where your index finger can easily reach, but instead… it will be positioned at the top of the phone beside the rear camera.

Further thoughts here on Forbes.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (image: Ewan Spence)

Samsung’s Marvel-ous Galaxy S8 Tease For MWC

Last week Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S8 would not be launching at Mobile World Congress, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see the flagship smartphone in Barcelona. The South Korean is reportedly planning a Marvel style ‘post-credits tease’ of the handset:

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Samsung’s presentation will be watered down from the triumphant reveal of the new flagship. The Galaxy Tab 3 will likely take center-stage, replacing the Tab 2 with a new and powerful tablet that could be making a play for the ‘Pro’ space that the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 machines are currently fighting over. The new Galaxy S mid-range handsets may now get more focus as affordable mid-range handsets with high-end specifications, taking the fight towards handsets like the OnePlus 3T.

And at the very end, a sixty-second video which will hint at the design, power and feature set of the ‘still under wraps’ Galaxy S8 to keep it in the minds of the media as they report from Barcelona.

Especially if Samsung closes the video with an on-screen date for the full launch.

More thoughts on the tease here.

Dreaming Of Nokia’s New Flagship

The return of the Nokia name to the smartphone world has energised the fan base of the Finnish phones. Many of them are focusing on the leaks around the Nokia P1, a potential premium smartphone that could rule over over Android handsets with ease. Put all the leaks together, mix in some graphical work from Concept Creator, and you have a rendered video that’s going to excite the fans even more.

This might not be the only device we see at Mobile World Congress. HMD has made it clear that there will be multiple Nokia smartphones released this year. Paul Briden looks over the potential leaked handsets that could show up in Barcelona, including the Nokia 8 and the Nokia Heart:

There will be at least two phone models: a mid-ranger and a flagship handset. The latter is naturally the one most people are interested in, as it is the phone that will go head-to-head with the likes of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which will get a release around the same time.

Word on the street suggests the flagship handset will pack in Qualcomm’s brand new and as-yet-unreleased Snapdragon 835 CPU and a whopping 6GB of RAM.

The other handset will also feature the Snapdragon 835, but make do with “only” 4GB of RAM. Carl Zeiss imaging will return on one or both of the handsets will feature a dual-lens camera setup, similar to what we saw on the LG G5 and iPhone 7 Plus earlier on in 2017.

More at Know Your Mobile.

Pixel 2’s New Camera Hardware

Google’s Pixel phone picked up critical acclaim last year when it was launched, especially regarding the camera. Many reviewers saw it as one of the best smartphone cameras of the year. That should make the Pixel 2 interesting, as it doubles-down on the camera quality and hardware. Deepail Moray reports:

The original Google Pixel comes with a camera that has a DxOMark ranking with a score of 89. According to latest reports, Google will be focusing primarily on the camera of the Pixel 2 and is aiming to make low-light photography even better. It is expected that while there won’t be a boost in megapixel count, there will be insertion of certain subtle features that will make even the standard megapixel count deliver maximum results… While the current Pixel smartphones do not offer a dual-camera setup, we could expect the feature to make its debut in the next versions.

More at BGR.