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Wednesday Poll: When Buying a Phone or Tablet Do You Need to Feel and Test Them in Person First?


Earlier this week, Andy Rubin shot down rumors that Google was planning to open its own retail stores. This was sad news, no doubt, as many of us love the idea that we could enter into a Nexus wonderland and test all of the new toys that Google has released to our world. But Rubin brought up an interesting point through his comments, saying that consumers do not need to physically touch products anymore in order to make a buying decision.

I personally, haven’t entered into a brick and mortar electronics store or carrier shop to rub up on a device in some time before deciding to buy it. I’m the type that reads through dozens of reviews online and then finds the best deal the internet has to offer before pressing the “Checkout” button. Many of you may be different, though, so feel free to sound off in the poll and in the comments below.

Are you the type that needs to see a phone or tablet and feel it in person before buying or can you make a decision by reading about it online or hearing a recommendation from a friend?

When buying a phone or tablet, do you need feel and test them in person first?

View Results

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  • socalrailroader

    If he’s hoping for a Genie to appear, he’s rubbing the wrong thing 😀

  • TylerChappell

    I prefer to get a solid look at the device in person, but I bought my Nexus 7 before ever touching one, and if there are good reviews that have an excellent array of photos for a device, I see no reason to NEED to see it in person. Going into a store and comparing devices of similar sizes generally gives you a good enough idea of what to expect.

  • Derek

    really close vote here

  • flosserelli

    That photo is strangely arousing.

  • sagisarius

    Wow, that’s amazingly close to a 50/50 split 2,508 to 2,506 (when I voted)… anyway, I’ve seen too many portable electronics that sound awesome, then I see them in person. I’ve learned my lesson, see it in person.

  • I go by reviews. If I would have had touched my Galaxy Nexus prior to buying it, sadly, I probably would have skipped it due to all the plastic.

  • NexusMan

    I voted Yes, but my answer is really a bit of yes and no. I will NOT buy a phone without using it in hand, however, I will and have bought NEXUS TABLETS without using them, provided I like what I see in the reviews and videos…ie, Nexus 7 & Nexus 10….but ONLY Nexus branded tablets.

  • BenBerstler

    just before I saw the draft which was of $5969, I didn’t believe that my friends brother was like they say trully bringing in money part-time on there computar.. there great aunt had bean doing this for only about nine months and at present repayed the depts on there condo and bought themselves a Lexus LS400. go tofdfdfg… http://www.youtube.com.qr.net/kaE2

  • I like to buy after trying it out in person. I’m surprised that the poll is evenly split 50/50.

  • Jon

    I usually buy without having to hold a device, but It bit me in the ass the other day. I purchased a Nexus 4. Amazingly fast phone, and is just really nice, but coming from a Galaxy Note, I just can’t get over the smaller size. The note has ruined me to smaller phones! I’m going to be sticking with phablet sizes from now on it looks like.

    • Same with me I went from Droid2 to Galaxy Nexus. I went back to get some information off my old phone and I could not believe how small it was. I can only imagine coming form a Note to something else smaller.

  • brando56894

    I love how this is split (almost) exactly in half, I can’t remember the last time that this has happened. Myself, I prefer to “rub up” on a device before I buy it, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. When I got my OG Droid I didn’t play with it before I got it, I just read a bunch of reviews and saw the commercials for it. Before I got my Incredible I had played with my buddy’s Inc for a while so I knew that I liked it. Before I got the Rezound I read a lot about it and played with it in the VZW store then got it. When I got the GNex I played with it in the VZW store. But as for both tablets I’ve had (Asus TF101 and Nexus 7) I just went off of the reviews that I read.

  • Christopher Riner

    I wanted to vote yes hoping that Google is listening to what people want, but it sounds like they’re pretty set on not opening them yet. For the sake of an accurate poll tho, I went ahead and voted no because even tho I’ve never purchased a phone online, I’ve bought all of my tablets without ever seeing them or playing with them.
    When I first heard about the stores I was definitely excited, and honestly the first thing I thought about was how they were modeling Apple’s sales approach. I guess I can understand the fact that if they can avoid the headache of dealing with people who have bricked their devices, then why not.

  • There should be a third option. I don’t need to hold it, but I would like to.

  • JoshGroff

    The way I see it, reviews are one thing, but it’s nowhere near getting a feel for the devices yourself, and with multiple high end devices all with positive reviews, how would you decide which one to get without testing them yourself? Nothing shows you the flow of the UI like going through it yourself.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I have never tested or tried out any device i have ever brought. I do my own private research and review watching months before actual launches. I have brought most of my devices on day one launches of those products. Htc Evo 4g June 4th 2010, Htc Evo 3d June 24th 2011, Galaxy Nexus December 15th 2011, Galaxy S3 June 24th 2012. I like to buy launched devices on day one they arrive to my carrier.

  • NexusPhan69

    This poll is working for me about as well as purchasing a Nexus 4 on launch day worked on Google Play. Anyone else unable to vote or view results?

  • timacx

    What are the odds on this? [Screenshot on the poll results]

  • I can’t be the only one that finds it pretty crazy that the votes are at exactly 50-50 being only 5 votes in difference (when I’m looking at it).

  • Brett R

    I wanted to say I wouldn’t buy one until I felt it. But I purchased my high-end Dell Precision M4500 without seeing it and reading a multitude of reviews. And that was much more expensive than phones I’d look at.