Who among the technology gadget inclined does not like a good product shootout; a comparison that features the best of vs. a well known competitor? We see that with Apple vs. Google vs. Samsung all the time.
Hardware specifications are drop dead simple to compare, especially when the bullet points are concluded with a price tag. What we seldom see are comparisons of what we really, truly, madly, deeply need. App vs. App. iOS vs. Android. macOS vs. Windows.
Instead, for years we’ve been treated to anti-comparisons; Windows vs. Mac. One is an operating system, the other is a personal computer platform. Ditto for Android vs. iPhone. We live in a different era where somehow it is acceptable to compare non-matching products. Here are a few that have been ripped in recent months:
- An $80 Watch Is Not An Apple Watch
- An $80 Watch Is Not A $1,000 Watch
- Get An Apple Watch Copycat For $80 (not)
Yet, stupidly insane product comparisons are the norm among the interweb’s most popular sites. Why?
Such ridiculous comparisons help websites to make money because, instead of a decent shootout review that compares bullet points and usability, they compare a low price to a high quality product. Maren Estrada:
These wireless noise cancelling headphones cost $50 instead of $350
Let’s look at that technique another way.
This talking speaker costs less than $50 instead of $350
That would be a comparison of Amazon’s cheapest-assed Echo Dot to Apple’s HomePod (before the recent price drop). The headline is dramatic but the comparison is completely unfair. An Echo Dot does not have the sound of Apple’s HomePod.
Not. The. Same.
This 4-door sports sedan is $15,000 instead of $55,000
See the problem? It’s made even more of a problem because the entire premise of comparison has nothing to do with features, functions, and all the reasons one would compare a product. The idea is to sell the less expensive product– and make some money doing it– by comparing it to a higher quality product which, amazingly, comes with a higher price tag.
We see similar comparisons of cheapest-assed Android smartphones to an iPhone XS Max fully maxed at $1,449. Yes, you could save $1,200 by purchasing a different product, but that isn’t the point. Those kinds of comparisons are not to show similar specifications for much less money. Such comparisons are little more than another way for a website to make money.
Yes, I know we live in the era of fake news and fake outrage, but if the truth hurts, deal with it. Comparisons are OK by me so long as they are valid. A pair of $50 noise cancelling headphones do not sound the same as a pair of $350 noise cancelling headphones. Yes, you can buy a pair of AirPods knockoffs for $30.
Not. The. Same.