Approximate time to read: 7 minutes

PC Pro have reviewed the new iPhone 4 and have put it on its “A List”, knocking off the HTC Desire. However, comments, at the time of writing this, show that people aren’t happy – and they make some rather important points too.

I am fed up with seeing IPhone splattered over the homepage! Change it, this is PC Pro, not Apple Central!!!

I am disappointed PC Pro have A listed this. The desire got all 36 stars and was A listed. The iPhone only got 33, and was A listed. Does this mean that the stars have nothing to do with whether the product is A listed? Or is it that the Value of the product is not taken into account?

More than this, I always thought PC Pro was a PC for Professional people in IT. And everyone knows that Professional IT people care about functionality more than anything else. The Desire can be used with any PC, has a standard microUSB connection, it is open source, expandable memory, changeable battery, a better interface, you can hold it anyway you like without signal loss, I could go on. So how can something like the super restrictive iPhone get A listed?

Another bunch of reviewers taken in by something shiny, I agree with all of the above comments the HTC Desire should retain the A-List spot as it is far more innovative and less restrictive than the iPhone.

I have seen several videos of people holding their phones in a normal way with the signal falling drastically. Perhaps its not the same with all iPhone 4s, but I wouldn’t call this a ‘minor issue’.

I agree, price obviously is irrelevant to an A-list recommendation, so why bother with a value for money rating?

It just can’t be me that is sick of having Apple products splashed all over the front page of PC Pro and to hear the podcast be almost an advertisement for Apple. Surely PC Pro should be aimed at professionals as the name suggests. I can’t see any reason a IT professional would want to buy an iPhone since there aimed squarely at the consumer. If this is now an Apple based magazine can you let me know and I’ll stop reading…

I agree with all the above comments. I am getting fed by how all the media is getting hyped up over Apple products. There are other companies / products out there which are just as good. In PC Pro I expect balance. Perhaps it is time to review my subscription.

Oops. I guess that could have gone better for them.


Lots more comments since…

I don’t understand why the iPhone is on the A list when it is only average value for money? And how does it get a maximum overall rating when the value for money is poor. And the review doesn’t answer the question of whether the iPhone is worth £220 more than the Desire? Sadly, it all looks a bit contrived.

I also agree with all the above comments. I just do not understand how a device with such a significant design flaw can get 6/6 for features and design or haw it can be recommended above the HTC Desire despite scoring less.

It is massivelly overpriced to be on the A list.

I agree with most of the sentiment above. However, my main issue surrounding the coverage of Apple products isn’t the amount, more so the bias that their products seem to receive. It seems that Steve Jobs’ PR machine has well-infiltrated the PC-Pro offices. For instance, with this phone there are some serious flaws (I’ve seen the signal problem first hand and it’s shockingly bad), yet at the end of the review there’s still a 6-star, A-list rating.

I’ve grown to live with the “yes, but it’s Apple so it doesn’t matter” attitude to flaws that the fanboys all take (Chris Brennan being one of the worst), but I expect a more measured and unbiased approach from a magazine calling itself PC Pro.

If you rate the value for money as 3/6 then clearly you don’t think the phone is worth the money, so how does it appear on the a list? It seems that the A list rating is totally subjective and nothing to do with the ratings. I don’t get it.

I wouldn’t say that i hate Apple. Apart from looking the part, their previous products do ‘just work’. The wife has a 3GS and i admit that is a good phone and i enjoying playing with it and that was worthy of a A listing. I bought an enjoyed using my 32GB iTouch.

But when Apple release a product (given their previous unblemished track record) and it’s released with problems – for an independent magazine to rate it as A-list, because it has a slightly higher resolution screen (but, not as vibrant as an OLED), a better camera (even though the Mega pixel count is the same as the Desire, although I’ve yet to see the comparisons of photo quality between the two).
I fail to see why this should be A-listed.
I guess i should maybe look at another source of unbiased reviews in the future.

This review is not balanced. How could a phone with a problem like the signal issue end up with a 5 * review?? If this was Samsung or a Windows phone it would have been slated. Quite clearly this reviewer is prepared to ignore the flaws because he has been seduced by the shiny publicity machine of Steve Jobs and Apple. – Oh and just one more thing, give me the Samsung Galaxy S any day. Who wants a phone restricted from using flash.

The desire is clearly better, as you don’t have to be careful how you hold it in order to avoid signal drop! Personally, if I had a phone that expensive I’d hold it in a rather tight grip too! The Desire therefore maintains signal and actually works AS A PHONE! If your grip is wrong, the Apple is merely a Smart iBrick.

oh dear…. PC Pro …. how low can you go.

“A few minor issues can’t mask the fact that Apple has again produced the most desirable smartphone on the market”

Since when is loss of signal a “minor” issue with a phone?

Sorry, but the original reasons for looking at PCPro for unbiased advice are beginning to die. This site has turned into a joke, with reviewers more interested in courting corporate “sponsors” than providing totalling unbiased views.

If this phone didn’t have an Apple badge the review summary would read “Nice styling, good screen, over-priced, fatal signal flaw, no-flash support, restrictive customisation. Avoid.”

I don’t understand why the iPhone is on the A list when it is only average value for money? And how does it get a maximum overall rating when the value for money is poor. And the review doesn’t answer the question of whether the iPhone is worth £220 more than the Desire? Sadly, it all looks a bit contrived.

At this point David Bayon, Deputy Reviews Editor, stepped in…

Ok guys, before the talk turns entirely to us “courting corporate sponsors” with our “biased” views, let’s get the signal issue into perspective.

Yes, there is a particular way of holding the iPhone that causes the signal to drop. It’s not a comfortable way of holding the phone; in fact we found it requires you to grip unreasonably hard. We could very easily make a YouTube video showing the fault in action, as many people have, but in reality there’s not one person at PC Pro who holds a mobile phone in that manner. We’ve tested two samples and had no issues in real world use.

The internet magnifies problems such as this with unimaginable speed, and it’s important to take a step back before diving in with the verdict that the phone is unusable. It’s anything but.

You may or may not agree with the review, but the views in it are those of everyone here who’s used the phone. It’s a fantastic handset, and claiming it isn’t just because it was made by Apple is non-sensical. The Desire was the best when we reviewed it; the iPhone 4 has just raised the bar, hence the A List award.

What he’s done is address the signal issue, but none of the others – in particular, that a phone with a lower rating than the previous A list entry has replaced it.

Meantime, it’s reported that there are problems with the iPhone 4’s proximity sensor. It’s used to lock the screen when used for phone calls so that your face doesn’t press anything. It appears that many users are finding that this functionality is not working correctly.

seem there are issues with the proximity sensor now well documented on the apple forums and the inquirer. How can this keep a A star rating with these problems? They maybe fixed with a software update soon….but i thought this was the iphone “its just works”. The media apple-love-in… is a joke… yes it maybe the best smartphone on the market…yes it maybe “cool” but when it fails to deliver its primary use this is very poor…please downgrade to has potential to be great but not yet……waiting software update… or case to improve signal

Accusing the PCPro with all these sins is probably a bit over the top, but on the other hand the reaction is pretty natural – I think it’s the first time when a product with such a low “value for money” made to the A-list.

Also, I find the attitude like “it’s the best phone and doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it” deeply flawed. Surely products like Intel Core i7-980X should have made to the A-list then?

Instead of the iPhone being an A-listed product right now, just have it rated as ‘recommended’ and once its had the software updated to fix its (lets say)’teething problems’ you could review it again, to then give it an “A-Listed Recommendation”; if it deserved it.
Looking at all the comments made on this review, i think that i can confidently say that this product has had the most negative reaction to review, ever.
Also I guess that if PCPRO keeps the phone as A-Listed, i should cancel my subscription and subscribe to another ‘independent’ magazine – I doubt that I would be the only person thinking this.

So, even after David’s intervention, I guess that last comment says it all. My PC Pro subscription has been cancelled too.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been a subscriber for over 5 years and have cancelled my subscription to PcPro because It’s lost all credibility in my eyes as a professional magazine. I’ll be checking out Consumer Reports for my informed info from now on. At least they admitted that they were wrong when they rated the iPhone first time round. Check out the link below;

    The iPhone, first and foremost, is a phone. If it fails in its basic function then it isn’t fit for purpose. Simple as!

    So, five stars for a phone that fails as a phone?

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