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TestFreaks: the ultimate review site?

 TestFreaks.co.uk 17th November 2008
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If you are about to spend a lot of money on a new gadget, you might well want to check out a review first. But where do you go? After all, there are a lot of review sites out there and it can all be very confusing.

Well, TestFreaks is a new approach that attempts to combine all the reviews it can find on one site and then come up with a "Freak Score" to show how good it is. Review are gathered from "expert" sites, end users, forum threads and even YouTube with a brief snippet.. users can then click through to the original site for more.

There's a wealth of information available here, but TestFreaks have gone to some effort to arrange it in a meaningful way. A browse through the site indicates that it has been quite a mammoth undertaking, covering dozens of categories and probably thousands of products.

TestFreaks has been developed by the same people who founded the PriceRunner price comparison site, and it works on a broadly similar principle. Information is aggregated from thousands of sources and more than 60 countries. Of course, TestFreaks is financed through advertising, but the ads are very discrete and don't overwhelm the user.

 It's 2003 again..The site is clearly in beta still, and not everything works properly. For example, the page on the Panasonic X300 proudly boasts a picture of an Lenovo Thinkpad X300 which is not really the same thing. And, at the time of writing the front page boasts "new" expert reviews of the Nokia 6100 and the Siemens MC60, both launched in 2003. And perhaps not all website owners will be pleased to see their content used by a potential rival (although the people at TestFreaks do seem very nice and approachable if there's a problem). Also, some of the "user reviews" don't seem very relevant, although this varies from product to product. Oh.. and it's a little bit slow too (but then so is Mobile Gazette from time-to-time).

There's also a gadget blog and a lively forum, and overall TestFreaks have made an effort to find a home for those who are geeky about gadgets, parts of the site also incorporate Wiki technology so visitors can write their own comments and descriptions.

On one hand, TestFreaks is amazingly comprehensive, covering categories as diverse as binoculars, cameras, phones and PC components, and it has localised content for the UK, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, France and Belgium as well as a global site. On the other hand, you could probably find all the information yourself, and you won't have to worry about mobile phones from 2003 confusing the issue. On the whole, we definitely think that it is worth a try next time you are looking to buy a gadget.


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