Winners and Losers: Nintendo Switch OLED underwhelms while the Pixel 6 excites
Between ITV player outages during the Euros and more shiny things passing through Trusted Labs than can easily be counted, it has been a busy week in the world of tech.
For us here at Trusted Reviews however there has been one very clear winner, and one very clear loser dominating the headlines over the last seven days.
Starting with the positives…
Winner: The Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 is the hotly rumoured follow up to Google’s Pixel 5, which despite being a great phone, was a minor disappointment to the wider team of experts at Trusted Towers.
This isn’t because the Pixel 5 was a bad per-say, in fact it earned a spot in our best mid-range phones guide following our review when it first launched. The issue we had with it was its mid-range focus, which left a gaping hole in the top end of the Android phone market.
Google Pixel phones of yore constantly impressed us during testing for one key reason: they were the only flagship handsets to come with a completely clean, as Google intended it, Android install. This sounds small, but it remains a key selling point for two reasons. First, sticking to the core design means that there’s no bloatware or duplicate apps.
Second, because unlike most Android phones, Pixel handsets are guaranteed to get upgrades to new versions of Google’s OS as long as their hardware allows. This is a guarantee traditionally only seen on Apple iPhones, and the tiny percentage of phones enrolled in Google’s Android One scheme.
Considering how much people spend on a flagship these days, this feels like a key omission on most of the most top end Android phones we review, including the Oppo Find X3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
Because of all this, when serial phone leaker John Prosser dropped a load of hints suggesting that Google is planning to release a “truly flagship” level Pixel 6 Pro this year, the Trusted team’s hearts swelled with excitement.
The leak isn’t anywhere near official, and sadly Google “doesn’t comment on rumour or speculation”. But, considering Prosser’s track record with leaks, we’re not taking the existence of a Pixel 6 Pro as being beyond the realms of possibility. Which is why we’re giving Pixel 6 fans this week’s winner slot.
Loser: The Nintendo Switch OLED
Trusted Reviews prides itself on being impartial in all its verdicts. On a personal level however, if there was one company that every writer probably felt a slight love or affection for, it would be Nintendo. It is the adorable grandparent of gaming that kept us entertained throughout our childhood after all.
But this week, a number of us felt let down by the gaming giant, when it announced its completely underwhelming Nintendo Switch OLED console. Bucking rumours of an upgraded chipset that could let a newer Switch play games in 4K and completely reworked, high refresh rate screen, the firm instead released a tepid at best upgrade on its existing device. Boiling down the upgrades: it has slightly more storage, an improved kickstand and OLED screen.
Sure, OLED’s great – offering deeper blacks and better contrast – but it’s hardly a game changer especially when it’s locked to a 720p resolution. Because of this a number of us felt completely let down, as evidenced by our series on op-eds on the console.
I personally found it so dull that it made me hanker for competing products, like the Dell UFO or the fabled Valve SteamPal over the OLED switch.
News writer Chris Smith meanwhile was so underwhelmed that he wrote a piece suggesting the only way to make it exciting would be to let Microsoft run its Games Pass cloud streaming service on the new console.
Even computing and gaming editor Ryan Jones wasn’t completely sold, feeling the lack of upgraded HDMI connectivity put it several steps behind the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S for TV mode purists.
All-in-all, not the reaction you want when launching a new console, which is why Nintendo earns a place as this week’s loser.
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Organic Light Emitting Diode is panel technology that allows each individual pixel to produce light rather than relying on a backlight. This enables the screen to accurately display blacks by turning off the pixel, resulting in improved contrast compared to conventional LCD panels.
The type of display usually used on cheaper and mid-range devices. Lacks the punch on an OLED panel.
4K Ultra HD TV
4K (or Ultra HD) refers to the resolution of a TV’s display, which equates to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels that it can display. 4K TVs have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (8.3 million pixels), which is four times that of a Full HD TV. With more pixels, you get a sharper, clearer picture than is possible from an equivalent sized 1080p display.
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and is to transmit video/audio signals from a source to a receiver.