In fact, the logo of these gadgets is not an apple at all, but a contamination of bird and fire signs. Because the symbol of VinSmart, a member of the VinGroup corporation, is energy directed upwards. This is a real Vietnamese miracle that grew up selling instant noodles, and now has a chain of supermarkets, hotels, schools, making cars, air conditioners, TVs, electric scooters, smart homes and smartphones for the local population. However, not only for the local - gadgets from VinGroup have already entered the Russian market. Naked Science visited a factory in Vietnam and learned all about how they are made.
VinGroup is a Vietnamese monopoly. Only in a good way: locals have long been accustomed to going to supermarkets with the VG logo (“V” stands for the wings of a bird and the first letter of the country's name). Vietnamese go to schools, aufblasbar universities and medical clinics with this name, ride scooters and cars of this brand, buy the same household appliances, relax in the same hotels, live and work in buildings built by this company.
Therefore, the VG sign for a Vietnamese means something nationwide, inexpensive, but at the same time of high quality. In our country, few people know about the Vietnamese "monopoly". But this is for now. Vietnamese smartphones from a subsidiary of VG - vendita gonfiabili per bambini VinSmart - appeared on the Russian market in October this year. And there is a feeling that our compatriots will like them, and not only to taste, but also affordable, because with good software their price is low.
D: cheap and solid
The company's flagship is the Vsmart Live smartphone. First of all, it should be said that when you open the package, you will find not only the smartphone itself, but a plastic case for it and even headphones. This is nice, because usually you have to buy such accessories yourself. In general, the smartphone does not stand out among its fellows and is presented in three colors - black, white and blue. The frames are thin, and the screen is from AMOLED LTPS at 6, 2 inches, 1080 by 2232 pixels. The size of the gadget is 152 by 74, 4 by 8, 3 millimeters, weight - 170 grams. Android 9.0 software is not filled with junk software and unnecessary services, so it works very smartly.
Hardware - Snapdragon 675 and 6GB of RAM. A 4000 mAh battery is enough for 1-1.5 days of active use, because there is simply nothing to charge - there are no hidden settings. The main feature of the smartphone is a triple camera, the main module of which is 48 megapixels, the additional ones are 5 and 8 megapixels: the frames are clear, and the colors are pleasant. The camera's viewing angle is 120 degrees, however, with wide shooting, it still shoots with noise. SIM card - 2 Nano-SIM without microSD support.
There is also a screen fingerprint scanner, which, however, also works a little slow so far, but the phone has just gone on sale, so the bugs will obviously be improved, especially since an update to Android 10 is planned. Another disadvantage is the lack of NFC and a card slot. memory. Otherwise, it seems like solid pluses - especially the price, which varies from 14,990 to 16,990 rubles, depending on the size of the RAM.
It was the flagship from VinSmart, but the company is releasing other models of smartphones with simpler specifications and with a lower price limit.
For example, Vsmart Joy 2+ is 157 by 76 by 8.7 millimeters, 6, 2-inch screen, Snapdragon 450 processor, 4530 mAh battery and three cameras, the main of which is 13 megapixels, and the additional ones are 5 and 8 megapixels. The gadget costs from 9990 to 11,990 rubles.
The Vsmart Star model with Snapdragon 215 with a 5, 7-inch screen and three cameras of 8, 2 and 5 megapixels will cost 6,990 rubles. And an entry-level Vsmart Bee with a Mediatek 6739 processor, a 5, 45-inch screen, LTE support and two cameras of 8 and 5 megapixels is on sale for 4,990 rubles. Budget gadgets, of course, impress most of all, because usually for that kind of money, a maximum of "babushkofon" is offered, which you can only call. And today the company is implementing a 5G smartphone project, which should enter the Russian market next year.
What's the catch? It seems that the point is only that VinGroup is too big a holding, so it does not need to raise prices while maintaining quality. Moreover, Vietnam has strict standards in this sense. Therefore, local residents try to buy products made in their country (it is not surprising that VinGroup was able to become such a large corporation).
And he has a special relationship with Russia. The founder of the company is named Pham Nyat Vyong, today he is the first dollar billionaire in Vietnam, and according to Forbes, he is one of the 500 richest people in the world. His company is estimated at $ 17 billion, which is two percent of the country's GDP. This is probably why the press dubbed Vyong the Vietnamese Trump.
Nyat was born in Hanoi at the height of the Vietnam War to a rather poor family. Observing the difficult life of his parents, the young man was determined to succeed. And since the Soviet education in the 1980s was considered one of the best in the world, he entered the Russian State Geological Prospecting University, the Faculty of Economics. True, the future billionaire received his diploma already in 1993, when not a trace remained of the stable USSR. Therefore, the man and his wife decided to move to Ukraine.
Borrowing money from relatives, the young couple opened a small restaurant of national cuisine in Kharkiv, but the crisis was already raging in Ukraine, so Vyong decided to implement an idea in keeping with the spirit of the times: he launched an instant noodles called "Mivina" (the root of "wines" means "Vietnam"). The noodles were cheap and tasty, so they quickly became wildly popular, becoming the same household name as in Russia - "Doshirak".
So the businessman began to receive real profits, most of which he invested in his native country (the latter was just emerging from the crisis in those years). As a result, in 2000, he opened his first luxury hotel in the small Vietnamese town of Nha Trang, discerning a great resort potential in the semi-wild island. And I was not mistaken. The tourism business began to generate income, so in 2010 Vyong sold his Ukrainian business to Nestle and returned to his homeland.
There, over the course of several years, he created a whole VIN empire: hotels with this logo began to open throughout the country, the company engaged in the construction of residential and non-residential buildings, established its own production of products, medicines, cars, household appliances and smartphones. We will tell you about the latter.
Smartphones and robots
Naked Science visited VinSmart's smartphone manufacturing plant and came as a surprise. After all, it is customary to demonize Asian industries: they say, these are factories almost underground, where hungry children do something in the twilight for a bowl of rice a day. A different picture appeared before us - a beautiful and new production. New - from the word "absolutely", because it was opened only in June 2018. Nevertheless, VinSmart already produces 23 million smartphones, 2.4 million smart TVs and 800 thousand air conditioners a year.
All this, by the way, is also planned to be released on the Russian market in 2020 (at the same time Vyong intends to open another plant here, larger than the current one, which will allow the production of much more goods and components for them).
The plant also directly cooperates with the world's leading manufacturer of processors for smartphones - Qualcomm Technologies Inc. The production itself is designed and built in accordance with all international standards (namely, IPC-A-610). The plant is located near Hanoi, on the territory of the Hoa Lac high-tech park, which can be called an analogue of Silicon Valley.
The size of the production site is impressive - 45, 2 thousand square meters, where almost a thousand people work. Before getting to production, every day they go through strict control: they put on overalls and heroically overcome special cleaning chambers that blow off all the dust from them. We had to go through the same procedure. The impressions are ticklish: powerful jets of air are blowing at you from all sides.
There should be no pollution in production - no more than 10 thousand particles are allowed per cubic meter of air. However, not only cleanliness is monitored here, but also the humidity, which should vary from 30 to 70 percent, and the temperature - its level should vary from 23 to 27 degrees. This is necessary for the equipment to work without interruptions. The factory also monitors electrostatic discharge to prevent damage to semiconductor electronic components.
We go to the holy of holies. Inside - everything is sterile white, as in the production of medicines. First of all, we are led through the complex of finished products. And this is one of the most interesting places at the plant. Smartphones here freeze, warm up, stretch, bend, scratch, vibrate, endlessly press the screen, drown in the dust, wet, hit on the granite floor and even … sit on them with the fifth point.
But the most remarkable thing is that it is not people who do this, but robots (there are not many people in production, but they practically do not participate in it, basically only control the operation of machines; although their work is certainly important, because machines have not yet learned to see own mistakes). Every trouble that can happen with a smartphone is analyzed and tested, a special machine is selected for each. A total of 39 testing stages, 18 of which fall on the assembly and packaging line.
By the way, about the assembly. Its lines stretch over the horizon and represent endless rows of SMT (Surface Mount Technology, which means "surface mount technology"). Each can be called the best in its niche. These are, for example, the ASM Siplace chip machine, the Omnimax convection heating oven, the Speedline automatic screen printer and other robots of American, Korean and German origin.
However, there are people here too - they pay almost no attention to us and focus their gaze on the computer screens, strictly following each of their tasks. We walk along the line of cars, watching as trays of boards, cases and batteries gradually turn into ready-made smartphones, which are finally packed into cardboard boxes. You can endlessly look at this process as if it were a fire: while one machine is “soldering” the insides, the other is already attaching the case to the future gadget. Each movement is precisely calibrated, like in a dance.
In general, the plant has 13 such automated lines for assembling and welding electronic components, the same number of lines for calibrating and testing chips, 12 packaging lines and the same number of screen production lines, 26 assembly production lines, several independent test production laboratories and five independent laboratory systems where cameras, sound, antennas, waves and other parameters of future devices are tested.
As we can see, unlike most other manufactures of smartphones and other electronic devices assembled in China, VinSmart relies on its own resources, attracting major international players and foreign experts. By the way, there are not so many countries in the world that are engaged in the production of smartphones at all - even fewer are those who develop them from scratch. So VinSmart is a pretty unique plant.
The only thing that is still being done outside of it is the design of gadgets, but in the near future the company plans to close this issue on itself by creating its own ODM division. Of course, there is still no escape from Qualcomm software and Samsung displays, but in terms of politics, Vietnam is a calm state, so it's hardly worth worrying about. And if it is, then the enterprising Vietnamese, it seems, will not be very upset, quickly establishing their line of anything.