Test and evaluation of mobile phones
Stein Jürgen has been testing and reviewing mobile phones on behalf of Denmark’s largest media companies for the last 14 years. Thanks to his keen commitment to understanding mobile technology and how people use it, he has accumulated extensive knowledge about which quality parameters determine people’s satisfaction with their mobile phones.
Testing and evaluation
Stein Jürgen has developed a laborious procedure for testing mobile phones. The purpose of the test is to allow the individual to compare all mobile phones on the market in an easy and fast way, helping them to find the mobile phone that best suits their needs, quality requirements and budget.
All mobile phones are tested for ten critical quality parameters and a score from one to ten is awarded for each parameter, ten being best. Each mobile phone is also awarded an overall evaluation score, which is the total of all ratings for the ten parameters. A total score of ten is worst, while 100 is best.
The scoring system is dynamic, which means that the score will change over time as new and better phones arrive on the market. A mobile phone that was graded 10 two years ago for Camera Quality, may thus have a grading of 8 for Camera Quality today. A central element of Stein Jürgen’s phone evaluations is to give the reader the best possible guidance, in line with the rapid progression of technological developments.
In addition to the individual qualities of each phone, current price is also an extremely important parameter when people choose a new mobile phone. Prices are constantly changing and telephones generally become cheaper the longer they have been on the market. It is also the case that there are many good and cheap mobile phones from relatively unknown mobile phone manufacturers.
SmartPhonesRevealed.com gives you the benefit of Stein Jürgen’s unbiased and laborious testing and evaluations, as well as an overview of current phone prices found by robots that daily crawl thousands of prices worldwide and reflect the phone general price level for each phone. Prices are shown in both Euro and USD, the currency exchange rate being retrieved on a daily basis from the European Central Bank.
Price and quality
The combination of the testing and evaluation of mobile phones’ qualities and an indication of current phone prices provides a unique basis for comparison when choosing your next mobile phone.
The ability to compare all telephones on the basis of quality and price allows you to see which mobile phones represent the highest quality for the money. How much quality you get for your money is calculated as a ratio = (overall assessment of the phone / total phone price) * 100. The higher the score, the greater the quality you are getting for your money.
Independent and impartial
I test and assess the telephones on the basis of my own experiences of each individual mobile phone. My tests and evaluations are independent and impartial and I receive no money or gifts from mobile phone manufacturers. I am on a fixed salary that is paid by SmartPhonesRevealed.com, which in no way affects how I test and judge the individual telephones.
In connection with my work, I am often invited to conferences, Unboxing events and other events that are paid for by phone manufacturers. Events of this type do not affect my mobile phone evaluations.
SmartPhonesRevealed.com sells advertising space and other advertising instruments to commercial operators. The sale of advertising does not affect my testing and evaluations. Nor does it affect the work I do for SmartPhonesRevealed.com.
As the mobile phone expert on SmartPhonesRevealed.com, I am fundamentally controlled by my own view that a mobile phone should always be assessed on the basis of quality and the current price of the phone. For this reason, you will find that I tend to recommend relatively cheap phones of relatively high quality.
#1 Test and evaluation of Design and Materials
Design is very much a matter of personal taste, but Stein Jürgen’s testing is as far as possible based on objective criteria. Materials and design should as far as possible be practical and user-friendly, while being pleasant to hold during phone use.
How phones are tested in the Design and Materials category:
- Format, dimensions and weight
#2 Test and evaluation of User-friendliness
High user-friendliness is of course an important feature for a mobile phone. Is it too cumbersome to use because of format, keys, fingerprint scanner, face scanner and other low-practical things that do not work? Or is the user interface full of bloatware or is the structure illogical and slow to use?
How phones are tested in the User-friendliness category:
- How easy the phone is to operate with just one hand
- How well the low-practical functions work
- How logically the user interface is structured
- If there is a memory card slot and 3.5 mm headset jack compatibility
#3 Test and evaluation of Battery Life
Mobile phones with short battery life are irritating for anyone, but long battery life is also about more than just using powerful batteries. The user interface and battery optimisation are also important parameters.
How phones are tested in the Battery Life category:
- Battery capacity and durability
- Options for battery optimisation
- Interface optimisation relative to battery consumption
- Battery consumption in normal use
- How long the phone takes to recharge
#4 Test and evaluation of Display
The display may be the most important element of a modern phone. It is the access point to everything that we use the phone for. Accordingly, this is therefore one of the test parameters that Stein Jürgen spends most energy on testing.
How phones are tested in the Display category:
- Screen size
- Display type
- Brightness (NIT)
- Clarity (PPI)
- Viewing angle
- Touch sensitivity
#5 Test and evaluation of Camera & Video
The camera is always one of the top three features people mention when asked about important mobile phone features. The number of mega pixels is less important when determining a good camera than a low aperture rating, whether it has EIS or OIS, or that the flash provides good light etc.
The video camera in a mobile phone is also a very important feature for many people and the best mobile phones can record video in 4K quality.
How phones are tested in the Camera category:
- Mega pixels
- Aperture rating
- OIS / EIS
- Autofocus quality
- Quality of landscape images
- Quality of images taken in the dark, with and without the phone’s camera flash
- Quality of portrait images
- Selfie quality
- Type of autofocus
- Autofocus quality
- Automatic settings
- Picture quality
#6 Test and evaluation of Navigation Speed
User interface navigation speed is also relevant to how many phone features are experienced. Is the phone slow to open menus, apps and games? Is the camera slow to activate? Can the phone multitask? Etc.
How phones are tested in the Navigation Speed category:
- Processor type
- Amount of RAM
- Operating system
- Practical experience of navigation speed
#7 Test and evaluation of Data Speed
Data Speed is essential, especially when streaming music and video. This is not just about high speeds, but also about stable speeds. It is better to have a stable internet connection of 20 Mbit/s than speeds ranging between 2 Mbit/s and 200 Mbit/s.
How phones are tested in the Data Speed category:
- Data speeds for download and upload
- Connection stability
- Wi-Fi boost combination option
#8 Test and evaluation of Gaming Experience
Mobile gaming has become an enormous industry and there are plenty of great games for mobile phones nowadays. Games can be simple and undemanding of the phone, or highly advanced with demanding and great-looking graphics and intense gameplay.
How phones are tested in the Gaming category:
- Display quality and resolution
- Battery consumption
#9 Test and evaluation of Antenna Quality and mobile coverage
Your phone’s antenna quality is essential for your mobile coverage. Most have probably experienced a loss of mobile network coverage. This often happens when we are outside in nature, far from urban areas or inside structures, surrounded by concrete and glass.
Mobile phone manufacturers provide no information or data about the quality of antennas they install in mobile phones. On the other hand, recognised testing has been undertaken to demonstrate the link between antenna quality and mobile phone signal emissions (SAR value). The higher the SAR rating, the lower the quality of the mobile antenna.
Mobile manufacturers are required to inform about phone SAR values, which makes it relatively simple to express the quality of the mobile antenna. Our evaluations use the reciprocal of the SAR value to express the quality of the mobile antenna.
How phones are tested in the Antenna Quality category:
- SAR value as an expression of antenna quality
- Mobile coverage experienced under normal use
- Mobile coverage experienced indoors and outdoors
#10 Test and evaluation of Voice Quality
Voice call quality is an extension of antenna quality. Mobile phones with poor quality antennas deliver poor quality voice calls. Support for VoLTE and Wi-Fi calls is also important, because these technologies can provide better sound quality during the conversation.
How phones are tested in the Voice Quality category:
- Antenna quality
- Wi-Fi calls
- Telephone sound quality
- Sound quality of the person talking
- Noise cancelling microphone
Mobile phone emissions
Experts disagree about whether mobile phone electromagnetic emissions (mobile signal emissions) are harmful to the human brain and the body’s other organs. Science has not yet been able to give clear answers about whether mobile signal emissions (indicated as mobile phone SAR values) are harmful, as there is currently insufficient data to confirm or disprove any adverse effects of mobile signal emissions on the brain and body.
On the basis of the precautionary principle, the WHO advises against unnecessary exposure to mobile signal emissions. In practice, this means avoiding the use of mobile phones with high SAR values.
Children and young people in particular should avoid using mobile phones with high mobile signal emissions. The skulls of children and young people are thinner than those of adults, so mobile signal emissions are able to penetrate further into their brains.
In the West, mobile phone manufacturers are required by the authorities to state the SAR values of their phones.
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