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My bias finally revealed – What makes me hate a phone

by Jon Rettinger | March 9, 2018March 9, 2018 10:30 am PST

Like every reviewer, I’ve been accused of every bias under the sun. I love Apple. I hate Apple. I only like Android, and many more. And honestly, it bothers me. I try really hard to keep all OS preferences out of our reviews. But, as hard as I may try, some biases do creep up, and after almost nine years of making videos and writing articles, it’s time to come clean.

I split my time each year pretty evenly between Android and iOS, but whenever I test a new phone, regardless of OS, a few things creep up in my mind as I come to my conclusions. What matters most to me in a phone is the quality of the display. If it’s a crappy screen I have a really hard time getting past that, even if the rest of the phone is incredible.  

Out of everything that goes into a phone, the screen is our portal into it. It’s everything. Why OEMs put horrible panels on expensive devices is beyond me. It’s not always the highest resolution, it’s how images, text, videos and the display in direct sunlight look to me.

For example, before the iPhone X, Apple’s screens didn’t look bad, especially when held up to the competition. While the technically HD resolution of 720p or 1080p (depending on the size) were fine, when held up to what Samsung was offering, there was a clear difference. CoIors weren’t as vibrant, blacks weren’t as dark, and the tech behind it (IPS LCD) was starting to become antiquated.  

I honestly believe that’s why I’ve been accused of an anti-Apple bias. I was never a fan of iPhone displays and that was difficult for me to get past.

The last factor that really plays into my opinions is totally subjective, and that is how the phone feels in my hand. I’ve tried to look past some shoddy build quality to see the experience beneath, but if a phone feels bad in my hand, I have a hard time forgiving it. That’s why I’ve been drawn to the more recent generations of Samsung devices, they just feel awesome.

I was admittedly hard on the LG G6, not because it wasn’t a good phone, but because it didn’t feel very premium. This is why something like the iPhone X, that marries an incredible display with super premium build quality, immediately earned my affection. It had nothing to do with OS, and everything to do with screen and build.

I’m sitting on a plane writing this, and not watching a movie or enjoying a few minutes of quiet because I felt I needed to share this. It’s not something I’ve been consciously hiding, but something I finally realized in an epiphany a few months ago. I’m not sure if realizing it will let me put my biases aside when I review my next device, but I promise I will try.

Don’t interpret this as me saying only expensive phones will get good reviews. There are plenty of lower cost options with amazing designs and solid screens (OnePlus, Honor, etc). Before you judge me, I hope you can at least appreciate or acknowledge the candor. Everyone, no matter what they tell you, has some sort of bias. Now, you know mine.


Jon Rettinger

Jon, perhaps best known by his YouTube alter ego Jon4Lakers, has a love for technology that can never be quenched, no matter how hard he tries. If...

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