Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Winners and losers of the week: Apple steals the show, Amazon Sidewalk raises eyebrows


As I pen this week’s edition of Winners and losers in tech, there is no doubt in my mind who the unanimous winner his week is. Apple stole the show with its 2-hour-long WWDC Keynote this week and is our winner. In the loser’s corner, this week is Amazon with its interesting but controversial Sidewalk feature. 

But hey, before we talk about these two in length, let us delve into some of the other major developments in the world of consumer technology, shall we?

New Samsung Galaxy 4 smartwatches are on the way- minus adapters

After Google and Samsung made major announcements regarding the future of WearOS, this week saw hints about two new Samsung Galaxy 4 smartwatch models making their appearances on Chinese certification platform 3C. The listing showcases four individual Galaxy 4 smartwatch models, with two each belonging to the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch Active4 lineup. The interesting fact about these models is that none of them seem to be accompanied by a power adapter. Looks like Samsung is extending its “chargers are optional” motto to even more product segments this year!

The OnePlus Nord CE is here

OnePlus Nord CE 5G Hero
The OnePlus Nord CE/ © OnePlus

This week saw the much-awaited launch of a new smartphone from OnePlus, called the OnePlus Nord CE. OnePlus maintains that we should not assume this device to be a successor to the original OnePlus Nord from last year, but it is hard to do so when the naming scheme and features are so similar. The new phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor and gets a 6.4-inch, 90Hz AMOLED panel. The chances of this phone making it to the U.S. are low. Prices start at EUR299. 

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Honor 50 Pro detailed

Honor is enjoying newfound freedom after finding itself free from the clutches of Huawei. With the company now allowed to do business with Google and Qualcomm, the company is on track to come up with a bunch of new devices soon. Among the first devices to be announced this week include the much-rumored Honor 50 Pro. Another ‘hitherto unheard of device’ did make an appearance on FCC earlier this week

HarmonyOS is now used by 10 million users

har
HarmonyOS rakes up good numbers! / © Gizmochina

HarmonyOS maybe far cry from becoming the Android killer many make it out to be – but the new operating system from Huawei did manage to rake up some impressive numbers in its home market of China. The telecommunications giant, on June 10, claimed that within days of its arrival, the OS has already passed 10  million active users. In fact, Huawei’s app store already has 134,000 apps available for download and has the support of more than 4 million developers!

Samsung JN1 ISOCELL JN1 sensor promises excellent selfies

This week also saw Samsung announce yet another camera sensor. This new one – called the Samsung ISOCELL JN1, is a 50MP sensor but is special in that it is the smallest 50MP sensor from the company. The ISOCELL JN1 sensor has a pixel size of 0.64 μm, and the entire sensor is of the1/2.76” type. It also boasts of something Samsung refers to as Tetrapixel technology. This tech basically bins four pixels into one big 1.28μm pixel for bright 12.5 MP images and promises low noise. Expect this one to make it to several selfie cameras in the next few quarters!

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Facebook smartwatch with detachable cameras in the works

facebook smartwatch cameras
Facebook is working on a smartwatch with detachable cameras! / © Studio.c / Shutterstock; Collage: NextPit

Not content with knowing enough about our lives already, Facebook is reportedly working on a new product that could literally hand over our health stats to them on a (golden) platter. You heard it right – the social media giant is reportedly developing smartwatches that may also support detachable cameras. We don’t have a name for the watch models yet but let us just call it the Facebook Watch for now. Reports say this product could come to fruition by 2022 and could be priced at around $400.

Winner of the week: Apple, of course!

Apple pretty dominated the tech-news cycle this week thanks to the landmark announcements it made at the keynote during WWDC 2021. We covered everything that Apple announced this week in separate articles. But if you want to have a quick rundown of the things that transpired, read this piece by Stefan that summarizes everything. Our editorial director Fabi also wrote an extensive opinion piece on how the new direction Apple is taking will adversely affect the fortunes of Google and other competitors.  Looks like there is no way right now to stop the juggernaut that is Apple!

Loser of the week: Amazon Sidewalk

AndroidPIT amazon echo studio buttons
Amazon Sidewalk was supposed to be cool. But it has become controversial instead. / © AndroidPIT

Amazon recently introduced a new feature called Amazon Sidewalk. While the new feature is something that was designed to make your (and others’) lives easier, it’s the way how it achieves that purpose that is raising eyebrows. 

In very simple terms, Amazon Sidewalk will share your internet connection with strangers. The overall aim is to make the integration of smart home devices easier. It will also help other compatible devices that suffer from range issues easily access the Internet. All this, according to Amazon, is done in a safe manner with all privacy concerns taken into consideration. 

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And while this might actually be true, anything service that works by using your bandwidth (which you pay for) will definitely be a cause for alarm. We will need to see how this story plays out!

Well, that is it for this week’s edition of Winners and losers. Do you agree with our choices for this week? 



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