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How We Test Products

Sony WH-1000XM4 Review
Sony WH-1000XM4 Main Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

BGR leverages its expertise in consumer tech to provide informative, reliable reviews and buying guides on all different kinds of consumer technology. Our goal is to help customers find the best products for their needs.

But we’re not exclusively a review site. We write news, guides, and from time to time, sponsored content. That may lead to some questions about editorial integrity. Here are a few promises that we can make to you, the reader.

Our reviews promises

  • We will always tell the truth as we see it about any product that we review.
  • We keep our reviews program totally separate from our sponsored content.
  • If a product doesn’t meet our standards, we’ll let you know. We want you to be able to turn to our coverage for help — something that you won’t be able to do if we recommend sub-par products.

What about sponsored content?

From time to time, we accept sponsored content — whereby a company may pay us to publish an article about their product, service, or company. That content, however, does not encroach on our mission to provide informative product coverage. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • All sponsored content will always be labelled as such. Right now, our label can be found right under the first image on the post.
  • BGR is a small team. That means that occassionally, writers that work on sponsored content may also work on reviews and/or buying guides. These writers will never review or write about a product or company that has sponsored the site.
  • All reviews and buying guides are edited by our reviews editor, who will never work on sponsored content, and has no contact with sponsors of
Xiaomi 12T Pro FrontImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

BGR’s scoring system

We review products based on a range of different factors. Because we review products across all different categories, it’s hard to say exactly what we consider when reviewing something. Here are a few usual considerations though.

  • Design: Is the product nice to look at compared to others? How is the build-quality? Will its body withstand normal use?
  • Performance: Is the product able to keep up? If it’s a TV, how does the picture look? Does it perform well enough to last at least a few years?
  • Ease-of-use: Is the user interface user friendly? Can your grandma figure out how to use it? Or do you need an advanced degree in UX design?
  • Value-for-money: Compared to other products, is it relatively inexpensive? If it is expensive, is it worth the money?

Like many other publications, we use a five-star scoring system. In that system, five stars are the best a product can get, with zero stars being the worst. We do allow for half stars — so a product could score 3.5 stars. Here’s a rundown of what the ratings mean for a product:

  • 0 stars: A product with no redeeming qualities. Avoid it completely.
  • 0.5 stars: A terrible product with many more things against it than for it.
  • 1 star: A seriously sub-par product with maybe one redeeming quality.
  • 1.5 stars: A bad product that may have a few things going for it, but should still be avoided.
  • 2 stars: A below-average product that has a few good things about it.
  • 2.5 stars: An average product. Has around as many things going for it as against it. There are better products out there.
  • 3 stars: An above average product that isn’t great, but not terrible. There are likely better products in the category.
  • 3.5 stars: A product approaching something you should consider buying, but with caution. More good things than bad things about it.
  • 4 stars: A great product that makes a very strong case for itself. Not perfect, but still very good.
  • 4.5 stars: An excellent product that gets about as close to perfect as possible.
  • 5 stars: A perfect product in its category. Buy it without fear. We almost never award a product 5 stars.

BGR awards

BGR Review Awards for 2024

In addition to rating a product out of five stars, we also give products awards. There are three awards in total — BGR Gold, BGR Platinum, and BGR’s Best. Here are the differences between them.

  • BGR Gold is awarded to a product that scores 4 stars in a review.
  • BGR Platinum is awarded to a product that scores 4.5 or 5 stars in a review.
  • BGR’s Best is awarded to the winner of the “Best Overall” category in a guide.

It’s possible a product could win two awards. For example, if it scores a BGR Platinum award, it’s possible, and even likely, that it would score a BGR’s Best award in a buying guide as well.