TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee
1st Jun 2013 | 11:12
Independent, authoritative testing - it's our promise to you
Our reviews guarantee
TechRadar is a network of specialist technology news and reviews websites.
Our editorial independence is backed by the weight of the UK's largest technology publisher, Future Publishing, which means we can tell you what we think of a product, without fear or favour.
Our reviews guarantee
- We do not take payment for product reviews. Ever.
- We select products for review based on what we believe our readers would want to know.
- We'll tell you what we think, not what advertisers want you to hear.
- We say it as we see it. Our expert reviewers love technology and want you to love it too. If it's rubbish, we'll warn you off.
- If gear doesn't meet our high standards, we'll tell you why.
If you think we're not living up to our promise, please email the editor in chief and we'll endeavour to put it right.
Our scoring system
We use a familiar five-star scoring system, in order to keep things recognizable and simple: the more stars, the better. We rate our products on a number of criteria depending on the specific attributes of a product type, and we add a score out of 5 for each:
Design - how does the product look and feel? Is it well built or cheap to the touch?
Features - does it have the features and functionality that we expect/want?
Usability - How easy is it to use and get the most out of? Are the controls in the right place and is the interface logical?
Performance - how well does the product work? Do all the features perform as they should?
Value - is the launch price good value when weighed against the other criteria?"
TechRadar has four product awards:
Great Value award
The Great Value award is given to products that represent excellent value for money are thus worthy of consideration. This is not awarded alongside an Editor's Choice or Best in Class award as excellent value for money is part of the criteria for those awards.
A product that scores 4-stars or above is eligible to be considered for the Recommended award. While the product may be lacking in certain areas to stop it being awarded five stars, it still demonstrates enough quality to be wholeheartedly recommended.
Editor's Choice award
The Editor's Choice award goes to any product that gets a 5-star TechRadar review in accordance with our reviews guarantee.
Best in Class award
This award goes to the best product in any major reviews category. The categories are currently as follows:
- Best 32-inch TV
- Best 37-inch TV
- Best 42-inch TV
- Best home cinema TV
- Best smartphone
- Best budget phone
- Best tablet
- Best gaming laptop
- Best mainstream laptop
- Best ultraportable laptop
- Best Blu-ray player
- Best sat nav
- Best DSLR
- Best compact system camera
- Best compact camera
Hands on reviews
We headline two different types of article with the word 'review' - 'Hands on reviews' and 'full product reviews'. It is important to distinguish between them.
'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.
We use the word 'review' here partly because we are giving a real opinion based on using it, and partly because readers increasingly use the word 'review' in Google searches when looking for these early views about a product.
However, Hands on reviews are not the same as full product reviews. Our full product reviews are always based on the finished release kit, which has been thoroughly tested and benchmarked and will always contain a full verdict and score.
Update : In the old version of the site, both types of article used to live in different parts of the site under different URLs - one under 'news', the other under 'review' - with different headlining styles, in order to make the distinction clear.
In the new version of the site, Hands ons have been moved onto Reviews URLs in order to simplify aspects of the site's operation. In order to continue to clearly signal the difference between Hands ons and Full reviews, we have introduced a prominent explanatory panel on the article page itself, and a clear 'Not yet rated'.
Our reviewers are specialists, each with expertise in a particular technology. We combine expertise from our network of specialist websites and magazines, and our own TechRadar reviews team, led by our Reviews Editor, James Rivington.
Because our writers are specialists, they are constantly in touch with the communities their websites report on. That means our experts are able to rate products against others of the same type. TechRadar commissions our reviews directly from these experts, from our own team of writers, as well as other experts when needed.
What this means is if you see a review of a home cinema system from, say, Home Cinema Choice, you know it's been reviewed by an expert in home cinema, not mobile phones.
Reevoo user reviews
However, we're certainly not infallible. We realise different people can experience products in different ways, which is why we also offer Reevoo user reviews. These are reviews from everyday people who have brought the product and have got to learn what it's really like in everyday use.
Real world testing
We emphasise real world testing over labs, because that's where products get used. However, we benchmark every product that sells on the basis of specific performance indicators – predominantly PCs, laptops, processors and graphics cards.
Find out more about our testing procedures:
TechRadar reviews editor: James Rivington
Gaming/TV/AV/Gadgets/Car tech: James Rivington
Mobile phones/Tablets: Gareth Beavis
Computing: Dan Grabham
Cameras: Angela Nicholson
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