No Antennagate for iPhone 4S, Consumer Reports acknowledges

Last year, if you remember, many headlines were made by the reception issues seen by Apple’s iPhone 4. With that smartphone, the company introduced a new antenna design, and it turned out it wasn’t as good as Apple touted it to be (using its favorite word: “revolutionary”). Many consumer watchdogs/groups from all over the world tested the iPhone 4 and all came to basically the same conclusion: if you touch a certain spot on the phone’s lower left side while in an area with weak signal, you’ll abruptly lose (more) signal. And while “to touch a certain spot” seems like something that would rarely happen, in practice this does occur quite often since that particular spot is usually touched when holding the device to your ear.

Last month, Apple announced the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4’s successor. This new smartphone looks almost identical to the iPhone 4, yet Apple bragged about some improvements it has made to the antenna in the iPhone 4S (compared to the already revolutionary one seen in its predecessor, of course). Naturally, many people wondered whether that meant that the reception issues were not present on the iPhone 4S.

Well, we now have an answer. Consumer Reports has announced that the iPhone 4S doesn’t in fact suffer from ‘Antennagate’ as the media affectionately called the iPhone 4’s reception issues. Consumer reports is a well known US-based organization that was last year one of those who tested the iPhone 4 and found the flaw in its design. What’s more, Consumer Reports has refused to recommend the iPhone 4 because of that flaw ever since, even if on all other counts the phone is certainly recommendable, so to speak.

The organization still refuses to recommend the iPhone 4 even today, since it says that Apple hasn’t done anything to make the issue go away – it’s still there, alive and well, even inside iPhone 4s sold these days.

The iPhone 4S though is another story. Because it passed the reception test, it has become one of Consumer Reports’ recommended smartphones. However, rather interestingly, the iPhone 4S did not manage to best certain Android-powered devices, in the organization’s opinion. The handsets which it considers better overall than Apple’s latest offering are the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Droid Bionic, the LG Thrill 4G, alongside several other phones that have larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster 4G networks.

There have been some complaints recently about iPhone 4S battery life, and Apple even said it identified a few bugs in iOS 5 that may have caused issues. The company plans to fix those bugs in an upcoming iOS release. Meanwhile, Consumer Reports found that iPhone 4S battery life is comparable to that of the iPhone 4, and there were no notable battery problems spotted in some additional tests that were performed. So if there are any issues, they’re apparently device-dependent.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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