As the year winds down it's a great time to reflect on the top stories of the past 12 months. This is the first of four installments where we look at the stories that shaped this year.
We're now in Q2 of 2020 and starting in the middle of April, OnePlus unveiled the 8 Pro and 8 smartphones. The OnePlus 8 Pro proved OnePlus' flagship for 2020, only due for replacement in early 2021. Its 120Hz display that runs at 1440p, wireless charging, IP68 rating, improved cameras and a flagship price tag got attention at the time, while subsequent price cuts kept the phone relevant.
A day later Apple announced the first iPhone in a while that didn't approach four-digit price tags. The iPhone SE (2020) was an iPhone 8 with improved internals - A13 Bionic chipset, the 12MP camera from the iPhone XR - and a $399 price.
At the same time Apple's iPhone 12 lineup began taking shape through rumors and renders. We saw the flat-sided design for the first time. One of the most popular stories at the time showed CAD renders of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which now in hindsight look very close to the final product, save for the camera island.
A story claimed that Apple would release its next-gen iPhones in late November, which turned out half right - the iPhone 12/12 Pro launched in October, while the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max were released in November.
After months of teasing the hardware, Sony finally showed the PlayStation 5 in all its towering glory. It changes the old spinning storage with an SSD, brought a new DualSense controller, RayTracing support and high-FPS gaming - up to 120fps at 4K.
Xiaomi had a couple of big announcements. The Mi Note 10 Lite brought a cool design, a huge 5,260mAh battery, 6.47-inch AMOLED and a 64MP camera for €399. Xiaomi also made MIUI 12 official and released its beta to a big list of devices. Then there was the new Mi Band 5 with a bigger display and new magnetic charger for $26.
Poco made waves with the Poco F2 Pro. It brought a Snapdragon 865 chipset, big Super AMOLED display and a 64MP main camera for €500.
There were a few other announcements. LG tried to redefine its image with the Velvet, Doogee released a phone with a 10,000mAh battery, Redmi made a hit TWS set in the Earbuds S.
Now it's time to look ahead to the third quarter of 2020 - up next.
The specs are available at China Telecom’s website.
The design is a blast from the past.
The phone goes on pre-order this Friday, and ships on April 24.
The new iPhone SE is expected to launch on April 15.
Sony will unveil PlayStation 5 games later today through an online event.
The Haylou Solar is a hidden smart wearable gem on the cheap.
We're expecting 4 models all with 5G and smaller notches.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite is looking like a solid package for its €350 starting price.
Details continue to change as Apple engineers try to figure out what works and what doesn't. A 64MP camera apparently falls in the "doesn't" column.
Sony's latest and greatest is finally in our office.
Yes, it's a rebadged Redmi K30 Pro, a companion to the Poco X2, which was based on the Redmi K30.
Also showcased a ton of new games coming next year.
It's powered by the Helio P22 SoC and comes with dual speakers for stereo sound.
The rumors are a bit shaky, but they describe a phone with a sub-6" screen (the 2019 Xperia 5 model has a 6.1" screen).
It's likely not going to last long, but it's still a remarkable achievement.
Also expected this year are two new base models iPhones, a smaller and cheaper HomePod, and AirTag.
Beta testing starts next week.
Both are coming later this month.
The A13 Bionic chipset in the $399 iPhone is closer to an iPhone XS Max than an iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Not much left to wonder about the upcoming OnePlus flagships.
Great value fitness tracker as always.
Its dimensions make it about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note10+.
The 108MP camera and Snapdragon 865 chipset that this phone allegedly has should have no issues with 8K/30fps video.
Beta testing is already available for Chinese users, while the stable build is expected in June.
The stable build will begin rolling out around the end of June for Chinese users.
Affordability has its price.
A great value package enough to give the big notebook OEMs a run for their money.
Here's how much the new device will cost across the globe.
The "Iron Man eyes" on the back are a pair of RGB LEDs that serve as a notification light. The phone underwent extensive MIL-STD tests.