Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Specs Leak, Latest Nokia 8 Rumors, Microsoft Improves Android – Forbes

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes all you need to know about the flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 8, four new dual camera features from Samsung, why the iPhone should be wary of the Note, new Google Pixel 2 design leaks, the boring Nokia 8, a review of the Nokia 5, Microsoft improves Android’s UI with Arrow, and the unfulfilled promise of the Moto X.

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).

Everything You Need To Know About The Note 8

No smartphone can stay secret in the weeks before it is launched, and the Note 8 is not an exception. Evan Blass has the scoop with the full specifications of Samsung’s upcoming phablet. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports on what made the cut, and what is missing:

The positives are the RAM upgrade many had wanted for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, OIS for both rear cameras and widely expected move to an Infinity Display. I also suspect the more “squared off” design will prove a hit as it should allow owners to get a slightly better grip.

…Downsides begin with the display size, which may prove just a step too far for some users, while the low aperture on the optical zoom lens, refusal to offer internal storage beyond 64GB (internal storage is much faster than microSD) and reduced battery capacity (the Galaxy Note 7 had 3500 mAh, though it proved ‘problematic’ to say the least) are frustrating.

More specifications and thoughts here on Forbes.

DJ Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung, speaks as he prepares to introduce the new Samsung Galaxy S8 (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Four Features For The Note 8 Camera

Lurking inside a published paper from Samsung Electro Mechanics are the four key features that its dual camera system can offer. Given the expected debut of a dual camera on the rear of the Galaxy Note 8, it’s a good bet that these will be the imaging features available on the upcoming phablet.

Documentation from South Korea suggests that the Note 8 is going for the full suite of functionality from the advanced optical system. Material on the Samsung-Electro Mechanics website notes the features that its cameras are capable of, including the four key powers of a dual camera system – zoom, perspective, low light ability, and depth information.

Depth information allows the artistic portraits with the background moving out of focus, as seen in the portrait modes of many dual camera smartphones already on the market. The more information gathered the better low light images are, so this is a given. Zoom will be an interesting one, with the SEM documentation suggesting a 3x optical zoom is possible.

And for the big gee-whizz moment, you have perspective. Thanks to the two cameras being side by side they take a very slightly different image. This would allow a user to (very slightly) twist the viewpoint that the photo has been taken from.

More on the new camera features here on Forbes.

Note 8 Launch Challenges iPhone

Samsung has invited the media to an event on August 23rd, widely believed to be the launch of the Galaxy Note 8. Assuming Taniyama-Shimura regarding the purpose of the event, can we work out when the Note 8 is going to be available to the public? And if it’s the obvious date, what does that mean in the ‘Apple vs Samsung’ narrative?

Two weeks after pre-orders begin is Friday September 8th. If I was a betting man, that’s the launch day I would put my money on, at least for the initial release in South Korean and North America. It fits in with previous schedules, it works around 2017’s events diary… and it forces Samsung’s biggest rival onto the defensive.

…The broad strokes hope is that customers who ‘must have a new smartphone right now!’ will be switch sold into the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. Given the lock in with iOS, no doubt the engaged members of the geekerati will do just that. But if there’s been a huge volume of media attention and giant-killing articles about the Galaxy Note 8 then the switch to Samsung begins to look attractive. It gets even more attractive when the sales assistant tells the customer they can walk out of the store right now with the new Android-powered phablet.

More thoughts on the launch here on Forbes.

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone 7 (image: Ewan Spence)

One Design For Two Pixel 2 Smartphones

With the geekerati’s expectations settled on Google releasing two handsets in the Pixel 2 portfolio, the question has been about the design of the two handsets. The latest leaks suggest that Mountain View is following last year’s path of having a single design. Gordon Kelly has more:

And this is the big news. After a number of leaks suggesting Google would only deliver this stylish design with the larger Pixel 2 XL, Olixar shows Google is continuing last year’s policy of making both phones identical in everything apart from their size (and presumably battery capacity).

In fact both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL look a lot like the LG G6, which is unsurprising given LG is expected to build the latter but more so with the former as that is supposedly being made by HTC, which constructed the more boxy Pixel and Pixel XL.

Further Pixel 2 details here.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Specs Leak, Latest Nokia 8 Rumors, Microsoft Improves Android – Forbes