Despite rear fingerprint sensor, Consumer Reports ranks Galaxy S8 higher than iPhone 7

Influential US magazine Consumer Reports today published their latest smartphone rankings. After weeks of “rigorous testing”, the organization has ranked Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 Plus, which released in late April, higher than Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices, which have been on the market for eight months now.
The testing procedure took into account popular user features such as design, battery life, cameras, display quality and more. The top spot was previously occupied by the earlier-generation Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
As for Apple’s smartphone, Consumer Reports ranked iPhone 7 Plus fifth.
Here are the top five smartphones, according to Consumer Reports:
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • LG G6
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Despite the latest Galaxies not having a dual-camera setup, Consumer Reports doesn’t think consumers will miss the depth of field photography and optical zoom features found on iPhone 7 Plus.
“A few top-end cameras, including the iPhone 7 Plus and the LG G6, have dual rear-facing cameras, to enhance either zoom or wide-angle photography,” notes the report.
“The Samsung phones haven’t gone that route yet—and we don’t think they suffer for it.”
The latest Galaxy phones have “some of the best smartphone battery life we’ve seen,” they added.
Consumer Reports testers found the latest Galaxies’ curved AMOLED display with the drastically reduced bezels at the top and the bottom both pretty to look at and functional, with a bigger screen area in the same-size device.
That doesn’t necessarily make the flagship Samsung phone comfortable to hold in one’s hand.
“Even on the smaller model, it will be hard for most users to reach the upper regions of the screen with their thumb,” said lead phone tester Richard Fisco.
Consumer Reports’ biggest gripe with the new Galaxy S8 family? An “awkwardly” positioned fingerprint sensor on the back.
Here’s what they had to say about it:
The fingerprint scanner on the back is awkwardly placed. You can use the scanner for unlocking the phone, and that works well. But it’s right next to the rear camera, and we found ourselves repeatedly poking around to locate it—and smudging the camera lens in the process.
Consumer Reports is, of course, the same publication that lost some of its credibility by first not recommending iPhone 4 due to Antennagate only to change its mind a few weeks later. The fact they’re now pitting the latest devices from Samsung and LG against Apple’s 2016 smartphone—which will be superseded by iPhone 8 in a three month’s time—isn’t helping either.
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