Some suggestions to improve reviews (especially phone reviews)
(I published this with "reviewers" instead of "phone reviews" at the top by accident. That was a complete slip and I did not intend to insult reviewers by saying they needed to be improved. Sorry about that.)
1. Add other editor's thoughts to the end of the review
If Verge reviews are the opinions of the reviewer, then wouldn't it be nice to have as many opinions as possible, instead of only the reviewer's? And if you listen to the Vergecast or the Verge Mobile Show, other editors definitely have their opinions, and it's often different than the reviewer's own thoughts on the device. Much of one of the recent Vergecasts were dedicated to Josh and Nilays' opinions on the HTC One, even though David reviewed it. Chris has opinions on almost every phone. IMO, that should be included in the review. Add a section towards the end titled "Other editor's thoughts".
2.Update reviews (e.g. "The HTC One, two months later")
Phones don't stay the same after they're reviewed. Firmware updates, (e.g. the HTC One's recent firmware update that improves the camera), supplier issues (e.g. HTC switching mic suppliers on the One), newly discovered problems (e.g. Antennagate), etc. can all really affect a phone after it's launch. Issues with durability typically manifest themselves much later than the week-long period a reviewer spends with a phone too.
A review's perception of a phone might also change with extended use. A reviewer might have different thoughts on a phone after using it for two months as a daily driver than what he/she thought initially.
Both of these should be included in the reviews. Publish an update to the review a week after the fact, and maybe also another one two months after the fact noting any changes or updates.
3. Make some methodology improvements.
There's some testing methodology that could really be improved, namely the Verge Battery Test. People have been complaining about the 65% screen brightness issue for years.Well, here I am repeating the argument.
Here's the problem. Say there's two phones wit
Phone 1: Maximum brightness = 600 nits. 65% = 390 nits
Phone 2: Maximum brightness = 300 nits. 65% = 195 nits
Of course, this is completely unfair because phone 1 at 65% is brighter than phone 2 at 65%, and uses more battery power, while under supposedly "identical settings". This is 6th grade math. It punishes phones with brighter screens, and it's not fair.
Instead, actually measure the luminance of the screen and set both phones the same brightness (e.g. both at 300 nits). It might be 40% for one phone and 95% for the other phone. This is what Anandtech and other reputable review sites do.
4. Add comparison table for battery life.
IMO, with battery life being such an important , as well as being one of the phone's most easily measured metrics, reviews should include tables that compare a device's battery life to competitors. This was standard with Joanna's laptop reviews, but recent reviews have neglected to included it. It really, really helps with directly comparing battery life.