If you’re in the market for a smartphone, the first thing you’ll do is likely look for reviews that tell you what kind of user experience to expect. How long does the battery last? Does the camera take nice photos? Reviewers can tell you those things and many more.
However, using the internet to find reviews can turn into a daunting task. It’s one thing to ask your friend for honest feedback about the phone they bought a few months ago.
How can you ensure that the smartphone reviews you find on the internet are from people who actually bought the phone? Also, what can you do to improve the chances of getting accurate takeaways about a device that interests you? These tips will help.
1. Start at Sites That Screen for Fake Reviews
You may come across smartphone reviews from people who didn’t buy those gadgets and aren’t familiar with the companies that manufacture them at all. That’s because some organizations pay for fake product reviews to try and get reputational boosts. However, people are catching onto that tactic, and some sites deploy specialized processes to weed out the fakes.
Amazon has a verified purchaser badge. It appears with a review written by someone who purchased the product at a price available to most of the site’s shoppers and not at a deep discount.
The mega e-commerce retailer also took decisive action recently by removing approximately 20,000 reviews from its United Kingdom site after evidence emerged that people posted them for profit.
Similarly, Yelp uses an automated filter to catch some fake reviews. Representatives also remove those from the platform and monitor the business.
Some sites also rely heavily on the community of people using them. Trustpilot falls into that category. It has automated software, but site users can also flag reviews that seem fraudulent or otherwise less than truthful.
2. Look for Smartphone Reviews at Well-Known Technology Sites
If you’ve narrowed down whether to go with Android or iOS for your preferred operating system, check out sites like Android Authority and 9to5Mac. They often feature buying guides and detailed reviews from people who received models of the newest smartphones to test.
You can find high-quality smartphone reviews at lesser-known tech specialty sites, too, so those are always worth a look. However, the most-visited sites have respectable worldwide reputations to uphold. Their writers would not take the risk of writing dishonest content because doing so could cost them their publishing privileges.
3. Notice the Keywords and Trends
The power of the crowd also works well for revealing smartphone reviews you can trust. Take note of the aspects that people mention most often.
If you come across some from people who had drastically different experiences, they aren’t necessarily fake. However, such content likely doesn’t represent the experience you’d have with the gadget.
For example, Amazon features the most commonly mentioned keywords and phrases at the top of its reviews list, and you can filter the results by each one. Another option is to search for reviews that mention characteristics that interest you and may affect your purchase, such as “battery life,” “large, bright screen,” or “fits nicely in my hand.”
Focusing on the reviews that closely reflect your needs makes it easier to determine whether a particular smartphone would meet them. Additionally, you can gauge the consensus. If 142 reviewers praise the quality of a phone’s speakers, and three complain about it, that means you can confidently expect good sound from the gadget.
4. Take a Balanced Approach When Reading Smartphone Reviews
Since online smartphone reviews are so accessible, it’s natural to feel like you should let them become one of your main purchasing influencers. However, the best approach is to make them one of many.
Besides seeing what the reviews say, consider comparing the specifications list of your current phone and the ones on your shortlist for the upcoming purchase. Even if you bought your smartphone several years ago, the internet probably contains the official details about it.
Another wise thing to do is find the specifics regarding shipping, customer service and returns for your potential new smartphone. Once you order a device, what’s the approximate time it’ll take to reach you. Is there an expedited option for people who want their phones sooner?
What’s the return policy? Is there a warranty period? Which contact methods does the company provide if questions come up before or after your purchase? After learning those things, you might then go beyond looking for smartphone reviews and try to find insights from people who needed help from a company’s customer service team.
One study analyzed 2.7 million online reviews and found unreliable ones 39% of the time. Electronics was also the top category for such instances, with the non-trustworthy reviews 3% higher than the overall total. Those outcomes emphasize why smartphone reviews can give you valuable information but should not always be your primary persuader of whether to purchase.
Give Yourself Time To Become an Educated Buyer
Your smartphone is probably one of the most-used items you own. People often use theirs to do everything from watching movies to tracking their fitness habits. That’s why it’s best to take the time to learn about a model before buying it — by using smartphone reviews along with other resources.
There may be times when you need a new phone urgently and don’t have the time to carefully research your options. In most other cases, you’re most likely to feel satisfied with what you bought by learning the essential details about the gadget before buying it.
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