What reviewers mean when they say best ever

Technology publications and daily newspapers are full of gushing Samsung Galaxy Note 7 reviews.

Samsung deserves much of the praise. It’s an impressive phone. Expect a review here in the next few days.

Where reviewers give stars, the Galaxy Note 7 either gets five or 4.5. When they give a percent the scores are often north of 90 percent.

Glowing praise

Many of the words reviewers use to describe the phone are glowing. One phrase that pops up a lot, is best ever. Some call it the best ever Android phone. Others are more general. You might also see best phone period.

Which means reviewers like it. But best ever?

On one level the phrase is meaningless.

Few Apple product launches pass without an executive saying a product is the best ever.

Of course an iPad launched in 2016 is the best ever iPad. Apple would be in a sorry state if this year’s model was worse than last year’s.

Language inflation

It’s not just Apple that talks about products this way. Everyone talks up their business. We’ve become immune to inflated marketing language.

Yet reviewers should be dispassionate observers. At least the ones working for respectable publications are.

When they say a phone is the best ever, they are passing an objective judgement. The implication is that they have seen lots of phones and of all they have seen to date, the one in question is the best.

Which it might well be.

That Apple logic applies to reviews. Most of the time this year’s phones are better than last year’s phones.

When they are not, that happens sometimes, it’s a big story.

Looked at that way, saying best ever is the same as saying new or improved.

What reviewers mean when they say best ever was first posted at billbennett.co.nz

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