Another week in the technosphere is behind us. As ever, we've sifted through the biggest and best (and worst) stories from the past seven days to decide who we think emerged as winners, and who came out as losers. There were several smartphone launches this week, as well as a big old spat in the United States.
Techtober rolls on. Following a busy couple of weeks where we have seen devices such as OnePlus 8T, the Google Pixel 5, and the Apple iPhone 12 lineup launch, this week we got another major flagship from the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer. I'm talking about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, of course. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's the same old story for Huawei's latest high-end smartphone - nobody doubts the impressive hardware, but can you live without Google apps and services? Our man Antoine is working on the review as we speak, and will answer that very question for you soon.
Winner of the week: Vivo lands in Europe
Vivo, the sixth biggest smartphone brand in the world, is still a relatively unknown brand for many Europeans. That could all be about to change. This week, the launch of the Vivo X51, a rebranded version of the X50 we saw launch in India earlier this year, marks the Chinese manufacturer's official expansion in Europe. The highlight of the new smartphone is its gimbal-style camera. We've already been hands-on with the new device. You can read our review via the link below.
Vivo is coming to six new markets on the continent: the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. As well as the X51, the Vivo Y70, Y20s, and Y11s will also be coming to our shores to offer more affordable options to consumers.
Vivo is well-known in the industry for being quite experimental with its hardware, and the brand should bring some much-needed excitement to a smartphone market that has gotten a little stale over the past couple of years. I for one am excited to see how Vivo does in Europe. The brand may not shift millions of smartphones right from the off, but having more choice is always a good thing for consumers, and here's to hoping the BBK Electronics Corp. brand can add a little spark to the smartphone landscape here.
Loser of the week: Google in the spotlight for monopolistic practices
Choosing a loser was fairly straightforward this week. On Tuesday morning, the anticipated lawsuit accusing Google of antitrust violations was filed by The United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Google is no stranger to allegations such as these, and has been fined significant sums by the European Union for both antitrust and data privacy violations in the past, but this is the first time the search giant has had to face up to legal proceedings of this scale on home soil.
Many are already talking about a landmark case in the making, with predictions about the breaking up and restructuring of how Big Tech operates already being made. We're not at that stage yet, and will have to wait and see how this one plays out, but it does feel as though the case could be the start of something really huge.
I've written about what the DOJ is accusing Google of, as well as how Google has responded to the claims, in a separate article. We'll be watching this one closely over the next couple of months. Don't expect a swift resolution to this saga though. Much like the problems Huawei has faced with its own tangle with the United States government, this lawsuit is likely to run and run and could take years to settle, especially if it goes to court.
Who were your winners and losers in tech this week? Have your say in the comments section below.
NextPit highlights of the week:
- MIUI 12 review: Xiaomi's Android overlay is out of this world
- Oppo Reno 4 5G review: a rock-solid smartphone
- Huawei FreeBuds Pro review: out of this world performance
- The end of the road: why the Mate 40 Pro could be Huawei's last hurrah
- OxygenOS 11 review: Android 11 overlay from OnePlus divides fans