The author of the column may have changed this week, but the avalanche of releases continued in full force. The announcement of the OnePlus 9 line was the centre of global attention over the past few days, which also featured new intermediate smartphones from Realme, Xiaomi and Motorola.
The mid-range segment also had two important announcements in terms of hardware, both from American chipmaker Qualcomm. The first is the Snapdragon 860 SoC - which is based on the 855 chip that came equipped on 2019 flagships -, announced with the new Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro. The second, meanwhile, was another Snapdragon, this time the 780G. Qualcomm has not released names of phones equipped with the component, but everything indicates that we will find out soon. Stay tuned to NextPit so you don't miss out on upcoming releases!
As my colleague Rahul advanced last week, OnePlus announced its new OnePlus 9 lineup this week. While most countries will receive the basic and Pro versions - both with the Snapdragon 888 -, the Indian market will an additional model – the OnePlus 9R powered by the Snapdragon 870 chipset.
The new line brings the first fruits of OnePlus' partnership with Swedish Hasselblad, for now only in software, and the results you can check out in our OnePlus 9 Pro review. The full OnePlus 9 test is already in the oven, but in the meantime, how about unboxing of the models sent to us for evaluation?
Another family that received a major update was the Moto G line. Lenovo/Motorola brought the Moto Edge S under the a new name – the Moto G100, the smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 870 and brought back the concept of docks - used 10 years ago in Motorola Atrix 4G - to turn the smartphone into a PC or video game console connected to a monitor or TV.
Besides that, the week also had the announcement of the Realme 8 line, with the basic and Pro models. The hands-on with the Realme 8 Pro is already online and the full review comes out throughout the week.
Finally, Chinese manufacturer Vivo launched the global Vivo X60 line, which changed the Exynos 1080 SoC for Snapdragon 870 (it seems we have a pattern here), lost the periscopic lens, but kept the optical stabilization system with gimbal and the German Zeiss signature on the lenses.
This week already starts busy, with a launch event from Xiaomi as soon as Monday (29). According to publications of the brand on the social network Weibo, the "Mega Launch" will feature at least the models Mi 11 Pro, Mi 11 Ultra and the return of the Mi Mix line. It remains to be seen which other devices should be announced and, more importantly, which ones will have a global launch.
That said, let's get to the winners and losers of the week:
Winner of the week: the consumer, with more options to choose from
With the number of smartphone launches this week, it doesn't even feel like we're in the midst of a true global processor supply crisis. The announcements covered everything from affordable models like the Realme 8 to the flagship OnePlus 9 Pro. The highlight, however, was the mid-range segment, with models equipped with SoCs used in the 2019 and 2020 flagships.
The Snapdragon 870 and 860 chips are virtually identical to the 865(+) and 855(+) models from 2020 and 2019, respectively. But while the relaunches won't excite spec enthusiasts, they represent an advance in performance, graphics, and user experience for the audience that doesn't want to, or can't, pay $6,00 or €800 for a phone.
The week also saw the announcement of the Snapdragon 780G, which not only brings four high-performance Cortex-A78 CPUs - in place of two A76s in the 765/765G/768G lineup - but is manufactured on the same 5nm process used in flagship SoCs. The chip promises not only more performance but also greater energy efficiency, sharpening the competition with the Samsung Exynos 1080 and the unreleased MediaTek Dimensity 1200.
Loser of the week: the consumer, with Google's quality control
An update released on Monday (22) caused an explosion of reports of crashes in apps. The culprit? The WebView system component, used on Android by thousands of popular apps. The problem only displayed the error message "The app has stopped working," without describing an actual cause, leaving many users clueless as to how to fix it.
Many found the solution on NextPit's pages - we're here for that - and Google fixed the problem on Tuesday (23) with a new WebView and Chrome update. Still, the experience left a bitter taste; after all, this isn't the first time a version of the component has caused serious problems. In December 2019, version 79 even caused data loss in some apps, for example.
Those were the highlights of the week, which also featured a renewed interest in cameras. As always, feel free to disagree or agree with the choices in the comments!