• Smartphone reviews: your preferences

    By Josh , December 30, 2012 - Leave a comment

    We want your opinions on what makes a good review

    Reviews are always important, helping customers make informed decisions and letting those be aware of how well a product is being or possibly going to be received. In the fast-paced technology industry and especially in the mobile sector, getting information into the public domain first is crucial. Also with the media used to present information changing; reviewer techniques, personality and hands-on information can be delivered in a variety of methods.


    Personally I am a fan of text heavy, exhaustive reviews with each facet of the device scrutinised. This probably stems from being a big videogame fan growing up and as a teenager only having printed magazines to provide information to influence my decisions. Now it seems my preference is one that is being swept aside for more ‘bitty’ reviews that provide necessary technical specifications, but little in the way of exposition regarding the reviewer’s personal experience with the device. A quick search on a device name and the word review will likely pull up a fair amount of short, hastily written pieces by someone with little experience of the device and seemingly there simply to draw some web traffic rather than truly inform the reader. This of course isn’t to say that there aren’t some sites publishing quality reviews that suit my taste, just that personally I find many lacking.

    Video reviewing has changed the scene, engaging the viewer with the product instantly and able to show the device in action in a way that words alone never could. Video reviews can also lead to a reduction (or complete removal) of text and can be more personally revealing. Hearing a sigh of frustration when something goes wrong (again!) can far more delicately convey just how annoying a scenario is than any number of printed words trying to explain it.

    It is perhaps inevitable that in the Internet environment, saturated with multimedia and with a prevalent culture of instantaneous gratification, we are finding more short-form information dumps. This isn’t necessarily a Bad Thing™; learning to provide concise overviews is an important and necessary skill, however we should be able to differentiate between this and the type of ‘nothing’ writing that adds little to a discussion or fails to inform the reader.

    Clove provide short reviews, unboxings and links to others’ work so we would like to know what our regular readers like to see and if you want more (or less) from us. Are you fans of videos, or large image galleries? Do you think certain topics get discussed too much or not enough? Does a wall of text leave you cold or a funny introduction draw you in to read it all? Let us know!


    Josh joined Clove part time a few years ago whilst studying Computing at Bournemouth University. Since finishing his studies he has remained at Clove in a full time position, involved in sales, returns and social media. Involved with both consumer electronics and software since the mid 2000s, keeping up to date with industry developments is as much a hobby as it is a job. Easy going but never afraid to share an opinion, Josh can often be found in his spare time listening to some heavy rock or at a local gig as well as playing with the latest gadgets and video games.


  • As long as reviews show how well a device works and don’t just concentrate on specs, they tend to be useful. The very long reviews are great if you really need that, but they can tend to look at benchmarks etc. The fact is that most modern phones and tablets perform extremely competently and knowing how they feel is perhaps the most important aspect for most potential buyers.

  • Personally, I enjoy the WRITTEN reviews – long or short. Video demos too, can help the potential buyer – though I’m not mad about “unboxing” when it starts with cutting open the package! Your guides helped me, e.g. , choose a Samsung model recently instead of an Apple phone; the Samsung micro SD slot convinced me, but I must say the ‘Kies’ software seems awful in use.

  • I also greatly prefer the written reviews, regardless of the length. Video voice overs are a tough thing to do right, without rambling or repeating things, etc. Plus I like being able to scroll back to a point of interest in an article, rather than rewinding a video; this is especially true with tech-related posts that break down specs on smartphones or other gadgets.

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