Winners and Losers of the week: Honor is back! LG’s mobile business under a cloud?

Winners and Losers of the week: Honor is back! LG’s mobile business under a cloud?

As yet another week in tech draws to a close, it’s also time we pick our winners and losers of the last seven days in tech. For this week, our pick for the Winner is Honor - the Chinese smartphone brand which has made its official comeback with a new phone – its first since the infamous, forced split from Huawei. At the other end of the spectrum, the loser of this week has to troubled South Korean smartphone brand LG.

Before we talk in detail about why we chose these two brands as our winners and losers, let’s take a quick look at a few honourable mentions for this week, shall we?

This week was a mixed bag of sorts when it came to tech news with a couple of interesting new launches. What was interesting this week was the fact that we had announcements from both the dominant smartphone SoC makers; Qualcomm and MediaTek. 

While Qualcomm introduced its ‘new’ Snapdragon 870 chipset, MediaTek announced two new SoCs under its premium, Dimensity range.  The SD870 is basically a slightly modified variant of last year’s Snapdragon 865 Plus. Expect it to be used on several affordable flagship devices in 2021. As for MediaTek, they came up with the Dimensity 1200 and Dimenity 1100 models. The Dimensity 1200 is interesting in particular, thanks to its 6nm manufacturing process. Expect this chip to be used in a lot of ‘affordable flagships' in 2021.

Dimensity 1200
The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 will power many affordable flagships of 2021/ © MediaTek

Another brand that is worth mentioning this week is Motorola which is on the verge of launching a new smartphone called the Moto Edge S next week. Quite likely, this will be the first smartphone to tote the aforementioned Snapdragon 870 chip.

The Asus ROG Phone was also in the news this week. Currently, in its third generation with the ROG Phone 3, Asus is quite close to the unveiling of its next-generation ROG Phone in the next few months. And going by leaked images, the design is expected to remain largely unchanged. There is an interesting addition at the rear panel, though, in the form of a small screen.

This week also saw the launch of Vivo’s first flagship smartphone of 2021 with the announcement of the Vivo X60 Pro+. I was impressed with last year’s X50 Pro, and this new model is likely to only be better than its predecessors.

Let us now get back to our winners and losers for this week!

Honor is back! And it is already creating waves

It’s not been too long since Honor - once a sub-brand of Huawei made a claim that it plans to ship more than 100 million smartphones this year. Well, the company certainly seems up for it and on January 22, announced the launch of the Honor View 20 – it’s first smartphone release since it split from Huawei.

On launch day, Honor also announced that it had inked deals with both MediaTek and Qualcomm who will supply them with chipsets for their upcoming handsets. Additionally, with the Trump administration now history, things could actually get better for the battered Chinese smartphone company.

Honor View 40
The Honor View 20 / © Honor

The signs for Honor are positive already, and in China, the newly launched Honor View 40 went out of stock within minutes of it going on sale. With a population of 1.4 billion at their disposal in China alone, could Honor actually manage to surpass their target of 100 million phones? Let’s see! What continues to remain unclear at this point, however, is if the company will regain access to Google Services so that it can make an international comeback as well. 

LG’s mobile division in trouble?

At CES 2020, which concluded just a few days ago, LG showcased the LG Rollable, its first smartphone with a rollable display. A little over a week later, we have conflicting reports about the company’s plans with their ailing smartphones business. 

The cause of concern was a leaked internal memo from LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok in which he indicated that they are considering selling the company’s mobile division. Once the reports leaked, he confirmed the veracity of the memo while also adding that the plan is still under review and that nothing is set in stone yet. If that wasn’t all, one of LG’s Vietnamese ODM partners expressed interest in taking over the Korean brand’s smartphones wing.

LG Rollable Smartphone CES 2021
Is LG Rollable's future in trouble? / © LG

While there is no denying that LG has not been able to escape from the onslaught of Chinese smartphone brands, it is still relatively better shape compared to the likes of Sony and HTC. It will be interesting to see how LG’s troubled smartphones division navigates through the choppy waters of 2021. We certainly hope they continue to make good smartphones.

Anyway, that’s all for this week’s Winners and Losers. Do you agree with our picks? Do let us know in the comments! 

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  • storm 8 months ago Link to comment

    I came close to buying an LG about 8 or so years ago. Deeper research at that time soured me on LG and I've seen no reason to change my mind. I think the lack of customer support is what doomed LGs phone business. Motorola is trending this way too even though they're my preferred brand currently. Honor has never made my consideration list. Most often because there isn't a viable US version with band support, they've been difficult to source reliably, but also because they had the same poor updates as Huawei and a locked down phone.