As we gear up for one of the busiest times of the year in tech, there's plenty doing the rounds. The IFA 2020 in Berlin is just around the corner, Gamescom has kicked off in Cologne, and we're expecting exciting new products from Apple and Microsoft next month. Here are our winners and losers of the last seven days in tech.
As always, we'll start with a couple of honorable mentions. The under-screen selfie camera has long been touted as an alternative solution to notches and hole-punches that interrupt your display. The flip camera solution we saw Asus continue with on its Zenfone 7 Pro this week is cool, but what Xiaomi showed off on Friday is even more exciting.
Big news: Xiaomi announced the third generation of under-screen camera technology. The video below is a special under-screen camera version of the Mi 10 Ultra, which has reached a usable level, which is very exciting. This technology will be mass-produced in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/m8bujC2KCs— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) August 28, 2020
We've seen this technology before, of course, with Vivo also working on a similar solution, but we can't wait for this to go mainstream.
Winner of the week: sustainable smartphones from Fairphone
We've been fans of what Fairphone is doing in the smartphone market for a while now, and this week the company announced some exciting news. Last year's Fairphone 3 is getting a modular upgrade. The improvements come in the form of two new camera modules: a 48-megapixel main camera and a 16-megapixel selfie camera. Whilst the hardware is not exactly groundbreaking, what's special about this upgrade is the way in which it sold to consumers.
Owners of the Fairphone 3 smartphone can buy the camera modules and install them in their existing devices. You can choose whether you want the main camera, which costs €60, the selfie camera for €35, or both for a special price of €70. If you don't own a Fairphone 3 and want to get on board, you can buy the Fairphone 3+, which comes with the upgraded cameras already installed.
Sure, the purchase price of €469 is quite high for the specs you are getting, but what you are really buying when you opt for a Fairphone 3+ is a more sustainable future and a clear conscience. We salute the ethos the Dutch company is showing here, and for that reason, we are awarding the Fairphone 3+ our winner of the week award!
Loser of the week: console gamers
There's never been a better time to be a gamer, right? Well, not quite. As Gamescon kicked off in Cologne this week, the home console market is in a strange place right now, in my opinion. The launch of the next generation of consoles is only months away, but I can't help but feel that the Xbox Series X and the Sony PlayStation 5 are landing with muted excitement.
What we have seen from the consoles so far, whilst pretty, does not scream 'next-gen'. Then there's the whole PlayStation 5 pre-order saga. News broke this week that the new console will be in such short supply that the Japanese company is asking customers to sign up for the chance to be able to pre-order it. It's essentially a lottery system.
"There will be a limited quantity of PS5 consoles available for preorder," Sony announced. Gamers hoping to get their hands on the new PS5 in time for the holidays must be getting worried here. We still don't know the price or release date of the next-gen console either. All things considered, it's looking like the launch of the next-gen gaming hardware could be somewhat rocky. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong on this one, though.
Who were your winners and losers of the week just gone? Let us know below the line.