Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung trumping Apple, Pixel 8 Pro camera details, Pixel Watch 2 leaks, Oppo A78 5G released, Google’s Pixel software updates, Nothing Phone ( 2) launch confirmed, and a big move by UK carriers.
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 Sales Trump iPhone
Samsung has maintained its number-one spot in the global market share of smartphones, with Apple closely behind. Samsung also managed to increase its share quarter on quarter, in contrast to the aforementioned iPhone manufacturers:
“Market data from TrendForce shows that Samsung led the smartphone market in Q1 2023 with a 24.6% share. Its share on-quarter increased by 5.5% but declined 16.7% year-on-year. Apple was the 2nd-largest OEM in Q1, holding a market share of 21.3%. Its quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year share dropped by 27.5% and 11.9%, respectively. The two tech giants were followed by Oppo (10.7% market share), Xiaomi (10.6% ), and Vivo (8.0%).”
Pixel 8 Pro Camera’s Step Forward
It’s also worth noting that some of the hardware changes – most notably the addition of a time-of-flight sensor – will be restricted to the Pixel 8 Pro – presumably to generate some clear space between the two handsets:
“The Pixel 8 Pro camera is tipped to receive several advantages of the standard Pixel 8, beyond simply adding a separate telephoto lens. This is a much bigger difference in camera performance between the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7, so potential Pixel 8 customers should be aware that choosing the smaller model means missing out not just on long-range zoom capabilities, but general imaging quality and depth processing too.”
Pixel Watch 2 Leaks
Deep diving into the Android 14 source code from the latest developer release leads to hints towards the next Google smartwatch, the presumptively-named Pixel Watch 2. Once more, it looks like two versions – one for Wi-Fi and one for Wi-Fi and Cellular connectivity:
“As part of the update, we learned that the Pixel Watch 2 is being developed under the code name “Eos,” while our team has separately uncovered another code name, “Aurora.” We believe these both refer to the Pixel Watch 2 because, in mythology, Eos (Greek) and Aurora (Roman) are both goddesses of the dawn. We speculate that the main difference between Eos and Aurora would be the inclusion of cellular connectivity.”
New Oppo Phone For The Budget Focused
Oppo has launched the A78 5G here in the UK. Priced at £219, it’s at the lower end of the mid-range. The design feels a little bit dated, and Oppo has bundled in a lot of extra software over the standard Android apps, but it does sport long battery life and above-average performance at this price point. From the press release:
“OPPO A78 5G is equipped with a 50MP main camera to enable users to capture crystal-clear, high-resolution images, alongside a 2MP self-portrait lens and an 8MP front camera for high-quality portraits. To record even more detail, the A78 5G’s 108MP Ultra-Clear Image uses software algorithms to increase the resolution of images to 108MP, providing an impressive level of clarity.”
Google’s Massive Pixel Update
The current suite of Pixel hardware has picked up the July software update. Alongside the usual mix of bug fixes and security patches, many new features exist. There’s a lot going on, but the one that has caught my eye (or is it my ear) is the addition of ‘labels’ to transcribed speech in the recorder app:
“Google has a fantastic recorder app, and starting next week it will have the ability to attach speaker labels to a recording. This makes it easier to understand who said what in a recording. Plus, users will be able to export the recording transcripts to a separate Google Docs file, create speaker-labeled video clips, and search for speakers within recordings.”
Nothing Phone (2) Launch Confirmed
“Nothing’s marketing for its Phone (2) has been a classic shell game, full of misdirection and showmanship. Its founder and CEO Carl Pei’s guerilla campaign for his upcoming phone has consumers looking where he wants, chasing the shiny object without revealing much or anything about his upcoming flagship product. Now Nothing has revealed the Phone (2) release date: July 11, a year and a day past the Nothing Phone (1)’s initial outing.”
While not specifically Android, there’s a significant move in the UK telecoms space this week, with two of the major networks striking a deal to merge and become the dominant network in the country:
“[Vodafone and Three] plan to merge their UK-based operations, giving them around 27 million customers and making it the biggest mobile network in the UK. The deal is yet to be approved by regulators, which will look at whether it will push up customer prices. The Vodafone and Three mergers will take their combined market share past Virgin Media O2’s.”
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!