Consumer Reports hops off free PR gravy train, officially recommends Apple iPhone 4S

“The Apple iPhone 4S is among the recommended models in our newly updated Ratings of smart phones. Apple’s newest smart phone performed very well in our tests, and while it closely resembles the iPhone 4 in appearance, it doesn’t suffer the reception problem we found in its predecessor in special tests in our labs,” Mike Gikas reports for Consumer Reports.

“In special reception tests of the iPhone 4S that duplicated those we did on the iPhone 4, the newer phone did not display the same reception flaw, which involves a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone’s lower left side while you’re in an area with a weak signal,” Gikas reports. “Overall, the new iPhone 4S scores higher in the Ratings than the iPhone 4, thanks to such enhancements as an upgraded camera, a faster “dual-core” processor, and the addition of the intriguing Siri voice-activated feature, which accepts and responds to verbal commands in a conversational manner, using a synthetic-sounding female voice.”

“These pluses were not enough, however, to allow the iPhone 4S to outscore the best new Android-based phones in our Ratings. Those top scorers included the Samsung Galaxy S II phones, the Motorola Droid Bionic, and several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks. (Technically, only the AT&T version of the iPhone 4S supports 4G, running on the carrier’s HSPA+ network at download speeds of about 14 megabits per second, the bottom rung of what is considered to be 4G network speed.) Other phones that topped the iPhone 4S include the LG Thrill ($100 on AT&T), which has the ability to capture stills and videos in 3D, as well as display them on its 4.3-inch 3D display, and the Motorola Droid Bionic ($300 on Verizon), which also has a superb 4.3-inch, high-resolution (540 x 960) display, with excellent keypad readability under most lighting conditions, even in bright light.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The CR idiots recommend, over iPhone 4S, phones that have “4G’ because “4” is bigger than “3” even though users would be lucky to find 4G networks in most places. Just as Android settlers would be lucky to find the best apps which, even under the same names, are often watered-down versions on the increasingly fragmented Android OS. Just as they would be lucky to find vehicle integration that approaches that of iPhone. And what of security? Overall user experience? Ease-of-use? iCloud capabilities? Siri? Hello, Siri? Etc., etc., etc.

Consumer Reports remains moronic in their testing criteria. The bottom line is that Consumer Reports has no idea what really matters to end users and therefore their “recommendations” are meaningless.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. They were not the ones who “reported” iPhone 4 reception flaws. In fact, they initially said that they could not reproduce the death “grip effect”, and only jumped on the PR wagon later, refuting their own prior judgement.

    2. Apple should have replaced all the iPhone 4 phones that suffered the problem of not working with the new 4S model without charge. Instead, they simply admitted the faulty antenna (after the three honchos lied about it), fixed it and took advantage of the hysterical followers, like me, and charged us again for a phone that now just works.

      1. My iPh4 works just the same with two bars as it does with five. It’s the second best phone ever made after the 4S.

        CR has always had an irresistible attraction to cheap garbage. They once declared the Plymouth Valiant the ultimate best car buy, never mind the hideous lines, constant breakdowns, and zero resale value. The CR staff has an aversion to anything elegant, mind-blowingly advanced, or widely considered to be cool.

  1. CR is selecting by product specification technical data sheets. Not the user experience. Think of how they would rate a work of art? A chapel? The chapel has some old paintings on the ceiling of God and Adam. Not the once in a lifetime work of art that it is!

  2. CR Reports are a mix of stupid and spec sheet items, not the whole ecosystem widget. And to miss the tech changing lightning significance of Siri and its advantage speaks volumes of the dummies at CR = Critically Retarded.

  3. When I was a kid, I bought a 35mm SLR camera that was top-rated by CR, in part because of its warranty. The Nikon F, the world’s best SLR by far, was well down the CR list. My camera broke the first week. It got patched together but I eventually sold it and bought the first of seven Nikon Fs. That CR report was 40 years ago but had forever colored my opinion of their technology reporting. Stick to toilet paper and dish detergent , CR.

    1. I was trying to remember the top top rated cameras in that test, they were both pieces of junk and both companies were out of business shortly after that. I have not trusted them since, and worry when something I but is top rated

      1. Miranda Sensorex! You are totally right — company went out of business not long after. The Nikon F was grudgingly given a nod because it was favored by professionals — overwhelmingly at that point, as Canon had not come into its own — but dismissed as expensive. It was also the most durable SLR in history, then and now. Worth every penny. Just like the iPhone and virtually EVERY Apple product.

  4. Let’s wait until the next consumer satisfaction reports come out and correlate those with consumer report ratings. It always struck me that the iPhone 4 with the highest consumer satisfaction score was “not recommended.”

  5. As to speed matter, for now “4G” is only accessible to single digit percentage of country’s territory; these networks will not fully unfold until 2013.So this CR’s “equation” has very weird weight coefficients in certain areas.

    Citing huge displays as advantage is another weird judgement. iPhone has 3.5″ screen size not out of the blue, but because Apple tested ergonomics: with such screen size average user can cover 90% of the screen surface with his/her thumb — using the device without need of second hand. Also, iPhone’s width is already maximum of what can be considered relatively convenient to use actual phone. Finally, not everyone has lot of space in pockets for these almost VHS-cassette sized devices.

    Thus, CR fails multiple times with their methology.

    1. CR is implying there is no optimum screen size, hence the bigger the better. So a phone with a 5.5″ screen would be even better, right? How about 6.5″?

      I guess the staff of CR all carry around modified tablets and use them as phones?

  6. CR continually rates many things based solely on price and not on performance. I worked in retail electronic sales for several years and we always hated helping customers that were carrying their latest issue of CR – and yes, a majority of them were over the age of 55. We sold vacuums and our best sellers were Dyson although we had other brands. CR subscribers always wanted the cheap $79 vacuum listed at #1 (which we didn’t carry) even though those vacuums would lose their suction within a couple months.

    The same thing happened with TVs, cameras, computers, etc. Buy what you want, not what some magazine tells you to buy. Unless that article was written by Steve Jobs prior to his passing.

    Does CR actually test the products or go off of spec sheets?

    1. I tried shopping for a microwave oven using CR once. Never again. The “microwave oven” issue was less than a year old, and yet all the models in the ratings were obsolete and replaced by new models! What a waste of time.


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