Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Galaxy S20 FE against the S21 Ultra, Samsung’s OneUI, a closer look at HarmonyOS, new Nokia handsets and updates, more value from OnePlus, and Microsoft updates Office Lens.
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).
Battle Of The Galaxys
Last year’s Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, arguably the best value of the S20 family, only turned up in September. Just a few months later, is the jump to the Galaxy S21 worth it?
“Samsung has yet to reveal a Fan Edition device for 2021 but many fans are looking at the new Galaxy S21 5G for a potential upgrade. The latter was released for a relatively-low / flagship-killer price, even though it may have come at a cost. But is the Galaxy S21 5G worth the hassle, or should existing Galaxy S20 FE owners steer away from the new flagship?”
Samsung Pushes The New UI
It might not be Windows 3.1 (kids, ask your grandparents), but Samsung has rolled out a promotional video with key features of its ‘One UI’ that sits on top of Android; highlighting the new elements, flowing animations, and the impact of the 120Hz screen found in the Galaxy S21 family of handsets.
Curious Echoes In HarmonyOS
Ron Amadeo and the Ars Technica team have taken a deep dive into Huawei’s HarmonyOS. The heart of the ‘brand-new’ mobile operating system looks remarkably like a fork of Android 10:
“After getting access to HarmonyOS through a grossly invasive sign-up process, firing up the SDK and emulator, and poring over the developer documents, I can’t come to any other conclusion: HarmonyOS is essentially an Android fork… any bit of actual shipping code to which you hold up a magnifying glass looks like Android with no major changes.”
New Updates And New Handsets With The Nokia Name
The Nokia 8.3 5G will be the first of HMD Global’s smartphones to receive Android 11. It’s been a staggered roll-out over various territories, with competition expected by February 7th. (More details from the Nokia phone site.
Meanwhile the Nokia 1.4 has been announced with prices starts at 99 euros. Packing a SnapDragon 215, up to 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, a 6.51 inch screen, and an 8 megapixel rear camera, it’s the latest version of HMD Global’s entry level Android One smartphone.
More Value Phones From OnePlus
OnePlus’ affordable 5G smartphone, the Nord N10 5G, has picked up a price cut in its established territories. For UK consumers that drops the price to £249, and the even more affordable N100 drops to £129. Head over to Amazon, other stores are of course available.
One of the quiet but useful mobile apps I use is Microsoft’s Office Lens. Not only is the document scanning application picking up a number of new features; including image to text, additional image filters, and the ability to sca up to 100 pages into a single PDF file. Oh and it’s getting rebranded to Microsoft Lens. After all, who needs an office when we are all working from home:
“Those are not the only updates here though, as Microsoft Lens is gaining some enhanced scanning features including the ability to re-order pages, re-edit scanned PDFs, apply filters to all images within a document, scan up to 100 pages as images or PDFs, switch between local and cloud storage save locations, and tagging for these files.”
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!