A mysterious Android device code-named ‘Zodiac’ is in the works at Samsung. The product — believed to be a smartphone — is coming along simultaneously with the company’s next two Galaxy flagships.
That’s according to the kernel source code of the Galaxy Z Flip, a high-end foldable announced last month.
Data miners discovered the ‘Zodiac’ moniker in reference to the Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm’s premium SoC already found its way to several Samsung phablets, including the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 lineups.
The company’s top 2020 handsets should still feature the newer Snapdragon 865. Sure enough, the source code only mentions ‘Project Zodiac’ support in regards to China.
Samsung’s kernel sources for the recently debuted Galaxy S20 series contain no mention of the mysterious gadget. While it’s presently unclear when exactly might the company announce the Zodiac, the product’s almost certainly planned for a 2020 debut.
Can Zodiac reverse Samsung’s (mis)fortunes in China?
With no other info available, it remains to be seen whether the Zodiac adopts a traditional form factor. Samsung’s push into foldables has been gaining significant traction over the course of the last 12 months, so the unannounced Android device may also end up being an extension of that endeavor.
As for its target market, the very existence of Project Zodiac confirms Samsung still hasn’t given up on China. Once a top manufacturer in the region, the chaebol’s present-day market share in the country’s insignificant at best. Industry watchers remain divided on why that’s the case. Most, however, agree Samsung’s business in the Far Eastern country won’t be bouncing back anytime soon.
The inspection of Samsung’s newest kernel sources also revealed the company’s SoC strategy for 2020. More specifically, it confirmed its global approach to chipset implementation will remain unchanged.
European consumers can hence once again expect arguably inferior versions of the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2. Those two are set to utilize Samsung’s in-house Exynos chips, whereas their U.S. counterparts should leverage the Snapdragon 865.
Though Exynos silicon was rarely behind Qualcomm’s offerings in the past, that only applies to a hardware perspective. That’s because Exynos chips have a poorer track record with driver support, leading to a variety of problems.
Worse battery life and emulator performance are just some of the most notable differences between the two.
For now, what’s more or less confirmed is that the Galaxy Fold 2 is Samsung’s “Project Winner2”. Likewise, the Galaxy Note 20 lineup bears the “Project Canvas” moniker. Both Android ranges should debut in the second half of the year.