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.
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.