Samsung Foldable Smartphone “Winner” and Snapdragon 8150 appear in Galaxy S9’s Android Pie update
As the largest Android smartphone manufacturer in the world, Samsung is almost always working on several new products at the same time. When the company is producing new hardware, we can sometimes see hints of these devices in the company’s existing software builds. For example, we uncovered 4 models of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 when we dug into an unreleased beta build of Samsung Experience 10 for the Samsung Galaxy S9+. In the latest, still unreleased, Android Pie firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S9, we have discovered files that mention the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 chipset as well as Samsung’s first foldable smartphone, code-named “Winner.”
Samsung’s Foldable Smartphone Code-named “Winner”
We’ve heard about Samsung’s plans for a foldable smartphone for quite a while now. Back in September of last year, we heard that the device would launch this year with Samsung Galaxy Note branding. Then in January, we learned that Samsung would begin production of this device in November. We’ve learned that the device could cost around $2,000 at launch. The Wall Street Journal reported that the smartphone would be code-named “Winner” and would launch early next year, though Samsung has since confirmed that the device will launch this year. Given that there are only 2 months left in 2018, we should expect to see leaks of this device as we approach the launch date.
While we can’t confirm any specifications for the device, we have spotted the device is the latest leaked Android Pie build for the Galaxy S9. The screenshot below is from a decompilation of the framework-res file. We found the 4 Samsung Galaxy S10 models in the same location where “Winner” now appears.
Since the filename has “winnerlte,” this tells us that this particular model has an Exynos chipset since a Qualcomm Snapdragon variant would most likely be named “winnerqlte.” We would expect this upcoming flagship foldable smartphone to use either the Samsung Exynos 9810 or Exynos 9820, which was rumored to launch with the Samsung Galaxy S10. Although the code-name has a “_us” suffix, we don’t believe this refers to the United States. For now, we have no evidence to believe this device will launch internationally. But, we can reasonably assume that the device will launch with Android Pie since configuration files for it appear only in the Android Pie framework files.
Samsung’s foldable smartphone is rumored to launch with a 7-inch foldable display. Samsung filed several patents which might reveal how the device will work, though we’ll have to wait for more information because we’ve only heard rumors thus far.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150
In the same framework files, we also found a policy file for an unreleased Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 chipset. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150, but this mention does corroborate what WinFuture reported earlier. The Snapdragon 8150 is supposedly the marketing name for the successor of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. We would expect the chipset to be named the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, but it seems that Qualcomm is changing up the naming scheme this time around.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 is rumored to be the first Qualcomm chipset with a dedicated NPU, or neural processing unit. This allows the chipset to crunch large amounts of data for faster machine learning applications. The latest Apple and Huawei chipsets both boast NPUs already. Apple launched their first chipset with a dedicated NPU last year with the A11 Bionic in the iPhone X, while Huawei launched their first chipset with a dedicated NPU in the Kirin 970. Android also has an API to take advantage of these NPUs so developers can build apps enhanced by machine learning.
The policy file for the Snapdragon 8150 is most likely there for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series and not the foldable smartphone. Two weeks ago, we reported that the Galaxy S10 might come in a special 5G variant, and thus the presence of the latest Qualcomm chipset would make sense. It is unlikely that Samsung would use a year-old chipset in these smartphones when they launch, so it’s likely that Samsung will be including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem.
Samsung builds their Samsung Experience framework for many different devices, so it contains information for more than a single device. These early Android Pie builds we have were provided to us by Firmware.science, a website that hosts Samsung OTA updates for Snapdragon models. If you are interested in trying an early beta build of Samsung Experience 10, you can follow our instructions on how to install it for the Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9+.
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