Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss
Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.
CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?
And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.
This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.
Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.
First, I used the word 'significant', not 'primarily', and I stand by that accusation: that they were, in no irrelevant manner, and in your words, acting like "attention whores". The whole snarky duct tape video undermines any arguments to the contrary.
And, no, I don't think they are doing anything different than they have always done. (And note, that your quote on this point is a misquote, what I actually said was, "They may always have been unreliable, [...] they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.") I think their review process has always been flawed. The establish arbitrary criteria, test (and how rigorously is debatable), then, when their test results don't line up with what they feel is correct, they will 'ding' products for criteria not part of their tests. How is this in any way objective testing? It isn't, but it does point to the arbitrary nature of their testing criteria. If the points that products are 'dinged' over are relevant, why aren't they part of the rating process? And are the dings based on objective testing, or are they mere subjective whims?
This goes well beyond smartphone "testing", and applies to all their testing, ratings, and recommendations. This might be fine if they didn't maintain a pretense of objective, "scientific" testing of products, but they do. In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?