Samsung, LG, Apple Models Top Latest Consumer Reports Smart Phone Ratings

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Several Samsung Galaxy phones score highly in CR’s tests; Four ways to ensure you always have enough juice

And while Samsung has many highly-rated phones in our Ratings, competing models from Apple, LG, HTC, Sony, and Motorola are also compelling.

Android smart phones dominate the latest Consumer Reports Ratings, with several models from Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line, LG, and HTC landing at or near the top. Apple’s latest handset, the iPhone 6, was also a top-scoring model.

The Samsung Galaxy S 5, the Galaxy S 5 Active, and the Galaxy S 5 Sport all performed well enough in CR’s comprehensive tests to land spots at the top of the Ratings. Each received high marks for attributes like display quality, camera image quality, battery life, and ease of use. In all, six of the top ten highest-scoring handsets in CR’s smart phone Ratings are Samsung models.

The LG G3, Apple iPhone 6, and HTC One (M8) are also high-performing smart phones that rank near the top of CR’s Ratings. All of the models in the top ten are within 5 points of each other in overall score, meaning that most people would likely be very satisfied with any of those options.

“If you’re in the market for a new smart phone, you can expect a larger, sharper display that’s easier to read; better performance; and even better battery life," said Mike Gikas, Senior Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports. “And while Samsung has many highly-rated phones in our Ratings, competing models from Apple, LG, HTC, Sony, and Motorola are also compelling.”

The full Consumer Reports smart phone Ratings, as well as a guide to choosing the right smart phone, can be found online at ConsumerReports.org.

Battery life is improving with each generation of smart phones – a fact borne out by CR’s exhaustive tests. Still, CR’s experts have the following tips to help consumers get the most out of their smart phone batteries:

  • Dim the display. A superbright, always-on display can eat up your battery, so put it on a diet. Lower it, or set it to Auto.
  • Turn things off. Your handset maintains contact with the carrier’s cell tower, and when that link weakens, the phone works harder to try to maintain it. If you’re spending extended time in an area with no service at all, turn the phone off or set it to airplane mode.
  • Give it a boost. Event the most stringent conservation practices won’t make a battery last forever. Carrying a spare battery is an excellent backup plan. Don’t have a removable battery? Consider a charging case from companies such as Mophie and PhoneSuit.
  • Buy a battery champ. If you’re shopping for a new phone, stack the odds in your favor by choosing one that has demonstrated staying power in Consumer Reports’ tests. Look for models in the Ratings that have ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ scores for battery life.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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James McQueen
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