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How we test and review products at Trusted Reviews

We employ experienced expert reviewers, who thoroughly test everything they recommend, to explain what’s best for most people. It's that simple

Unlike many other sites, we thoroughly test everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests, in properly equipped facilities, to evaluate products in order to compare them properly against each other.

Manufacturers don’t vet our reviews and we never, ever accept money to test something. You can find out more below. We’re always updating these pages so keep checking back to see how we’re improving.

Understanding our buying advice

Reviews: a Trusted Reviews branded review is a clear, final recommendation on whether or not to buy something, with a star rating and possibly an Awards logo (see below). There are two elements to a review: our opinion of what a product is like to use based on using a lot of similar products, and performance data drawn from a variety of appropriate tests performed in our testing facilities. We aim to be as exhaustive as is needed.

Best Lists: we compile Best List branded summaries of recommended products based on our reviews, to aid comparison. Every product in one of our Best Lists has been fully tested and we’ll always link to the original review so you can check for yourself. Occasionally, for smaller products, we’ll put the whole review into the Best List itself, and we’ll flag when this is the case. Unlike other sites, we don’t create Best Lists of untested products.

We believe our Best Lists can be even more useful and clearer than they are now, and are currently working on ways to better bring in scores, awards logos and spec data from our reviews.

Versus: we often compare two or three products in Versus branded articles. We may base these on full reviews, Hands ons, or on confirmed specifications. These should be read as a starting point when researching a product, not the end.

Hands ons: we often get early access to products, before they are released, which we brand as Hands on reviews. As enthusiasts, we like to tell our readers about our first impressions of new products, however it’s important to note the access we get at this stage is usually very limited. Therefore, Hands ons will lack the test data, star rating and verdict elements of our full reviews.

How we decide what to review

We aim to review the products that most people are buying – we realise we cannot review everything. We have three criteria for selecting products for review, and products have to meet at least one of:

  1. what’s new or interesting in the market
  2. what readers are searching for online
  3. what readers are buying

We request products for review from manufacturers, and occasionally buy products to test, if manufacturers are unwilling or unable to send us review kit.

Home appliances kept in front of a white wall with a Trusted Reviews poster on it

Products begin their testing cycle in our Farnborough test facility. The digital meters under each plug socket enable us to measure water consumption

How we test

A smartphone kept on a table with i1 display box being kept on it

We use a colourimeter to test the colour accuracy and maximum brightness of a mobile phone’s screen

Our scoring system

Numbers never tell you the full story by themselves, but we give every product we review a score out of five stars to give you an indication of how it performs and how it compares to similar products.

Our scoring system

  • 5 Stars – Exceptional: a score of 5 stars indicates that the product sets the benchmark, or reference, from which to judge other products. Only the very best products receive this and such products will receive the Trusted Reviews ‘Highly Recommended’ award.
  • 4.5 Stars – Excellent: a score of 4.5 stars indicates the product is of an extremely high quality with only minor issues that don’t affect most users. Any product that scores 4.5 stars overall earns a Trusted Reviews ‘Recommended’ award.
  • 4 Stars – Recommended: a 4-star score means most people will find little fault with the product and would be comfortable recommending it to a friend. Products that score 4 stars overall earn a Trusted Reviews Recommended Award.
  • 3-3.5 Stars – Good: most people should be satisfied with a product that scores in this range, even if it has a few faults that prevent it from scoring higher. If you can find it discounted and the flaws aren’t a deal-breaker for you then it will be a worthwhile purchase.
  • 1-2.5 Stars – Poor: any product that scores this will have some serious flaws and should be avoided.

Our awards explained

We also have two awards, the ‘Recommended’ award and ‘Highly Recommended’ award for the top-scoring products, which will appear on the relevant reviews.

  • Highly Recommended/Editor’s Choice: only products that score 5 stars overall receive the Highly Recommended Award. No product receives the Highly Recommended Award without the Editor’s approval. (We are in the process of changing our awards nomenclature, and this award will shortly be re-named ‘Editor’s Choice’.)
  • Recommended: any product that receives a Recommended award is an outstanding product that we feel anyone will enjoy owning. All 4.5-star products – and some 4-star products – receive a Trusted Reviews Recommended award.

After – and only after – publication, our licensing team may separately approach the applicable retailer or manufacturer, in order to sell them the right to reproduce our Award. This is to allow manufacturers to use our Awards logos and our verdicts in their promotional material. Awards can only be used for the specific products to which they apply.

If you have any questions about how we review, please email the editor and we’ll be happy to answer.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

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