When the press begins their assault on the newest batch of smartphones to hit the streets, it is amazing that so many choose to report on devices that they have never laid eyes on, much less their hands. While this might be shocking to some, the value of a good review is obviously missed by these sites and most importantly, their readers. Most notably, sites that feature paid ads from the companies that they review should be met with the most critical eyes only. Whether you read a bad review of the latest HTC device on an iPhone blog, or the latest Windows device on an Android site, reviews written by authors that spend more time reading than testing.
What’s most important to people using phones today depends on the individual user, not some crazed writer who has tweaked, downloaded and modified their personal device to the point where it is perfectly suited for their needs. Transparency is what is really needed in this case and more often than not, it’s missing from many of the reviews. As a pretty big fan of the build quality of HTC products, it was easy to overlook the shortcomings of the camera in favor of the sound system that the M8 carried with it. The aluminum body of the phone was a bane to those that thought it too slick, but was gloriously smooth to those that loved it.
The bottom line with phone reviews, as it should be with any product, is how does the product perform out of the box for the end user and what kind of experience does it offer. Opinions are just that, and after reading said reviews about the quality of the features and how it works, your first stop should be your local carrier store. Once you have a few ideas, play with them, take some photos with them, see how the skins over the OS feel to you.
Buying a phone today is a $750 experience for some, whether that’s with a huge discount for signing a contract or paying a $30 monthly fee, too many people discount that price as it just being a phone. Instead of settling for that plastic body and the 5MP camera, they get hung up on the 13MP ultra laser guided camera and tons of internal storage. They want a phone made of unobtainium with a screen the size of a small TV. It has to end somewhere.
Handset quality has increased so dramatically in the lowest end phones that you can walk out of a store like Best Buy or order online from Amazon and end up spending $50 on a pretty great phone. Of course, you’ll sacrifice quite a bit in the spec department and you may not get that gold finish you wanted, but isn’t that why you can buy a $5 case off Amazon?