Consumer Reports Reveals Top Carriers and Top Smartphones

I was very excited to open the most recent issue of Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a reputable consumer study magazine that reviews consumer products and services. Since 1936 this publication has been helping America determine the best products and services available. This month’s issue including great customer satisfaction data about both carriers and current handsets. Here is the summary:


Customer Satisfaction of Cell Service including: service area, dropped calls, texting, and data.

  • Verizon: Number 1 in 17 markets. Number 2 in 6 markets.
  • Sprint: Number 1 in 4 markets. Number 2 in 9 markets. Number 3 in 6 markets.
  • T-Mobile: Number 1 in 1 market (Tampa). Number 2 in 8 markets. Number 3 in 12 markets.
  • AT&T: Dead last in all 23 markets

Smartphone ratings broken down by carrier including: Price, display, phone navigation, phoning, messaging, web browsing, multimedia, battery life, display size, touch screen, keyboard, camera, memory card slot, editing included, voice commands, bluetooth data, and world phone.


  1. Motorola Droid X
  2. Samsung Fascinate
  3. Motorola Droid 2
  4. HTC Droid Incredible
  5. LG Ally


  1. Samsung Epic 4G
  2. HTC Evo 4G
  3. Samsung Intercept
  4. HTC Hero (not recommended)
  5. Blackberry Bold 9650


  1. Samsung Vibrant
  2. T-Mobile G2
  3. HTC myTouch 3G Slide
  4. HTC HD2 (not recommended)
  5. Motorola Cliq XT (not recommended)


  1. Apple iPhone 4 (16GB) (not recommended)
  2. Samsung Captivate
  3. Apple iPhone 3G S (8GB)
  4. HTC Aria
  5. Blackberry Torch 9800


This report made me want to switch to Verizon. I’m been mostly satisfied with T-Mobile and for the longest time I’ve been a GSM snob but maybe I’m missing out on some really great service. Both the city where I lived and the city that I just moved to (SLC & Denver) ranked Verizon as number 1 and T-Mobile as number 2. I admit that I love my Nexus 1 and that may keep me on T-Mobile for the time being.

Of the 5 notable (according to me) platforms Android is clearly the dominator. Apple ranked ok on AT&T but the iPhone 4 wasn’t recommended by the Consumer Reports group. For those of us who trust Consumer Reports as a source this will beg further investigation. Blackberry had one phone in the top five lists above… ouch. Palm and Windows mobile didn’t make it into the top 5 rankings but in all fairness this was before the recent big push for Windows mobile 7.

Samsung’s Vibrant/Captivate, or whatever you call it depending on carrier, is clearly a hot choice right now. Samsung is generally doing really well and I wouldn’t have seen this coming 3 years ago.

Jacob S Paulsen

Note: 23 markets included in carrier ratings include: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington DC.

Note: Phones marked *not recommended ranked well on survey but for various reasons don’t get the stamp of approval from Consumer Reports

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