Zagat for Android review: Zagat for Android is no match for Yelp

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.8
  • Installation and Setup: 9.0
  • Features and Support: 7.0
  • Interface: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Zagat for Android offers a bevy of filter options for your searches and a lot of interesting editorial content to help you discover new places . Scores are broken down into categories, instead of lumped into one overall star rating.

The Bad The app has a relatively tiny database of restaurant and nightlife listings. Pages need more user-submitted information like photos and tips.

The Bottom Line While Zagat offers a credible, detailed rating system, its app's database is just too small to compete with Yelp's.

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Editors' note: This review was updated July 30, 2013, to cover the features added in the latest version.

After a major overhaul, the Google-developed Zagat app for Android continues its pursuit of Yelp in its domain of mobile-device-accessible restaurant and business reviews. One thing it has in its favor is its reputable scoring system, which is broken down into three categories: Food, Decor, and Service. To me, this system is superior to a single, catch-all star rating like Yelp's. But despite that advantage, Zagat still has some work to do if it hopes to supplant the current frontrunner in the space.

To get started with Zagat, you no longer need to sign in with a Google+ account, which should be a relief to Zagat fans who were initially reluctant to use the mobile app. Now, you need only pick a location from the list on the opening screen to get started. Of course, the bad thing is that this list is limited. As of now, it only includes major cities like San Francisco, Boston, London, Los Angeles, and New York City. So, if you're not located in or near one of these cities, you're out of luck.

Zagat's other major limitation is that it only covers two major categories of businesses at the moment: Nightlife and Restaurants. While these two categories are certainly important, the lack of others is sure to turn potential mobile users to competing apps like Yelp, which have more complete coverage. That said, Google does plan to add other categories like Hotels and Shopping, as well as other cities in the future.

More than just restaurant ratings and reviews, Zagat offers a wealth of interesting editorial content to help you discover new places. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

With the new design of Zagat comes a new focus on editorial content as well. Of course, reviews will always remain the core of Zagat's offering, but now the app is also a great source for "best" lists, videos, and other pieces of content curated by Zagat staff.

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Zagat (Android)

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Shopping, dining, and lifestyle
  • Compatibility Android