Review Focus & Information
When writing reviews at APH Networks, it is our duty to provide the most accurate and informative reviews possible at all times; as well as maintaining a long-term relationship with our readers, manufacturers, and its companies. Being the first website to published such article or "site constitution" known as our Review Focus (This article), we take immense pride in our reviews for factual, objective based commentary and analysis on every product we write with regards to. Drafted in early 2006, our Review Focus was first published on March 22, 2006; and has gone through multiple amendments in our continued effort to improve the quality of APH Networks.
This is our philosophy of APH Networks articles:
To provide the reader the most accurate, unbiased and detailed reviews; giving consumers and professionals alike an informed purchasing decision based on their requirements and needs, with each review consisting of a combination of fun and enjoyability, and highest quality reviews to the best of our ability for everyone.
What do the ratings mean?
Award first announced: March 7, 2010 | The APH One award is not only an award -- it is a bold statement and a strong testament to the product that receives this honor. APH One recognizes a product that has reached the pinnacle of engineering and/or design at the time of review; a product that takes its market category to entirely new heights and pushes the limits of innovation and practical implementation. The product is simply groundbreaking and exuberantly awesome. It is simply matchless in every way. For consumers looking for products that are the best of the best, the elite of the elite, and the ultimate of its type, this is the one. This product is a true undisputed winner among its competition, and any flagship setup would not be considered a true flagship without it. This is APH One. This is ultimate.
Award first announced: November 19, 2005 | Products that does its job exceptionally well and that we believe it is something you should definitely consider purchasing, or that we believe it is among the best of its class, will get the APH Recommended award. It might not necessary have a higher rating than x/10; it is just anything that we recommend will get this award so it is not dependent on points. This is what we consider one of our most significant awards, therefore APH Recommended is given very rarely in relative (As if the other awards aren't already!) APH Recommended is awarded out of very careful consideration by our team of editors -- it reflects something we would most definitely purchase with the price and availability given.
Award first announced: June 16, 2007 | The APH:Renewal award signifies a truly commendable product. We believe products that receives this award has room either for easy improvements or refinements, and demonstrates overall competence for great potential in its intended market with everything accounted for. Certain drawbacks exist, but may only affect the end user to a limited extent; these are easily outweighed by its strong potentials and advantages. The product receiving this award is generally something that fits into its intended market very well at this point. Looking at the full picture, it's safe to say that an APH:Renewal product is an impressive product.
Award first announced: November 30, 2006 | APH equal.balance goes to products that achieves it primary purpose in a commendable fashion, or that it is very innovative; but may have certain drawbacks that may affect the end user to a certain extent. With an excellent great price to performance ratio, has certain strong advantage, or that it is unique by itself but with very justified compromises will get this award. This award is not limited and not based on points; but as all APH awards, it's based on the characteristics of the product itself.
Award first announced: May 21, 2007 | This is given to the product that is absolutely incredible and achieved new heights of scoring at APH Networks -- and it is not quite limited to numerical scores. It is the product that breaks records, and it is only awarded to the product that currently holds the best rating in any category. The current record holder as of July 8, 2011 is the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB with APH One. The OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB was preceded by the Logitech G5 V2 with a numerical score of 8.6/10 and APH Recommended.
This is not an award -- it is a badge of recognition for products that have been examined by APH Networks, but do not fall into categories of our standard rating scheme. All products that are not normally eligible to receive any ratings or awards as described in this article will receive this badge. This includes products such as power supplies, software packages, and other miscellaneous items.
The guide below indicates what each number means. Number ratings are used for hardware reviews.
Since April 30, 2007, Number Ratings have been dropped for all CPUs, motherboards, RAM, SSD/HDDs, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings reflected without the inherent limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
10/10: This is an absolutely incredible product that's absolutely perfect with no drawbacks at all.
9/10: Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that does not affect the overall product.
-- 8.6/10 -- The highest numerical mark awarded to any product so far is the Logitech G5 V2. --
8/10: Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10: Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
6/10: A product with its advantages, but drawbacks should not be ignored before purchasing.
5/10: An average product with no real advantages; drawbacks and advantages just seems to cancel each other out.
4/10: With disadvantages that slightly outweigh its advantages, you should not get this product unless there are no product alternatives that does its job.
3/10: Disadvantages are pretty significant, and seriously considered before purchase. Disadvantages interfere with the product purpose, and if better alternatives are available, get the better alternative.
2/10: The advantage is not clear and the disadvantages are too obvious or significant to be ignored. The disadvantages interfere with the overall product function. We highly recommend you to get better alternative products if available.
-- 1.0/10 -- The lowest numerical mark awarded to any product so far is the Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 --
1/10 or lower: Don't get this product unless it is absolutely essential for a specific purpose. The disadvantages interfere significantly to the product's function. In general, there are better things out there for your money.
The Blue text indicates the current trend of weighted average of the marks given to reviewed products.
Letter grade ratings are used for game reviews.
These should be quite straightforward.
Variants of A indicate the game is excellent.
Variants of B indicate the game is very good.
Variants of C indicate the game is average.
Variants of D indicate the game is poor.
F indicates the game does not meet acceptable standards.
Here's some of our review information that we promise our readers and how we work with companies:
- We promise unbiased reviews. We abide by an ethical standard, with each article written from a consumer point of view. If it is a good product, we will recommend it regardless of who made it. If it is a product that we believe is unsuitable, and that will we not purchase ourselves, we definitely will not recommend them. Simple as that. The company can be the biggest product manufacturer in its market, or it can even be the little guy -- but this will not have any effect on the rating of their products.
- We try our best to provide the most accurate review, and address every aspect of the product we are reviewing that we believe is important to the consumer for an informed purchasing decision. But we do not just write boring old articles. We believe reviews should retain a high standard of quality from the beginning to the end, easy to understand yet technically competent, and enjoyable to read.
- It is APH Networks' normal practice to retain products sent to us by companies for future reference purposes. The idea that exists behind this is that we cannot reference to other products in future reviews from products we do not have in our labs at the time. We understand that some publications returns and/or gives away products after finishing their editorial to 'prove' that they are clean from unfair practices. From time to time, we retest products as benchmark programs changes, or that new insights or opinions that were previously unknown or undiscovered to us appears, prompting us to retest the products for newer, updated, and more accurate results. The only we that this is possible for us is to retain the products; and we take pride in every written article for its legitimacy and quality to our best effort. We are confident that APH Networks readers are knowledgeable and informed individuals and can testify the quality of each APH Networks review -- as we are ultimately held responsible to the readers -- and not the companies. We do not need artificial policies as a way to 'prove' that our reviews are legitimate reviews.
- For this reason, it has led many to believe that review units sent to APH Networks are 'free'. While on paper that there are absolutely no monetary exchanges between APH Networks and the company for the purpose of the review, we would not consider anything to be 'free'. On each review, it takes a minimum of 14 hours to take the article to completion, and up to 30 or more hours on certain products. This is usually done over 3-4 week's time, from photography, testing, and the actual written phase. This is our commitment to each review, to examine both real life factors and product performance as compared to others. The amount of work put into each review should not and would not be considered the products as 'free', because countless hours of work and efforts are put into it. Additionally, we are free to criticize each product without reserve; because we are okay if companies refuse to work with us in the future due of a negative review. Consider this -- if you work, you get paid. The money you receive is not 'free money' because one has worked for it. We take 'receiving free products' as an insult, because we take reviewing seriously. There are no "free" things in this world, and we are no different.
- The primary aim of our reviews is written from a consumer-centric point of view. We often ask ourselves, "who is the intended consumer, and what would the consumer want in this product?" Based on this, we attempt to provide the reader as much information to the best of our ability in order to complete the conclusion in their head -- therefore, in return, making an informed and correct buying decision. We have formulated this because we are consumers too; we read reviews from other sites as well -- and we make purchase decision ourselves. For this reason, we also believe every review must be written ethically. There are many legitimate review sites in which we respect and often visit for accurate opinions. Being that, we've also seen many so-called 'review sites' as well who are the ones looking for the 'free stuff', and writes their articles that are no different from an advertisement. We believe this sort of reviews published are derogatory to legitimate reviewers and review sites, an extent of consumer scam, as well as unethical practice. We take great pride in our reviews, and we would not let ourselves be classified as what we hold no respect for.
- We keep advertising and company affiliations entirely separate from our review ratings. Who the company is, how they work with us, and what they do has absolutely zero influence on our articles and product ratings. This is essential to the primary ethical standard of reviews in general. The affiliated or advertising company will gain no advantages to any extent; in which we recommend products based on only the products itself, and how well it accommodates its intended market.
- We will not accept any form of 'bribes' or illegitimate benefits from any parties.
- In the rare occasion that the reader thinks we have made an unfair or somehow biased review, we highly encourage the reader contact us and give us your thoughts and opinions. This is the best way to improve our reviews, because it is our intention to do so. We want a close relationship with all our readers and stick as close as possible to our review philosophy as stated above.
- We work hard to make our reviews as error free as possible. We also love feedback and recommendations from our readers. Please send us an email and give us your thoughts! Your compliments will encourage us and your constructive criticisms will help us improve.
- If you received an email requesting a review unit, please make sure the email is from Jonathan Kwan and originates from jonathan at (the domain name of this site); substitute at with @ (To prevent spam) and the domain name of this site is 'aphnetworks.com'. We will not be held responsible if it was a fake request from anyone else, and that they walk away with the products and to be never heard from again.
- Our commitment is to review a product in a fair manner, therefore we do not guarantee a positive rating on any products. If it's a deserving product, it will get a positive rating; while the reciprocal will receive a corresponding review.
- Please allow a reasonable amount of time for us to test your product(s) to ensure a quality review. Because of the amount of products we review, please allow up to four (4) weeks for review completion (Most of the time it takes less time than that). We will communicate with you and make sure you'll know approximately when the review will be published.
- All reviews will go automatically go fully public based on our regular publication schedule, unless a preview is specifically requested ahead of time. We will always try our best to accommodate your request. By going 'fully public', it means that the news will be distributed to our network of over 600 affiliated news sites, as well as social media components of APH Networks. Promoted appearance of the article on APH Networks' front page goes by default. The manufacturer is free to respond to the article at any time, and any inaccuracies found will be updated accordingly.
- Unless otherwise agreed upon beforehand and clearly stated in our emails exchanges prior to sending us the review units, all product samples sent to us for review will automatically become property of APH Networks. We cannot send the reviewed product back to your company if it is not agreed before shipment that it must be returned. We'll need to keep your product(s) for future review references to enhance our overall review quality to the reader and improve the accuracy of our articles. It will be nearly impossible if we cannot keep your product(s) for use with future reference -- this will definitely lower the quality of our reviews, and our main goal is to maximize the quality of our reviews as part of our review philosophy. If agreed upon beforehand in our email exchanges prior to sending us the product(s) that the product(s) needs to be returned, you must agree to pay for the shipping back to your company.
- At certain times, we may give away certain review units as prizes and/or promotional purposes if deemed not needed for future reference. This is what we believe is a mutual opportunity in benefiting APH Networks as well as the manufacturer for marketing purposes. Additionally, we may sell the products after a period of time if deemed unnecessary for future references to cover the high running costs of APH Networks and pay for the associated costs. It will also allow us to create more room for our review unit inventory.
- For all cross-border shipment, due to customs regulations, you must mark your review unit below $20 USD (Depending on carrier, but this is acceptable for UPS, FedEx, and DHL) as well as declaring as 'Commercial Sample - No commercial value - Value declared for customs purposes only' to avoid tax and/or brokerage fees. If it is a requirement to mark above a certain amount, your company must agree to pay any taxes and/or brokerages as we will not review any product with the balance unpaid. Please contact your shipping company for more information in regards to this.
- Every manufacturer or company that provides us with review samples and permits us to retain it for future reference purposes will be linked to by us in here. This is our way in appreciating your support for our philosophy and making our reviews possible.
- As stated in our Copyright section, you may quote a section of our review onto your website, and if your product received an award, you may use the award image on your site as well. If you wish to use it for print or any other purposes, please let us know beforehand -- we would normally agree, we just want to know what it's used for because we are always excited to see our images appear on products.
- We accept absolutely no money or otherwise beneficial compensations in exchange for our reviews or recommendation (Including online forums). This is unethical practice; we recommend based solely on the product's positive and/or appropriate attributes in the proper occasion.
- We rate products by how well they perform their job. The best way to 'convince' us to give you a better rating, is to make a better product! We do not and will not bias against or for your company in any shape, way or form. Just because you aren't as big or as famous as this or that manufacturer doesn't mean you'll get an unfair disadvantage nor advantage in the review of your product. If your product is truly a good product, we will give it the proper rating it deserves. If there are any misunderstandings that may have been in our reviews, contact us immediately.
- As APH Networks is costly to run and maintain, advertising is one of our primary revenue sources besides financial support from our readers through donations. However, sponsored advertisements and/or banners have zero effect on our published articles -- the advertising dollars are paid for the promotion brought by the banner ads, and not our editorial articles. We take each article we publish seriously and with great pride in the quality of each, without unfair recommendations or bias.
- So what if your company's product got a negative review? Please do not be discouraged. We may have overlooked certain aspects, so please do let us know. Our aim is to help you in improving the product as well. When we get a good product from your company, then we'll give the rating that accurately reflects its excellence. We always like to provide suggestions and work with manufacturers and designers to improve their products.
- Are you a company or manufacturer that wants to get your product(s) reviewed? Please don't hesitate -- Contact us immediately!