Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Apr 2017 20:28 UTC
Android

The review embargo for the Samsung Galaxy S8 was lifted today, so there's reviews all over the place - and they're all pretty much universally positive, so also kind of uninteresting.

An article in The New York Times stood out, though.

When a splashy new smartphone hits the market, consumers often weigh whether to place an order right away or to wait and see how others react to the device.

But with the Galaxy S8, Samsung's first major smartphone release since the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued last year, there isn't much of a debate. Your best bet is to wait to buy the roughly $750 device - not just for safety reasons, but also because other uncertainties surround it.

Since I think you should never rush out and buy a complex and expensive device like a smartphone on release day anyway, this is sage advice. However, it is quite unusual for a major publication to just flat-out tell consumers to wait and not buy the latest and greatest new smartphone from Samsung (or Apple, for that matter) in such an overt, put-it-in-the-headline kind of way.

The next paragraph in the NYT article makes me suspicious.

Samsung declined to provide an early review unit of the Galaxy S8 to The New York Times, but several consumer electronics experts who tried the device ahead of its release this Friday were cautiously optimistic about the product. Even so, they said the phone had some radical design changes that might make people uncomfortable, a few key features were unfinished and Samsung’s recent safety record remained a concern.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the above article would not have been written had the NYT been given a review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The tone of the entire article is mildly vindictive, like it was written by someone scorned. It feels a little unprofessional for a publication like the NYT to do this.

That being said - the advice still stands: don't rush out on release day for expensive and complex equipment like a smartphone. Wait a few weeks to see if there's any teething problems before plonking down hundreds of euros.

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WP hater too?
by Morgan on Tue 18th Apr 2017 22:16 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

Looks like they also spurned Cortana:

Samsung highlighted Bixby, its voice-controlled virtual assistant that will rival Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, when it initially unveiled the S8.


I guess they didn't get a review unit for the latest Windows Phone device either. Oh, wait...what new WP device? ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: WP hater too?
by Ford Prefect on Wed 19th Apr 2017 21:31 UTC in reply to "WP hater too?"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

You don't have to hate WP to acknowledge its insignificance in the current and future market and therefore abstain from including the platform wherever it would fit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: WP hater too?
by Morgan on Wed 19th Apr 2017 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: WP hater too?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You completely missed the fact that that's the joke I was making (WP is insignificant at this point). I thought the wink gave it away.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: WP hater too?
by Ford Prefect on Wed 19th Apr 2017 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: WP hater too?"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Damn, and it was a good one, too! Shame on me.

Reply Score: 2

A full page ad will "fix" it
by Seeprime on Wed 19th Apr 2017 03:39 UTC
Seeprime
Member since:
2014-05-02

Samsung should buy a full page ad in the NYT, and supply one or more "updated" review phones at the same time. I suspect that the NYT will have a change of heart. Money talks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A full page ad will "fix" it
by Kochise on Wed 19th Apr 2017 05:30 UTC in reply to "A full page ad will "fix" it"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Come on, Samsung has already been convicted of corruption in Korea, do you really want this company to be that doomed ?

Reply Score: 2

gifts to reviewers
by unclefester on Wed 19th Apr 2017 09:05 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

If you want a positive review you are expected to 'loan' the device to the reviewer and 'forget' to ask for it to be returned. If you don't hand out the expensive freebies you will get a lacklustre review in return.

Reply Score: 4

RE: gifts to reviewers
by Adurbe on Wed 19th Apr 2017 10:03 UTC in reply to "gifts to reviewers"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

How can you review a device you have never seen?

It's flatly dishonest of NYT to even provide a "review".

spoiler alert: Keep an eye out next week for my OSNews review of the Bugatti Veyron. I've never even seen one, so I think it's mediocre.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: gifts to reviewers
by oldtimefighter on Wed 19th Apr 2017 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: gifts to reviewers"
oldtimefighter Member since:
2013-05-07

How can you review a device you have never seen?

It's flatly dishonest of NYT to even provide a "review".


The NYT DID NOT review the phone.

Edited 2017-04-19 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: gifts to reviewers
by kurkosdr on Wed 19th Apr 2017 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: gifts to reviewers"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11


The NYT DID NOT review the phone.


But they still wrote an opinion and recommendation about a device they 'd never touched, because journalistic standards can always go lower.

Edited 2017-04-19 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: gifts to reviewers
by oldtimefighter on Wed 19th Apr 2017 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: gifts to reviewers"
oldtimefighter Member since:
2013-05-07

But they still wrote an opinion and recommendation about a device they 'd never touched, because journalistic standards can always go lower.


What the hell does writing an valid OPINION piece (which I agree with) have to do with "because journalistic standards can always go lower"?

The fact they haven't touched the phone is totally irrelevant. No one reviewing the phone is going to be able to tell you if it's likely to blow or not (just like with the Note 7). It's an recommendation based on safety first... Samsung's last phone was known to catch on fire! It's always a good idea to wait to buy any new product but in this case just more so.

Edited 2017-04-19 19:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: gifts to reviewers
by kurkosdr on Wed 19th Apr 2017 10:17 UTC in reply to "gifts to reviewers"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

If you want a positive review you are expected to 'loan' the device to the reviewer and 'forget' to ask for it to be returned. If you don't hand out the expensive freebies you will get a lacklustre review in return.


This. I hate it when reporters think it's their right to get free press samples and keep them.

Also, the fact reporters are literally swimming in a sea of free gadgets means that they don't care if the thing lasts or has a replaceable battery because for them it doesn't matter, all it matters for them is if the icons are round and if there is a camera bulge or some other triviality, which explains a lot about the choice of gadgets the rest of us have as paying customers.

Edited 2017-04-19 10:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: gifts to reviewers
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 19th Apr 2017 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: gifts to reviewers"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This. I hate it when reporters think it's their right to get free press samples and keep them.


Actually, any respectable site/reporter does NOT get to keep review devices. Sites like Ars, The Verge, AnandTech, etc., all return their review samples. OSNews, too, returns loan devices (not much of a thing anymore now that we aren't as big as we used to be - now I just buy whatever I want to review).

Reply Score: 3

RE: gifts to reviewers
by quackalist on Thu 20th Apr 2017 19:40 UTC in reply to "gifts to reviewers"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

NYT, Fake Reviews Fake News, who'd have thunk it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kittynipples
by kittynipples on Wed 19th Apr 2017 12:23 UTC
kittynipples
Member since:
2006-08-02

I don't get the curved screen. To me, it causes a distortion of the screen image along the edges that I do not like.

But everybody else seems to be fawning over it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by kittynipples
by Troels on Wed 19th Apr 2017 16:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by kittynipples"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

I have the s7 edge, and sure it does distort the image a tiny bit in the two curved sides, but it is a really not a big issue, after a few days you stop noticing it. I went with the edge version for the bigger display and battery, not the fashion factor. As a bonus the curved edge feels nicer in the have.

Reply Score: 2

Meta review
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 19th Apr 2017 16:14 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I don't think there is any problem with what the times did. It interviewed other people that did have access and compiled their insights. This happens all the time in medical research with meta reviews. Its actually pretty well done. The NYT has pretty decent ethical standards. I don't think there is any malice here over not getting a review unit.

Reply Score: 4

I still want a Note 7/8
by leech on Wed 19th Apr 2017 16:38 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

I still would love if they'd just fixed the Note 7 and sold them... or released the Note 8 with th S8. But I'm sure they'll keep to their schedule of the Note 8 during August, or whenever it usually gets released. I probably won't be pre-ordering it this time though.

Reply Score: 2