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Dear PA commenters: let's talk about bias

0. phoneArena 27 Nov 2012, 19:59 posted on

We here at PhoneArena can have something of a thankless job, but it is a job that we love, and one that we attempt to do as well as we can. We try our best to present you all with news, reviews, and analysis in an honest, thought-provoking, and (if possible) entertaining way. But, it seems about time we directly address our comment community, because many of you seem to have a skewed idea of the word "bias"...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 12:23 1

198. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


One question phoneArena ; Why r u not comparing the Lumia 920 with the other high end devices such as iPhone 5 , S3 or Note 2 or even the htc 8x ???

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:31 1

203. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1542; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Personally I think that the complains about BIAS is coming from four places:
1 The number of news of one phone against others.
2 The love/hate and inherent bias of every user.
3 The rating system in PA
4 The opinionated tone of some articles.

The first one can’t be really managed as it depends on the interest created for every brand/model and the market share. So the BB and Windows users will keep complaining for now till their systems get better share and their numbers grow.
The second one offers even less possibilities to be managed, as it’s inherent to each user and asking for moderation I’m not going to say it’s futile, but at least tiring and not really effective.

So let’s start with the rating system. Contrary to what JeffdaBeat thinks, a review is not an opinion, or at least I don’t think so. A review an evaluation of an expert over a certain subject, and while it can have some amount of opinion, they all have in common one thing: the people reading it expect it to be OBJECTIVE. So let’s check the rules of the site for the reviews:
http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate

You start defining something called a class, but that class is never defined, nor listed in the reviews. So, how do you expect people to know the “class” of the phone? By reading your minds? So of course it is still pretty obscure what class each phone is and it’s normal that people don’t agree with the rates. A good example is the Nexus 4; did you consider it a Flagship? I know the answer is yes, but based on what? Was it even fair when it has the price of a mid-range?
So, as my managers say: you have A LOT of room for improvement there. Clearly defining what classes you have, what makes each phone go in each class and including them in the review are just some of them. In fact it looks like most of the things are left to the subjectivity of the reviewer, which obviously tend to show the bias of each one of them. Same goes for every aspect of the review: camera, design, CPU, GPU, screen, browser performance, communication etc
You could give some kind of excel sheet with numbers for each one to the reviewer where he has to put a number in each one of the parameters and a some comparison to make, but that just one idea as it could be done in many other better. Then he can add some subjective measure based on his preferences, but AFTER being aware that he is doing so. (continue)

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:33 1

204. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1542; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


For the strongly opinionated articles, I mean things like this one:
http://www.phonearena.com/news/LG-has-made-a-better-Nexus-than-Samsung-or-HTC_id37019

With sentences like: “This comes to show that smartphone users appreciate the quality design solutions - devices which not only pack the latest bells and whistles, but also have a premium look and feel to them”. That’s just the writer’s opinion, but he presents it as a conclusion and a FACT, when it is not.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind about writers having an opinion and sharing it, but I DO mind them presenting them as facts as if there was not possible to have a different opinion. In this case the HTC and LG phones did not only had a better design as suggested, they also had better hardware than any phone in their time, so it could have been argued the other way around too, and the writer is just showing his bias about phones with a premium feeling to them.
That goes in a lot of articles, where what is merely subjective opinion is presented a fact. And of course that lack of objectivity (yet again) is what infuriates some of the readers.
All in all I think you are doing a good job and I don’t find THE SITE biased, but I do find several of THE AUTHORS clearly so. I don’t really mind because after reading the site for more than 4 years I know most of the authors and what makes them tick. Also the site has improved a lot and with the new set of writers both the number of articles and the tone of them have leveled a lot.
You in particular are one of the ones whose articles I find more neutral and with hardly any bias, even I’m sure you are and Android supporter.
So keep the good job and I hope you found the feedback interesting.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 04:09 1

217. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


But why should any site go to the extent of trying to defend what they are doing? For me it's like "guilty conscience pricks the mind" that leads to such explanations. Sorry but that's what i feel.

Why does PA feel bad about certain comments which contain the word "Bias". Isn't it a known fact that majority of digital/print media is baised in some form or other?

posted on 08 Dec 2012, 11:43

218. padimatt (unregistered)


Just joined this site ONLY to be able to post a comment for this article. GREAT ARTICLE!!
I have been looking at this site for about 2 years. I always found the comments to be hilarious. All the hate in the world: religion, economics, politics..and we now have a new category: Cell Phones!! LOL.

I am fairly new to the smartphone world..I had a Samsung Infuse, the Iphone 4 and now have a Nokia 920. Let me tell you, all have their advantages and disadvantages. For android, I think a younger user who loves to "play" with their phone a lot(no offense) it is perfect..you have more flexibilty. For a user like me (I'm 47, male), the iphone is nice and simple and has excellent quality. samsung stuff tends to be a bit too "plasticy" for me. HOWEVER, that being said, I dropped my iphone 4 (with case) and still the screen broke.

Now I have been with the Nokia 920 and so far I really like it. For me, I could care less about 500,000 apps or whatever. Every app so far I have wanted I have found in the windows market..but then again, my needs are very simple. I also actually like the "heft" of the phone...it feels well-made like the iphone but more durable. I have only had it two weeks, so I'll keep you posted.

I also have to admit I am rooting for the windows platform. android/apple democrat/republican. it is nice to have a third party ;o)

posted on 25 Dec 2014, 15:17

219. BiasArena (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Dec 2014)


This article is bias.

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