There once was a time when I eagerly looked forward to a new edition of Consumer Reports. Not only did I subscribe to CR, I bought some products based upon their reviews. An interesting trend developed over the years, though. The more products I bought and used, as recommended by Consumer Reports, the less satisfied I was with CR’s supposedly unbiased reviews.
In other words, Consumer Reports reviews look great until they have a review about something you actually know about. Not only is the CR bias overwhelming, so is their willful ignorance about what constitutes a good and worthy product.
No example is better than Consumer Reports‘ scathing review of the original iPhone 4. Remember Antennagate? No one else does, either, because it was a non-issue. Consumer Reports’ distaste for the iPhone is well known and they’re back with another attempt to humble Apple by preferring new Droids and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 over the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
The public dissing of Apple’s latest iPhone line centered on screen size and battery life. Hey, the two go hand-in-hand, right? The easiest and fastest way for Android smartphone makers to differentiate their products from Apple’s hot selling iPhone is simple– a larger screen. And, the larger screen means more space for a larger battery.
Nothing was said about the inability to put a Samsung Galaxy S4 into a back pocket. Nothing was said about the S4 and Droid’s return rate when they broke. Nothing was said about malware problems on Android OS. Nothing was said about the huge disparity of app quality between iOS and Android devices. Nothing was said about user studies which point out that iOS works better for smartphone users than Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry. Usability? To Consumer Reports, that’s for losers.
Screen size and battery life? That’s all you’ve got?
Hey, Consumer Reports, how about dropping the geek perspective and actually use a device for awhile, then write about the differences. Most of us don’t test a product. We use a product. We use a product to get stuff done. How about if you review products in a similar manner?
These days, customers often know more about how a product works than the fluff writers at Consumer Reports.
It’s this obvious inability to use a product the way a customer would use a product that makes Consumer Reports irrelevant in the 21st century. For people who want accurate, unbiased information, Consumer Reports has become the Fox News of product reviews.