It was yet another whirlwind week for us tech journalists packed with announcements and product launches. Perhaps the most talked-about launch this week came from Samsung, which announced two new Galaxy A Series devices as part of an international launch. Tech journalists from Asia (like me) had other launches to contend with, including that of new Redmi TVs and Oppo’s new F19 series. Coming back to the topic at hand, unlike previous weeks, choosing this week’s winners and losers was a relatively easy task for us. Our choice for this week’s winner is the average Google app developer who will now make more money because Google halved the fee it charges from them. Our loser for this week is the Realme GT which was caught cheating trying to reach high scores on a certain benchmarking app.
But first, let us take a look at the rest of the important tech updates from the week gone by.
Let us start with OnePlus, which is all set to launch the OnePlus 9 series smartphones next week. What we now know is the chance of OnePlus coming up with three variants of the phone - OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 9, and a OnePlus 9R. Initial reports indicate that the OnePlus R will be an India-specific model. It is also almost confirmed that OnePlus would also launch its first-ever smartwatch on the same day it makes the OnePlus 9 lineup official.
It was a great week for Samsung fanboys across the globe because they saw the company announce the launch of two new A-Series smartphones. The new handsets include the Samsung Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and the Samsung Galaxy A72. You can learn more about these handsets in our detailed article here.
Staying with Samsung - this week also saw the news about the likelihood of Samsung delaying the launch of its flagship-grade Galaxy Note series devices. The delay is being blamed on the global chip shortage problem that seems to be affecting almost all major players in the industry.
Another brand that grabbed eyeballs this week was Nokia which has started sending out invites for the launch of its new devices scheduled for April 8, 2021. Thanks to leaksters, we sort of already know that these new smartphones will bear the following names: Nokia G10, Nokia X10, and the Nokia X20.
It is already being postulated that the Nokia G10 is an entry-level handset while the other two devices will be slightly higher up the price band. This is not particularly exciting news for Nokia fans who were waiting for an upper mid-range or flagship handset from them.
While we just published our comprehensive Xiaomi Mi11 review, its better-specced cousins, the Mi 11 Pro and the Mi 11 Ultra, are yet to be made official. We have already read a past report which talked about the likelihood of the Mi 11 Ultra getting a tiny screen on the rear panel. This week, we have rumours that this display will also make an appearance on the other model in its class – the Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro.
Let us now talk about our winners and losers for this week
Winner of the week: The Android app developer
If you happen to be a small-time Android developer, you already know why this is such a big deal. For those who don’t, here’s an explanation. Earlier this week, Google officially confirmed that it would reduce the cut that it takes from every digital purchase made on the Play Store. Until now, Google took home 30 per cent of the amount a customer. From now on, the company will only charge a 15 per cent cut. Note that this cut will only be applicable to developers who will make less than $1 million from apps every year. The reduction in Google’s cut comes not long after Apple also announced a similar cut for iOS developers. Since 99 per cent of Android developers do not meet this criterion, they can expect a significant amount of money saved each time their customers males a purchase via Google.
Loser of the week: Realme GT for cheating on benchmarks
Now, before you come at me saying that benchmark scores don’t really matter and that it is real wold usage that matters, hear me out. While I am in complete agreement with that, the point here is that the Realme GT - which is a flagship-grade handset - was found skimping on several benchmark tests by popular benchmarking platform AnTuTU. While these benchmarks mean little to the average user, they are followed with great interest by smartphone enthusiasts. It is this audience that Realme allegedly tried to defraud.
The goal, it seems, was to end up receiving a high score that will be way ahead of its competitors so they could tout the same in promotional materials. This sly move on part of Realme to hype up the benchmark scores before the device sees a global launch, however, backfired. As I type this, AnTuTu has banned the Realme GT for a period of three months, following which Realme shall be given a chance to issue an update that fixes the falsification of benchmarks. Ouch!
Well, that pretty much sums up our winners and losers piece for this week. Do let us know in the comments if you agree with our choices for this week.