Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Galaxy S11’s sticky gamble, new S11 screen design leaks, Samsung’s plans for an early launch, the mysterious S10 Lite, three new OnePlus models, Huawei’s plans to leave Google, and the best gales from Google’s Play Pass.
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).
Less Tape And More Glue For The Galaxy S11
Samsung’s upcoming flagship, the presumptively named Galaxy S11, is expected to feature a screen and chassis that will minimize the visible bezels far more than the current generations of smartphones. But that comes at a drastic choice if the handset ever needs repaired.
“Samsung Electronics has widened the use of adhesive glue for sealing the top board and the middle frame together for its smartphones, including the Galaxy S11 models that are to be launched in 2020, according to industry sources.
“…Compared to tape, which usually requires more space, glue allows smartphone makers to minimize the display bezel. It also helps cut production costs because tapes require more processing, and they also most parts of the tape are discarded. Glue, on the other hand, can be directly applied via dispensers.”
More at The Elec.
Galaxy S11 Screen Protectors Show Off The New Designs
Putting aside the launch date, more information on the new Galaxy handsets can be gleaned from the latest screen protectors that are being prepared for the S11 portfolio. Published by the consistent @IceUniverse on Twitter, there’s a clear differentiator between the low- and high-end handsets. Eric Abent reports:
“As most of us would probably expect, the Galaxy S11e will be the smallest phone of the bunch, and judging from these protective films, the size difference seems to be significant. If you’re one who frequently laments the growing size of flagship smartphones, it seems that the Galaxy S11e will be the phone for you.
“The standard Galaxy S11 and S11+ have protective films that are much closer to one another in length and width. In all three cases, we see small bezels on the top and bottom, so like many of Samsung’s more recent flagships, it seems that the front of the Galaxy S11 will be almost entirely screen. As always, approach what you see here with some skepticism until we get official confirmation from Samsung.”
More at SlashGear.
What Will Samsung Launch At Flagship Event
Staying with the Galaxy S11, we have more details on the launch of the Galaxy S11 family. The S11 handsets are expected to be joined by the second major iteration of the Galax Fold, but there are suggestions that the launch date will be brought forward one week to Tuesday February 11th. Chris Smith reports:
“If accurate, this launch timeframe would give Samsung a two-week head start over competitors coming to MWC to unveil their mobile plans for 2020. Samsung’s most significant Android rival, Huawei, is set to unveil a foldable handset at MWC, while the P40 Pro’s launch event is set for March in Paris, France. By the time Huawei takes the wraps off of the P40 series, the Galaxy S11 might actually already be on sale in stores in various markets.”
More at BGR.
Here Come The Lite Brigade
Before the S11 flagships arrive, there’s the (literally) small matter of the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite. These models are pushing the major handsets into the mid-range market, and could be unveiled early in January. Chris Smith once more:
“Samsung will supposedly unveil both Lite handsets at CES 2020 in early January, the report notes, with both handsets expected to launch in India before the end of the month. Previous reports also said the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite phones will launch in January, several weeks before the Galaxy S11’s arrival. This latest report also notes that clamshell foldable people have been referring to as the Galaxy Fold 2 will probably be announced alongside the Galaxy S11 in February.”
More details here.
OnePlus Planing Three ‘8” Models
Expanding on last year’s two-model approach of the 7/7T and the 7 Pro/7T Pro, OnePlus looks set to launch three main product lines in 2020, with a lower priced model balacing out the higher priced ‘Pro’ model. Chris Hall has more on the triplet, starting with the new ‘Lite’ model:
“It has some mid-range specs, like moving away from Qualcomm and using MediaTek hardware instead, listed as the MediaTek 100. There will be 8GB RAM and options for 128 or 256GB storage. A 4000mAh battery, with 30W Warp Charging.
“There’s said to be a 6.4-inch AMOLED display a 1080p resolution, but with a 90Hz refresh rate. No surprise there – OnePlus had previous said it wasn’t going back to 60Hz.”
Read the details at Pocket Lint.
Huawei Prepares To Separate From Google
Given the issues that Huawei has been facing this last year with using Google’s service layer over Android, it should come as no surprise that the Chinese company is working to integrate the open source parts of Android to its own services. It looks like this work is accelerating. Zak Doffman has the details:
“One of the company’s execs has reportedly claimed that replacements for Google apps, including mail, messaging, maps and payments, as well as key underlying services will be ready soon. This follows other claims last week that the forthcoming flagship, the P40, which is due to launch in March, will ship with the company’s Google replacement services onboard. Nothing is yet confirmed, but speculation is rife ahead of the company’s 2020 product launches.”
More here on Forbes.
The subscription based Play Pass from Google opens up countless games to Android users, but where are the hidden gems in the catalogue? Jay Peters compiles the list, starting with the classic ‘Cut The Rope’ series:
“Cut the Rope (and its sequels Cut the Rope 2 and Cut the Rope: Time Travel) are charming physics-based puzzle games that let you feed candy to a cute little dinosaur by manipulating Incredible Machine-like contraptions. The puzzles are short, but getting three stars in each level adds a nice extra challenge.”
More at The Verge.
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!