I ran into a link to an article titled “Phone reviewers: Our deepest darkest secret revealed.” Naturally, I was interested and clicked through. The writer, Mulika Mwizi opens that blog post very dramatically with the following lines:
I can’t hide it any more. My conscience cannot allow me to go on with this charade.
All bloggers who review phones have one deep, dark secret. I’m going to get in trouble for this. But I feel its time the public knew.
We don’t buy phones.
That’s right. We do not spend even a shilling purchasing the devices we advise you to buy every day.
Any reviewer worth his salt will get review devices for a specified period of time to use and hopefully give their honest opinion on.
The writer has attempted to speak for phone reviewers and has painted everyone in one broad stroke of the brush. Phone reviewers do not buy the phones that they write about. Let me cut to the chase:
Since 2001, I have owned over 88 phones, out of which I have purchased 86 with my own money or a trade-in of some sort. I have also been sent review devices by manufacturers, and have received a total of eight phones as personal gifts till date. My present phone was purchased. I have owned it for about four months now. I intend to replace it with another purchase. I do not have a dark secret weighing down on my chest. I buy my phones.
Because I purchase the huge majority of my phones, I am able to rant and rave about them exactly according to the value that they deliver to me in everyday usage. If it isn’t working for me, it isn’t, and I say it. I would love to think that makes me a very reliable reviewer. You get to read about the highs and lows of each device that comes my way. Thankfully, manufacturers who send me review devices and gifts know this well, and none of them try to influence my reviews. I believe that they are all honourable people and I have enjoyed our good relationships, especially the fact that they pull no strings to influence me. I know that I have frazzled them with some of my reviews. Recently, a rep of an OEM told me that they haven’t been getting much love from me in recent times. We laughed over it. That’s it with me. I write about my experiences with the phones I use, and state the good, the bad, and the ugly. OEMs who send in phones have respected my right to publish my experiences with their phones without any sugar-coating. Still, it must be said that it cannot be easy to bribe a man who has purchased over 86 mobile phones with a phone gift. I buy my own phones anyway…. If something about a phone frustrates me, I say it.
This is in part why Mister Mo’s phone reviews are trusted. They are reviews according to mister Mo’s experiences and from Mister Mo’s perspective. A user perspective. I am not a geek. I don’t want to jailbreak or root a device to get the best out of it. I once was enthusiastic about doing such, but soon gave it up. The mass of users don’t know what jail breaking and rooting are, and will never do. They worry about gluttonous data consumption, poor battery life, ease of chatting, sending and receiving email, and not the stuff that geeks will gush over just because they are enthusiasts. Most users are not enthusiasts. They just want to buy a phone and get on with their lives. For the most part, I use my phones the way they use theirs. End of.
You want to know how a certain smartphone OS handles 2G and 3G connections on Nigerian networks? Read Mister Mo’s reviews and features. Want to know how well the display of a phone works in the full glare of the tropical sun, or how the battery fares in our horrible public power situation? Read Mo. I really don’t care about how many cores power a phone; I care about performance. I don’t care to have the largest display; I care about how comfortable it is to carry the device about daily, and that varies from person to person. I deliberately buy different types of phones so as to have a feel from as many perspectives as possible, after all one just never knows what lies on the other side.
I spend my hard earned money purchasing most of the devices that I recommend to you or tell you to stay clear of. That has to count for something. To be honest, I am not much of a geek or a phone reviewer. I am a phone user who shares his experiences with the phones he uses. I am not out to talk about every phone on the planet. Just the ones that I use. Like the vast majority of people on this planet, I am an everyday person who just happens to cycle through phones faster than most others do. I have no dark secret to hide or to confess. I buy my phones.