How international tech reviewers shape our expectations

| Updated: January 24, 2022 12:54:07

Photo - Freepik Photo - Freepik

When we think about tech reviewers, who are almost entirely based on YouTube, some very common names pop up such as Marques Brownlee, Linus Tech Tips, Unbox Therapy, Mrwhosetheboss, Dave Lee, Hardware Unboxed, Hardware Canucks, etc. 

Most of the popular Tech YouTubers are based in North America and some of them are from the UK, Australia and Europe. 

But there’s one thing they commonly share is that they are rich. And this has a profound impact on their followers and sometimes, the mass people on the internet.

Expectation conundrum:

One of the core objectives of tech reviewers is to review the latest and the greatest products that come to the market, and as innovative and fast-paced the tech industry is, these constant innovations and production of new products keep the reviewers busy throughout the year. 

This, in hindsight, creates a problem of uplifted expectations. Because using the best products that the market has to offer on a regular basis naturally makes these reviewers very weary of the limitations that the everyday not-so-expensive tech products have. This behaviour is evident in many of their videos. 

Cheap and value undefined:

Take an example of the video titled ‘Intel Core i7-12700 vs. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, Best Value CPU?’ from the popular tech channel Hardware Unboxed. 

The main problem in this video is evident in the title itself, calling processors with 8-12 cores that cost well over USD 350 ‘value’ products, whereas the main concept behind ‘value’ products is that they offer the best performance in the cheapest price. 

In his review of the ‘iPhone SE,’ Marques Brownlee calls a USD 400 phone with 60Hz 720p panel and bad battery life, ‘so cheap’ and ‘budget’ (The brand bias is obvious in this video). 

Dave Lee suggests people buy a 3-year-old second-hand surface laptop with 128 GB storage that costs over USD 900, creating a massive confusion over what a budget or cheap device looks like. 

‘Reviewers can be wrong’

Because these reviewers deal with super expensive, cutting-edge products all the time, their idea of cheap or value products can sometimes be drastically different from the perception of mass people. 

They have such influence over their followers, these remarks about budget devices can profoundly shape the expectations of their viewers about what a budget-friendly device might look like.

People, in general, do not use the latest, the most expensive products on the market and most people have a budget and a timeline regarding how much they’d want to spend on the tech products and for how long they’d want to use them. 

So, it is common for a person to use his phone for 3 years or to use a laptop for 4-5 years. 

Old products are okay to use

As mentioned, the tech world is constantly changing, so naturally, a 3-year-old product would start to show the signs of ageing and that’s okay. 

Older products do not necessarily translate into a bad product and many people are using 3–4-year-old stuff that is getting them through everyday tasks just fine. 

But this is the area where the tech reviewers have influenced the mindset of the people the most. For a person, seeing his favourite tech YouTuber unboxing and benchmarking the performance of new products on a regular basis generally makes him unhappy about the product he’s currently using. 

And there’s another fact about the market differences, for example, the Pixel 5A which costs USD 449 in the U.S market is considered as one of the best value for money devices. One can get a ‘Oneplus 9’ in India or Bangladesh at the same price, with the latter carrying the latest processor and features a phone can offer. 

So it is important for a layperson to rethink value or cheap when they hear these words from popular tech reviewers online.

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