The Hypocrisy of Reviewers, A Lesson to be Learned

BB10 gestures were frustrating, but great on an iPhone?

When I first saw the iPhone X, I’m sure I had the same thoughts any BlackBerry user had. That I’d seen it all before. I’d seen it years before. I’d see it on BB10. I also knew that since it was an Apple product, reviewers would soon be gushing over the new iPhone gestures. I was sure that it would be the same reviewers that bashed BB10 gestures just a few short years ago.

I immediately had a thought of doing a post about reviewers then and now, and pointing out the differences in their reviews. Pointing out the hypocrisy. But a few things got in the way of those plans. First of all, the overwhelming response to the iPhone X was fairly lackluster. Those glowing reviews I expected to roll in, just didn’t seem to happen. It seemed that most reviews focused on the notch, and the price. Both were seen as negatives, and I agree with that. I didn’t really find many of the initial reviews that focused on the gestures, but that could also be because of the second thing that got in the way of my plans. That second thing, was that I didn’t care about the iPhone X. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reading about the iPhone and reporting about iPhone problems, and the truth of the matter is, I’m just bored with it now. Every new iteration of the iPhone is essentially the same as before, the problems are the same iOS update after iOS update. I can completely understand why iPhone fans are bored with the product, because this iPhone critic is also bored.

But I still have iPhone news coming through my newsfeed, because you never know what you’re going to see. Like Apple slowing down iPhones, who would have thought Apple would finally admit to that? Well, today, I saw something positive about the iPhone X, that wasn’t coming from an Apple fansite. No, this came from CNBC, and I thought I would take a look at it. This post states that “The iPhone X is the best iPhone yet because it gets out of your way”. It’s a rather odd title isn’t it?

The author of this post, Todd Haselton, states that “improvements to the iPhone X user experience will likely help Apple sell millions of units”. What improvements are Haselton speaking of? Well, he’s speaking about gesture based navigation. And that’s pretty much it. While he takes the time to compare the improvement to the UI to the Amazon Echo, he really doesn’t go into much detail about the gestures other than to speak of “swiping up from the home screen on the iPhone X to return to my main screen, for example, or double tapping a side button to bring up Apple Pay.” Well, while I may not believe that this in and of itself will help Apple sell millions of units, I fully agree that these are vast improvements. As a former BlackBerry 10 user, I agree swiping up to return to the home screen is vastly superior to the home button. And while he may be impressed with a double tap of the side button, I’m more impressed with convenience keys. Haselton actually echoes the very thing I used to say when speaking about BB10. that home buttons now seem archaic.

Remembering my former plan to look at current iPhone X reviews compared to past BB10 reviews, I decided to do a quick search for Mr. Todd Haselton. Well, it seems Mr. Haselton did in fact write about BB10. It seems that back in 2013 Mr. Haselton was writing for TechnoBuffalo, and the poor guy found himself frustrated by the new BlackBerry 10 devices. Specifically, he found himself feeling anxiety due to the BlackBerry Hub. Seeing all of his messages made him feel like he had to react to them, as opposed to notifications popping down from the top and then disappearing so that he could forget them on Android and iOS. Well, that’s kind of the point of the Hub, and luckily the heart of BlackBerry’s OS has made it over to Android. I wouldn’t be using Android without it. You see, I find it important to react to notifications, as opposed to forgetting about them.

But what of BB10 gestures? He found them “frustrating”. You see, he thought that he would be able to access the BlackBerry Hub from any app, but he couldn’t. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps swiping up and to the right was just too difficult to him? Or perhaps he just never gave the OS a proper chance.

And that brings me right back to the same argument I made so many years ago. Reviewers were making judgements on the BB10 OS without actually using it. Just look at this example. Haselton wrote a negative review, telling his readers how the OS made him anxious, and frustrated, all without knowing the most basic gesture for OS navigation. Compare that post from 4 years ago, to today, where he is fawning over the gestures on the iPhone X. It’s quite a difference isn’t it? It is a lesson to be learned.

Oddly enough, it’s a lesson which a few current BlackBerry 10 users could learn from. There are a few out there, that are quick to judge the newest BlackBerry devices. Perhaps they have played with one in a store? Perhaps they set up a phone for someone else? Or perhaps they’ve never actually touched one, and are making judgements off an Android offering from another phone maker. Whatever it is, the end result is the same. The new BlackBerry devices are not what they’re used to. They’re not BlackBerry 10. And those users are denouncing the new phones, with limited to no use, simply because these are not what they’re used to. Exactly like Todd Haselton did, when he wrote so negatively, and wrongfully, about BB10.


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.