It’s Sunday, which means it’s time for another edition of Winners and Losers.
This week was a big one in the world of mobile with Google and Xiaomi both unveiling their latest flagship smartphones. The Xiaomi 12 Pro came with a huge camera upgrade, but it was the Pixel 7 that earned our winner title this week.
Our loser, meanwhile, went to Amazon after the Amazon Glow was reported to be discontinued just one year after its poorly-timed release.
Scroll down to learn more about this week’s winner and loser…
This week’s winner is Google after the company unveiled its latest range of Pixel devices, once again offering an affordable option for those looking to upgrade their smart devices this year.
As always, the highlight of the event was Google’s flagship smartphone series. This year, the launch consisted of two phones – the Pixel 7 and the premium Pixel 7 Pro.
The Pixel 7 features a 6.3-inch 90Hz always-on OLED display and comes in three colours: Obsidian, Snow and Lemongrass. The phone comes with a dual rear camera that consists of a 50-megapixel main sensor and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, with Super Res Zoom to compensate for the lack of a telephoto lens.
There were tons of intelligent camera features revealed as well, like the Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, Photo Unblur and Night Sight, as well as a 4355 mAh battery.
The Pixel 7 Pro, meanwhile, has a larger 6.7-inch 120Hz always-on OLED display, along with a third camera sensor, a 48-megapixel telephoto with 5x optical zoom and Super Res Zoom. The Pro switches out the Lemongrass finish for Hazel and comes carrying a 5000 mAh battery. Both phones are powered by the Google Tensor G2.
The event also saw the launch of the Pixel Watch, Google’s first wearable outside of its Fitbit acquisition last year.
While neither the Pixel 7 nor the 7 Pro appear to be a massive leap over the 6 and 6 Pro that came before them, the Pixel continues to be one of the most competitively priced smartphones.
Google sits up there with Apple and Samsung in terms of awareness, but the Pixel 7 is £250 less than the iPhone 14 and £170 lower than Galaxy S22. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7 Pro costs £250 less than the iPhone 14 Pro and £300 less than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Pixel continues to impress us year-on-year, especially when it comes to its photography capabilities. While we haven’t reviewed the Pixel 7 series just yet, at first glance it looks like Google has delivered great value for money once again.
Our loser this week is Amazon after a report by Bloomberg confirmed that the Amazon Glow had been cancelled. The kids’ device had received a sizable price cut on Amazon earlier this week but until now, the company had been quiet about the product’s future.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Glow, you wouldn’t be the only one.
The Amazon Glow was a video-calling device with a built-in projector marketed at kids. The idea was to make it easy for children aged 3 to 9 to chat with family and play on a projected surface at the same time.
The chunky periscope-shaped webcam included an 8-inch vertical screen where calls could take place and came with a 19-inch touch-sensitive projection mat in the box, allowing the Glow to project books, games, art packs and more. At the same time, relatives could play along on their own tablets.
While the Glow was received positively by reviewers, it feels like Amazon missed the boat with its launch.
The device entered the market with an unusual strategy in 2021. Not only was the Glow a US-only release, but it was also part of Amazon’s “Day 1 Editions” product testing programme, meaning it was invite-only for the first six months after launch.
When the Glow eventually opened up to the public, its price immediately spiked from $249 to $299.
The whole concept felt late to the game. The Glow relied on kids making calls to spend time with their relatives, but by the time the product was announced in late 2021, Covid-19 restrictions were winding down and families were able to spend time together in person again.
Obviously, it’s difficult to feel bad for a company for not profiting from the circumstances of a pandemic, but it does feel like Amazon missed its opportunity with this one.