Smartphone releases always follow a cyclical pattern. There will be leaks of major smartphones months or even an year before the actual launch (example: SLASHLEAKS). Major websites such as Android Police, Android Central, GSM Arena and Android Authority make sure to publicize all those leaks and smartphone enthusiasts take keen notice. This is followed by the grand release of major smartphones by key players such as Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Oneplus. Very soon major smartphone reviewers such as MKBHD, MrMobile and LinusTechTips review the smartphones. They were given review units by the manufacturers weeks before and they were also made to sign an agreement regarding not revealing the details of the smartphone before the actual release. Public finally gets to know about the pros and cons of a smartphone from these reviewers and they make their purchase decision (remembering JIMSREVIEWROOM at the moment). The buzz regarding the smartphone dies out within weeks and a new release becomes imminent. The cycle repeats…
However, unlike reviewers who can afford to go from one flagship smartphone they review to the next, customers keep on using their smartphones for an average of two years and the minimum of one year. Therefore certain aspects of a smartphone which the reviewers are not able to test becomes a paramount concern. Some of those aspects include nimbleness of the software for long term use, software upgrades provided to the smartphone by the manufacturer including but not limited to feature upgrades and security updates and the degradation of battery life over time, any concern about problems occuring in smartphone displays (case in point: Galaxy Note 9 display issues in 2020) and so on. It is here that importance of long term reviews of smartphones becomes apparent.
Unlike customary reviews of various smartphones, long term reviews are very scarce in YouTube. The ‘After the Buzz’ series by Pocketnow comes immediately to mind when thinking about long term reviews of smartphones. They have been doing long term reviews of smartphones from the days of iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus both released in 2012. The channel GadgetByte merits a honorary mention when it comes to long term reviews of smartphones. They have done long term reviews of a number of smartphones including Oneplus 7T, Xiaomi MI10, Poco X2 and many other smartphones. Other smartphone channels such as Dave Lee , C4ETech, JuanBagnell and GSM Arena Official had also occasionally done long term reviews of smartphones.
Let us hope the trend will be taken up by other smartphone reviewers as well.