The basis upon which many Consumer Reports ratings are set may seem insane to the technology savvy among us. For a long time they would not recommend the iPhone for its lack of removable battery, for example. But the site still holds weight among older generations and so it’s worth taking a look at what they have to say about the top smartphone manufacturers’ newest flagship devices. Like how they recommend the last-gen Samsung Galaxy S5 over the newer Galaxy S6…
Yes, that’s right. According to Consumer Reports, the Galaxy S5 is superior to the S6 due to its water-resistant body, removable battery, and expandable memory capabilities, none of which are features of the newer S6. They go on to address the obvious that “some people like to have that flexibility” of removing the battery and expanding the memory and that “other people won’t mind, they won’t care that they cannot do that anymore.”
There’s definitely an argument to be made that devices are rapidly decreasing in thickness (made possible by throwing out removable batteries) at the detriment of battery life, and that device manufacturers should maybe move more focus to increasing battery life or at least keep it from decreasing. The S6 has reduced battery life over the S5, for instance. That being said however, most people have begun to accept that expandable memory and removable batteries are probably goners and won’t be coming back. Would any OEM at this point be bold enough to release a new flagship that’s thicker than the lines predecessors and its competition in the name of better battery life?
It would be a noble move but what looks more likely to happen is a continued and increased investment in technologies for rapid and near-frictionless charging, like the Galaxy S6’s Fast Charging functionality, Qi/PMA wireless charging mats, and even uBeam’s technology for wireless charging through ultrasound energy waves allowing a device to charge while still moving around. No company wants to be the first and last one to increase the thickness of their phone.
All things considered, now is probably a better time than any for Consumer Reports to stop weighting phones based on these factors.