Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung grabbing a premium phone prize, leaked Pixel Watch 2 specs, OnePlus’ tablet targets, Honor 90 launch, testing Android’s new Dash Cam, a new Weather app, and Reddit’s pricing blunder.
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 Grabs Premium Honors
Samsung has claimed the top spot in the premium Android smartphone space, with the Galaxy S23 Ultra only bested by Apple’s iPhone collection grabbing the first four spots in Canaly’s Top Ten. Samsung also notched up the top-selling folding phone with the Galaxy Z Flip 4:
“The report also shows that people have been buying more high-end phones over the past few years. In 2019, 22% of all smartphones sold were priced at $500 or above, but in Q1 2023, that number increased to 31%. This is a good sign for Android smartphone makers like Samsung as they can get higher ASP (Average Selling Price) and profits.
(Canalys via SamMobile).
A New Heart In The Pixel Watch
Alongside the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google is expected to launch its second Pixel-branded smartwatch. The presumptively named Pixel Watch 2 is making one significant change behind the scenes. Last year’s Samsung-supplied Exynos chipset is being switched out for Qualcomm’s wearable tech:
“Google switching from Samsung Exynos for its second-generation wearable is very notable and quite surprising… The Pixel Watch is only one of Google’s product lines, so it would be premature to speculate how a change in wearables impacts foundry decisions on the phone side, with [the Samsung fabricated] Tensors featuring much more customization.”
The Premium Plan For The OnePlus Tablet
Following the release of its first tablet, OnePlus has published a new white paper on the premium tablet space and the opportunities for growth… something that the company is targeting with the aforementioned tablets. It’s worth highlighting the features that set the OnePlus Tablet apart from the obvious comparisons to Apple’s iPad family:
“The OnePlus Pad, compared with all iPad models released in 2022, shows an immediate advantage when it comes to its display as it possesses a larger size, higher resolution and higher refresh rate, making the display clearer, snappier and natural to interact with. Besides, with a higher-capacity battery, faster charging, and longer standby duration, the OnePlus Pad reduces charging times while lasting longer than the iPad, allowing users to accomplish more from one charge.Lastly, the OnePlus Pad, with its price starting at $479 , provides iPad Pro-level specs while maintaining the price of the iPad 10.”
(OnePlus via Counterpoint Research).
Honor 90 Launched
This week saw Honor launch its latest high-end smartphone in China. The Honor 90 is built around Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. A global variant of the handset, with Google Mobile Services support, will launch later this year. Meanwhile, the 200-megapixel main camera looks to be the standout hardware feature:
“Equipped with best-in-class camera systems, the HONOR 90 Series feature a 200MP Main Camera with a large 1/1.4-inch sensor which supports 16-in-1 pixel binning to deliver the performance equal to sensors with 2.24µm large pixels .The HONOR 90 also comes standard with a 12MP Ultra-Wide Camera and a 2MP Depth Camera, adding versatility for capturing subjects up close or afar.”
Android’s Own Dash Cam
Following on from its reveal in the latest Android Beta source code, Kyle Bradshaw has got Andorid’s built-in dashcam running. It’s a promising start, but it doesn’t match the feature set of third-party dash cams… yet:
“By default, Google’s Dashcam records using your primary rear-facing camera. There’s a “switch camera” button if you’d rather record the inside of your car, but you’d need to press this every time. There doesn’t seem to be a way to switch to the ultrawide lens, which is unfortunate, as it would provide a wider angle.
“For safety and privacy, you’ll see a persistent notification when Dashcam is active. Plus, just like any other camera-enabled app, the privacy indicator from Android 12 and up is visible in the top-right corner.”
New Weather Front Is Coming
Also tucked away in the code is a potential new weather app. Not only does this look like the default app for the next major version of Android, it also looks like it’s available for other apps to call on. Much like manufacturers love learning into camera technology to show off hardware, the weather app is a key battleground for developers, both in the first- and third-party space:
“On top of functioning as a standalone app to check weather forecasts, local weather results would be integrated within the Clock app for a better user experience. There’s a good chance that some of these details could also pop up on the Clock’s home screen widget. “
Reddit’s new pricing structure for its API is in the spotlight this week, as the developer of popular client Apollo has received an estimated bill on the app’s API usage. What is currently free will now cost $12,000. Per 50 million requests. Given the popularity of the app, Christian Selig is facing a bill for millions of dollars per year to run the app:
Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year… I’m deeply disappointed in this price. Reddit iterated that the price would be A) reasonable and based in reality, and B) they would not operate like Twitter. Twitter’s pricing was publicly ridiculed for its obscene price of $42,000 for 50 million tweets. Reddit’s still $12,000. For reference, I pay Imgur (a site similar to Reddit in user base and media) $166 for the same 50 million API calls.”
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!