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Wednesday, 21 November 2018 20:38

Never trust the Apple army of iPhone reviewers Featured


There was once a time when Apple the company and I were the best of friends. Each year I would get invited to the Apple Christmas lunch for journalists. I even got invited to attend the launch of the iPhone in San Francisco in 2007 and play with Steve Jobs’ personal iPhone for five minutes! Then one day it all changed.

I can’t remember the exact incident that put me in Apple’s bad books and got me crossed off the Christmas list. Perhaps it was because I accidentally missed a product briefing by mixing up the days. Maybe it was because of a critical article that I penned. Or maybe it was a combination of things. Who knows?

Regardless of what anyone may think, I don’t hate Apple or its products. In fact, I really like my 2015 MacBook despite its limitations. I also liked my iPhone 6 — the last iPhone model with a headphone jack — and I won’t be selling it until I can figure out an easy way to get my photos off the little blighter.

Forgive the above preamble. The point of it was to demonstrate that in the unlikely event that I were to review the latest iPhone XS or XS Max or XR it would be an unbiased, fair, warts and all honest review  – unlike 99% of reviews you are likely to stumble across on YouTube or elsewhere on the Web.

The reason you will not get a fair unbiased honest review of an iPhone or any other Apple product by mainstream reviewers is because nearly all of the reviewers get their review products from Apple. They are on Apple’s Christmas list – otherwise no review product. Understand?

Thus, in order to get an honest review you need to be able to find an independent reviewer who purchased his own iPhone. Even in that rare case, however, you are still not likely to get an honest review. The reviewer just paid through the nose to buy a new iPhone! Do you really think he is going to rubbish his own hard earned acquisition?

So what is one to do to get an honest appraisal of the new iPhone XS and XR models?

There is an old saying: “Let no man (or woman) be your guru. Be your own guru.”

Actually, I’m not sure that it is an old saying – I think I may have made it up. However, the point holds true.

Never assume that someone else knows more about your focus of interest than you. I have found after many years of observation that most people who purport to tell you that they know what is good for you really don’t know what they’re talking about.

If you want to know whether it is worth spending your blood sweat and tears on the latest premium priced iPhone chachka, do what I did. Do your own research.

Before I bought my vivo v11 — which by the way I have found to be a very lovely phone — I checked many different phones over a period of weeks, including the iPhone XR, which was originally going to be my upgrade.

It would have been so easy to simply take the advice of the plethora of Apple Christmas list reviewers overflowing with gushing ebullience about the iPhone XR. All I needed to do was spend A$1299 for the 128GB model, restore my old iPhone from iTunes to the new phone with 3GB of RAM, 326 ppi and lower than 1080 HD LCD screen surrounded by ugly thick bezels.

However, I read reviews, spec sheets, visited stores to play with different phones, and eventually came to my own conclusion. As a result I exited the store with my new phone feeling a great sense of satisfaction that I had made an informed choice.

I have no intention of becoming a smartphone reviewer because at the end of the day I am too honest for my own good and can’t hold my tongue. Also, what is important to one person is of no consequence to another.

You may find that the iPhone XR, XS or XS Max are the best thing since sliced bread and well worth the money. If that happens to be the case, one would hope you came to that conclusion as a result of your own research and not on the recommendation of one of Apple’s army of Christmas list reviewers.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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