Consumer Reports is known for its unbiased product reviews. The company is such a square shooter that even though it said back in 2010 that the iPhone 4 had the “sharpest display and best video camera” of all of the handsets it had tested, it refused to recommend the device because of the problem with the phone’s antenna. Dubbed “Antennagate,” the phone had problems with the reception of cellular signals which was improved by using a free bumper case on the device that was provided by Apple. But that didn’t stop Consumer Reports from refusing to recommend the iPhone 4. The magazine said that it wouldn’t recommend the phone until a permanent solution was offered by Apple.
It is now years later and the latest edition of Consumer Reports says that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best iPhone of the year and is one of the best smartphones of 2021. The magazine wrote, “While the 12 Pro Max will cost you $100 more than its smaller sibling, the 12 Pro, it packs in several more hours of battery life, a slightly larger display, and a 2.5x zoom camera that gets you just a hair closer to the action than the 12 Pro’s 2x camera. On the flip side, the Max version is significantly heavier and can be tough to use one-handed, even for people with long fingers. If you’re wary of bulky phones, you might be happier with the 12 Pro.”
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max was Consumer Reports’ top-ranking iPhone for 2021
Other high-end phones on the list include the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, which was named the Best Android Phone. The award for the Best Budget Phone went to the OnePlus Nord N10 5G while the OnePlus Nord N100 was named the Best Phone for All-Day Battery Life. Consumer Reports complained that Samsung’s handsets are beginning to blend together. It added that “While this year’s Galaxy S21 phones did great in our testing, the most mind-blowing thing about them is that they cost $200 less than last year’s comparable models. And the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra remains the top-scoring Android phone in CR’s ratings.”
Consumer Reports did say that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is a handful, but that the S Pen makes the large display more manageable. The model also has outstanding battery life and as CR says, “a Netflix-worthy display.” Despite being named the best budget phone, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G was called out for not supporting mmWave high-band 5G; those signals deliver the fastest 5G service. And Consumer Reports’ battery champ, the OnePlus N100, slightly exceeded two days of power with a single charge. However, the handset featured some of the lowest rated cameras that the magazine has ever tested. Other phones scoring well with battery life included the Samsung Galaxy A71 (43 hours) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (41 hours).