How we test and review products on iMore

pile of Apple devices

Source: iMore (Image credit: Source: iMore)

We love unboxing, testing, nitpicking, and evaluating the latest and greatest Apple gear at iMore, as well as the various gadgets and software that help you make the most of your phones, tablets, computers, and more. We take our responsibility to provide informed and accurate recommendations and reviews seriously. And to make sure we deliver on our commitment to provide reliable advice, we've built an evaluation system and associated set of review standards that all of our writers and editors follow.

Our ability to adhere to these strict standards is enabled and supported by our parent company Future PLC, one of the world's largest technology publishers, which means we have the resources and people power to take the time we need to provide advice and recommendations you can trust and rely on.

Visit our About Us page to learn more about iMore and our editorial staff.

iMore’s promise to you, our valued reader

We have strict processes in place to dictate how we evaluate products, and they vary based on the type of product or service. For example, a Mac requires more time and resources than an iPhone case. Two guiding principles remain true in all our reviews and recommendations: We take the time we need to get it right, no matter how long that may be; and we would never recommend a product we wouldn’t purchase and use ourselves.

  • We are never compensated for reviewing or recommending products, services, or anything else unless expressly stated.
  • We know our audience because we are our audience. We select products to review and potentially recommend (or avoid) based on what our audience wants.
  • We’re not afraid to be critical of products or services for any reason, even if our advertisers don’t like it. Bad reviews are just as valuable as good ones.
  • Whether we love or hate a product, we’ll make it clear why. There will be no confusion about any positives or negatives we have.
  • We actually use and test the products we review or recommended, with very few exceptions. We know our sometimes or competitors don’t and we resent that. You should too. If we cannot for whatever reason test a product, we have a strict process for researching it using multiple trusted sources.
  • We'll make it clear whether or not we've tested a product.

iMore's tried and true star-rating system

iMore rates the products and services we evaluate using a simple star scale, with one being the lowest rating, and five being the highest. These ratings combine objective data and performance with the subjective context of the product in its wider ecosystem, as well as the experience of the writers.

Avoid this product. We don’t recommend spending your money.

Mediocre. We don’t recommend a purchase, but some redeeming factor kept this product from receiving one star. In some instances, a reader may consider a purchase.

Average. There are reasons to avoid this product, but a reader may find enough value to justify the investment.

Better than average. Buyer's should be aware of potential concerns, but the product or service has enough redeeming qualities to earn a recommendation.

Absolutely pick it up. We recommended this product without reservations. You won't regret spending your money on a five-star iMore pick.

We also use half-star ratings to provide even more detail in our ratings, and such scores mean the products fall somewhere between the clear designations listed above.

iMore's awards, explained

Best award

iMore Best Award

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Products or services that win our coveted Best award are the cream of the crop, the products we'd buy ourselves and recommend to friends and family. If it bears the iMore Best badge, your money will be well spent. However, even when a product or service earns itself a Best badge, we make sure to specify any potential shortcomings or areas of concern for users.

Recommended award

iMore Recommended Award

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iMore's Recommended award means the product is worthy of your consideration. It's a product we endorse and feel confident recommending to our readers. Recommended award winners may not be best in class, but they're reliable and deliver on their promise of quality. If it has a Recommended badge, we wouldn't hesitate to purchase it ourselves or suggest a friend consider it. Even if a product earns a Recommended badge from iMore, we always make sure to spotlight potential concerns.

Must-Play award

iMore Must Play Award

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Our Must-Play award is our seal of approval for video games, including iOS and Nintendo Switch titles. Our staff includes many passionate video game enthusiasts, and our iPhones and iPads are always packed with the latest and greatest games ... as well as the classics, of course. Our team also never hands out a Must-Play award without playing many hours of a game — probably longer than we should just to "test" a title. If a game gets an iMore Must-Play award, it's worth your time. Promise!

The reviewers of team iMore

iMore’s seasoned team was hand-selected to ensure we maintain the quality our site was built on from day one with a wide range of expertise. We’re more than a decade old, and we’re one of the most respected Apple sites on the web for good reason. Writing about Apple’s products and ecosystem every day, and reviewing and evaluating anything and everything that encompasses, is a blessing, and our editorial staff know that and treat it as such. Being an iMore writer isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.

Many writers and editors review products for iMore, but these staffers lead the charge.

Christine Romero-Chan lives and breathes Apple everything, and she’s been writing about Apple in some capacity for nearly a decade. Christine is iMore’s iPhone beat writer, and there’s nobody on the team who’s better fit to evaluate Apple phones. She’s also iMore’s trusted evaluator of iPhone accessories and keyboards, though Christine can really review anything.

Bryan Wolfe is iMore’s Mac jack of all trades. If Bryan’s not reviewing a new Mac laptop or computer, you can bet he wishes he was. He’s also our go-to writer for Apple TV-related evaluations and recommendations.

Luke Filipowicz is our Apple Watch and iPad guy; if we need an expert to review an Apple smartwatch or tablet, it’s Luke we lean on. Luke knows what time it is, always.

Rebecca Spear is our point person for all things gaming. Rebecca not only reviews games and related gear, she coordinates nearly all gaming coverage on iMore. You'll never find her without her Nintendo Switch and iPhone nearby.

We also can't forget our trusted stable of freelance contributors who also regularly test and review products on iMore:

Again, you can find more details about the people on iMore on our About Us page.

Contact us

If you think we're not living up to our promise, we want to know about it. You can email our content director Al Sacco directly, who reads each and every message our readers send.