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For the second year in a row, Consumer Reports has christened Samsung’s latest Galaxy flagships — the Galaxy S9 and S9+ — as the top-ranking smartphones currently available, coming in even higher than all of Apple’s latest iPhone models including the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X, according to a breakdown of the firm’s assessment.
As we previously reported, Consumer Reports last year gave the same top-ranking designation to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships, which also outranked Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at the time. And while the firm’s full report is unfortunately restricted behind a payed-access-only barrier, its bizarre, almost comical findings were conveyed exhaustively in a separate report published by The Korea Times this week.
“Samsung Electronics’ latest top-of-the-line smartphones swept the smartphone rankings list of the U.S.-based Consumer Reports magazine,” the publication said, adding that “In the latest evaluation of the magazine that came out on April 13, the Korean tech giant’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus received 81 overall points each to make it the top of the list.”
Puzzlingly, while the S9 and S9+ came in first and second this year, Samsung’s previous flagships — the Galaxy S8, S8 Active and S8+ — came in third, forth, and fifth with scores of 80, 79, and 79, respectively. It wasn’t until the sixth spot that Apple’s latest iPhone flagships even made a showing, with the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 taking the sixth and seventh place slots at 79 points apiece, and the tenth-anniversary iPhone X coming in eighth with just 78 points.
Even more puzzlingly, despite their higher rankings on the list, Consumer Reports noted that Samsung’s S9 and S9+ represented “only a modest leap forward” in comparison to the S8 and S8+ — however the upgrade was apparently “worth a look,” whatever that means.
“The new phones offer upgraded security features, super slow-motion video, and a camera that can turn your image into a personalized emoji,” Consumer Reports said (via The Korea Times). “In the end, though, it was durability, speedier processing, and top-quality sound that nudged the S9 and S9 Plus just ahead of the competition in an exceptionally crowded field.”
By the sound of their aforementioned assessment, it might seem as if Consumer Reports’ writers were perhaps a little tipsy when they sat down and formulated their assessment.
First of all, while the Galaxy S9 duo is indeed equipped with upgraded camera modules compared to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, it was literally just weeks ago that Consumer Reports came out saying Apple’s iPhone X has the best smartphone camera currently available.
Moreover, while Samsung’s “upgraded security features” and “camera that can turn your image into a personalized emoji” — referring to the South Korean company’s hardly-intuitive 3D Emoji feature — may sound promising to those not so in-the-know, it’s definitely worth pointing out that Apple’s Face ID-powered TrueDepth camera system is years ahead of anything Samsung implemented on the Galaxy S9, security-wise.
And Apple’s Animoji feature, which Samsung sloppily copied, was also first to market based on an inherently more complex VCSEL and infrared dot projector technology.
Consumer Reports goes on to assess the Galaxy S9’s speed as being “impressive,” humorously noting that “Apps open in a snap and mobile websites load quickly when you have a fast Internet connection.” This is also particularly interesting since both the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X absolutely crushed the Galaxy S9 duo in recent testing conducted by Anandtech.