Consumer Reports, an influential U.S. magazine that publishes trusted and mostly unbiased reviews and comparisons of consumer products, has recommended Apple’s iPhone in the past, but now they wouldn’t recommend Samsung’s latest Galaxy S6 flagship smartphone, which released a month ago, over the last-generation Galaxy S5.
You read that right, last year’s Galaxy actually ranked higher than the Galaxy S6 in Consumer Reports’ ratings. Putting the S6 through its battery of scientific tests, the publications has made some surprising, if not controversial, conclusions.
Long story short, Consumer Reports put together a video titled ‘Why Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Doesn’t Top Our Ratings’ which basically explains they couldn’t recommend the flagship Samsung phone because it’s done away with the microSD card slot, the removable battery and the IP 67 dust and water resistance rating.
They also object to the S6’s all-metal enclosure as it resembles the design of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
An excerpt from the report:
Also missing: memory-expansion slots. That means Galaxy S6 owners will have to bring their phone to a service center to replace the battery, or buy a more expensive version of the phone if more onboard storage is needed — just as you do with an iPhone.
Is Consumer Reports insane?
You be the judge, here’s their video.
Curiously enough, they don’t mention that the S5 has USB 3.0 while its successor got downgraded to USB 2.0, for reasons unknown.
In my mind, it doesn’t seem fair to lower the S6’s rating below its predecessor over the lack of removable battery and expandable storage as most normals don’t swap out batteries and don’t need expandable storage to begin with.
The publication’s position is that some folks “like to have the flexibility” of having a removable battery and expandable storage while “other people won’t mind, they won’t care that they cannot do that anymore.”
If I wanted to be cynical, I would point out that Apple’s iPhone had these attributes since the beginning of time. In fact, Consumer Reports previously wouldn’t recommend Apple’s handset over its lack of removable battery.
The whole topic brings to mind late-2009, when rivals like Motorola had a field day highlighting these perceived weaknesses of the then-current iPhone 3GS.
Truth be told, Maria Rerecich, head of electronics testing at Consumer Reports, did praise the S6’s support for both wireless charging standards and other interesting features Samsung squeezed into its device such as quick charge battery technology.
And, Samsung itself stated during the handset’s unveiling that it had placed a particular focus on design, the camera and wireless charging capabilities.
All things considered, the mobile industry’s obsession with the creation of ever slimmer devices is starting to come at the expense of battery life. For example, the thinner, sleeker S6 has slightly shorter battery life over its predecessor.
That said, I think it won’t be long until smartphone vendors start ditching away removable batteries, memory card slots and waterproofing in favor of sealed designs.
Speaking of Consumer Reports, you may recall that the publication earned itself something of a notoriety within the Apple community when it wouldn’t recommend the iPhone 4 back in 2010 over the Antennagate scandal.
They recently rated the Stainless Steel Apple Watch as the best smartwatch among the eleven wrist-worn gizmos tested for durability, health functionality, readability in bright and low light, ease of use and ease of interaction, including devices from Samsung, Pebble, Sony, Martian, Asus, LG and Motorola.
So, what is your opinion?
Is the older Galaxy S5 a better proposition than the new model?
Also, are expandable memory and swappable batteries going to become goners for all high-end smartphones soon, do you think?