In case you missed events and exciting news from the world of Android this week, check out this roundup of top stories so you’re all caught up with everything Android.
This week, we saw Qualcomm unveil a new top-tier chip for flagship smartphones named the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. We also heard a rumor about the Pixel Watch’s development and saw Carl Pei’s Nothing release the Ear (1) in a black variant. Oppo also launched the Reno 7 range comprised of three devices with impressive mid-range specifications. Honor followed suit and launched the Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro.
At its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit event this week, chipmaker Qualcomm unveiled its latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor for next-generation flagship phones. Interestingly, phones powered by this chip are expected from several manufacturers as early as the end of this year. The new chip supports a 5G cellular network, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF system is claimed to be capable of 10 Gigabit download speeds.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will feature Qualcomm’s 7th gen AI Engine, delivering four times faster AI performance than the Snapdragon 888. The new Tensor accelerator is also twice as fast. It is known that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s Kryo CPU is equipped with Arm Cortex-X2 cores capable of up to 3GHz clock speeds. The GPU is 20 percent faster and 30 percent more efficient than the Snapdragon 888.
Diversifying from its position as just a software developer for smartwatches, Google is rumored to be developing a smartwatch codenamed “Rohan.” The watch will target the mid-range market and sacrifice a few high-end sensors, although basic health tracking will still be offered. The watch is expected to feature a circular bezel-less design.
Google’s documentation reveals that the company intends to design the watch, so it is comfortable for “at least 90 percent of the population.” The product’s name isn’t yet confirmed officially, and the same can be said for the release date. However, some Google employees reportedly told Business Insider that the Pixel Watch could launch sometime in the spring of 2022.
This week, former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s company, Nothing, released a new black variant of the Nothing Ear (1) truly wireless earphones. These earphones follow the classic design of the white Ear (1)s since the clear plastic remains clear while the white plastic bits on the earphones and the charging case have been replaced by black bits.
Technically, the black variant doesn’t differ from the white one that sold 220,000 units. Each earbud houses three high-definition mics and an 11.6mm dynamic driver. A particular batch of 100 black Nothing Ear (1)s was sold with custom engraving at the Nothing Kiosk at Covent Garden in London on December 4.
This week, Oppo launched the Reno 7 smartphone in China. The phone comes in three variants. The cheapest Reno 7 5G comes with a Snapdragon 778G chip with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Pricing starts at $422. The costlier Oppo Reno 7 5G Pro is powered by a MediaTek Dimesity 1200-Max SoC paired with up to 256GB of faster UFS 3.1 storage. It shares most other specifications with its cheaper stablemate.
The Oppo Reno 7 Pro starts at $578. The third phone launched is the Oppo Reno 7 SE powered by a Mediatek Dimesity 900 chip coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. All three models feature AMOLED displays capable of a 90Hz refresh rate and a triple camera setup on the rear. Presently, availability in international markets remains unknown.
Other Top Android Stories This Week:
- Honor 60 series breaks cover sporting 108MP main camera, 120Hz display
- Google Play introduces “Best of 2021” app awards
- Messenger introduced a Venmo-like feature for splitting payments
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey steps down from his role
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