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Learning how to wash a pillow correctly takes no time and can save you money in the long run by helping your bed pillows last longer. This is important if you’ve invested in the best pillow for your sleep style – you want your money’s worth, right?
Here, we’ll look at how to clean a pillow properly so it lasts longer, including which types can be washed in a washing machine and which pillows should only be spot-cleaned and hand-washed.
For expert advice, we turned to Melissa Danielson, Director of Product Design and Development at casper (opens in new tab)one of America’s best mattress and sleeping accessory brands to tell us about all pillow care.
How often should you wash pillows?
Overtime pillows become a mecca for dust mites, dead skin, sweat, body oils and bacteria, not to mention unsightly stains. Yes, sweat and body oils are two of the biggest culprits of why pillows turn yellow. (opens in new tab)
So how often should you clean yours? “Most pillows should be washed every six months, but others, like memory foam, need attention every two or three months.” says Danielson. “It’s good practice to keep more than one pillow in your bed to change if you feel like you’re losing strength.”
If you have a down or down pillow, ‘dragging’ it every morning will help you regain your shape and vigor.
How to wash pillows in a washing machine
Worried about your washing machine destroying all that pretty stuffing inside your pillow? Don’t worry, you can wash most pillows this way. However, for the best results – and to avoid ruining your pillow and washing machine – there are a few things to consider first. To get started, check the labels or company website for specific cleaning instructions.
“Many pillows survive in a washing machine, but they need a little different care,” explains Danielson. You don’t want filler clogging up your washing machine.
“To avoid unevenly distributed loads, always throw two pillows at a time. You should also set the spin cycle speed to a higher setting to remove as much excess water as possible. ”
How to identify clean pillows
If you’ve seen visible marks or stains on your pillow, clean them first to get the worst out. “Spot cleaning can be done with a regular dish towel and a mild soap solution. Gently scrub the stains, taking extra care with foam pads as you don’t want them to rip.”
However, wiping blood off a pillow is a little different, as Danielson tells us: “Once blood dries it can leave a permanent mark, so it’s critical to be proactive. You don’t want the blood to stay on too long because the blood clots and can quickly stick to the pillow.”
Keep these expert tips in mind when cleaning pillows, and many are similar to those recommended for cleaning a mattress:
1. Use cold water
“Always use cold water when removing bloodstains from pillows and pillowcases. Hot water can further set the stain and make it more difficult to remove. As soon as you notice the stain, remove the pillowcase and place the spot under cold running water. This will help eliminate excess blood.”
2. Wipe the stain – don’t rub
Take a cool, damp cloth and wipe the stained area – never rub. “Rubbing the stain can spread the blood and cause it to seep further into the pillow,” explains Danielson. “Rubbing the stain can help remove any excess blood that hasn’t already soaked in.”
3. Soak in cold water
After cleaning the stain, Danielson recommends soaking the pillow and pillowcase in cold water. “You can do this in a bathtub or basin. Let the pillow and pillowcase soak for about 30 minutes.”
4. Use a stain remover
After you’ve soaked your pillow and pillowcase, it’s time to bring out the big guns and use a powerful stain fighter. “There are several household options you can use (oxygen peroxide, lemon juice, baking soda, white vinegar, aspirin, etc). We recommend using hydrogen peroxide and water. If you have a darker pillowcase, test using hydrogen peroxide on a small section first to make sure it doesn’t discolor.”
how to wash pillows
Made from the soft fibers found under the exterior of a duck, goose, or swan, down pillows are one of the easiest types to wash. “They can be cleaned in a washing machine at any temperature of the wash cycle, but be aware that warm water and hot water can shrink the fabric,” warns Danielson.
“Use a mild laundry detergent and add an extra rinse cycle to rid your pillows of the remaining soap.”
Similar to down pillows, down pillows include feathers taken from the back and wings of a duck or goose. As Danielson tells us, “Feather pillows can usually be washed in the same way as down pillows.
“Any temperature can be used in the washing machine, but a cooler temperature is recommended to prevent fabric shrinkage. Use a gentle cycle setting and an extra rinse cycle to remove remaining suds.”
How to clean memory foam pillows
As their name suggests, this type of pillow contains memory foam and, according to Danielson, they need a little extra TLC when washing.
“Avoid the washing machine and instead choose to wash your hands or vacuum and treat on site. The best way to wash your hands is to fill the tub with water and a mild, low-sudsing detergent.”
To do this, Danielson recommends the following: “Soak the pillow and allow the soap and water solution to fully penetrate. Rinsing can be done in the same way.”
This video has some extra tips on how to wash pillows without a machine…
How to dry pillows after washing
After cleaning the pillows in the washing machine or cleaning them in place, it’s time to dry them. “Feather and down pillows can be dried in a dryer without heat, air dry, or low dry,” advises Danielson.
“Use clean tennis balls or dryer balls to fluff pillows and prevent lumps. Pillows that cannot be dried in a dryer, such as memory foam, should be air dried. If possible, let them hang on a clothesline outside – but only when it’s not damp.”
Extra pillow care tips
Taking care of your pillow helps it last longer, and in addition to learning how to wash it (and how often), consider investing in a good quality pillow protector. These fabric strips work in the same way as mattress pads and essentially act as a barrier between the pillow and any accidental stains and spills, as well as sweat, facial oils, and bacteria.
You can also wash your pillow protectors much more often than pillows, and this will keep your real pillow healthier and fresher for longer. We especially recommend a pillow protector if you’re prone to night sweats or using facial moisturizers or oils at night. The same goes for hair products – any moisture that can seep into your pillow means it will need to be cleaned more often.
If you need a new pillow, we’ve included some of our options below…
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As with previous GT phones from the brand, the Realme GT Neo 3 offers several flagship-challenging specifications in a reasonably priced mid-range package.
The headline feature, in this variant at least, is a 150W wired charger that can get your battery up to 100% in 15 minutes. The implementation isn’t massively reassuring (why do we need to toggle it on?), and it’s a shame the battery has been somewhat downscaled by way of a trade-off, but this is impressive stuff for a phone of this price.
Also reasonably impressive is the Realme GT Neo 3’s 50MP main camera, which showcases a flagship-level Sony IMX766 sensor. It would have been more noteworthy had we not already seen this component in even cheaper phones like the Realme 9 Pro Plus and the OnePlus Nord 2T, but it’s capable of taking decent pictures in a variety of lighting conditions nonetheless.
We’re much less impressed with the phone’s two supplementary cameras, which provide sub-par ultra-wide shots and forgettable macro snaps. There’s no telephoto either, though that’s far from a given at this price.
Performance here is unimpeachable. While it’s true that the Realme GT Neo 3 misses out on a recognized flagship processor, the Dimensity 8100 chip it runs on is impressive in all the ways that count.
At this price, the Realme GT Neo 3 faces stiff competition from Google’s Pixel 6, which tops it for its stand-out design, clean software, wireless charging provision, and class-leading camera. But the Realme GT Neo 3 competes well while providing a few telling benefits of its own.
It doesn’t dazzle in the way that the Realme 9 Pro Plus did a few months prior, either with its design or its value proposition, but the Realme GT Neo 3 is a fine upper-mid-range choice nonetheless.
Realme GT Neo 3 price and availability
- Will cost around £599 (about $750 / AU$1,040)
- Confirmed to be coming to the UK
The Realme GT Neo 3 will cost £599 (about $750 / AU$1,040) for the sole 12GB/256GB version that’s set to launch in the UK.
At this UK pricing, the Realme GT Neo 3 is running head-on into the Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (at least with its contemporary pricing), whilst comfortably undercutting the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S22.
Realme GT Neo 3 design
- High screen-to-body ratio
- Similar design to the GT Neo 2
Holding the phone alongside its predecessor the Realme GT Neo 2, the GT Neo 3 looks and feels very familiar. It has very similar proportions at 163.3 x 75.6 x 8.2mm, though it shaves off 12g to weigh a more reasonable 188g.
The main difference relates to the rear panel, which has a slightly textured finish rather than its dead-smooth forebear. It’s still slightly slippery, but this represents a handling improvement. The new texture also makes the GT Neo 3 more resistant to fingerprints.
Our model comes in Asphalt Black, but we detected a slight green shimmer from certain angles. The model that’s getting most of the attention is the Nitro Blue version, which comes with two go-faster stripes and Realme’s ‘Dare to Leap’ slogan emblazoned on the back. Your mileage may vary over which is preferable.
Another difference is a slightly reconfigured camera module with more prominence given to the new super-sized wide sensor. Around the front it’s much the same, but with the hole-punch notch shifting from the left corner to the center.
There’s a very impressive 94.2% screen-to-body ratio, which reflects the fact that the bezels are uniformly minimal. Less premium is the phone’s plastic frame, though it doesn’t feel especially cheap to hold.
That display is fronted by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which should make it suitably scratch resistant.
Another welcome touch is the provision of stereo speakers, though we’re seeing such a provision making an appearance in an increasing number of mid-range and even budget phones now. They’re loud and clear, if a little reedy compared to more expensive phones.
Realme GT Neo 3 display
- 6.7-inch 1080 x 2412 screen
- 120Hz refresh rate
Realme has supplied a large, good quality 6.7-inch AMOLED display for the GT Neo 3. It packs a 1080 x 2412 or FHD+ resolution, and benefits from a full 120Hz refresh rate.
This isn’t the kind of LTPO panel that you get with flagship phones, which means this refresh rate isn’t totally flexible. That’s not great news for the screen’s efficiency, but it doesn’t make a difference when it comes to sheer responsiveness, which is on point.
The GT 3’s screen upper brightness setting is fine, though it falls short of out-and-out flagship phones when in strong outdoor lighting. In all other conditions, it proves more than adequate.
There’s a responsive in-display optical fingerprint sensor towards the bottom of the device. Like the Realme 9 Pro Plus before it, this can be used as a heart rate monitor if you dive into the Realme Labs section of the Settings menu.
Realme GT Neo 3 camera
- Decent 50MP main sensor
- No telephoto lens
While the headline addition to the Realme GT Neo 3 might be that 150W charger, its camera upgrade might prove to be the more meaningful addition.
The phone’s 50MP wide camera is backed by a Sony IMX766 sensor. It’s not the freshest or most impressive image sensor on the market any longer, but it’s still a flagship (or at least flagship-adjacent) component. This main camera yields suitably crisp, vibrant shots in most lighting conditions, elevating it above much of the mid-range crowd.
That said, if this isn’t exactly the same camera system that can be found in the significantly cheaper Realme 9 Pro Plus, as well as the OnePlus Nord 2T, then it’s at least very similar indeed. The same Sony IMX766 sensor lies at the heart of all three phones.
We have no issue with the shared main sensor, but we’d expect some improvements from that 8MP ultra-wide camera, which represents a noticeable step down in detail, dynamic range, and color balance. The difference in quality is not a flattering look.
Meanwhile, the shared lack of a dedicated telephoto is slightly harder to swallow in a £600 phone than it is in a £400 phone. No, the Pixel 6 doesn’t have one either, but we complained about it in that review too, and Google’s phone takes even more impressive pictures elsewhere to make up for the omission.
Google didn’t bother including a pointless 2MP macro sensor on its own mid-range phone either. We understand the box-ticking merits of bundling it into a cheaper phone, but at this end of the market its inclusion feels faintly insulting.
Realme has included an optional AI camera mode, which is off by default. In general shooting, this serves to brighten and punch up the colors, which helped even out some challenging HDR situations (such as when shooting up at a tower against a bright but cloudy sky) and murkier food shots. In general landscape shooting, however, the AI could make scenes look a little artificially colorful, and we preferred to leave it off.
Night shots are decent quality, courtesy of that large 1/1.56″ main sensor and OIS. Realme’s Night mode does well to brighten scenes out without making them look too false.
The 16MP front camera takes adequate selfies, provided there aren’t any extremely bright areas to blow things out, though there’s a certain softness and a lack of depth to its snaps.
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Realme GT Neo 3 specs and performance
- MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chipset
- 12GB of RAM
Realme has equipped its upper-mid-ranger with a brand new MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chip. Built using a thoroughly modern 5nm process, it’s firmly towards the top end of the mid-range processor tier, and even troubles a few flagship rivals.
This is evident from average Geekbench 5 scores of 966 single-core and 4061 multi-core. That latter score in particular handily beats flagship phones powered by the Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 by 400 to 600 points.
With 12GB of RAM as standard, together with 256GB of internal storage, this is essentially flagship spec.
In practical terms, we were able to run Genshin Impact on High settings and 60fps with highly playable results. Again, that’s flagship territory.
For day-to-day running, the Realme GT Neo 3 doesn’t miss a beat. Everything flies by in full 120Hz, with no discernible stutters. Its performance really is indistinguishable from phones selling for twice the money.
Realme GT Neo 3 software
- Runs Android 12
- Realme UI 3.0 comes with a number of preinstalled apps
The Realme GT Neo 3 runs on Android 12 with Realme’s own custom Realme UI 3.0 on top. It’s the exact same interface we ran through in the Realme 9 Pro Plus, so it comes with the same warnings about bloatware.
You get the same preinstalled offering of Amazon Shopping, Booking.com, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It would have been nice to have these presented as a choice during the installation process, but it’s far from the most egregious examples of front-loading such apps that we’ve seen.
The Android 12 side of things provides a limited Wallpaper theming element, but it’s not exactly Material You as experienced on the Pixel 6. For all its customization options, Realme UI 3.0 can feel almost old-fashioned compared to stock Android and iOS.
In general, though, there’s little to complain about with Realme UI 3.0 on the Realme GT Neo 3. It’s relatively clean, it runs well at the full 120Hz refresh rate, and it leaves the Google Feed and app tray provisions exactly where they should be.
Realme GT Neo 3 battery life
- 4,500mAh battery offers reasonable stamina
- 150W charger juices it up in just 15 minutes
So far so consistently competent, but Realme has made a rare hardware error with the Realme GT Neo 3’s battery. In this variant of the phone, you only get a 4,500mAh cell.
To be clear, other territories get a version with a significantly larger 5000mAh cell. There’s a payoff for this, which we’ll get to in due order, suffice to say that we’re not sure it’s one that’s worth making.
While the Realme GT Neo 3’s stamina is far from bad, it also fails to impress. On an average 16-hour day with a little over 3 hours of screen-on time – what we’d call moderate usage – we found that the Neo 3 would drop to around 35 – 40%.
That’s far from a reason to call panic stations, but it’s not unusual for a well-optimized Android phone with a 5000mAh battery to hit 50% and beyond under similar circumstances.
That trade-off we mentioned comes from the provision of rapid 150W charging in the western model. Other territories get 80W charging.
You’ll have to activate rapid charging manually in the Settings menu, which tells you that it’s perhaps not the best solution for those concerned about battery longevity or heat build-up.
Once active, we were able to charge the phone up to 100% in just 15 minutes, which is undeniably impressive. But then, the 80W model gets you to full in just over 30 minutes, which is hardly slow. We would have preferred the extra stamina, to be frank.
Another thing you miss out on here is wireless charging. While this isn’t exactly a normal feature at such less-than-flagship pricing, Google’s Pixel 6 does give you wireless charging for the same money.
Should you buy the Realme GT Neo 3?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
First reviewed: June 2022
Play time: 12 hours
Platform: PC (via Steam)
As the spiritual successor to 2015’s PS4 hit Until Dawn, Supermassive Games’ The Quarry has big, bloodstained boots to fill. Like its predecessor, The Quarry presents itself as an interactive horror film for teens. It’s a label the game proudly wears on its ripped sleeve, not shying away from the tried-and-true tropes of the popular horror subgenre.
The setting at Hackett Quarry – a summer camp located in upstate New York – is immediately evocative of Friday the 13th. And that’s entirely by design. Our nine unlucky teen campers find themselves struggling to survive unspeakable horrors of all kinds as one last impromptu night of partying goes deadly south.
The name of the game becomes a perfect synonym, then. It’s not just the background, but what our protagonists become over the course of the narrative. They’re being hunted, and it’s your quick thinking and decision-making that will help them make it through or meet a hard end.
The quarry price and release date
- What is it? An interactive horror adventure from the minds behind Until Dawn
- Release date of: June 10, 2022
- What can I play on? PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
- Price: $69.99 / £69.99 / $89.99
With a little help from my friends
As a character-driven narrative, The Quarry runs the risk of sounding trite and unsatisfying. After all, many of the main characters fit into typical horror tropes. There’s the cocky athlete, the shy introvert, and the well-reasoned, cautious type — the triumvirate that fills many horror movies.
Fortunately, The Quarry isn’t content to leave it at that. For the most part, he builds his characters well above these archetypal foundations to create a group that is likable, unpredictable, and sometimes quite nuanced.
This is largely due to the solid script, but also the surprisingly excellent performances from The Quarry’s Hollywood talent cast. Actors like Ariel Winter, Brenda Song, Justice Smith and Miles Robbins give wonderfully believable twists as carefree teenagers well out of their depth. Meanwhile, veteran stars like Ted Raimi, Lance Henriksen and Lin Shaye portray wonderfully frightening characters whose motives remain mysterious for much of the story.
Special mention, though, must be given to Grace Zabriskie, playing a wonderfully unhinged fortune teller, Eliza, who you’ll visit between chapters. Her role is somewhat analogous to that of Until Dawn’s Peter Stormare character – though less critical of her decisions and more foreboding when it comes to how events might unfold.
Eliza’s role in the narrative is tied to one of The Quarry’s many types of collectibles: tarot cards. Over the course of the game, you can find a total of 22 of these cards scattered around the environment, one for each major arcana in a typical tarot deck.
When you visit Eliza at the end of a chapter, she lets you choose a tarot card found to witness a future event in history. These moments are brief, but they can offer clues as to how you might use certain items you find, or avoid a grisly death that befalls one of the teen counselors.
Speaking of collectibles, it’s not just tarot cards you’ll be scouring environments. There are all sorts of hidden objects throughout the entire length of Hackett Quarry. These items will expand the Quarry’s knowledge, or better yet, allow you to discover decisions or plots that would not have occurred otherwise.
As such, whenever you gain full control of an advisor, this is your cue to research each area thoroughly. And while the lack of collectibles can be frustrating, they are a strong incentive for finalists to replay The Quarry and explore alternate story paths.
These boots weren’t made for walking.
Frustratingly, the foot controls in The Quarry share many of the same drawbacks as Until Dawn. Outside of action scenes, the characters’ movement is quite slow. You can speed it up a bit thanks to a dedicated ‘power walk’ button, but that heavy pace can make scouring each area for secrets a chore, especially when going up or down stairs, which is unnecessarily glacial.
General navigation can also feel quite stiff and slow. Fixed camera angles ensure the game’s cinematography is on point, but it does mean that it’s all too common for your character to get caught awkwardly in a setting you may not have seen. And with an unusual touch of realism, your character won’t turn into a dime.
Compounding problems with motor control are prompts to examine objects in the environment, which can be painstaking. Occasionally, you will be standing on or near an item of interest, but no warning will appear. In these cases, you will need to fiddle with your character until the prompt appears. This doesn’t happen often, but it can reduce tension when it does.
In general, however, these control problems are recouped by their responsiveness in other areas. In particular, quicktime’s action-packed scenarios and other contextual events feel much more polished. And as a result, the constant flow of the story is kept intact when it matters most.
On the subject of such pieces, these largely take away your character’s movement controls in favor of quick-time events. These are totally non-intrusive and contextually make sense with what is happening on screen. There will also be times when you will need to aim and fire a weapon in the allotted time or hold your breath to avoid a lurking threat. These scenarios aren’t too difficult, but they are incredibly tense.
walk the way
The final but perhaps most crucial element of control is in the Quarry’s decision making. Often you will have two options on how to respond to something or how to act in the moment. Many of these decisions activate the Path Chosen system. This is The Quarry’s branching narrative feature and is comparable to the butterfly effect of Until Dawn.
Certain decisions may seem insignificant at first, but they can come back to benefit or bite you much later in the story. The heaviest decisions and failed QTEs can lead to the death of a character. These events can be undone by The Quarry’s new Death Rewind feature, which is on by default, and allows you to retry a segment to save that character’s life. However, I recommend disabling this feature for your first playthrough. While it’s literally a lifesaver on repeat play, I felt it cheapened the first blind run experience a bit if I could just alter a character’s dire fate on the fly.
The Path Chosen segments are recorded in their own section of the pause menu and are all charmingly represented by schlocky VHS box art depicting the game’s characters and events. They will be updated periodically as you progress, serving as a reminder of how your early choices affected events much later in the story.
a place to die
The filmic presentation of The Quarry is, without a doubt, the exceptional look. The environments are as impressive as they are atmospheric. From sweeping lakeside views to small touches like specks of light passing through a sunny cabin, nearly every area you visit in The Quarry is packed with detail.
The characters are remarkably photorealistic, but rarely – if ever – get lost in mysterious valley territory. Facial reactions and expressions feel natural, and little flourishes like furrowed brows and pursed lips really help flesh out the characters in non-verbal ways.
Being an interactive horror movie, you would also expect The Quarry to be overflowing with buckets of gore and gore. On that front, the game doesn’t disappoint, and the little touches here really help ground The Quarry firmly in its roots.
If you like games that prioritize an interactive narrative experience, The Quarry is a must-play. Not only is Supermassive’s latest game more than capable of following in Until Dawn’s unpredictable footsteps, it’s also capable of surpassing its predecessor with aplomb – despite the control issues that continue to haunt its developer.
It’s certainly not for the squeamish or easily scared, but The Quarry is a superbly refreshing take on the studio’s narrative-driven formula, and it will have you coming back to get murdered all over again, even after the credits.
Play time: 13 hours
Platform: Nintendo Switch
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo console without Mario’s sports vacation, and on Switch we’ve already seen a lot. Golf, tennis and the Olympics may be the famous plumber’s usual choices, but every now and then we find him on less familiar terrain. It’s been 15 years since he last entered the football field, but finally, Nintendo has returned to the beautiful game once again with Mario Strikers: Battle League Football.
Bringing back the original developers, Next Level Games, Battle League is a family pleasure. It does come with a few changes, though. Some of them come down to numbers – there are fewer playable characters and you can no longer score six goals at once, a little farce. Crucially though, what we have looks more refined and more dexterous, and it’s a lot of fun with friends.
Mario Strikers: Battle League price and release date
- What is it? A 5v5 arcade football game with Mario and friends.
- Release date of? June 10, 2022
- What can I play on? Nintendo Switch
First: forget about formation tactics. That’s 5v5, so you’ll be writing down each character’s unique stats. For example, Bowser has powerful punches and hard-hitting tackles, Toad is fast and great for passing, and Luigi is your classic ‘all-rounder’. It’s worth evaluating your picks, and you can pick everyone on your team except the goalie, Boom Boom. You try to argue over positions with a personified red shell.
Battle League comes with three different modes, starting with a ‘quick battle’ option. From here, you can go online or fight the CPU, but if you like local multiplayer, the game supports a maximum of eight people. So, get ready to share those Joy-Cons. When ready, each character can kick, pass, throw the ball, disarm and throw items at the opposing team – all classic moves, plus the ones FIFA players wish they could get away with. If you’re dribbling and there’s no one to pass, you now have a quick dodge, accessed by pressing the right joystick – a useful addition.
All actions can be loaded with consecutive passes, and while you can’t control the goalie, Boom Boom isn’t sloppy. Angling your shots is key – simply pressing A without direction rarely gets past him. There’s a real sense of skill when playing and for every match won, Battle League awards coins, used to unlock new gear such as gloves and helmets. Each item increases a specific stat by two points, but for every perk gained it will deduct two points from another one, so you cannot create a super player. Mario may be an icon, but he’s not a god.
keep it clean
Each character has a unique special shot, an ability that was previously limited to the captain of your team. And occasionally, a colorful ‘Strike Orb’ drops onto the field, which once collected carries your entire team. This only lasts 20 seconds, but firing a charged kick into the middle of your opponent triggers a Hyper Strike, opening up the possibility of an unstoppable kick, and a goal so powerful it’s worth two points.
It’s these moments that really showcase Battle League’s stunning visuals. Hyper Strikes benefit from comic book panels when characters take the picture, and while I don’t necessarily need to see Wario hitting a ball with his ass, I certainly laugh at it. As for Waluigi, seeing him put a rose in his mouth during filming is the dream of many Nintendo fans. Next Level did a good job of livening up those moments – Battle League is a game full of little flourishes.
It’s an easy game to pick up casually, despite its nuances and special rules – while more competitive players will be pleased to know that the game feels as balanced as a ball on a pro’s forehead. If a character isn’t strong enough, you can’t take on opponents that hard – but you may find that light feet like Toad keep catching you as you run, forcing you to continually pass. Elsewhere, items can even things out if your opponent isn’t playing well – they’re often awarded to victims of a dirty tackle. Between red shells, bananas and bob-ombs, Battle League borrows heavily from Mario Kart, but item usage never feels excessive or threatens to destabilize the beautiful game at the Strikers core.
Less Champions League, more Europe
In addition to quick play, Cup Battles allow you to participate in one of six tournaments, solo or co-op. A cup can be won after three rounds – but if you lose the first match, you’ll end up in a losers bracket. Win this match and you’re back in contention, but losing again will eliminate you. Unless you pay a rematch fee, at least. Despite their dangerous structure, winning these cups is quick work and there’s no real incentive to come back once you’ve completed one. You won’t find a story mode like Mario Tennis Aces or Mario Golf: Super Rush either, leaving this corner of the game pretty empty.
Evidently, Next Level has directed its energies towards Strikers Club, the Battle League’s online mode. This starts with creating a club (or joining someone else’s), choosing a name, kit and stadium. Ranked seasons last for one week, followed by an off-season week, before repeating. The Strikers Club also grants tokens to customize your stadium – changing the fence posts, goal line decor and stadium themes. It’s a lovely touch, but bizarrely, none of this seems to be available in Battle League’s offline modes, where aesthetic updates would be equally welcome. Perhaps we can expect a more complete feature set after some updates; Nintendo has already promised more characters after launch.
Mario Strikers: Battle League is a great game that clearly got its chance very early on. However, you’ll find a nice view of 5v5 football here with the Super Mario team. It feels more skill-based than its predecessors, the multiplayer is frenetic fun and it’s packing a gorgeous art style. Solo content might be missing, but if you can look beyond that, you’re in for a great time until the final whistle.
Ever since Jurassic Park achieved a massive box office success in 1993, the dinosaur-centric movie franchise has been yearning to recapture a similar high. The various films in the series have tried and failed to replicate the iconic sci-fi action-adventure movie, and truth be told, the series’ trajectory is on the decline with each passing entry.
For Jurassic World: Dominion, so the pressure is really high. The sixth and seemingly final main entry in the franchise is tasked with simultaneously pulling down the curtain on a series that has lost its luster, putting a limit on its two film trilogies, and delivering more titanic, thrilling dino-on-dino action.
Much like the cataclysmic event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, Dominion is something of an extinction-level event for the Jurassic film franchise. A bland, ‘by the numbers’ movie, Dominion hammers the final nail into the coffin of the Jurassic film series with a story filled with a veneer of style but very little substance. And that’s a shame – there are some genuinely good moments that, if expanded upon, could have been more captivating. As it stands, even these can’t save Jurassic World: Dominion for what it is: a movie that’s too full, too long, and too predictable.
Life, uh, finds a way – unfortunately
Set four years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Dominion finds humanity trying and failing to coexist with the dinosaurs unleashed by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) during Fallen. . kingdom climax.
The trio now live in a remote location to keep Maisie safe – she is a clone of Charlotte Lockwood, aka her mother, and nefarious organizations and mercenaries are looking for her so they can uncover the secrets of her DNA. Despite Owen and Claire’s best efforts, the now teenager (and rebellious) Maisie is kidnapped alongside Beta – the baby of Blue, the velociraptor trained by Owen in Jurassic World. Like Maisie, Beta is an identical copy of Blue – who managed to reproduce without a mate – so her DNA is just as special as Maisie’s.
Meanwhile, the US is struggling to fight a giant swarm of genetically modified locusts that is voraciously destroying crops across the agricultural heartland – that is, beyond the modified crops owned by Biosyn, a villainous genetics company. Convinced that Biosyn is responsible for creating the locusts to control the world’s food supply, Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) enlists the help of fellow paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to investigate further. .
As the groups race to rescue Maisie and Blue and stop Biosyn founder Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) from executing his master plan, respectively, it isn’t long before they collide and, by proxy, are forced to decide the fate of the… humanity. , its dinosaur brethren, and the world itself.
If the plot of Dominion seems a little convoluted, that’s because it is. It’s easy to follow – this is definitely a movie where you can disengage your brain – but it tries to do a lot narratively. Dominion is overloaded with plot exposition, unnecessary detours, and countless action sequences that don’t thrill or delight; factors that get in the way and offer nothing substantial to the scenarios that unfold. They’re included because of that and make Dominion feel like it’s just going through the motions.
Equally frustrating are the film’s simultaneous stories. Trailers show Owen and company joining forces with the film’s original trio much earlier, but it’s not until the film’s later stages that their plots intertwine. By the time we actually get to see the chemistry shine and crackle between the main actors in the film, it’s too little, too late. His desperation to survive and flee Biosyn’s main headquarters becomes the main engine of the plot, preventing meaningful interactions between the characters from taking place.
Dominion’s overarching plot is also unnecessarily formulaic and predictable. It’s simple to figure out where the story is going next – an aspect that isn’t helped by the amount of expository information delivered by the cast. And even though the best of the film are put in dangerous situations, you never get the feeling that any of them are actually in danger. It removes any semblance of tension from the film’s most suspenseful action scenes and you get the feeling that, in the end, all the main actors will be fine.
With so many superfluous additions, Dominion’s two-hour, 26-minute runtime seems like a chore. There’s a serious case to be made for eliminating 30 minutes of content here; a decision that would have made for a firmer and more cohesive narrative. As it stands, Dominion is a bummer that is largely lacking in cutting-edge moments and efficient character development.
Let’s get the gang together again…
Given how much-loved the original Jurassic Park movie is, it won’t be surprising to learn that the best parts of Dominion are the ones steeped in nostalgia.
The reintroductions of Neill, Dern and Goldblum are delightful, with each bringing their characters’ characteristic sarcasm, daring, charm and bravery to the proceedings in a satisfying way. It’s a genuinely crowd-pleasing moment when the three are reunited too, Dominion marking the first time they’ve shared considerable screen time since the 1993 film.
For a movie that wants to push the button on sentimentality as quickly as possible, Dominion is laced with nods, callbacks and references to Jurassic Park itself. Sure, the old dinosaur-based attraction is mentioned by name, but it’s other parts of the Dominion plot that are sure to make fans smile. Pampering them here would spoil the surprise, but rest assured, you’ll know them when you see them.
Interestingly, Jurassic World: Dominion is also a funny movie, sometimes unexpectedly. Yes, Goldblum’s trademark jokes and Neill’s sarcastic sensibility inevitably draw chuckles, but there are parts of Dominion that probably weren’t positioned as humorous subjects that turn out to be far more entertaining than intended. For a film as serious and dramatic as Dominion, its humor is an underrated but welcome addition.
Speaking of its heavy content, Dominion isn’t afraid to shove its thematic exploration in viewers’ faces. His environmental message is important, albeit a little on the nose, while his ‘humanity is bad, and here’s why’ agenda is easy to see. The latter is a theme that acts as a bottom line throughout the Jurassic series, and while it’s a little irritating to hear about it for the umpteenth time, at least it’s a consistent theme across an inconsistent film franchise.
And the action? Unsurprisingly, the best physical encounters in Dominion are the ones where two or more dinosaurs face off. We’re nearly 30 years into the Jurassic movie franchise, but it’s still as enjoyable as ever to see the series’ iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex brawling with another predator. It might not be to the taste of some movie buffs, but it’s the kind of big, silly fun Dominion needs.
It’s equally amusing to see these same dinosaurs take a chunk or two (or should it be several?) of their fleshy human prey, too. It shouldn’t be so pleasant to see these gigantic reptiles devouring people who get in their way, but it still is. Given the laborious nature of the film’s human-versus-human action, it’s pleasing that 29 years and six films later, the Jurassic series continues to offer either dino-on-dino or dino-on-human showdowns.
Jurassic World: Dominion feels like a fitting end to the dinosaur-based film series. The 1993 original aside, the franchise has been a mix of confusing, bloated narratives, slightly awkward dialogue, and a safe retelling of the same stereotypical narrative.
There are some redeeming features about Dominion. The return of Doctors Grant, Sattler and Malcolm is satisfying, it’s a funny and sometimes tender affair, and some action sequences – particularly those involving meat-eating dinosaurs – are suitably entertaining.
Unfortunately, though, there are too many mistakes with Dominion for it to be considered a good movie. Some fans don’t care if its Oscar-worthy story, its deeply significant themes, or its long runtime – they simply revel in the fact that Dominion produces more over-the-top dinosaur-based action. some humor and heartfelt moments along the way.
Still, Jurassic World: Dominion doesn’t even come close to capturing what made the first film in the series so special. It’s an unoriginal watch that doesn’t say anything worthwhile or novelty, nor does it make good use of its time. Much like the dinosaurs that have co-starred throughout the franchise, Dominion shows that, as of now, the Jurassic film series belongs to these gigantic and awe-inspiring reptiles: in the past.
Jurassic World: Dominion opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, June 10th.
Acer Spin 5 (2022): Two-minute preview
The Acer Spin 5 (2022) follows one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market, and from what we’ve seen so far, it will definitely continue the Spin 5’s legacy.
We’ve previewed an early pre-production unit of Spin 5, so we’ll have to see an actual production unit before we can comment specifically on its performance metrics vis a vis its predecessor or its competitors. Still, with that being said, the new Intel Alder Lake processor is definitely a nimble little CPU that chews through productivity tasks and general computing work with ease.
Here they are Acer Swift 5 (2022) preview configuration sent to for review:
CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P
Graphics: Intel iris Xe
HIT: 16 GB LPDDR5
Screen: 14 inch 16:10, 2560 x 1600p
Store: 1TB PCIe SSD
ports: 2 x Thuderbolt 4, 2 x USB Type-A, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x HDMI, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x Kensington
As far as design goes, the visualization unit we got is a rather utilitarian product that doesn’t put much emphasis on premium aesthetics, nor should it. But we also don’t expect much to change on that note, as Spin 5 was never particularly flashy, and that’s okay. There’s a place in the market for a 2-in-1 laptop that does exactly what it needs at a great price, and the Spin 5 certainly fills that niche very well. Once we get more details on the production units later this year, we’ll be able to say if it priced in, though.
That’s not to say the Spin 5 isn’t a well-designed product. It’s a pretty solid laptop in terms of build and is comfortably light. It doesn’t get very hot and there are plenty of ports, which is nice to see, especially considering how thin the laptop is.
The 16:10 display is great for note taking with the included pen, which has its own garage on the side that secures it with your laptop while also carrying it around.
The Wacom pen is a bit small, so if you’re looking for a more pen-like option, you might need to provide your own. Still, we definitely think the trade-off is worth it for the security of having a place to store and carry the pen with you on the go.
The webcam is full HD and the screen is crisp and clear, though not necessarily bright enough to use outdoors on a particularly sunny day. The keyboard and trackpad are comfortable, so it’s definitely a laptop you can use for a few hours without any problems.
The screen is also quite responsive to the pen, which has 4,096 pressure levels with tilt detection, making it good for note-taking and light sketching work on the go. With up to 16GB LPDDR5 and a Core i7 CPU, you’ll be able to run Adobe Photoshop and the like without too much trouble, although there’s plenty to do even with the best 2-in-1 laptops.
This would definitely be an on-the-go solution for starting some basic design work during your commute, rather than a complete replacement for a creative workstation at home or in the office. The 16:10 display doesn’t hurt, and makes it easy to take notes of what you’ll find with a 2-in-1 16:9 laptop.
This is a step back, in our opinion, from the Acer Spin 5 (2020), which had a 3:2 aspect ratio, so it was even better for that purpose, but 16:10 might be a better compromise for those who need that aspect ratio. wider view, but don’t want to feel like you’re being surrounded while taking notes.
We’ll be interested to see how the final design of the laptop shapes up, but even if nothing else changes, there’s a lot to appreciate about this 2-in-1. Especially as a back-to-school item, the Acer Spin 5 (2022) is taking shape. making it a great choice for anyone looking for more power than a Chromebook can provide but who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a flashier 2-in-1 company, although business users will definitely get their money’s worth with this one.
- First viewed in June 2022
Sony apparently decided some time ago that it doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel with each new version of its flagship smartphone, and each successive release of its flagship Xperia 1 phone has only brought a few minor tweaks and changes.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV is arguably the biggest upgrade we’ve seen in the series, with plenty of extra functions and tools to give it an edge over its predecessors and rivals. This is the closest we’ve seen Sony come to competing with the big dogs like Apple and Samsung, and we can actually see creative pros opting for the new Xperia over the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
It’s hard to say what the main improvement is as it will depend on your medium of choice.
Photographers will love the new continuous optical zoom, which lets you switch between 3.5x (85mm) and 5.2x (125mm) zoom without using digital zoom, which is fantastic for telephoto art. Videographers will like the ability to shoot in 4K and 120fps on all three rear lenses – including the new zoom one – as well as the front. Musicians will be fascinated by the new Music Pro recording app, which allows you to record your voice or instrument and mix and layer them on the spot.
Sony is also releasing this device for people who enjoy entertainment – there’s a built-in Bravia Core app (like on the company’s TVs), as well as a game streaming app that should come in handy for video game streamers playing mobile games. Also, there are many built-in entertainment apps from various brands.
The phone looks great, and this list of features will impress a lot of people, but this is still not a perfect phone. Our biggest gripe is the price – given that many countries are in a cost-of-living crisis, a price increase over the Xperia 1 III seems like a curious move, especially since many cheap phones offer many useful tools for mobile-based creatives today. in day.
Presumably, Sony expects the Xperia 1 IV’s unique features to become indispensable for professional photographers, videographers and other artists, enough to justify the phone’s high price tag. Judging by the fact that this is the fourth-gen Xperia 1, and the company hasn’t seen fit to lower its prices, you might be right.
Sony Xperia 1 IV pricing and availability
In the US, the Sony Xperia 1 IV is $1,599.99, while it costs £1,299.99 in the UK (and not for sale in Australia). The reason for this price discrepancy lies in the storage sizes – the US is only getting a 512GB model, while the UK is only getting a 256GB version.
To put this into context the Xperia 1 III cost $1,299.99 / £1,199.99 – this was for a 256GB model in both regions, so in the UK we can readily call the new version more expensive, but in the US a direct comparison is a little more complex (although the IV is still much more expensive, of course).
In Europe – including the UK – the Sony Xperia 1 IV goes on sale June 16th, but you’ll be waiting until September 1st in the US. And in Australia, you’ll wait a little longer (read: forever) as Sony hasn’t sold its latest generations of cell phones there.
Sony Xperia 1 IV design and display
Sony has kept the same look for its Xperia 1 IV that the latest versions of the Xperia have had – it’s a tall, angular device with flat edges and an understated design. This phone comes in black, purple and white, although we tested the less attractive black version.
The camera bump on the back looks indistinguishable from the 1 III, and there’s still a USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and expandable storage – you don’t need a SIM tool to pull out the SIM and microSD card slot. , which should be useful for storage card juggling creatives.
On the right edge of the phone is the volume button, the fingerprint sensor power button, and a shutter button for the camera. As with previous Sony phones, we’ve found the fingerprint sensor to be drastically worse than on other phones – although we’ve registered our thumb several times, the scanner has regularly failed to pick it up when we try to unlock the phone. Every time we wanted to use the device we had to pick up and lower our digit several times – very annoying!
While the design of the Sony Xperia 1 IV hasn’t seen many changes from previous models – something Sony fans probably don’t care about – the display has undergone a major upgrade.
On paper, the specs here are the same as before – it’s a 6.5-inch 4K 120Hz panel – but its maximum brightness is 50% higher than on the Xperia 1 III, making it better for viewing outdoors (or in minor degree anywhere, for that purpose).
It’s a great looking screen, and the 4K resolution will appeal to people who like to download high resolution movies – although many apps, especially in the gaming sphere, don’t support that high resolution on mobiles. After all, Sony is the only manufacturer to use it.
Sony Xperia 1 IV cameras and battery life
The Sony Xperia 1 IV has the same rear camera sensors as the high-end model – that means there are three 12MP snappers. They are accompanied by a 24mm ultra wide-angle and continuous optical telephoto lens, as well as a 0.3MP 3D time-of-flight sensor.
This continuous optical telephoto lens is one of the phone’s main selling points, as it allows you to travel between 3.5x zoom (or 85mm) and 5.2x zoom (125mm) optically, without having to use digital zoom or cropping. like most other cell phones use.
As a result, zoom photography is much more viable as a way of capturing subjects as you have some wiggle room with your framing. Telephoto isn’t just good for capturing distant shots, as its lovely-looking depth effect is also attractive for portrait shots, so Sony should come in handy for that too.
From a brief play with the cameras, the main and ultra-wide look comparable to the equivalent versions on Sony’s previous flagships, but the telephoto is genuinely a lot of fun to play with. This is a hands-on review, after all, so expect plenty of camera samples (and a more subtle review) for our full review.
Videographers also have a bone in the way, as all three of these lenses support 4K 120fps video recording, letting you enjoy the look of long-distance or ultra-wide video. This gives the Xperia an extra boost of versatility for movie production.
This also applies to the front camera, which has seen an improvement over the 1 III – it has a resolution of 12MP, up from 8MP on the last model, which allows for 4K and higher resolution photos as well.
If you’re not used to Sony Xperia phones, you might find the Xperia 1 IV daunting for photography. While most Android phones have similar camera apps, the Xperia is based on the Alpha Cameras UI, so you’ll need to look for functions you normally find easily – although a Basic mode will reduce this problem.
There’s also the return of the Cinema Pro app, which allows for Alpha-like video recording with many extra tools than in the standard camera app – its only change on the Xperia 1 IV is the aforementioned video recording changes.
There’s also a Video Pro app, which looks almost identical, and we’re not sure what the differences are between these two. Surely Sony could match them?
In terms of battery life, we still haven’t been able to test the device for a full battery cycle, but its 5,000mAh capacity (up 500mAh from last year) should allow you to get a full day of use more comfortably than before. But don’t expect two days of use.
Charging is at 30W, which is pretty slow in 2022 when we’ve seen phones reach 150W, but Sony says it’s focusing on making sure the battery doesn’t wear out for too long (which fast charging can affect).
Sony Xperia 1 IV performance and specs
Android stock fans rejoice as Sony has stuck to a clean version of Google’s software. This Xperia comes with Android 12 pre-installed, but it will likely get an update or two.
The Sony Xperia 1 IV comes with the latest generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which provides plenty of processing power for video editing and gaming.
We haven’t had time to test the Xperia for gaming, but previously we’ve found 21:9 aspect ratio devices (like this one) to be really useful for the display space they provide. Therefore, we are looking forward to running many game rounds using the screen.
The 12GB of RAM and 5G connectivity will also help. As we mentioned, the 1 IV in the UK gets 256GB of internal storage, while in the US there’s 512GB, but both have a microSD card slot for up to an extra 1TB.
Video game streamers – which we’re not, unfortunately – will take advantage of the many extra modes designed to make streaming mobile games easier. This includes easier capture card functionality and the ability to see stream comments as you play.
Another intriguing mode is Music Pro, which is an advanced form of the audio recording app that many phones have. You can record multiple tracks of yourself singing, speaking or playing an instrument, edit each layer, and use cloud computing to clean up the audio.
As for the extra modes, we have Bravia Core, from Sony’s Bravia TVs. This is basically a streaming app for company media, and with the phone you get a year of unlimited streaming of their main catalogue, plus five downloads of their blockbuster. It’s time to finally see all the Spider-Man movies!
In fact, there are also many pre-installed non-Sony apps: Netflix, Prime Video, Amazon Shopping, Tidal, LinkedIn, Booking.com and Facebook were already on the device.
Some of them make sense – Sony is positioning the Xperia 1 IV as an entertainment and creative powerhouse – but why Booking.com? Pre-installed apps border on bloatware in some cases.
We’re certainly looking forward to trying out all the different creativity tools on the Sony Xperia 1 IV – we already have a number of experimental features in mind, so expect lots of feedback in the future.
While the Sony Xperia 1 IV is a powerful tool for creatives and entertainment fans, its price (and feature set) ensures it’s just a niche device right now, so we don’t expect everyone to be excited about this type of phone.
But if you’re a professional photographer or videographer and you need a smartphone you can trust, then this is a great option, and we imagine it’ll make it to our list of the best camera phones very soon.
Last year’s OnePlus Nord 2 was a superb addition to the sub-£400 smartphone market, providing near-enough-flagship performance and camera capabilities for a much lower price.
It was so good, OnePlus didn’t even bother releasing a OnePlus 10 this year. The lines had seemingly become too blurred to warrant a separate lower-flagship release – or at least that’s how it seemed.
Now the OnePlus 2T is here with an extremely minor spec bump, and while it’s a fine phone to use, we’re a little puzzled as to why it exists. With reports suggesting that the OnePlus Nord 3 is still very much on the cards, its position in the wider range seems rather precarious.
With much the same 6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED display as the Nord 2, almost identical performance, and exactly the same camera and battery systems, this is a revision rather than a wholly new model.
It’s not quite identical to the Nord 2, though. OnePlus has brought across the speedy 80W charging from the OnePlus 10 Pro, as well as a slight faster and more efficient Dimensity 1300 processor. But we really are talking about marginal gains here.
Perhaps the biggest and most interesting advance relates to the pricing. With a new £369 (around $460/AU$655) price tag, the OnePlus Nord 2T instantly becomes one of the best all-round options in the mid-range category.
Its tidy design, clean software, crisp photographs, and accomplished all-round performance leave many a £500 and £600 phone looking precariously overpriced.
All in all, the OnePlus Nord 2T leaves us rather conflicted. While it’s undoubtedly a very good mid-range smartphone indeed, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s an incremental upgrade at best. At worst, it could be viewed as flat-out unnecessary.
OnePlus Nord 2T price and availability
The OnePlus Nord 2T hits shops on May 24, 2022, with two hardware variants on offer.
The entry-level model comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage at a price of £369 (around $460/AU$655). The step-up model will give you 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, and costs £469 (around $580/AU$830).
This represents a slight price decrease here in the UK, where the OnePlus Nord 2 started from £399 back in July 2021. At this price, the OnePlus Nord 2T also stands as a direct rival to the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus 5G and the Realme 9 Pro Plus.
OnePlus Nord 2T design
It’s fair to say that we weren’t blown away by the OnePlus Nord 2’s by-the-book design, and the OnePlus Nord 2T barely makes any effort to change that perception.
Once again it feels nice enough to hold, with Gorilla Glass to the front and rear surfaces and a metal-effect plastic frame. But the design language itself is pretty dull. Even the new Jade Fog (which we tested) and Grey Shadow (essentially black) shades seem a little muted.
The main difference here seems to come from the revised camera module, which is slightly squatter, and which increases the size of the circular sensor frames to something a little more interesting. We say ‘interesting’, but the effect of the ultra-wide sensor being pushed up to the top of its mounting leaves the phone looking a little cross-eyed.
It’s almost exactly the same size as the OnePlus Nord 2, give or take the odd fraction of a millimetre, with dimensions of 159.1 x 73.2 x 8.2mm. It weighs just a single gram more at 190g.
Of course, all of this means that the Nord 2T feels relatively compact in the pocket. Together with a familiar curved rear, it sits just as well in the hand, though our Jade Fog model seems prone to displaying all of your sweaty finger smudges.
OnePlus Nord 2T display
The OnePlus Nord 2T features a 6.43-inch AMOLED display that will be familiar to any Nord 2 owners. OnePlus has confirmed that it’s the same screen as the Nord 2, with the minor addition of dual ambient light sensors.
The latter helps OnePlus to better adjust the display’s brightness according to your environment. It’s not the sort of thing you’ll notice, but it’s a welcome tweak nonetheless.
As before, this is a nicely proportioned, sufficiently sharp 1080 x 2400 screen, with a smooth but hardly class-dominating 90Hz refresh rate.
Colors are accurate, while the peak brightness is usable rather than flat out impressive.
Together with a flat form factor and a speedy and reliable in-display fingerprint sensor, it’s a thoroughly pleasant display to use and view media content on.
All in all it’s a close match for the Realme 9 Pro Plus, but it falls a little short of the 6.67-inch 120Hz behemoth of the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus 5G.
OnePlus Nord 2T cameras
At the risk of repeating ourselves, the OnePlus Nord 2T has the exact same rear camera hardware as the OnePlus Nord 2.
That means a 50MP Sony IMX766 wide sensor with OIS, an 8MP 120-degree ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP mono sensor. You also get the same 32MP selfie camera.
Once again, though, it’s all about that main sensor. The Sony IMX766 is a huge 1/1.56″ sensor, which is way bigger than we’re used to seeing at this price point – aside from the Nord 2 and the Realme 9 Pro Plus.
The results are as impressive here as they were on those two phones, with plenty of detail. The optional AI assistant pumps up the colors, which some will prefer, but we generally preferred the more natural results we captured with unassisted shots.
Taking pictures of subjects creates a nice natural depth of field and crisp edges, with nice natural skin tones.
OnePlus claims that the real improvements here are AI-based, and that the quality of Night mode shots in particular have taken a step forward. We didn’t have the Nord 2 to hand to compare, but we were certainly pleased with the crisp, evenly lit shots we obtained. They weren’t quite flagship standard, but they’re far closer in quality to high-end phones than to cheaper handsets.
Unsurprisingly, the 8MP ultra-wide camera doesn’t live up to that superb main sensor. Detail in particular falls way off, especially when the light starts to drop, and the tone is generally paler. They’re usable, but the vast majority of the time you’ll want to stick with that 1x.
2x zoomed shots are surprisingly usable given the lack of a dedicated telephoto. You can thank that large, sharp, pixel-packed main sensor again for this.
Video capture has also been enhanced by OnePlus’s AI push, with an AI Highlight mode successfully helping to even out backlit scenes, keeping the subject clearly lit. There’s also support for 960fps slo mo videos.
Selfie shots are generally of a decent standard (this is the same selfie camera as the OnePlus 10 Pro), and it worked reasonably well to rein in the bright highlights on a particularly sunny day. I did spot some weird edge artefacts on some of of the shots, however.
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OnePlus Nord 2T performance and specs
Perhaps the first major difference between the OnePlus Nord 2 that we’ve discussed so far is the move from a Dimensity 1200 chip to a Dimensity 1300.
When you really get down to it, though, it isn’t really much of an upgrade. Yes, the production process used is a smaller 6nm (vs 7nm), which means that the Nord 2T runs a little cooler and more efficiently.
In performance terms, however, the difference seems negligible. In fact, an average Geekbench 5 score of 576 single-core and 2757 multi-core evens out to about the same.
There’s a more pronounced bump in the GPU stakes, where a 3DMark Wild Life benchmark score of 4623 (27.70fps) represents a roughly 10% increase over the Nord 2. But we’re hardly talking a night and day ramp up here.
Indeed, the main practical performance gain might come from a claimed 14% reduction in download and installation times.
Of course, the Nord 2 was notable for performing above its price point (the super-speedy Poco F3 being something of an outlier at the time), so this isn’t necessarily a complaint. Being able to play the notoriously punishing Genshin Impact on High/60fps graphical settings without the whole thing slowing to single digit frame rates is pretty impressive here.
It certainly outperforms the Realme 9 Pro Plus, which is the closest thing to the Nord 2T/Nord 2 in terms of the overall package.
All this is aided by a generous allotment of either 8 or 12GB of RAM, which is the kind of option you expect to find in the flagship tier.
OnePlus Nord 2T software
OnePlus has bundled the Nord 2T with its custom Oxygen OS 12.1 UI, which sits on top of Android 12. It’s promising two major Android updates and three years of security updates.
Oxygen OS has lost a little of its slick lustre in the past year or so, thanks to its merging with Oppo’s ColorOS. It shares the same underpinnings, though it still retains the OnePlus brand’s slightly more tasteful menu flourishes.
You get the option of OnePlus’s own OnePlus Sans font (though we preferred Google’s Roboto) and stylish always-on display graphics and wallpapers. Otherwise, the menus and structure are decidedly Oppo.
One ‘enhancement’ we weren’t too fond of was the OnePlus Shelf. Drag down from the top right corner, and a shortcut menu will come down, offering access to weather widgets, a step track, and instant note prompt, a Spotify widget, and various apps.
It feels slightly clumsy and superfluous, and we were constantly bringing it down when all we wanted was the notification menu. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to deactivate this Shelf within the Settings menu.
OnePlus Nord 2T battery life
As with the OnePlus Nord 2, not to mention key rivals such as the Realme 9 Pro Plus and Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, the OnePlus Nord 2T supplies a 4500mAh battery.
This doesn’t hit the 5000mAh capacity that very cheap and very expensive phones seem to aim for, but the balance of components here doesn’t seem to necessitate such a cell.
In practice, we were routinely able to get through a long day of moderate usage with around 40% left in the tank. On one more intense day, which involved 4 hours 15 minutes of screen-on time and a couple of matches of the demanding Apex Legends Mobile game, we were left with just under 30%.
This isn’t outstanding battery performance by any means, but it’s perfectly acceptable, and seems like a small improvement over the OnePlus Nord 2 – though with different reviewers, usage scenarios, and network environments, it’s impossible to be 100% sure.
One aspect that’s undoubtedly superior is the charging provision. OnePlus has packed in exactly the same 80W charger as its flagship OnePlus 10 Pro, which is impressive stuff. It’s good for getting you from 1 to 67% in just 15 minutes, which might just stop you from charging your phone overnight.
Only the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, with its 120W charger, can really top it this price.
Of course, the OnePlus Nord 2’s 65W charging provision was hardly slow, and could also get you up to full in less than 30 minutes. We seem to have reached a point of diminishing returns with this stuff.
Also, while the OnePlus Nord 2T approximates the flagship phone experience in most ways, it lacks wireless charging.
Should I buy the OnePlus Nord 2T?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
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