Other iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max ARS Technica Review

Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
614
334
California
I just read it. It's a very good review. I wish it had more fully addressed two of the more active topics here on Macrumors: the cellular connectivity complaints and the OLED panel complaints. The author didn't seem to have issues with either. Regarding the display, they referred to the stellar DisplayMate review where Apple itself provided the test phone to DisplayMate. I wonder if Apple also supplied the test phones to Ars Technica.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
13,020
12,458
In the middle of several books.
I just read it. It's a very good review. I wish it had more fully addressed two of the more active topics here on Macrumors: the cellular connectivity complaints and the OLED panel complaints. The author didn't seem to have issues with either. Regarding the display, they referred to the stellar DisplayMate review where Apple itself provided the test phone to DisplayMate. I wonder if Apple also supplied the test phones to Ars Technica.
That is a good question.

Unless I missed it in the review somewhere, it isn't stated how long Samuel used the phone for review purposes. In my opinion, that would have been good to know. Using the phone(s) for several days versus an hour, can make a big difference in the quality of the review.
 
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Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
614
334
California
I'm a big fan of Ars Technica. I subscribe to their site. Their articles are really well written (just like Macrumors). I never paid much attention before to how a review site received the product being reviewed until I saw that statement buried in the middle of DisplayMate's review of the XS. I would rather a review site purchase the product off the shelf from a retailer to avoid the appearance that the review is based on a specially chosen and calibrated sample. I bought my TV after reading the review on rtings.com. They note on their site that they buy their test TVs so that they aren't cherry-picked by the manufacturers.
 

SteveOfTheStow

macrumors member
Jan 24, 2018
40
52
London, UK
Given how late the review is versus most journalism purveyors, I suspect they bought their phones and used them for a while before submitting the review.
Also they tend to be upfront about when they have a potential conflict of interest (often in dealings with car manufacturers), or for example when calling out issues with some other company that their parent, Conde Nast, has an interest in. It's not like they can't afford to buy most of the products they review, either.
That said, explicit statement of said assumptions would be welcome, but they're one of the few sites I actually trust.

I'm a bit disappointed there was little to no comment on the antenna controversy, but Ars tends to only publish articles when there's enough evidence to talk about (by its nature, Macrumors comments on rumours). I had a quick Google and they wrote up articles on the iPhone 4 antenna within a week of release, and whilst we're still early in the XS release window, it seems like it's less reproducible so far, which is good for those considering a purchase.
 

-M4-

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2018
34
36
The article does state that they couldn’t test their phone’s durability because they were loaned by Apple.
 
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Smoothie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
614
334
California
I'm guilty of missing that loaner statement, too. I skipped the section on durability. So the Ars Technica review is a review of a phone selected by Apple and incorporates another review of a phone also selected by Apple. Maybe there's an advantage to watching a low subscriber-count YouTuber who had to actually buy his or her phone.
 
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