by Joe White
July 12, 2010
Consumer Reports has just announced that it "can't recommend the iPhone 4" due to the infamous antenna issue. The site's test engineers have recently confirmed the problem after undertaking an extensive test. Three separately purchased handsets were connected to a base-station emulator - a device which simulates cell towers - in an impervious isolation chamber. There, Consumer Reports' test engineers were able to confirm that, when touching the iPhone's lower-left antenna bridge, the handset's signal significantly decreases. Here's what Consumer Reports said on its site:
"It's official. Consumer Reports' engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4."In addition to this, Consumer Reports was also able to find an "affordable solution" for iPhone 4 owners affected by this issue. By covering the antenna bridge with a piece of masking tape, the issue is resolved. A more expensive solution involves purchasing an Apple iPhone Bumper, which would work in the same way. It's a shame really, because the iPhone 4 itself did well in the test, with Consumer Reports liking almost every aspect of the phone. Here are some of the great things mentioned in their report:
"The iPhone scored high, in part because it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we've seen on any phone, and even outshines its high-scoring predecessors with improved battery life and such new features as a front-facing camera for video chats and a built-in gyroscope that turns the phone into a super-responsive game controller."However, until Apple offers a permanent (and free) fix for this issue, Consumer Reports is happy to recommend the iPhone 3GS, but not the iPhone 4. Wait, the 3GS has antenna problems too, doesn't it? Let us know your experiences with both models in the comments box below!