A better comparison would be not with one of a larger phone or phablet from two years ago, but to compare to reviews of them just before the larger ones from Apple were announced. Personally I have no desire for a larger phone, but I can see how someone would be resistant to the jumbo size and then warm up to it after a while.
Do I think many people are influenced by the Apple reality distortion field? Absolutely. I just don't think the linked article showed that reviewers changed their mind based on Apple releasing jumbo phones. Lumping in the release of the new Apple phones with 2 years of exposure to the Android versions doesn't make that point.
If I cared enough I'd look for reviews from those same sources from 2014, not 2012. But really, I don't. I didn't rely on any of them when I bought my current phone, why would I care what they think about a phone I won't buy? (My interest in this was about accuracy and consistency in reporting, not in choosing a phone )