updated 08:50 am EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Consumer Reports picks iPhone 4S despite antenna
Consumer Reports partly changed its tune on Apple and recommended the iPhone 4S on Tuesday. It claimed that the dual, auto-switching antenna system on the newer Apple phone had solved the 'death grip' problem cause by covering up the bottom-left antenna gap. It also didn't notice the battery life issues reported by some and saw iOS 5.0.1 covering those might have problems.
The magazine still hadn't changed its mind on the price-discounted iPhone 4, which hadn't changed antenna systems. Many consider the issue to have been overstated in the long term as Apple has seen complaints drop off rapidly since the "antennagate" press event, even after Apple stopped giving away free bumper cases.
A turnaround in reputation still had it just short of the very top Android devices. The iPhone 4S was ranked higher than most, but it was topped by a handful of recent rivals, including the well-received Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Droid Bionic, and LG Thrill 4G. CR relied on screen size and data speeds as the differences, pointing to these phones having bigger screens and running on faster HSPA+ or LTE networks.
While screen size is a subjective factor, Apple is believed to have let the iPhone 4S stay at 14.4Mbps for its peak data speeds out of flexibility rather than any lag in its technology. Using the same Qualcomm chipset for both CDMA and GSM lets it ship just one phone worldwide instead of having to customize for different regions and carriers, like Samsung has had to do with the Galaxy S II in North America.