How can you tell when a technology writer is phoning it in? By that I mean the obvious.
phoned it in
Being generally lazy with a task. Doing it half-assed instead of with your full ass.
Instead of insightful analysis, or performance comparisons, or even a distinct perspective that goes against the status quo, lazy tech writers phone it in by simply listing specifications on a piece of hardware as if copying and pasting from a press release.
Here’s an example.
I’m no fan of the anti-screed writers at ZDNet but in a head-to-head matchup between iPhone 11 models and Google’s new Pixel models, what would you do? How fast each smartphone opens applications?
No. That’s stupid.
Since most premium smartphones run many of the same popular applications, what I really want to see are the details on what matters to most of us.
Battery life, photos, and videos.
We’re no (sic) at that point in the year when both Apple and Google have unveiled their flagship smartphones, so we know what the hardware landscape will look like for the next year. So let’s take some time to compare the iPhone 11 and the Pixel 4, and see how the technology packed into reach one stacks up.
How about not?
The only real specification that matters is SSD storage. All of Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Pixels come with 64GB at the entry-level.
Well, what about the camera? The CPU? RAM? Battery size? Display refresh rate?
See the problem?
What you’ll notice is that going through the specs is that the two devices are both very similar and quite different. Both focus heavily on photography, and both pack high-performance cameras capable of excellent low-light photography.
Then why is it that anti-Apple digital rags compare Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro with the Pixel 4 entry-level model? Why not compare it to iPhone 11?
Obviously, there are more similarities than differences.
Pixel 4 is $100 more than iPhone 11. All models have a waterproof rating of IP68.
Isn’t it important to list details on the camera’s specifications? Not really. Specifications are mostly meaningless. What counts are those side-by-side photo comparisons; low light, zoom telephoto, indoors, outdoors, high contrast, and so on.
Also what matters is how long the damned battery will last on a single charge.
What about the display? That should matter, right? Nope. Pixel 4 XL has a slightly larger display than iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the entry-level Pixel 4’s display is slightly smaller than iPhone 11 Pro.
Does it matter? Nope.
Most of us would be hard-pressed to determine which display came on which smartphone. Specifications are a dying art, and an entire article devoted to such meaningless details tells me such websites are just phoning it in.