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Consumer Reports: Antenna problems fixed in iPhone 4S

US consumer advocacy group says iPhone 4 antenna issue has been addressed

Consumer Reports, the US-based consumer advocacy group, has given the iPhone 4S its seal of approval.

One of the most notable findings in the report was that unlike its predecessor, the iPhone 4S doesn't lose signal when held in a particular way. When the iPhone 4 was launched, Consumer Reports initially recommended the handset, before withdrawing that recommendation when the antenna issue was discovered. It later said that Apple's 'Bumper' cases fixed the problem.

The iPhone 4 Antenna-gate timeline

"In special reception tests of the iPhone 4S that duplicated those we did on the iPhone 4, the newer phone did not display the same reception flaw, which involves a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone's lower left side while you're in an area with a weak signal," Consumer Reports said.

"The iPhone 4, which is still available, continues to exhibit that problem, we confirmed in tests of new samples of the phone. Because of the flaw, we continue to omit the iPhone 4 from our list of recommended models, despite its otherwise fine performance."

Consumer Reports' battery life tests will also be of interest to iPhone 4S owners, with the organisation saying: "The Apple iPhone 4S did very well in our standard tests of battery life; like the iPhone 4, it scores Very Good overall on that attribute. And the iPhone 4S and new samples of the iPhone 4 have displayed no notable battery problems in additional special tests we carried out, after some owners complained on user forums of short run times with some samples of both phones."

iPhone 4S battery life: How does it compare to other smartphones?

Apple plans to issue an update to iOS 5 in the coming weeks that should deal with any battery life problems.

Consumer Reports praised the iPhone 4S for it's upgraded camera and dual-core processor and Siri. However, the iPhone 4S didn't outscore some Android handsets in the organisation's ratings. The Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Droid and the LG Thrill all scored higher than the iPhone 4S in Consumer Reports' tests.

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