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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 8, 2011 at 1:37 PM

iPhone 4S gets Consumer Reports blessing, not tops though

The influential Consumer Reports ratings team finally gave Apple’s latest iPhone its blessing, adding the iPhone 4S to a list of “recommended” smartphones.

Consumer Reports declined to recommend the previous model, the iPhone 4, because of an antenna glitch that causes signals to drop of the phone is held a certain way. In a blog post today, the organization said the glitch remains and was found in new iPhone 4 models it recently tested.

Consumer Reports said it found “no notable” battery life problems in its testing of the iPhone 4S, contrary to concerns among some buyers whose complaints prompted Apple to disclose last week that it’s fixing software bugs that may affect battery life in the new phone.

But other smartphones are still ranked higher by Consumer Reports, it said in a blog post today.

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.

Top scorers included the Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Bionic and other models running on faster 4G networks, the organization said in a blog post today.

Also outscoring the iPhone 4S were the LG Thrill, which has a 3-D camera and display.

In the organization’s December magazine, two Windows Phone 7 models were noted on the “top rated” list but held the bottom positions in each category. Consumer Reports noted that they are older models and it didn’t have time to review models with the new “Mango” version 7.5.

The iPhone 4S is mentioned in the issue but not listed in its smartphone ratings, because it hadn’t yet tested the model at press time, apparently.

Here are the highest rated phones in the issue, listed by carrier:

Verizon: HTC ThunderBolt

Sprint: Motorola Photon 4G

T-Mobile: Samsung Galaxy S 4G

AT&T: Samsung Infuse 4G

Comments | Topics: Android, Apple, battery life

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