Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

Summary: Network speed matters and a 4G iPhone would have changed the Consumer Reports rating equation. For now the land of 4G remains with Android.

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Consumer Reports said that Apple has fixed its antenna issues with the iPhone 4S and now recommends the device. The review organization, however, kept the iPhone 4 off its recommended list.

In testing, Consumer Reports said that the iPhone 4S doesn't have the call reception problem that its predecessor had.

Perhaps more notable is that Consumer Reports still has higher scores for Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and Motorola Bionic. These ratings largely rode on the back of speedy 4G access.

Also: CNET iPhone 4S review

Consumer Reports gave the iPhone 4S props for the Siri voice activation technology, faster processor and upgraded camera, but added:

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.

According to Consumer Reports' testing three phones scored higher than the iPhone 4S at AT&T---Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy Infuse 4G and LG Thrill 4G. At Sprint, Consumer Reports put the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Epic 4G and HTC Evo 3D ahead of the iPhone 4S. The top 5 smartphone Sprint scores were all in the 73 to 76 on a scale of 100. At Verizon, Motorola's Droid Bionic, HTC Thunderbolt, LG Revolution and Samsung Droid Charge all rated higher than the iPhone 4S.

The message: Network speed matters and a 4G iPhone would have changed the rating equation. For now the land of 4G remains with Android.

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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84 comments
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  • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

    so bad no Windows Phone was included here :(
    _vJo
    • Did they even test WP7 devices?

      @_vJo:<br><br>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.<br><br>So this CR's "equation" has <b>very weird weight coefficients in certain areas</b>.<br><br>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.<br><br>Thus, CR fails multiple times with their methodology.
      dderss
      • Single Digits? Really?

        @dderss <a href="http://www.rootmetrics.com/pr/news/2011/20110818_Verizon_4G_LTE_Now_Reaches_More_Than_Half.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.rootmetrics.com/pr/news/2011/20110818_Verizon_4G_LTE_Now_Reaches_More_Than_Half.php</a>
        30otnix
      • Nothing wrong with being a fan!

        @30otnix... As long as one has good reasons for being a fan that us:). Now me I'm an Apple fan BECAUSE of the walled garden or plush jail if you will. I see Appe as doing "the work" for me so I can spend my time doing stuff I want to... Not need to. Like farmers who grow the food I consume so I don't have to. Heck I eat out a lot because I don't want to take the time to cook. Apple provides me the same service. It (Apple does what I have no interest in doing) so yeah I'm a fan:). Nothing wrong with that....<br><br>Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss
        Yep, there is no 4g were I live, just a mere 7 miles from downtown St. Louis.
        Axsimulate
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss That is a lie as usual LTE reaches more than 100 Million People and that is roughly 1/3 of the population so I think you need to check your math as it is wrong!
        slickjim
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss
        Excellent comments. You could also mention that the larger screens cause shortened battery life. The MOST important thing to me is not size of screen nor even the data rate but the battery life and the usability of the device. The android phones, while I love their openness, are not even in the same technological generation as the iphone 4S.
        paul.hinz@...
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss I have to disagree. I'm right at the average height for a male in the US, and have pretty standard-sized hands. I've had a Droid Incredible for over a year and have felt, consistently, that the only problems with it are the size and Internet speeds. When I got it, it was one of the fastest phones (both in processing power and download speed) there was. My roommate has the Thunderbolt, and I use it one-handed from time to time. The thing's setup so that when you TYPE, you use two hands (and usually in landscape mode, because typing on a portrait keyboard is stupid), but when you're searching for an app, or dialing a number, one hand is fine.

        Who wants to do EVERYTHING in portrait?

        As far as 90% being accessible, so what? That's still 10% you can't access. They make a game with the top left corner being a button, too bad, right handers! Top right? Too bad lefties!

        TL,DR: dderss likes eye strain and dial-up.
        evilkillerwhale@...
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss <br><br>Fact is, the "single digit percentage of country's territory" happen to be major urban centres. If you check the total percentage of phone subscribers living in this "single digit percentage of country's territory" it is way more than that.<br><br>The weighting for network speed is absolutely accurate. When one buys a phone now, one shouldn't be so shortsighted to limit oneself with what is available now, but rather the focus should be on what is available in the next year or two when you are still in the midst of a contract. Being able to the phone purchase <b>FUTURE-PROOF</b> with what is coming up is <b>EXTREMELY</b> important and ranks as priorities #1, #2, and #3 on my list too.<br><br>And this is a view coming from a current iPhone 3GS user. I plan to wait out till iPhone catches up with LTE support, hopefully in iPhone 5. After all, my phone can be upgraded to iOS5. As a non-native English speaker, I don't think I will miss Siri that much, if at all.
        CyberGuerilla
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss More to the point, no one is waiting for the Galaxy S II to get back in stock in the stores, nor did it sell 4 million units in its first weekend. I think the public has voted, and the iPhone 4S wins, hands down. Even one Android user says in print that after using a 4S for a week, his Android phone seems 'wrong' to him.
        rphunter42
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss

        The physical chassis of the iPhone 4s is not significantly smaller than the HTC EVO.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @James Quinn

        Well, I'm not sure you meant it this way, but based on your statement Apple's new slogan could be....

        Apple, the company for lazy people
        Badgered
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss

        3.5" is more acceptable to those under 50 (or 40 in some cases) who aren't having troubles with their eyes yet. But having to reach for your reading glasses to use your phone is annoying. Hence a couple of my friends switched to larger Android based phones so they could read the screen, and for my wife, the iPhone was a non-starter due to a small screen. Search for the promotional pics of Jobs with Russian President Medvedev. The iPhone is at the end of Jobs arm with his glasses on top of his head in a fashion I've seen many times from my parents trying to read stuff. From that, I can conclude that a 4.3" screen would have been more suitable for Jobs and Medvedev.
        admiraljkb
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @CyberGuerilla [i]When one buys a phone now, one shouldn't be so shortsighted to limit oneself with what is available now, but rather the focus should be on what is available in the next year or two when you are still in the midst of a contract.[/i]

        Ahh, but gotta keep that Apple money train rollin'. 4S - No 4G, don't worry just upgrade to our new and improved iPhone 5! and millions will... people wonder why one company rakes in billions, while the rest of the economy staggers...
        Badgered
      • It should be &quot;Nothing wrong with being lazy&quot;

        @Badgered... For there is not. Of course everything is a balancing act. Like in the 80"s when the movie WallStreet came out and the slogan "Greed is good" to a degree it is... HOwever as Wall Street the NOT movie proved a couple years back it can turn on you in a BIG way. I'm admittedly lazy but I do watch what I eat, work out regularly, and get what needs to be done... done. Still I am lazy I like to think I keep it in balance however:P Apple helps me do that.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Ive had solid 4G for over a year now

        @dderss From my home to the airport and to work. 100% 4G with Verizon.
        otaddy
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @dderss

        Ah stop crying. Droid
        Samuel Rodrigues
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        @paul.hinz@... seriously dude what time B.C you have seen an Android phone?
        AmediaN
      • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

        I agree. WP7 devices should have been tested also. My Win7 phone and Droid are both fast, easy to use, and very reliable on Verizon 3G network.
        rollguy
    • I like Android and RIM, BUT....

      @_vJo

      I don't know anything about the new win phones. I'm no staunch lover of Apple but they have one HUGE advantage; essentially one product that grows over time. I've long said that RIM need to get a grip and cut the model choices; Android too; and windows phones will likely make the same mistake in time. Consumers want a phone that grows with them and currently the iphone is the only one that really does that. Please produce fewer models, and please get the firmware updates coming to allow kit to grow with us. I might have to start using my iphone if HTC dont get the message and cut the choice and start delivering proper updates. All the others are just as bad, except Apple. I thank them for that but still hate their marketing and tie-ins.
      johnmckay