Product review grading on a curve
Gadget reviews are broken on the big tech sites like The Verge, and Engadget. They’ve actually been broken for a long time. If you read the long form part of the reviews and then you see the ‘grade’ they give the devices, they don’t match up.
Take Chris Velazco’s review of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch for Engadget:
Samsung’s smartwatch formula, and the company threw in every feature it could think of. That rationale is Samsung through and through, and it makes the Gear S3 worthy of your consideration, even if now might not be the best time to buy a smartwatch.
So throwing every feature you can think of into a device is good user experience? Is this what makes people love their gadgets?
And why is now not the best time to buy a smartwatch? I’ve had my Apple Watch Series 2 for six months and it’s great. Perhaps Velazco meant not the best time to buy an Android smartwatch. It’s important to use the right words when you’re trying to convey your point. Be genuine.
With the Gear S3 Frontier, Samsung did a commendable job building a wearable with a little something for everyone. The device still falls short in a lot of ways, including its overzealous automatic fitness tracking and a limited app selection, even after a year. Still, with so few truly interesting smartwatch options out there, the Gear S3 can’t help but feel like a refreshing change of pace. If you’re in the market for a high-end wearable, the S3 is worth considering. Just remember: Android Wear 2.0 is coming early next year, so waiting for the next crop of watches is probably the smartest move.
Commendable is code for: “Nice try, kids, but not good enough.”
This review concludes the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier falls short in a lot of ways, has inaccurate fitness tracking, but since there aren’t any great Android smartwatches on the market this shitty smartwatch seems like a decent smartwatch and they give it a score of 80 of out 100.
How does a product that “falls short in a lot of ways” get a score of 80?
Velazco essentially graded the Frontier on a curve, with all the bad Android smartwatches raising the average for poor performers.