Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the latest Galaxy Z Fold 4 leaks, latest Pixel 7 details, a brand-new Pixel from Google, foldable smartphones keep growing, Vivo X Fold launch details, Murena One leaves Google behind, and the power of Genshin Impact.

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).

Latest Galaxy Z Fold 4 Leaks

More details on Samsung’s upcoming foldable phones. This week it’s the turn of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 specs to show up. What stands out are the upgraded Chipset (moving to the latest SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1), the triple-lens camera at the rear, and a lot of similarities to the Fold 3. This feels very much like an iterative update:

“According to this source then, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a 7.6-inch foldable AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. They list the resolution as QXGA+, which in practice means it’s likely similar or identical to the 1768 x 2208 resolution of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.”

(IceUniverse via Tech Radar).

The Pixel 7’s Echoes Of The Pixel 6

The upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are expected to introduce Google’s next mobile chip, the presumptive-named Tensor 2, but in other areas, things are going to stay static. A closer look at the latest build of the Android Open Source Project codebase and details on Google’s next handsets pop out… with the disappointing news that the next generation of Pixel handsets are going to retain the same display as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

“The smaller Pixel 7 will feature a 1080 x 2400 display which is capable of running at up to 90Hz, while the Pixel 7 Pro will have a 1440 x 3120 display that can manage a 120Hz refresh rate. If these specs seem familiar, that’s because they are identical to what’s offered on last year’s Pixel 6 series.

“And that’s no coincidence, as current indications in the code point to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro using the exact same Samsung panels — S6E3FC3 and S6E3HC3, respectively — as its predecessors.”

(9to5 Google).

And Ultra Makes Three For Seven

Meanwhile, is there going to be a third Pixel joining the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro? The same open-source code highlighting the display technology also talks of a larger device, a potential Pixel 7 Ultra:

“Little else is known about this new device. The AOSP code hasn’t tied it to the second generation ‘GS201’ Tensor chip (codename Cloudripper) like Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which leaked this detail in earlier Android 13 beta code. While this pairing seems obvious, it does leave room for a higher clocked version of the chip (GS202?) if this is indeed an Ultra model and Google is looking to differentiate.”


Foldable Handset Growth

Foldable smartphones continue to be popular not just with manufacturers, but the public. interest and sales continue to rise. The latest numbers from analysts at DSCC show Samsung still comfortably in the lead with regards to market share, but the competition is starting to make inroads:

“Samsung continued to dominate the category, but its share fell to 74% with Huawei’s share rising to 20%. No other brand had more than a 2% share. By model, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 led the market for a 3rd straight quarter, earning a 51% share. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 remained #2 for the 3rd straight quarter, but was nearly overtaken by the Huawei P50 Pocket. Those three models accounted for a 91% share with no other model having more than a 2.5% share. Clamshell models like the Z Flip 3 and P50 Pocket accounted for a 70% share, its highest share since Q3’20.”



Vivo X Fold Launched In China

Speaking of foldable, Vivo has launched the X Fold in China. On top of the design, the specs are delivering a great experience as well with an 8.03 inch display, 120 Hz refresh, the SnapDragon 8 Gen 1, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and an impressive camera set-up.:

“There’s a 50-megapixel main camera with OIS, as well as a 12-megapixel 2x zoom camera. The quad camera array is completed with a 48 megapixel ultra wide sensor and a 5x periscope zoom camera. There are 16-megapixel selfie cameras on the outside and inside displays. The cameras are an area that Vivo has improved upon dramatically in recent years, so we’re excited to see what this phone achieves.”

(Trusted Reviews).

Taking The Google Out Of Your Day

The latest smartphone to launch with /e/OS/ – a variant of Android that strips out any use of Google products – is Murena One. And that’s no easy task because consumer expectations on what a smartphone should be able to do are now tightly tied to the app suite provided by Google for both Android and iOS:

“In order to rid its device of every possible remnant of Google, Murena had to build an incredible amount of stuff. The /e/OS software comes with: a custom-made messaging app, so you don’t need Google Messages; a browser to replace Chrome; a maps app that uses OpenStreetMap data instead of Google’s; an email client, a calendar, a file-storage system, a contacts app, and practically everything else you’d get in the Google Workspace suite; apps for notes and tasks and music and even voice recordings. Murena is even planning its own virtual assistant, named Elivia, so you won’t miss Google Assistant.”

(The Verge).

And Finally…

Genshin Impact continues to be one of the dominant players in the mobile gaming market. This week’s launch of version 2.7 keeps the content fresh and the engagement levels high. As part of the promotion go the app, and of its own App Store, Samsung has been offering discounts on In-app purchases:

“Genshin Impact is one of 2022’s top games in the Samsung Galaxy store. The open-world action RPG game was released in 2020 and allows players to Embark on a journey in search of a lost sibling, join forces with a diverse range of characters, and unravel the countless mysteries within the magical world of Teyvat.”

(Galaxy Store).

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!


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