Samsung's Galaxy S9 phones inch out iPhone X for top Consumer Reports ranking

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In a surprise development, Consumer Reports has named the two newest Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, to the number one spot in its smartphone rankings.

According to the rankings, the top of the list is dominated by Samsung, although it was close — just six points separate the top 20 ranked devices, Consumer Reports said.

A tight ranking

The S9 and S9+ are tied for first, with 81 points, edging out the Samsung's Galaxy S8, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active and Galaxy S8 Plus next with 79 each. The highest-ranked Apple devices are the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8, which ranked sixth and seventh, while the iPhone X placed 8th with Consumer Reports' testers.

The S9 devices came in first despite lukewarm reviews, as well as lesser battery life than the previous model, and an inferior camera system on the S9 than on the S8. Prior to the release of the S9, Consumer Reports had released its ranking of the top smartphone cameras, and it was all Apple: iPhone X was on top, followed by the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple held five of the top six spots.

Nevertheless, Galaxy S9 devices won for a few reasons, according to CR. The S9 performed better in drop tests, making it through 100 drops with "just minor scratches," while the S9+ cracked on the second series of 50 drops. The publication also praised the Samsung devices' "great stereo speakers," its retention of the headphone jack, and "convenient security features." But Consumer Reports did acknowledge the lackluster battery life and over-sharpening of photos.

"It really comes down to personal preference when you're talking about high-end phones these days," Consumer Reports' head of smartphone testing Richard Fisco said regarding the test results.

After the S9 was released, some customers complained of issues with the touchscreen, as well as problems with data loss and lens flares.

Apple fans vs. Consumer Reports

Apple enthusiasts over the years, from the so-called Antennagate controversy to negative reviews of the HomePod, have frequently suspected an anti-Apple bias in Consumer Reports' product ratings, including questions about its review methodologies. These issues were discussed in March on the AppleInsider podcast.


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