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 S21 Ultra leaks, fixing the Galaxy S20 FE touchscreen, Huawei launching the Mate 40 series, Pixel 5 screen problems, the OnePlus 8T going on sale, Vivo heading for Europe, and what is the greatest smartphone gimmick?

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 Leak Confirms Galaxy S21 Ultra

As well as confirmation of the Galaxy S21 Ultra showing up on the Chinese Certification program, the design of Samsung’s next flagship has been laid bare by Steve Hemmerstoffer over on VoiceForbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:

“The most eye-catching change is Samsung will equip the range with radically overhauled camera housings which subtly mold into the side of each phone. It’s unlike anything I have seen in smartphone design and looks stunning. That said, the Galaxy S21 Ultra camera housing is massive, taking up almost half the width of the phone, and it fits no less than four cameras plus the flash.

“Interestingly, Hemmerstoffer notes that Samsung may fit two zoom cameras and does not rule out S-Pen support (which has been hotly tipped), though neither the Galaxy S21 nor the S21 Ultra have a dedicated slot for an S-Pen in their leaked designs”

Read more here on Forbes.

Galaxy S20 FE Screen Problems Addressed

Following reports that the latest Galaxy S20 model – the Fan Edition – was facing issues with its touchscreen, Samsung has released two updates to the firmware to address the problem.

“In case you’re unaware of this, some Galaxy S20 FE units have trouble reading touch inputs accurately, resulting in ghost touches, jittery UI animations and an overall unpleasant experience.

“…The company released an update last week carrying firmware version G78xxXXU1ATJ1 and the changelog mentioned stability improvements to the touchscreen as well as the camera. But that wasn’t enough and Samsung is now releasing a second firmware update which seemingly improves the touchscreen experience even further.”

More at SamMobile

Huawei’s Mate 40 Series Arrives

Huawei may be coming under increasing pressure thanks to its inclusion on the US Entity list and the restrictions placed on its supply chain, but that hasn’t stopped the schedule. Launched this week is the new Mate 40 range. Running on the Kirin 9000 chip, Huawei’s suppliers cannot resupply the Chinese-based company. Leo Kelion reports on the new handsets:

“One of the main ways the different models are differentiated are by their cameras:

“The basic Mate 40 has a single selfie camera and three rear cameras (wide-angle, ultra-wide angle and telephoto). The Mate 40 Pro adds a 3D face-unlock sensor, and improves the specifications of the rear ultra-wide and telephoto cameras. The Mate 40 Pro+ adds a fourth rear “super-zoom” camera and a fifth depth-sensing camera for improved shallow-focus shots. The Porsche Design Mate 40 RS introduces an infrared thermometer, allowing the device to check the local temperature

“For the time being, the firm only plans to put the Pro model on sale outside China, where it will cost £1,100.” 

More at BBC News

Pixel 5 Screen Issues Reported

Early adopters of Google’s latest Pixel 5 handset are reporting issues with the screen assembly. Some units have a small gap between the screen and the main body of the handset. Forbes’ Jay McGregor reports:

“On Monday a post appeared on the forum about a gap between the Pixel 5’s display and body. 160 responses to the original post appeared over the next two days, many of which were complaints about the same issue. A handful of Pixel 5 owners have complained about the problem on Reddit and the XDA forums too.

“Google is yet to officially respond to the complaints, but I have been told by a company employee that the issue is being investigated, which may take a few days to do. The product forums will be updated when Google has an answer for affected users.”

Read more here on Forbes.

OnePlus 8T Goes On Sale

This week saw the OnePlus 8T go on sale, and the latest handset from the Shenzhen-based company continues to catch the eye of many reviewers, with Paco Zheng picking out the fast wired charging as a key feature:

“The performance of battery and charging is one of the few upgrades for the 8T. They both equip a 4500mAh battery. And we did a 4-hour power-consumption test between the 8T and the 8 Pro… After the test, the 8T still had 55% of power left, which is a pretty good battery result for a snapdragon 865 phone, and we have to mention that it also has a 120Hz display.

“The greatest upgrade should be the 65W fast-charging efficiency. The full-charge test only took us 33mins, which was much faster than the 8 Pro’s 30W charging efficiency. But a disappointing downgrade in the charging department is that there is no wireless charging.”

Read the full review at Gizmochina.

Viva La Vivo?

Also showing up in Europe this month will be Vivo, another handset manufacturer from the BBK stable (a stable that includes OnePlus, Oppo, and RealMe). The launch handset for the new territory will be the X51 5G. Sam Byford reports:

 “Vivo is kicking things off with the X51 5G flagship phone, essentially a rebranded version of the X50 that launched earlier in the year. Its headline feature is a “gimbal-style” camera system that is claimed to offer much-improved image stabilization.

“The X51’s other features include ultrawide, 2x, and 5x telephoto cameras, a Snapdragon 765 processor, a 90Hz 6.56-inch 1080p OLED screen, 256GB of storage, a 4,315mAh battery, and 33W fast charging. It’ll cost £749 ($972) in the UK and go on sale on October 29th.”

More at The Verge.

And Finally…

There are features that appear on a phone that are curious but become de facto standards (once upon a time there were no cameras on your phone). What of the features that don’t make it? That appear briefly and fade away. What ‘gimmick’ feature do you miss? The question was introduced by u/AF_Fresh on Reddit this week:

“…we have seen phones with projectors built into them, phones with gamepads integrated into them, O2 meters built into phones, IR blasters built into phones, and all kinds of attempts to create new “must have features.”. Obviously, it’s hard to really define what is, and is not a gimmick, but just use your best judgment here. If the feature completely disappeared after a generation or two, it’s probably a gimmick. If it’s something that the general market didn’t seem to care about at all, like say Samsung’s DEX feature? Probably a gimmick.” 

Read on at Reddit.

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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