Android Circuit: Galaxy S21 Ultra Secrets, Realme 8 Pro Features, Surprising OnePlus Watch

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s new Galaxy phones, the Galaxy Note delay, secrets of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the OnePlus Watch, Android 12’s new features, details on the Realme 8 Pro, a new developer deal in the Play Store, and a look back at Android’s older updates.

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’s New Galaxy Devices

This week’s ‘Galaxy Unpacked’ event saw Samsung launch two new Galaxy A devices, namely the A52, the A52 5G, and the A72. The A series devices site nicely below the S series smartphones, and offers broadly the same core features at a more affordable price:

“The Samsung Galaxy A series lets you communicate and express yourself with an awesome camera, immerse yourself in a clear viewing experience with a smooth scrolling display, and enjoy greater peace of mind with innovative Galaxy foundation features including water resistance and a long-lasting battery.”


Samsung Newsroom.

Samsung Galaxy A52

The Note May Well Be Delayed

Looking at the other end of Samsung’s portfolio, and the company has warned that the supply issues in the global semiconductor market will mean 2021’s Galaxy Note (the second flagship of the year) many not be released:

“Samsung… expects the crunch to pose a problem to its business next quarter, co-Chief Executive Officer Koh Dong-jin said during an annual shareholders meeting in Seoul. The company is also considering skipping the introduction of a new Galaxy Note — one of its best-selling models — this year, though Koh said that was geared toward streamlining its lineup.”


Secrets Inside The Galaxy S21 Ultra

If you’ve been waiting to find out what’s inside Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, then the team at iFixit have answered your wish with another one of their strip downs on the handset. The hardware feels more like a ‘check raise’ to keep the specs current, rather than pushing any boundaries:

“Samsung is known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for a smartphone, but this seems more like a maintenance year for the Galaxy series—keeping the things that worked and getting rid of the nice-tries, resulting in a refined product. With that said, the repairability of the S21 Ultra certainly hasn’t been refined from previous generations…”


Joining The OnePlus 9 Will Be…

As we wait for next week’s OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro launch, the Shenzhen-based company has done another of it’s ’before launch’ posts to talk about its new wearable, the OnePlus Watch. More details will follow, but one key feature has been announced – it’s going to be based on RTOS rather than WearOS:

“We see smartwatches as more than just instruments that indicate the time and heart rates, but powerful devices capable of elevating our personal digital experience to new heights. And we can’t forget that a smartwatch is the most-requested device from you, the OnePlus Community.”

OnePlus Forum.

More Android Features

The second developer preview of Android 12 has been released, showcasing more features in the operating system’s annual update. These include a faster search widget for your home screen, a ‘conversations’ widget, and improved tools for better gaming performance:

“The current search widget can thus be quite slow to open, but thankfully Google has a solution to this problem. The company is working on a new search widget provider that doesn’t rely on the Google App. We actually caught a brief glimpse of this feature back in Android 12 DP1, but DP2 brings a couple of improvements to the feature.”

XDA Developers.

What Lies Inside The Realme 8 Pro?

RealMe will be launching its titular RealMe 8 Pro next week. Ahead of the launch there’s lots of chatter around the specs of the device, including the screen size, camera tech, and processor:

“Tipster Debayan Roy has leaked the key specifications of the Realme 8 Pro today. [He] claimed that the Realme 8 Pro will be equipped with a 6.4-inch S-AMOLED display that supports a 60Hz refresh rate. The single punch-hole screen is expected to carry support for a Full HD+ resolution.”


Google Play Store’s New Deal

Following Apple’s lead from last year, Google has announced that the commission charged to developers will drop to 15 percent for the first one million dollars per year earned through in-app purchases or app sales:

“Google announced on Tuesday that it will cut Google Play app store fees to 15% on the first million dollars a developer makes on Google’s store per year. After developers cross the $1 million mark in sales for a year, Google will charge developers its standard 30% fee for in-app purchases and downloads.”


And Finally…

Android has been around for a long time, and it has changed over the years. JR Rapael takes a visual wander down memory lane to remember the updates that time has forgotten:

“From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally — time and time again. Google’s mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.”


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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