It has never been more difficult to settle on the winners and losers of the tech industry than it has in this turbulent week. The spread of the coronavirus makes us all losers and it feels wrong to deal with such now seemingly trivial issues with what is going on around us. Nevertheless, we would like to continue to entertain, inform and enjoy the second most beautiful but trivial thing in the world: technology. These are our winners and losers of the week just gone.
Especially the loser of the week this week we discussed internally for a long time. Not to find a loser of the week is also something very positive, but we still found some interesting candidates. First of all, there is a rather self-confident "noble goods manufacturer" from France named Montblanc, which suddenly wants to sell headphones in addition to expensive pens, watches, and the like. Fair play to them for giving it a try, even though the market is dominated by established brands such as Sony, Sennheiser, and Bose. Nevertheless, we find the action brazen, because Montblanc's first over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation cost an impressive €600 and are thus around twice as expensive as the products of the strong competition. Is Montblanc making fun of its followers, who are used to luxury prices anyway? We will find out, because the manufacturer has sent us a test sample of the Montblanc MB 01, which we will be thoroughly testing for you very soon.
Loser of the week: YouTuber viewers
Although the outrage over the price of the new headphones was great. My mouth was left open a little bit more when I saw the YouTuber Marques Brownlee's video about the truth behind the Escobar Fold 2 smartphone. Especially scary is not the fact that the smartphone is a scam. Beneath the ostentatious gold foil, which is caressed by half-naked blondes in marketing videos, is none other than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
The catch: the Escobar Fold 2 costs less than a third of the Samsung mobile phone with a list price of around $400. In its video, the famous MKBHD explains that only influential people in the public eye, namely notable tech reviewers such as himself, have received the foldable phone. Orders from normal consumers are never delivered. So the fraudsters behind Escobar want to persuade millions of YouTuber fans to buy the phone - but there is no premium foldable for a great price on offer here for the average Joe.
For a long time, renowned and self-proclaimed tech professionals like the guys from Unbox Therapy didn't notice the fraud. Enthusiastic and almost stunned, they made hands-on videos of the sham phones, talking about a device that will go down in history books. That's probably why this week people who trust their favorite YouTubers and buy products on their recommendation that they will never get, are unfortunately losing out. The industry needs a rethink. You will find a detailed background report on this topic in the coming weeks.
Winner of the week: Xiaomi's baby brother, Redmi
Oh man... the Redmi Note 9 Pro with top middle-class components starts just €150. We ask ourselves the question, who would still go for twice or three times as expensive devices from Huawei or Samsung. We also find it difficult to assign the smartphone to a class. We found some components, as for example the extremely abundant battery with quick charging functionality, a massive amount of RAM and a top camera setup in the upper class not too long ago. However, we find the price under $200 more akin to devices at the entry-level. The Redmi Note 9 Pro and the even better-heeled Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will probably become an absolute insider tip. Xiaomi, with its sub-brand Redmi, is our winner this week.
What has moved you this week away from COVID-19? Let's discuss in the comments.