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The curious case of the New York Times' Galaxy S8 coverage
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-04-18 20:28:22

The review embargo for the Samsung Galaxy S8 was lifted today, so there's reviews all over the place - and they're all pretty much universally positive, so also kind of uninteresting.

An article in The New York Times stood out, though.

When a splashy new smartphone hits the market, consumers often weigh whether to place an order right away or to wait and see how others react to the device.

But with the Galaxy S8, Samsung's first major smartphone release since the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued last year, there isn't much of a debate. Your best bet is to wait to buy the roughly $750 device - not just for safety reasons, but also because other uncertainties surround it.

Since I think you should never rush out and buy a complex and expensive device like a smartphone on release day anyway, this is sage advice. However, it is quite unusual for a major publication to just flat-out tell consumers to wait and not buy the latest and greatest new smartphone from Samsung (or Apple, for that matter) in such an overt, put-it-in-the-headline kind of way.

The next paragraph in the NYT article makes me suspicious.

Samsung declined to provide an early review unit of the Galaxy S8 to The New York Times, but several consumer electronics experts who tried the device ahead of its release this Friday were cautiously optimistic about the product. Even so, they said the phone had some radical design changes that might make people uncomfortable, a few key features were unfinished and Samsung’s recent safety record remained a concern.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the above article would not have been written had the NYT been given a review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The tone of the entire article is mildly vindictive, like it was written by someone scorned. It feels a little unprofessional for a publication like the NYT to do this.

That being said - the advice still stands: don't rush out on release day for expensive and complex equipment like a smartphone. Wait a few weeks to see if there's any teething problems before plonking down hundreds of euros.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-18
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I still want a Note 7/8
By leech on 2017-04-19 16:38:21
I still would love if they'd just fixed the Note 7 and sold them... or released the Note 8 with th S8. But I'm sure they'll keep to their schedule of the Note 8 during August, or whenever it usually gets released. I probably won't be pre-ordering it this time though.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE: Comment by kittynipples
By Troels on 2017-04-19 16:56:01
I have the s7 edge, and sure it does distort the image a tiny bit in the two curved sides, but it is a really not a big issue, after a few days you stop noticing it. I went with the edge version for the bigger display and battery, not the fashion factor. As a bonus the curved edge feels nicer in the have.
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RE[3]: gifts to reviewers
By kurkosdr on 2017-04-19 17:00:04
>
The NYT DID NOT review the phone.


But they still wrote an opinion and recommendation about a device they 'd never touched, because journalistic standards can always go lower.

Edited 2017-04-19 17:00 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE[4]: gifts to reviewers
By oldtimefighter on 2017-04-19 19:23:55
> But they still wrote an opinion and recommendation about a device they 'd never touched, because journalistic standards can always go lower.

What the hell does writing an valid OPINION piece (which I agree with) have to do with "because journalistic standards can always go lower"?

The fact they haven't touched the phone is totally irrelevant. No one reviewing the phone is going to be able to tell you if it's likely to blow or not (just like with the Note 7). It's an recommendation based on safety first... Samsung's last phone was known to catch on fire! It's always a good idea to wait to buy any new product but in this case just more so.

Edited 2017-04-19 19:27 UTC
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RE: WP hater too?
By Ford Prefect on 2017-04-19 21:31:28
You don't have to hate WP to acknowledge its insignificance in the current and future market and therefore abstain from including the platform wherever it would fit.
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RE[2]: WP hater too?
By Morgan on 2017-04-19 22:21:11
You completely missed the fact that that's the joke I was making (WP is insignificant at this point). I thought the wink gave it away.
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RE[3]: WP hater too?
By Ford Prefect on 2017-04-19 22:40:30
Damn, and it was a good one, too! Shame on me.
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RE: gifts to reviewers
By quackalist on 2017-04-20 19:40:07
NYT, Fake Reviews Fake News, who'd have thunk it.
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Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-18

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