It’s been a packed week for tech, but Winners and Losers is here to whittle it down to the very best (and worst) stories that are worthy of your attention.
Between the Galaxy Buds 2, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and more, there’s never been a better time to be a Samsung fan. Even if Apple’s products are more your cup of tea, you have to hand it to Samsung for putting money where its mouth is with regards to foldable tech.
As impressive as those products are, for my money it was the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 that stole the show, which is why it’s an easy selection for this week’s winner.
Unfortunately, this week’s loser was also an easy pick, and for the PC gamers out there – I feel your pain. This time it’s yet another botched graphics card launch, this time for the Radeon RX 6600 XT which – despite its intended affordability – is now rarer than gold.
Winner: Galaxy Watch 4
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t already very eager to see what the Galaxy Watch 4 was all about.
With smartwatches largely having gone the way of smartphones in terms of innovation, the industry hasn’t seen anything truly new in quite some time (remember those older smartwatches with cameras in them?). For that reason, the Galaxy Watch 4 already had my attention for being the first watch to pack the new Wear OS 3, but after seeing what else the watch has to offer – I am thoroughly impressed.
Above all, the Galaxy Watch 4 could be an absolute game changer in health tracking thanks to its new ‘BioActive’ sensor. This piece of tech goes beyond the typical tracking that we’ve seen before, such as ECG and blood oxygen, instead offering a more complete overview of your health by looking at additional factors such as skeletal muscle and body water.
The rotating bezel from last year’s Galaxy Watch 3 has also been redesigned into a digital alternative, tracking the user’s finger as it moves around the outside of the screen. This might seem like a small feature, but it’s the kind of technology that will no doubt allow smartwatches to more closely adopt the same type of minimalist yet futuristic look that people are expecting from the Pixel Watch.
As a start for the new Wear OS 3 era, the Galaxy Watch 4 has set the bar quite high, and I’ll be very intrigued to see where the industry is headed next. Given that Google now seems far more interested in collaborating with other companies Wear OS, it isn’t too hard to imagine a Fossil exclusive overlay, one that puts a greater emphasis on fashion and design.
Loser: Radeon RX 6600 XT
Getting gamers to agree is a rare thing, but I don’t think anyone can contest that stock issues and scalpers have been an absolute nightmare over the last few months.
The fact that even now, as 2022 is beginning to rear its head, the concept of walking into a store and picking up a PS5, Xbox Series X or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card is impossible. What’s worse is that the trend is only continuing, as exemplified by this week’s launch of the Radeon RX 6600 XT.
Trying to search for the Radeon RX 6600 XT online right now will heed wildly different results depending on where you go. Some websites such as eBuyer have versions of the 6600 XT that are listed simply as ‘coming soon’, while Amazon has yet to allow the graphics card to even grace its wares.
The case for most websites however is that the Radeon RX 6600 XT is just plain old out of stock, and a quick glance at eBay will bring back some prices that fly squarely in the face of this GPU’s intended affordability.
The whole scenario paints a bleak picture. Even if retailers are able to curb the effects of scalpers by allocating more stock to brick and mortar stores, it doesn’t fix the underlying issue that is the ongoing worldwide chip shortage, and with it no end in sight, this feels like an open goal for cloud gaming.