Apple’s iPhone 4S lands Consumer Report blessing, still behind Android phones

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Consumer Reports announced today that it recommends Apple’s new iPhone 4S, saying that the smartphone performed “very well” in its battery of tests. The trusted product review magazine, which denied a “recommend” to the iPhone 4 due to its “Antennagate” reception issues, said Apple has fixed these problems in the iPhone 4S.

“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,” writes Mike Gikas on the Consumer Reports website.

Both the GSM and CDMA version of the iPhone 4 still exhibit reception problems due to its antenna, says Gikas.

While some iPhone 4S users have experienced poor battery life — a problem Apple says is due to a flaw in iOS 5, and has promised to fix with an upcoming update — Consumer Reports observed no such battery drain, and said the handset deserves a “very good” ranking on battery life. Gikas says they plan to re-test the device once Apple releases its iOS 5 fix.

Overall, the iPhone 4S scored higher than the iPhone 4 thanks to its faster dual-core processor, upgraded 8-megapixel camera, and the all-new Siri voice-activated artificial intelligence system, which lets users search, text, email and perform a variety of other functions just by speaking naturally.

Perhaps more notable than the higher ranking of the iPhone 4S is that Apple’s handset still falls behind a number of Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Droid Bionic, both of which sport larger screens and have the ability to connect to 4G networks — a key feature the iPhone 4S lacks.

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