Consumer Reports: This is what you need to look for when buying a refurbished phone

Last month, we told you that with the price of high-end handsets more expensive than they ever have been, refurbished smartphones are in demand. But with so many different refurbished models and so many different places that offer them, what can you do to protect yourself from purchasing a lemon? Non-profit magazine Consumer Reports (CR), which does not accept advertising so that it can be perceived as neutral, has some advice.

CR says that consumers need to make sure that they are getting a phone that really has been refurbished and not merely cleaned up, placed in a box, and put back on …


Tim Cook says consumer data needs more protection

This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing. In the midst of reports that 50 million Facebook users allegedly had their profiles used by Cambridge Analytica without their permission, Cook called for “well crafted” regulations to protect consumer data. The executive said that Apple has been worrying for years about people turning over personal data without fully understanding how it would be used.

Cook went on to say that certain information should not be readily available to use as a way to build a psychological profile. “The ability of anyone …

Consumer organization says Sprint's promotion of its 50% off Apple iPhone X deal is misleading

Some consumers are getting the idea that Sprint will sell them the Apple iPhone X for half price. But the truth of the matter is that last week, the nation’s fourth largest carrier said that it will lease you an iPhone X for half off. And while that works out to just $20 a month, when the lease ends in 18-months, guess what? You don’t own the phone. And during the lease period, you have to make sure to keep the phone in good condition.

If you’re a member of Sprint’s iPhone Forever program, you can return the iPhone X after 12 payments and exchange it for the latest model. At that point, …

French consumer fraud watchdog opens investigation into Apple "planned obsolescence"

France’s DGCCRF, the consumer fraud watchdog arm of the French Economy Ministry, has opened a preliminary investigation of Apple and the company’s alleged deception and planned obsolescence practices.

This, of course, refers to recent findings that Apple artificially slows down iPhones with older batteries. Apple had not admitted to the practice until a user investigation uncovered it and benchmarks confirmed. Apple has only then issued a public apology and reacted by slashing $50 off the cost of its battery replacement program, bringing the price down to $29.
Note …

Consumer Reports subscribers rank Sprint dead last among the four major U.S. carriers

According to Consumer Reports latest survey to determine the best carrier, which is based on votes cast by the magazine’s subscribers, small carriers finished at the top of the list while large carriers like AT&T and Sprint finished at the bottom of the survey. The three that finished on top, Consumer Cellular, Project Fi, and Ting all scored high for value. It was Consumer Cellular that took home the trophy as the overall number one ranked carrier.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the top ranked trio, Consumer Cellular is a post-paid MVNO. Project Fi is the hybrid pre-paid MVNO owned …

Consumer Reports ranks the iPhone X lower than Galaxy S8… and iPhone 8, too

The Consumer Reports’ take on Apple’s newest iPhone X is finally in, and, after perusing it for a while, the renowned testing grounds for all things capitalist and consumerist, came in with the verdict: “meh.” We kid, but, while they praised the camera and the display, the folks at Consumer Reports found a few flaws that  prevented the iPhone X from taking the top spot in the smartphone ranks.
Chief among those were durability and battery life. While most folks would put a case on a $999 phone, Consumer Reports still found it guilty in failing …

Consumer Reports recommends the Samsung Galaxy S7 over the Apple iPhone 8

Non-profit magazine Consumer Reports provides readers with unbiased recommendations. In its latest look at the smartphone industry, CR recommended that its readers purchase the 2016 Samsung Galaxy S7 over the brand spanking new Apple iPhone 8. Yes folks, that is not a typo. And not only did last year’s Galaxy model top the iPhone 8, so did this year’s Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Consumer Reports gave the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ each a score of 81. The Apple iPhone 8 and the Galaxy S7 both tied with scores of 80. Despite the tie, the magazine recommended …

Internal Microsoft memo blasts Consumer Reports' Surface complaints

Recently, a survey of 91,000 laptap and tablet buyers put together by Consumer Reports, found that 25% of Microsoft’s Surface devices have problems by the second year of ownership. As a result, the magazine.pulled its recommendation of Microsoft’s Surface tablets because of poor reliability. Among the devices losing their recommended status are the Surface Pro tablet and the Surface Book. Consumer Reports now says that it can not recommend any other Microsoft built tablet because of “poor predicted reliability.” Some of the issues that Surface tablet users have complained about include unresponsive …

Consumer advocacy groups ask Attorney General Sessions to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner

Several consumer advocacy groups have written U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to block AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner. The groups worry that AT&T would lose the incentive to widely distribute Time Warner programming after closing on the $85.4 billion transaction. The seven groups asking Sessions to block the deal include Common Cause, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Public Knowledge and other groups.

In a letter written to the Attorney General, executives of the seven firms said that approving the deal could lead to a stifling of innovation in the …

Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ named top smartphones on the market by Consumer Reports

Ths Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the current top smartphones money can buy, well ahead of all the competition, claims testing publication Consumer Reports.

Samsung’s latest flagships have secured the two top spots on CR’s list thanks to their beautiful design, great battery life, vibrant displays, and “stunning” cameras.

The outlet’s findings, after rigorous testing, also indicate that the S8 and S8+ are among the toughest high-end smartphones, successfully passing a dunk tank test, which was last year failed by the rugged S7 Active. As far as all-glass, …