After 6 weeks of "real usage," Mossberg stands by his initial verdict of the iPhone 4

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  • Reply 81 of 145
    esoomesoom Posts: 155member
    CR is what it is, I had a subscription for years, then just got tired of their reviews focusing on issues that were non issues for me, and allowed my subscription to lapse.



    The only thing I could really count on is their reviews of laundry detergent & their ilk.



    When they review complex devices, their focus and mine are different, and when they started giving recommended status to all Toyota or Honda cars, it just flat pissed me off.



    They actually got the iPhone 4 review right, it's a great device and IMHO, the best smartphone, but the doggone antenna can be an issue for some, for them to ignore the issue would have been irresponsible. I don't know that I would have with held the "recommended" rating because of the antenna issue though, because I was aware of the signal attenuation issue in many other phones already.
  • Reply 82 of 145
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    They are neither all good nor all bad. They get some things right, and some things wrong, just like all human beings. I don't honestly know whether they've gotten the iPhone 4 testing thing right or wrong, or (more likely) somewhere in between. But as someone else said, their conclusions are virtually the same as Walt Mossberg's, and I notice that nobody is calling him a fraud.



    Well, Walt Mossberg isn't misrepresenting his conclusions as being based on objective testing. Consumer Reports is, that's the difference. Their ratings system pretends to be something it is obviously not, and their recommendations are clearly not based on it.
  • Reply 83 of 145
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    Hi Rabbit Coach, a bit off topic: but is 'Rabbit Coach' a sexual reference? Or am I just seeing sexual references where there are none?



    If it is, it's very funny.



    Best



    Hi Christopher, still off topic. - Sorry for giving you wrong ideas with my username. It but I see now in a strictdly freudian sense one might find some sexual reference. Hmm.. I really didn't think of that.
  • Reply 84 of 145
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    I think this guy sums up nicely why the haters hate:

    http://chipotle.tumblr.com/post/8617...rs-new-antenna



    I wouldn't change a word.



    It's a good article - but the point remains that this is not an issue suffered by all users of the phone, it's not a fundamental flaw, it's an issue experienced by a minority of users - and this has been blown out of proportion by the media.



    I for one was pleased with Apple's handling of the 'issue' I'm bored of corporate speak and being spoken down to by the likes of Ballmer. Using terms such as "don't hold it like that then" and "bullshit" gave me a new found respect for Jobs. If you don't like the products, don't buy them - if you do buy them you'll continue to get the best experience his company can provide. It might be flawed, but they're unique in the market place for their customer care and the availability of one on one tech support.



    Not been on the koolaid, just a bit bored by the knocking of a company just because it got successful/popular/mainstream and the nerds don't like that they're no longer the majority user of this manufacturer's products. I dislike people who knock Microsoft for the same reasons. Both companies have good and bad and the media coverage of "Antenna gate" was utterly ridiculous at a time that western servicemen were being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.



    A little perspective perhaps?
  • Reply 85 of 145
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    Anandtech:



    "From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.



    With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS."













    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    Please provide reference. I can't recall that being said. And having reread their review am having trouble finding it.



  • Reply 86 of 145
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, you misrepresent my argument entirely when you say, "the argument that CR only does what they do to drive web hits." First, that wasn't even my primary criticism, and secondly, there's nothing inconsistent with accusing them of going after web hits, which lead to an enlarged subscriber base, which may lead to increased individual salaries, and admitting that this may not be their only motivation. Do you really believe that the individuals who work at Consumer Reports do what they do entirely out of a sense of selfless altruism? Or, may it not be possible that some of them do it because they are paid well?



    As to my primary criticism -- that their testing is not objective nor reliable -- I think the facts stand for themselves. There is really no argument around the fact that, based on their ratings, the iP4 is the best smartphone on the market. Yet, it is not one of their recommended phones. This means that their ratings are not based on the factors that cause them to recommend products. If not, then what are they based on? Unless their ratings and recommendations align, it is unavoidable to conclude that their recommendations are not objective and/or that their rating system is flawed. You can't escape one or the other, or both of those conclusions.



    The fact that they have been doing this for 60 years is irrelevant. They may always have been unreliable, (A possibility, since I have almost never agreed with their recommendations on any product of which I have knowledge.) they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.



    But, they are either engaged in objective testing and rating of products , with meaningful tests and a meaningful rating system, or they are not. That the highest rated product is not recommended, indicates that their rating system and testing is in at least this case flawed. That it is in this case, casts doubt of their reliability and objectivity in all cases.



    (And, allowing a video with snarky, unprofessional duct tape comments certainly doesn't help their case. In fact it reinforces the notion that they have allowed bias into their testing process.)



    My comments on "scandal and fraud" were, however, intended mostly for the media. As we all know, the lust for sensationalism in that quarter is insatiable. And anything they can whip into the appearance of scandal and fraud is sauce for them. The question is, why isn't the inconsistency of Consumer Reports testing and recommendations coming under scrutiny here by that same media?



    The comment on "pseudo-science" is, however, entirely apt, in regard to Consumer Reports methods.



    Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.



    CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?



    And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.



    This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.



    Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.
  • Reply 87 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post


    Ah, nice to wake up to your friendly comment shithead.



    I live in an area with good ATT coverage so my iPhone 4 works. If I didn't I wouldn't buy an iPhone 4, drop calls all over the place and chug Kool Aid to convince myself there's no problem.



    That's the difference between you and me. I don't "love" my iPhone like it was a miniature person. It is a tool to do a job and I expect it to work.



    It was a boneheaded idea to make the iPhone completely out of glass with the antenna on the outside. I don't know how old you and the rest of the fanbois here are, but when I was a kid we got our TV reception with rabbit ear antennas. If you grabbed them with your hands the picture would change instantly.



    I could have told Apple this antenna issue was going to happen, and I didn't have to go to college and become an engineer, or spend millions on a call testing facility.



    Apple blundered big time on this one. And all the Kool Aid on the store shelf ain't gonna make it go away.





    This says more about YOUR ISSUES then anything else.
  • Reply 88 of 145
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    In certain rare locations my iPhone 4 gets the Cell Phone Death Grip; luckily calls do not drop, but bars may. I assumed that touching the black stripe was the culprit.



    But lately I’ve noticed that if I intentionally touch just that spot, in a weak signal area, generally nothing happens! The big “death grip” effect comes instead from a whole-hand wrap in my testing. In fact, if I carefully insert a little air by pulling my palm away from just the black stripe, that doesn’t even seem to help. In my experience, then, it seems like the iPhone’s grip problem works about the same as every other phone—it’s not some tragic new thing because the antenna is external.
  • Reply 89 of 145
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.



    CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?



    And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.



    This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.



    Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.



    First, I used the word 'significant', not 'primarily', and I stand by that accusation: that they were, in no irrelevant manner, and in your words, acting like "attention whores". The whole snarky duct tape video undermines any arguments to the contrary.



    And, no, I don't think they are doing anything different than they have always done. (And note, that your quote on this point is a misquote, what I actually said was, "They may always have been unreliable, [...] they may recently have become unreliable, or they may have always been sometimes unreliable.") I think their review process has always been flawed. The establish arbitrary criteria, test (and how rigorously is debatable), then, when their test results don't line up with what they feel is correct, they will 'ding' products for criteria not part of their tests. How is this in any way objective testing? It isn't, but it does point to the arbitrary nature of their testing criteria. If the points that products are 'dinged' over are relevant, why aren't they part of the rating process? And are the dings based on objective testing, or are they mere subjective whims?



    This goes well beyond smartphone "testing", and applies to all their testing, ratings, and recommendations. This might be fine if they didn't maintain a pretense of objective, "scientific" testing of products, but they do. In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?
  • Reply 90 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Esoom View Post


    CR is what it is, I had a subscription for years, then just got tired of their reviews focusing on issues that were non issues for me, and allowed my subscription to lapse.



    The only thing I could really count on is their reviews of laundry detergent & their ilk.



    When they review complex devices, their focus and mine are different, and when they started giving recommended status to all Toyota or Honda cars, it just flat pissed me off.



    They actually got the iPhone 4 review right, it's a great device and IMHO, the best smartphone, but the doggone antenna can be an issue for some, for them to ignore the issue would have been irresponsible. I don't know that I would have with held the "recommended" rating because of the antenna issue though, because I was aware of the signal attenuation issue in many other phones already.



    Me too....Tide is the best Cheer is second...best Paint is Home Depot's Behr...don't pull your nose hairs out with your fingers, use a nose trimmer, etc.



    American cars are improving, but Japanese are still the best (sorry) don't buy German cars and certainly don't by English! (I'm English, btw)



    If you want to make an emergency stop in a Kia, turn on the AC, etc. etc.



    Best
  • Reply 91 of 145
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post


    Hi Christopher, still off topic. - Sorry for giving you wrong ideas with my username. It but I see now in a strictdly freudian sense one might find some sexual reference. Hmm.. I really didn't think of that.



    Yes, I thought it sort of sarcastic, I mean, do rabbits really need 'coaching?' Anyway, thanks for the clarification and certainly no offense intended. I just have an overdeveloped imagination, I guess. Probably due to my years as a 'door-to-door lingerie' salesman.



    Oh well! Best to get back on topic, before someone calls me a sh*thead!
  • Reply 92 of 145
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Come on now. You made two arguments, numbered 1 and 2. The first was that their primary motivations were to drive web hits, which in your mind, leads them to be dishonest. I think this "attention whore" argument is at best ludicrous on its face because it is completely circular, and at worst, deeply cynical. It's a generic argument against anyone who says anything for any reason. It can always be trotted out to "counter" any statement with which you disagree for any reason. You need a better argument. A far better one.



    CR's track record of over 60 years is hardly irrelevant. I mention this because some like yourself assume that they've created some new method of reviewing products just for the purpose of slamming Apple. This is not so. If you are going to make sweeping statements like "they have always been unreliable" then it is incumbent on you to back up that argument, not just make it and expect everyone to simply accept it. Start here: do you think they were "unreliable" in the past when they top-rated Apple's product reliability and customer support?



    And again, if you understood their policies, you'd know that they often ding products with a "not recommended" label for one flaw which they regard as critical, even if they otherwise rate them highly. For example, they have frequently withheld recommendations for cars that tested well because they were new models, and other cars made by the same manufacturer had been less reliable than average. Agree with this or not, to me clearly they are not assuming that their members are non-sentient. The assume their members can look at the information they provide, and decide what is important to them.



    This is what they've done for decades. Agree with this methodology or not, no change in method applies in this case.



    Further, CR's testing hardly qualifies as "sensationalistic." If fact they are usually criticized for being geeky in the extreme. One of the reasons I am no longer a member is because they often attempt to apply objective testing criteria to products that perform subjectively.



    Well said.



    This thread started out rather interestingly with mostly iPhone defenders chiming in. Ironically, it seems that iP4 antenna critics have largely lost interest after having gotten the word out. Consumer reports fulfilled its roll admirably in that regard.



    Most people I know to have experience the reception problem, have bought a case by now and are happily using their iPhones. They still claim it is a real issue and don't appreciate Apple trying to deny the problem. But overall, they're happy. With a case, the iP4 is arguably the best phone ever made. But that doesn't mean it didn't have a real problem. It was just a problem, that if experienced, could be overcome with a case.



    These people have mostly lost interest in the subject. The news covered it sufficiently and there is no more reason to harp on the issue. Consumers are well informed at this point and can choose to buy or not to buy. This leaves just the zealots to argue amongst themselves, claiming either it is the worst phone ever or that there was no reception problem at all.
  • Reply 93 of 145
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 862member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Good point, which only reinforces what I've said. CR's other results on Apple products (such as giving them consistently high marks for reliability and quality of tech support) can be trumpeted as truth, but if CR gives Apple one black mark (or even one gray mark), this turns them instantly into an out-and-out fraudulent organization with cynical motives and no credibility whatsoever.



    Thats the facrts^^^^^^ CR states things as they are, over the years they've recommended APPLE many times. I have yet to see a more unbiased and scientifically based organization than Consumer Reports. Are they perfect? NO but they are pretty much on the money and reliable. Even APPLE started to address the Antenna issue when CR got involved. Which proves that APPLE gives CR credability as do most companies.
  • Reply 94 of 145
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Consumer Reports, like most blogs and news sites that jumped on this particular bandwagon, was driven in significant part by a desire to stir up controversy and drive traffic to their site. In their case it wasn't to increase ad revenue, but traffic to their site doubtlessly drives subscriptions to the content behind their paywall. There is an obvious conflict of interest here, highlighted by their handling of the issue, that calls into question their motives. Remember, employees at non-profits don't work for free, and their compensation, just like everyone else's (unless you work on Wall St) depends on how much money their employer pulls in.



    Well put. I had been a member of CR but my membership lapsed. Needless to say, after this little episode I won't be renewing!



    So for me, at least, their little scheme has backfired.
  • Reply 95 of 145
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    In the case of smartphones, why weren't the tests they subjected the iP4 to part of the rating process to begin with? How many phones have they tested in this way? Did they subject other "recommended" phones to the same testing? If not, what is the validity of those ratings and recommendations?



    Why, all you need to do is acquire a membership to find out!
  • Reply 96 of 145
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post


    Thats the facrts^^^^^^ CR states things as they are, over the years they've recommended APPLE many times. I have yet to see a more unbiased and scientifically based organization than Consumer Reports. Are they perfect? NO but they are pretty much on the money and reliable. Even APPLE started to address the Antenna issue when CR got involved. Which proves that APPLE gives CR credability as do most companies.



    I don't think it's that Apple gives credibility to Consumer Reports. In fact, I doubt that very much. It's more like Consumer Reports, right or wrong, can be used as a blunt instrument to beat your competitors with because too many people give them any credibility at all.



    I think it's more that, with Consumer Reports' sensationalist and unprofessional handling of their "review", the media became stirred into such an irrational frenzy that Apple had to give out free cases to appease them. I think it's ridiculous to suggest that Apple only started to address the issue after Consumer Reports weighed in.
  • Reply 97 of 145
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post


    Why, all you need to do is acquire a membership to find out!



    Yes, exactly.
  • Reply 98 of 145
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    [deleted after realizing I had misread the post I had replied to]
  • Reply 99 of 145
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    I don't think it's that Apple gives credibility to Consumer Reports. In fact, I doubt that very much. It's more like Consumer Reports, right or wrong, can be used as a blunt instrument to beat your competitors with because too many people give them any credibility at all.



    I think it's more that, with Consumer Reports' sensationalist and unprofessional handling of their "review", the media became stirred into such an irrational frenzy that Apple had to give out free cases to appease them. I think it's ridiculous to suggest that Apple only started to address the issue after Consumer Reports weighed in.



    Companies cannot use consumer reports to beat their competitors. The commercial use of CR reviews is explicitly prohibited.



    It sounds more like you have an emotional attachment to the subject and are mad at CR for publishing a review you disagree with. There was nothing sensational about their review at all. Nothing was sensationalized. Nothing was unprofessional. There wasn't across the board criticism, demonization of a CEO, no attacks on an entire company etc. They retested a single product after widespread reports of a single, specific flaw. They confirmed that the flaw could affect some customers and adjusted their rating accordingly.



    You can reasonably argue that their review was wrong. But to call it sensationalism is just bizarre.
  • Reply 100 of 145
    yosh01yosh01 Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    Glad to hear Walt remains the almost lone honest voice in the hogwash engineered by gawkers and psystars. And after having indeed used the product for some time now I'm wholeheartedly with him on this subject.



    The iPhone 4 is absolutely amazing product.

    The battery life is now --- finally! --- in line with what industry offers in general. But is a charge speed astounding!

    The reception capabilities are indisputably superior to previous generations of the phone. I can give calls to my folks from places like basements and underground parking lots, from which with the 3G I could only dream to.

    Camera. I stopped to sync third party camera applications. Apple's one has everything I need back again, not to mention the convenience of using it.

    Display. Thank you Apple, I can read on my iPhone without eye strain again. It's great.



    God almighty, did the industrial design of the case ail me in the beginning. But it appeared to be only a whim just like that anger at your grocery shop personnel upon they've moved shelves and you've lost your habitual stuff from the view. Well, I'm getting used to industrial design too and even starting to find it elegant.

    I still do not like Apple having changed home button usage patterns. I still see no big point in multitasking, however, it's good to see how fast suspended applications come to run.



    So, I think gawkers committed a real crime with spoiling the launch of such a product in public opinion. And I think they should pay.



    How can there be so much of a difference in iPhone 4 user experience? I've had my iP4 since day one and the "death grip" is a real issue for me. Without the bumper, the phone us useless, with it, it works okay. However, the reception is not as good as my old iPhone 3G. I used to always get reception at home, but now I rarely do. My wife has my old 3G and she continues to get good home reception.



    There is clearly a difference in phone reception quality between my new iP4 and old iP3. If I had the opportunity, I'd go back to the iP3 if only to be able to use it at home again.
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