Consumer Reports Stories February 28, 2018

Consumer Reports has today published an updated list of its “Best Smartphone Cameras,” reflecting Apple’s most recent releases. The testing agency, which is sometimes accused of being unfairly anti-Apple, now claims the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus are the two best smartphone cameras…

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Consumer Reports Stories August 10, 2017

Following up on a new survey done with their subscribers, Consumer Reports is pulling the “recommended” rating for four Microsoft laptops they had previously reviewed. A change in recommendation is not uncommon with Consumer Reports as seen in their initial review of the 2016 MacBook Pro and it’s subsequent reversal.

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Consumer Reports Stories January 12, 2017

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Consumer Reports has published new results for their MacBook Pro battery testing today after having previously given the system a Do Not Recommend rating. CR has officially changed their recommendations and can now recommend the new 2016 MacBook Pros. The new tests come after Apple and CR worked together to decide what went wrong during the original testing. After becoming aware of a Safari bug that may have impacted results, CR recently started retesting on a newer build of macOS Sierra in which the bug was supposedly fixed.

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Consumer Reports Stories January 10, 2017

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After being the first MacBook Pro to not receive a recommendation from Consumer Reports, the company is now stating that the latest macOS Sierra beta addresses a potential issue with the system’s battery life.

Working in conjunction with Apple over the holiday, the two have worked together to better understand the battery test results as promised and new testing is taking place this week…

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Consumer Reports Stories December 29, 2016

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Consumer Reports has responded to our comment piece on its surprising battery test results for the 2016 MacBook Pro, stating that it stands by its findings.

I observed that the high-end numbers seemed hard to believe, hitting almost double the battery-life claimed by Apple, and I wondered whether some flaw in the test regimen had led to erroneous results. I emailed the organization suggesting that it might like to repeat the tests, but Consumer Reports’ director of electronics testing Maria Rerecich has replied saying that she sees no need to do so …

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Consumer Reports Stories December 23, 2016

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Consumer Reports yesterday dropped a bombshell on Apple, making the new MacBook Pro the first MacBook ever to not receive the publication’s recommendation. As for its reasoning, Consumer Reports explained that the inconsistent, yet sometimes impressive, battery life was too big of an issue to overlook.

Now, Apple Marketing executive Phil Schiller says that the company is working with Consumer Reports to “understand” the tests.

Working with CR to understand their battery tests. Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data

That’s what’s so ironic about this: Consumer Reports reported a three and a half hour test on the MacBook Pro, which if you’ve used one like me, know is completely possible with some serious CPU-intensive tasks. But then again tested in the 18-19+ hour range which is totally unbelievable, even if just the screen was on. So if anything, this test is in Apple’s favor.

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Consumer Reports Stories May 29, 2015

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If you want quality, reliable tech support for your computer, get a Mac. That’s according to the results of a new Consumer Reports survey that ranked Apple top among PC manufacturers for technical support post-purchase for the ninth year running… expand full story

Consumer Reports Stories May 6, 2015

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We got an early indication that Consumer Reports were impressed with the Apple Watch when they were unable to scratch the sapphire screen of the stainless steel model. The well-respected non-profit has now revealed that the full set of lab tests are complete, and the Apple Watch ranked top out of the 11 smartwatches tested.

Consumer reports tested the watches for durability, water-resistance, health functionality, readability in bright and low light, ease of use, and ease of interaction – though there was one slightly worrying moment for the Apple Watch Sport …  expand full story

Consumer Reports Stories April 26, 2015

I can’t remember if we’re still mad at Consumer Reports for Antennagate but they seem to be doing a thorough job at testing the Apple Watch as evidenced in the video below. Notable from their Day 1 tests is that the Apple Watch Sport screen does scratch but only after going pretty far down the Moh’s hardness scale (7-rated) into the unlikely to ever happen category.

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The Sapphire Apple Watch however wouldn’t scratch under any circumstances, though it doesn’t appear that Consumer Reports had a diamond pick to test it against. Regardless, for intents and purposes, you likely will never see a scratch on the face of the Apple Watch (the back is a different matter)… expand full story

Consumer Reports Stories September 30, 2014

Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling computer magazine, has had its PR accreditation pulled after posting a video of one of its journalists bending an iPhone 6 Plus.

The german PR department of the company reacts in a disturbing way: Instead of answering the questions about why the iPhone 6 Plus is so sensitive, a manager called Computer Bild and told us, that Computer Bild will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more …

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Consumer Reports Stories September 26, 2014

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Consumer Reports released a new video today taking on claims of overly-flexible iPhones that have appeared online recently. Apple noted that only a handful of complaints have come in and gave journalists a look at its testing procedures. Regardless of Cupertino’s claims, Consumer Reports kept its promise to conduct testing that was a bit more scientific in nature than previous YouTube videos.

To address these claims, several different phones were tested under up to 150 pounds of pressure to see when each model would stop “snapping back” to its original shape. The devices tested were the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G3.

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Consumer Reports Stories September 25, 2014

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Not sure what to believe about recent claims that the iPhone 6 Plus has a malleability issue? Consumer Reports says it is in the process of undergoing authoritative testing to find its own answer to the question of whether or not the larger iPhone has a bending problem.

According to their post, Consumer Report will critically test the new iPhones against other popular smartphones using their “sophisticated machinery” which can apply up to 1,000 pounds of force previously used to test the LG G Flex and determine whether or not the iPhone 6 models are more likely to bend than other phones. expand full story

Consumer Reports Stories October 16, 2013

Consumer Reports praises iPhone 5s Touch ID and camera, but prefers Droid battery life and display

Consumer Reports released its review on the iPhone 5s and 5c this week with an interesting take on Apple’s new hardware. Its reviewers praised Apple’s fingerprint recognition system known as Touch ID found on the iPhone 5s, and acknowledged the iPhone 5c as a budget-friendly device for consumers, but found the display size and battery life lacking when compared to new offerings by Motorola.

The magazine especially praised the iPhone 5s camera system, though:

The phone’s 8-megapixel camera, one of the few in our tests capable of taking excellent-quality pictures, has a digital image stabilizer that we confirmed will improve your chances of taking hand-held photos under low-light conditions.

Citing the Motorola Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini, Consumer Reports said it experienced up to 24 hours of battery life overall from the Droid hardware when compared to the iPhone’s just under 7 hours of talk time. It also took preference to the ‘larger, sharper’ screens shipping on smartphones from HTC, LG, and Samsung.

Consumer Reports Stories January 8, 2013

Trade-in value on broken iPhone 4S as much as mint condition Galaxy S2

Here are some interesting charts from Gazelle at CES that compare trade-in values of the iPhone versus the competition. As you can see from the images above and below, the iPhone, like many Apple products, have tendency of retaining a higher trade-in value longer than other devices. In many situations, months after the release of a device, a broken iPhone 4S with a completely shattered display is worth more or about the same as a seemingly mint condition Galaxy S2 or Galaxy Nexus. A gallery of all the stats Gazelle had on display at CES is below:

Consumer Reports Stories November 29, 2012

Verizon tops Consumer Reports’ carrier survey, but AT&T does better for 4G service

Consumer Reports just published its annual ratings report on wireless carriers, and the general consensus is that the Big Four tend to promise a lot—but their customer satisfaction scores prove they struggle to deliver.

None of the major carriers —Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile— could deliver an overall satisfaction score above 72 percent, as NBCNews mentioned, and Consumer Reports further added that cellphone companies rate the lowest among service providers.

Meanwhile, three smaller companies —Consumer Cellular, U.S. Cellular, and Credo Mobile— held the highest scores for customer satisfaction. U.S. Cellular, for instance, which is the largest of the three with service mostly in the Midwest, topped with a score of 88 percent.

The ratings report complied rankings from over 63,000 reader responses. The final results placed Big Red, a.k.a. Verizon, at No. 1 for overall service quality and availability, while Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T soon followed, respectively.

Verizon is apparently preferred by heavy-data users, but the latter three carriers scored better in the 4G-service department. AT&T had the fewest amount of problems for 4G service overall. Satisfaction scores also varied by location, however. The survey cropped data from 23 metropolitan areas and found AT&T rated significantly better than Verizon in places like Chicago.

Check out NBCNews for more details. The full results of the survey will become available in Consumer Reports’ January 2013 issue.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Consumer Reports Stories April 2, 2012

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The first customer satisfaction survey since the release of the new iPad shows that owners are almost completely smitten with their new devices.

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Changewave surveyed 200 new iPad owners from March 22 to March 28 and found that those “Very Satisfied” were up 8 percent from the iPad 2 to an impressive 82 percent.

And those heat “issues”?  Not a big problem.

What is an aspect that new iPad owners like the most? expand full story

Consumer Reports took a beating for measuring the new iPad’s heat and charging non-issues under intense loads. However, it still overwhelmingly recommended Apple’s new device.

The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today.

Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright. Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests.

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Consumer Reports Stories March 26, 2012

Earlier today, we noted that PC World tested the new iPad against some Android tablets for heating during use and found it to be on the high-end but not always the hottest.

Wired did its own tests and found the new iPad to be middle of the road…

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Consumer Reports Stories March 21, 2012

Following coming under a bit of heat for its report about the iPad running “significantly hotter than” iPad 2, Consumer Reports just published a review of the new Apple TV ahead of its full comprehensive testing. While the review could not help but praise the refreshed set-top box’s 1080p video support, Consumer Report’s “bottom line” is that the device is not worth the upgrade for second-generation Apple TV owners. It also claims the cheaper Roku and D-Link’s Boxee Box offer more content options: expand full story

Consumer Reports Stories March 20, 2012

CNET spoke with DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira who offered a few reasons why the new iPad is a bit “toastier”…

  1. Twice the LEDs: That means more heat coming from more LEDs. This is especially a problem at full brightness.
  2. 2.5X the power needed: The brightness efficiency is lower, because the new iPad has more pixels (which means more transistors) compared to the iPad 2. More pixels and transistors take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. “So they basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out.” Soneira adds: “I measured the LED power at maximum brightness–it’s two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2.”
  3. Battery generates more juice: The battery has to push out more power. This makes the battery warmer.
  4. Traditional LCD technology: Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO technology was not ready for the new iPad, which forced Apple to use traditional —and less power efficient— amorphous silicon tech. [To be fair, the older iPads also used this tech. Perhaps Apple was hoping to go 100-percent IGZO to offset the above].

The biggest heater in the new iPad is the new processor that has four graphics cores. If you look at the heat maps Consumer Reports and Tweakers did, the center of the heat is right where that A5X sits on the left side of the device.

As a bonus, do not forget those hot and schweaty Qualcomm LTE chips that bring the “faster than home broadband” goodness directly to your 4G iPads.

With all the above said, it is a minor miracle Apple managed to keep temperatures within 10 degrees to 15 degrees of the earlier versions.

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Image via Diego Martin @vr6pwr

We reported this morning that a 5-minute GL benchmark of the new iPad versus the iPad 2 proved the third-generation iPad was indeed running noticeably hotter than the previous generation (10 degrees F to be exact). Apple chimed in with a boilerplate response claiming the new iPad is “operating well within our thermal specifications.” Now the story is being picked up by mainstream media with several reporting Apple could have another “antennagate on its hands” (I just heard this on the radio, by the way).

Following complaints online from concerned customers, Consumer Reports is now investigating the issue and will report its findings on Tuesday. Reuters reports:

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