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Worst of the Week: The Ultimate Test

And welcome to our Thursday column, Worst of the Week. There’s a lot of nutty stuff that goes on in this industry, so this column is a chance for us at to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!
And without further ado:
We at RCR Wireless News receive our fair share of new devices, sometimes before they are released to the public and sometimes after. (Occasionally, we don’t receive a product at all. We are looking at you Apple/AT&T Mobility.) But overall we have enough time to play with enough devices to have a good understanding about what they offer and how things work.
Despite this, and unlike a number of other wireless “publications,” we do not write reviews of every device we get our hands on. This has often been discussed within the halls of our publication, but we generally think we wouldn’t offer anything that you can’t already get from any number of sites dedicated to the practice. (This is partially why we do run reviews of applications in our weekly “Yay or Nay” feature. We can offer unique insights into apps as we feel there are not a lot of others doing this.)
I mean, how much more can we add to reviews that already talk about the intricacies of a handset’s multi-mega pixel camera or how many ringtones come embedded in the device? We are just not that creative.
However, after spending some time looking through other magazines covering other industries, I am starting to have a change of heart. Specifically I have been looking at some of the auto magazines that provide in-depth performance reviews of the latest cars and I think we can take a cue from these publications by providing a true “performance review” of new mobile devices. (This idea is so new to me that I have yet to decide on a catch title for these reviews, but I kind of like “RCR Wireless News’ Mobile Meltdown Smashup Monster-Truck Rally!!!!!”)
Now, to differentiate the RCRWNMMSMTR from the run-of-the-mill handset reviews we will do things slightly different:
— Instead of measuring a device’s battery life in hours and minutes, we will see how long a battery lasts in a fire before exploding. People love explosions.
— Instead of testing network quality by seeing if a call is dropped while traveling around town, we will take phones underwater and see if “You can hear me know?” before we drown.
— To test a handset’s durability. we will start by dropping it onto a carpeted service from a height of three feet. If it survives we will move to a non-carpeted surface and drop the device from six feet. If it’s still ticking we will then tie a rope to it and drag it behind a car “National Lampoon’s Vacation” style and see how long before its shredded or we get pulled over by the police.
— And, too see how “cool” a device is we will dress it in a bathrobe, take it bowling and see how many times someone calls it “The Dude.”
We will also institute some non-traditional tests like:
— How many Tootsie Rolls we can fit inside the phone’s packaging.
— How long it takes for the device to cook a live chicken, from the inside.
— How many times the word “boob” is used in the device’s owners manual.
— And, how many times we can call customer service to ask if we can speak with Amanda Huggenkiss before the device’s remote self-detonation sequence is initiated.
As you can see, we are full of great ideas on different ways to test mobile devices. All of which are geared to providing you, our dear readers, with the most important information about the wireless industry.
OK! Enough of that.
And now for an extra:
–We received one of the freakiest press releases earlier this week from OnStar touting a “major milestone commemorating its 100,000th automatic crash response.” Maybe it’s just me, but for some reason it doesn’t seem right to be “commemorating” a crash response. Also, the event was set to take place at 11 am EST, which makes me wonder if OnStar knew there would be a crash response at that time. Like I said, freaky.
I welcome your comments. Please send me an e-mail at [email protected] Or, if you prefer, leave a comment in the space below.


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