Although the iPhone 4 has proven to be a Consumer Reports outcast, the device's successor, the iPhone 4S, has been recommended by the organization.
"The Apple iPhone 4S is among the recommended models in our newly updated Ratings of smart phones," Consumer Reports announced today. "Apple's newest smartphone 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."
Consumer Reports stirred up a controversy last year when it announced that it could not recommend the iPhone 4 to its subscribers. The organization said at the time that when users touched the gap on the lower left side of the device, "the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal."
Apple acknowledged that flaw soon after the iPhone 4 launched last year, and offered owners a free case to address the problem. However, Consumer Reports still refused to recommend the iPhone 4, despite its belief that the device was a fine option for consumers on most other fronts. "Putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us," Consumer Reports said at the time.
In its testing, Consumer Reports found that there is no reception issue when users hold the iPhone 4S. The organization said that the iPhone 4S beat out the iPhone 4 in other areas as well thanks to its dual-core processor and improved camera. All told, the iPhone 4S received a score of 75 from Consumer Reports, besting the iPhone 4's 73.
However, the iPhone 4S still lagged behind three Android-based handsets to take the smartphone crown. Consumer Reports currently ranks the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Samsung Infuse 4G atop the smartphone space with scores of 80. The LG Thrill 4G comes in third place with a score of 77.