What do our scores mean?

Numbers never tell you the whole story, but we give every product we review a score out of 10 to give you an indication of how it performs and how it compares to similar products. We also have two awards, the Recommended award and Editor’s Choice award for the top-scoring products.

We explain our scores and the awards below, but before that it’s worth considering a few things about our scores:

It’s all relative
If looking at a category, how important is it to you? For example, depending on your point of view, Picture Quality on a TV is far more important than Design. A 5/10 in one category doesn’t necessarily make it a bad product.

We don’t use averages
Overall scores are not weighted averages but our opinion of the product as a whole based on the guidelines below. We don’t use weighted averages as they don’t always match the reality of the product as a whole and it’s more important that you decide which categories are most important to you.

Be careful when comparing
Comparing scores from products reviewed several months apart can be misleading. Expectations change as time passes and products improve, and our scoring evolves to reflect that.

The TrustedReviews Scoring System

10 – Exceptional
A score of 10 indicates that the product sets the benchmark, or reference, from which to judge other products. Only the very best products need apply and TrustedReviews evaluates every 10/10 very carefully. Any product that scores 10/10 overall must be approved by the Editor and is awarded the TrustedReviews Editor’s Choice award.

The key thing to remember about a 10/10 product is that it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect product. What a 10/10 will do, however, is reset out expectations of other products in that category. For example, the Motorola Moto G is the only phone we gave a 10/10 to in 2013 because it was head and shoulders above any other ‘cheap’ phone.

9 – Excellent

A score of 9/10 indicates the product is of an extremely high quality with only minor issues that don’t affect most normal users. Any product that scores 9/10 overall earns a TrustedReviews Recommended award.

8 – Very Good
An 8/10 score means most people will find little fault with the product and would be comfortable recommending it to a friend. Some products that score 8/10 overall can earn a TrustedReviews Recommended award if they score 9 for Value, or if they’re particularly innovative or have no obvious alternative.

7 – Good
Most people should be satisfied with a product that scores 7/10, even if it has a few faults that prevent it from scoring higher. The difference between a 7/10 and an 8/10 is largely that you’d have more trouble recommending it to a friend without pointing out the weaknesses it has. This is quite a common score for innovative products that don’t quite feel complete, such as the original iPad. Ultimately we review products with the mindset of whether you should buy one, so just being new and interesting isn’t enough to inflate the score. Substance matters.

6 – Adequate or Average
A product that scores 6/10 may disappoint some buyers, though if the product is a simple, single-use item then a 6/10 should be taken to mean it does its job without excelling. In a category score, 6/10 isn’t a bad score provided it’s not a vital part of the product. If you can find it heavily discounted and the flaws aren’t a deal-breaker for you then give it a go.

5 – Below Average
Any product that scores 5/10 will have some serious faults. A 5/10 in some categories isn’t a disaster provided it does what you want, but any product that scores 5/10 overall should be treated with caution. If you find it in the bargain bin then it could be worth a punt.

4 – Poor
A score of 4/10 is poor and means the product has very serious faults that can’t be overlooked. Proceed with caution.

3 or less – Very poor and worse
Once you get down here, it’s just varying degrees of very bad. In this day and age it’s very rare that we get sent products that fall this far down, but never say never.

What do the awards mean?

TR RecommendedEditor’s Choice
Only products that score 10/10 overall receive the Editor’s Choice Award. It’s a mark of quality that the product reviewed is a benchmark product for all others to follow. No product receives the Editor’s Choice award without the editor’s approval.

TR Ed ChoiceRecommended
Any product that receives a Recommended award is an outstanding product that we feel anyone will enjoy owning. All 9/10 products receive a TrustedReviews Recommended award. Some that score 8/10 can receive a Recommended Award, too, but only at the discretion of the editor. Reasons for an 8/10 product receiving an award include outstanding value or innovation.

Have a question about our scores or how we review products? Let us know in the comments.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor