Consumer Reports top 5 smartphones will surprise you


samsung_blackjack2_lp1Consumer Reports is a great publication, online or print, that does a very thorough job testing, rating and reporting on various consumer products.  They usually are good at defining what is important to the consumer and designing criteria for rating products in a given category.  It was with great surprise when Matt Miller pointed out that Consumer Reports has released their list of the top 5 smartphones.  The surprise is two-fold- some of the phones that made this short list and especially those that didn’t make the top 5.

Here’s the top 5 smartphones according to Consumer Reports:

  • Samsung Blackjack II
  • T-Mobile Wing
  • Motorola Q9C
  • T-Mobile Shadow
  • Blackberry Pearl Flip

These phones are all fine smartphones but it is surprising that only one Blackberry made the cut, and where the heck is the iPhone 3G?  The iPhone 3G was further down the list and actually tied with the T-Mobile G1.  Interesting list to say the least.



I can understand that Mrshl but I think the report is on smartphones right? If so that would mean that they would have more than a purpose of making phone calls. If that is the case you would just get a standard cell phone.

But I see we are back to Apple huh. It is what it is.


Consumer Reports is supposed to be unbiased reviews from people who actually buy the things they review.

What seems to happen is that some amateur “expert” runs a particular category. It’s fine if it’s something generic and uncontroversial such as bath towels or porches. But if it’s a complicated category, this “expert” will write wrong reviews for years.

I don’t read Consumer Reports, but I remember reading Mac blogs, at a time when the Macs were not that bad and trading the raw performance crown with PCs, and every year they’d complain about how Consumer Reports disses Macs.

I’ve also heard that their car reviews are a bit off.


Maybe they included things like battery life. And call quality. I know lots of people who love their iPhone. But the thing they like least about it is the phone. And many say they’d rather not have to charge their phone every night of their lives.

BlackJackII has tons of battery life and it’s a reliable voice communications device. That’s why I use it.


I think that the purpose of this post was to comment on the top 5 smartphones that Consumer Report selected. With in this report which manly device is used in a corporation because I see the Blackberry Peal Flip and I don’t know of any company that uses that phone or for that matter any of these so called smartphones ? The article isn’t about debating what a smartphone is because both the I-Phone and G1 made the list. It’s about what is the best possible smartphone used no matter what your interpretation of what its use is for whether its for business or personal.

How did this become we hate you Apple post is beyond me. Out of all the RIM phones to pick you mean to tell me that the Pearl Flip is the best come on now and the Motorola Q9c? Which one of these top 5 phones does your company use Brodei?


The new late 2008 MacBook (Pro or normal) prevent jailbreaking your iPhone using PwnageTool, such that when the phone is in DFU mode (required to transfer the customized firmware), the iPhone will just hang and nothing is transferred.

THe solution: DO NOT connect your iPhone directly to your MacBook. Connect it to a USB HUB, then connect the hub to your MacBook. I tested this on a MacBook and MacBook Pro on 2 iPhones: both are jailbroken successfully.

T Man

Why would the list surprise me? Just because it doesn’t have the vaunted fruit phone on it?

And just to be clear, I’ve never used any of these phones, I have a LG Dare on VZW. However, it has been reported in many places that the call quality and ability to keep calls, you know, the primary reasons you bring these things around for, is very poor on the iPhone, and is an experience which is very variable with the sometimes shoddy AT&T network. CR has just looked beyond the hype realizing there is more to life than Apple.


unless you get your reviews from goofball pop culture resources like G4 “Attack of the Show” & the various sister review sites (CNET). at this point in time you WONT see the iphone at the top of any lists. sures its great for women & kids with casual interests but for grown men in the enterprise world the iphone isnt even a blip on the radar. go around & see how many Fortune 500 companies are sponsoring them for their employee’s, or for that matter even OSX in general.

consumers just never seemed to understand that besides their primary interests email/music/movies & a few other notables (which they will gladly list hoping to get respect) that the rest of us use our machines for serious purposes(our entire livelihood). in that segment the Apple brand just flat out doesnt exist & probably never will.


Autobehr, if that was true then the iphone/G1 wouldnt be on the list at all .. but they are just at the bottom.

and for all you guys claiming “inside sources” or “i used to work in the industry” get real. youre just iphone owners that are butthurt because CR hasnt hopped on the mainstream market driven ad-sponsored revenue monster that is the Apple machine. it’s actually nice to see a non-bias opinion with no real special interests (like most of the other “review” sites). they see the iphone for what it is, a phone with solid potential but a very immature OS that cant compete with much more feature rich productivity based OS’s.


The Apple iPhone and T-Mobile G1 ARE NOT SMART PHONES, ok ok, maybe the G1 is on the rite track. But by definition they are FEATURE phones. Where in they are all about the features, be it the look of the device, jiggly icons, lack of picture mail (come on iPhone, not so smart).
Now I will give credit to both phones for making a iconic place in history, but you ask most of the people what the iPhone and the G1 can do and they will tell you that they can touch it and turn it and there is a monkey in a ball on it, and for the G1 they can slide it and look at maps. Now most SMARTphones are not sexy, they serve a purpose, getting corp email, calender syncing and the such. I KNOW the iPhone and G1 can do that, in a “its about time/round about way” but that’s NOT why they are selling, and that’s not what this article is about.


The Q9c made the list? That’s insane. I have a Motorola Q9c and from the past year I have owned it I have been bombarded with problems, and its sluggish performance. I can’t wait until my contract expires so I can get myself a G1 :)

I can understand why the iPhone 3G didn’t make the list…it has its own share of problems as well, as many of my friends who own one will gladly testify.

Gary Mintchell

In a past life in engineering, I had occasion to talk to a Consumer Reports researcher. I have never read the magazine again. The researcher knew his conclusions before testing and did a shoddy job of the whole thing. Read it with a grain of salt and try to figure out the test methodology and hidden agendas.

Greg Jackson

For many years I subscribed to Consumer Reports as they were usually a good place to get general guidelines but have sometimes been way off on their top picks.

One big miss that I can remember was their choice of the 1984 Renault Alliance as “Car of the Year”. The car proved to be one of the worst cars in history.

I have to believe that CR is struggling these days with so much information available on the net, for free.

This smartphone report confirms how far off base Consumers Report has gotten.

This problem is rampant as experienced with other “review” sites on the web. It is amazing sometimes the terrible information that comes out of some of the old magazine turned web blog sources.

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