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Samsung makes it a hat-trick as Galaxy S9 tops Consumer Reports ratings

It wasn't all good though, as the watchdog criticised the camera quality and battery life.

Published onApril 17, 2018

  • Consumer Reports crowned the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus number one, earning the highest rating from the watchdog.
  • It marks the third straight win for Samsung, as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S7 were number one as well.
  • The phones aren’t perfect as the watchdog criticised camera performance and battery life.

We thought Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were rather fantastic, serving up an innovative camera and iterative yet welcome improvements over the Galaxy S8 duo. And it seems like Consumer Reports agrees, as the watchdog places it at the top of the smartphone pile.

“…it was durability, speedier processing, and top-quality sound that nudged the S9 and S9 Plus (which start at $720 and $840, respectively) just ahead of the competition in an exceptionally crowded field. Just six points separate our top 20 smartphones,” read an excerpt of the review.

In the case of durability, the watchdog conducted 100 drops in a tumbling machine. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus displays were “badly broken and not functional” after 50 drops. The S9, meanwhile, eased through with just a few “minor scratches”, while the S9 Plus survived the first 50 before cracking in the latter half.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

On the negative side, the company found that battery life had taken a dip compared to previous Galaxy handsets, with the S9 lasting 22.5 hours in tests compared to the S8’s 26 hours. The larger S9 Plus fared slightly better, clocking in at 24 hours compared to the S8 Plus’ 25.5 hours.

In the photography arena, testers penalized the phones for over-sharpening pictures. “Doing this exaggerates the contrast between dark and light objects in the photos, potentially adding an unnatural-looking halo around the subject,” the website elaborated. It added that the difference in low light wasn’t easily noticeable compared to the Galaxy S8.

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Consumer Reports also criticised features like AR Emoji and super slow-mo as kitschy and impractical, respectively.

Who will unseat Samsung at the top of the pile? There are quite a few contenders, ranging from Sony’s XZ2 trio to the upcoming OnePlus 6. However, our money might be on the HUAWEI P20 Pro, — if Consumer Reports can find one to review.

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