5G phones, smartwatches, AR glasses: 5 reasons Vivo’s European launch is a big deal

Over the past decade, various Chinese technology companies have started selling their devices in the West. Companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo are enjoying great popularity and are bringing phones, smartwatches, headphones and more to countries like the USA, the UK and others.

A new company is following in its footsteps – Vivo, which has been making consumer gadgets since 2009 and is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world, is preparing to sell phones in several European countries, including the UK.

This is great news. The above-mentioned Chinese smartphone companies have had a tremendous impact on the market since the start of cellphone sales, and Vivo could continue to do so – especially with the range of technology products it aims to bring to the west.

In order to get a better understanding of what Vivo will bring to Europe later in 2020 and what you need to know about its offer, we sat down with some members of the Vivo European team.

Here are five important things you need to know about all Vivo products that we will see on store shelves shortly.

We spoke to Seon Hwang, Vice President and CMO, Thomas Kahmann, Director PR & Social Media, and Ivan Polojac, Senior Manager Brand & Corporate PR, to find out what they could tell us about the launch of Vivo in the UK and beyond .

Here are five important things you need to know about all Vivo products that we will see on store shelves shortly.

1. All Vivo lines can appear over time

The Vivo Nex 3

The Vivo Nex 3 (Photo credit: future)

Vivo sells smartphones among a number of monikers – there are the main Vivo phones with letter identifiers such as X, Y and Z. These are the company's core devices, and there are Apex phones that are concept devices that are not designed for Be offered for sale.

Then there are Nex phones, premium phones, where part of the technology often debuts in the Apex. Finally, there is the iQoo range of performance-oriented phones – think of them as gaming phones under a different name.

Not all of them come to Europe immediately. "We will launch Vivo on the European market first," said Seon Hwang, vice president of Vivo Europe. This is the company's largest product line, with numerous devices spanning different price ranges.

However, if you're interested in the Nex or iQoo phones, you may not have to wait too long. Hwang said: "Once we have paved the way for the European market, we will consider bringing the Nex and iQoo at a later date."

2. Vivo phones use Android in stock

The Google Pixel 4 with standard Android

The Google Pixel 4 with standard Android (Photo credit: future)

Wherever Vivo phones are currently sold, they are supplied with the Vivo Android fork FunTouch and the company's own AI assistant. This will not be the case in Europe.

Ivan Polojac, senior manager for brand and corporate PR at Vivo Europe, said: "We will have a clean, minimalist FunTouch type on the European market that is very similar to Google Pixels."

Google Pixel smartphones use "standard" Android, so FunTouch may have almost standard Android in the West. Motorola phones use standard Android with a few improvements to the company, so Vivo may go the same way for its phones.

When some Chinese phone brands bring devices to the west, they keep their user interface. Since the sensitivities can differ between countries, this can lead to software that looks quite divisive. Vivo could prevail over some competitors through an almost standard Android.

Apparently, Jovi – Vivo's own voice assistant software – won't be available in Europe either, and instead, these phones will use Google Assistant.

3. These could be great phones for music

Xiaomi Mi 10

The Xiaomi Mi 10 is one of the few phones in recent years whose audio function was one of the functions marketed. (Photo credit: TechRadar)

Hwang guided us through the four main selling points of Vivo phones – camera, user interface, design and audio. The first three of these points may sound obvious as many smartphone companies focus on these features, but the last one doesn't. For many manufacturers, audio doesn't seem to be a priority.

As Hwang said, audio is "part of life when you listen to podcast, radio, or music." But few smartphones have good speakers. So it seems that Vivo phones have much better audio than most other phones – maybe they have up to four speakers like some tablets (as this improves audio quality) or other solutions.

We actually know an audio function that will already be available on Vivo smartphones. It is called adaptive sound technologies and we will explain in step 5 how it works.

4. Not all devices are 5G phones

The Vivo X50, a 5G phone

The Vivo X50, a 5G phone (Photo credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Given that Vivo's European launch takes place at the same time that 5G is launched across the continent, we asked what Vivo's 5G stance would look like. Will all handsets only be 5G capable or will there also be 4G devices?

"As of this year, we will include some models from the 5G range, but we will also focus on very competitive 4G devices," said Polojac.

So it seems that a number of products will come, but they won't last forever. Polojac said: "As the networks mature and customer needs for the demand for 5G devices increase, we will definitely expand the portfolio."

“Our general 5G philosophy is not to drive these latest innovations, but rather what you can use with them. What does it do for you It allows you to stream videos really nice and fast. It's great for mobile gamers, it's definitely great for automation as well as part of the industry.

"So for the time being, we will have a balanced portfolio that will include some 5G devices. But there will also be 4G devices, and then I would say that the majority of the devices will be 5G capable. That is." probably in the next year or two. "

Hwang also teased us with some details about some upcoming 5G phones. He said, "One is a fairly tall flagship, and there is also a very competitive product that is affordable for the entire price range."

5. Headphones, smartwatches and AR glasses are coming

Vivo will not only sell smartphones in Europe. Tech fans will be happy to know that they'll be bringing headphones to the continent very soon, and even have plans to launch smartwatches and AR glasses in the near future.

"You will definitely come to Europe," said Polojac when we asked about these products. “We are planning to launch two types of headphones this year. One would be some kind of sports Bluetooth headphones for jogging, running and cycling, and then we will also bring our own solution for real WiFi. "

"In any case, we should also emphasize that it is not about the latest technology, but about the user experience. An important component of these headphones that we have tested and developed in the past few years is the sound matching technology."

Vivo's tone matching technology is designed to optimize the sound of your headphones based on age and hearing.

Polojac continued: "Our hearing is deteriorating over the years, so both smartphones and headphones have these adaptive sound technologies so you can really get the best sound experience regardless of your age."

Smartwatches and AR glasses seem to be further away than headphones and smartphones.

Hwang told us: "Some products are almost finished and we have decided whether to come to Europe or not. We still do a lot of product calibrations and software upgrades, so we need more time to test and certify.

"So it takes more time. One of the products is 99% finished in China. Let's put it this way – it is difficult to say when it is."

The Snapchat Specs 3 are one of the few AR glasses you can buy

The Snapchat Specs 3 are one of the few AR glasses you can buy (Photo credit: TechRadar)

Smartphones are still the priority for Vivo's European adventure. Thomas Kahmann, Head of PR and Social Media at Vivo Europe, told us: “At Vivo it all started with phones, so this company always thinks from a smartphone.

"These additional devices, IoT (Internet of Things) or accessories, must contribute to the overall smartphone experience. If a customer decides to purchase additional accessories from Vivo, we want to assure them that they will achieve consistent performance." better smartphone experience. "

While smartwatches are currently incredibly popular and allow people to track their fitness, optimize their phone experience and make them more accessible, AR glasses are still a very new technology.

We'll have to see how Vivo imagines technologically improved specifications and how they improve the smartphone experience.

We currently have no fixed dates on when to buy Vivo phones in Europe, but the company was confident it would have products (digital or physical) on the shelves by the end of the year.



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