Review Focus & Information

When writing reviews at APH Networks, it is our passion to provide the most accurate and informative reviews possible at all times while maintaining a positive long-term relationship with our readers and suppliers. Being the first website in the industry to published such a 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 about. 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 our work. The latest update was made on January 11, 2019.

We exist for a simple mission: To provide our readers with the most accurate, unbiased, and detailed reviews; giving consumers and professionals alike an informed purchasing decision based on their requirements and needs, with each published work combining the art of writing and insightful opinion.

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 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.

Award first announced: November 19, 2005 | Products that we believe is among the best of its class and does its job exceptionally well will get the APH Recommended award. We would buy this product with our own money -- no questions asked. This is what we consider one of our most significant awards, therefore APH Recommended is given very rarely in relative, not that other awards are not already. APH Recommended is awarded out of very careful consideration by our team of editors.

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 minor drawbacks exist; 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. No matter what, something that gets an APH:Renewal 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 it is something very novel and innovative at an outstanding price. The main merit is its excellent price to performance ratio, but with very justified compromises, if any, will get this award. This award is not limited and are not based on points; but as with all APH Networks awards, it is 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 limited to numerical scores. It is the product that breaks records, and it is only awarded to the product that currently holds the absolute best rating in any category. The current record holder since June 30, 2017 is the V-MODA Crossfade II Wireless with a numerical score of 8.8/10 and APH Recommended. The V-MODA Crossfade II Wireless was preceded by the V-MODA XS with APH Recommended. The V-MODA XS was preceded by the OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB with APH One. The OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB was preceded by 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 are 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 is absolutely perfect with no drawbacks at all.
9/10: Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that do not affect the overall product.
-- 8.8/10 -- The highest numerical mark awarded to any product so far is the V-MODA Crossfade II Wireless. --
8/10: Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not 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 seem 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 should be 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 alternative products if available.
-- 1.0/10 -- The lowest numerical mark awarded to any product so far is the Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound E352 and Gigabyte Fly. --
1/10 or lower: Do not 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 is some of our review information that we promise our readers and how we work with our suppliers:

I. Readers

Our reviews are written by a high ethical standard. If it is a good product, we will recommend it regardless of who made it. If it is a product we would not buy with our own money, we will not recommend it. It is that simple.

We aim to provide the most accurate reviews and address every aspect of the product we are reviewing we believe is important to the consumer to make an informed purchasing decision. But we do not just write boring old articles. We believe reviews should retain a high standard of excellence from the beginning to the end, easy to understand yet technically accurate, and enjoyable to read. Our commitment to excellence requires us to take 15 to 30 hours to complete each article.

It is APH Networks' normal practice to retain products sent to us for future reference purposes. From time to time, we retest products as benchmark programs change or we revise our reviews on things we may have missed. This will require the product on hand. This is an industry-standard practice. While there are many respectable technology publications around, we acknowledge there are review websites that publish favorable reviews in exchange for free products. We praise and criticize freely and we do not consider the products we receive to be "free" products. To counter this, there are some publications who return and/or give away products after finishing their editorial to prove their integrity. We do not need artificial policies to prove our integrity. The integrity of our reviews is self-evident.

Advertising has no influence on the reviews we publish on our website. We have never and will not accept any form of bribes or illegitimate benefits from anyone. If you have any questions or comments about APH Networks and/or our reviews, we would love to hear from you via email or social media.

II. Suppliers

- If you received an email requesting a review sample, please make sure the email is from Jonathan Kwan and originates from our domain. We will not be held responsible if it was an illegitimate request and someone walks away with the products never to be heard from again.

- We do not guarantee a positive review. We accept absolutely no money or other compensations in exchange for a positive review or recommendation. The only way to convince us to publish a positive review is to make a product deserving of a positive review. If you do not agree with our evaluation, please let us know why and we are all ears. We may have overlooked certain aspects. We would love to help you to improve the products you make by providing suggestions as well.

- As APH Networks is costly to run and maintain, advertising is one of our primary revenue sources. However, sponsored advertisements have no influence on our published articles. The advertising dollars are paid for the promotion brought by the banner ads and not our editorial articles.

- Please allow a reasonable amount of time for us to review your product. We have a high standard of excellence. Because of the amount of products we review and the time it takes to review each product, please allow 4 to 6 weeks for review completion. Special requests can be accommodated for pre-release products where the deadline falls on an embargo date. We will communicate with you and make sure you know approximately when the review will be published.

- By default, reviews will automatically go fully public based on our regular publication schedule unless special requests were made prior. We always try our best to accommodate your request. Going fully public means that the news will be distributed to our network of affiliated websites, posted on our social media pages, and promoted appearance of the article on APH Networks' front page.

- 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. This is an industry-standard practice. We cannot send reviewed products back to your company if it was not agreed before shipment that it must be returned. We keep products for future reference to maintain the quality of our reviews. From time to time, we retest products as benchmark programs changes or we revise our reviews on things we may have missed. 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.

- For all cross-border shipment, due to customs regulations, we recommend a customs declaration of $20 USD or lower as well as writing "Sample/No commercial value/Value declared for customs purposes only" in the customs form. APH Networks expects the supplier to pay for all import charges and taxes. Please contact your shipping company for more information.

- 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 supplier 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. It will also allow us to create storage room for our review sample inventory.

- As stated in our Copyright section, you may quote a section of our review on 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. We almost never decline. We are just always excited to see our images appear on products and we would love to know about it!

- Are you a supplier or manufacturer that wants to get your products reviewed? Please do not hesitate -- Contact us immediately!