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Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Design Leaks, Latest Pixel 2 Details, Microsoft's Android Victory

Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 8 Design Leaks, Latest Pixel 2 Details, Microsoft's Android Victory

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the latest details about the Google Pixel, Samsung’s Note 8 screen and fingerprint sensor issues, a review of the OnePlus 5, a look at the latest Galaxy S8 variants, why the Xperia XZ Premium could be a winner, Cortana invading Android’s 'defaults’ section, and the sweet treat hiding in Android O’s source code.

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)

Looking At The Note 8 Display Leaks
Samsung’s return to the phablet market will be with the Galaxy Note 8. The design of the device is expected to follow that of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus - just as previous Note handsets - so it’s good to see that the current batch of leaks confirm the assumption.
Following this pair of photos comes a video leak, again picked up by Slashleaks, which claims be of the Galaxy Note 8 front panel. The panel ties in exactly with the Weibo image and builds on what we’ve already seen with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus as Samsung continues its mission to fill the front of its phones with nothing but display.
Needless to say, nothing is official about the Galaxy Note 8 until it is formally unveiled. But there is a clear pattern emerging which shows Samsung is radically overhauling the Galaxy Note 7 to match the design language of the new Galaxy S range while also seemingly addressing their shortcomings.
    Where Shall I Put This Finger?

    The bigger question on the Galaxy Note 8 design might be the location of the fingerprint sensor. It’s required by Google for Android certification, and if Samsung cannot integrate it under the screen then it has a tricky choice to make as the proposed mid-August launch date approaches.
    Where does that leave the fingerprint sensor on the Samsung Note 8? …With no cutouts for the sensor on the back of the leaked panels and the inability to mount one under the screen assembly, I can see two choices. The first is to rework the rear of the handset to come to a similar accommodation as the S8 smartphones. The second is to forget about a button-free front panel to the device and go with the more acceptable fingerprint sensor and home button combined.
    OnePlus 5 (image: Ewan Spence)

    OnePlus 5 (image: Ewan Spence)

    OnePlus 5 Reviewed
    This week saw the launch of the latest handset from Shenzhen-based OnePlus. The OnePlus 5 continues to bring high-end specifications to the market at a cheaper price point than the flagships (although the price is creeping up). I reviewed the handset as it was launched to find out what’s changed, including the advances made by OnePlus with the camera:
    …the inclusion of a dual camera system on the rear of the OnePlus 5 is another ‘that’s a bit like the iPhone’ moment (even if Apple wasn’t first to the market, perception is everything and Apple is perceived to be first to market with dual cameras). The sixteen megapixel main camera has a twenty megapixel telephoto in support, and they work together to offer improved digital stabilisation and faster shutter speed in regular use. And yes, they can operate to create a portrait-style depth of field effect.

    More Confirmation Of HTC’s Work On The Pixel 2
    What happens when you dig into the code of the HTC U11? You find code that not only matches up with the codenamed of HTC’s current and expected line-up of Android devices, but you also find two references to ‘S2’ and ‘M2”. Rik Henderson reports:
    For example, we've understood for a while that HTC signed a multi-device agreement with Google, when it was tasked to make the current generation of Pixel phones. Now though we have confirmation that the HTC-made Pixel 2 and even the Pixel XL 2 are on their way.
    Japanese blog HTC Soku claims that a system file found on the Taiwanese version of the HTC U11 lists several handset codenames:
    Ocean was the original codename of the HTC U11, but it's the last two that are of most interest. The S1 and M1 were the codenames given, by HTC, to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL respectively.
    Henderson expands on the story at Pocket Lint. It’s also worth considering that this device family is likely going to share specifications and hardware between the HTC and Pixel 2 devices, which implies that the current Android favourite Snapdragon 835 system on chip is Pixel-bound.