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Top-Ranking Smartphones from Consumer Reports

July 13 2012

3944 android phonesPicking up the August 2012 issue of Consumer Reports was like Christmas for me; it features rankings for some of the gadgets that matter most to real estate agents (and thus to me). The tech tools ranked included tablets, Smartphones, and cameras. We've been publishing a series of articles to summarize Consumer Reports' findings, helping agents who have not made these important purchases yet or who are looking to upgrade their device.

Consumer Reports organized Smartphones based on carrier. Considering you're tied down by your carrier's options, we'll do the same so you can scan directly to the section that's relevant to you. We've organized carriers alphabetically for your ease-of-use. It's interesting to note that Consumer Reports also ranked the carriers themselves in terms of reader satisfaction – Verizon was ranked the highest; AT&T scored the lowest.


  1. HTC One X: scored 76
  2. Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket: scored 76
  3. Samsung Galaxy Note: scored 75
  4. LG Nitro HD: scored 75
  5. Nokia Lumia 900: scored 71
  6. Samsung Rugby Smart: scored 70

Noteworthy features: The HTC One X ranked highest based on a variety of features including the HD display. The Samsung Galaxy Note is (quite interesting to us) suggested as an alternative to an e-reader or tablet, based on its large display and impressive features.


  1. HTC Evo 4G LTE: scored 74
  2. Motorola Photon 4G: scored 73
  3. Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Epic Touch: scored 72
  4. LG Viper: scored 70

Noteworthy features: The LG Viper is made from recyclable materials, a plus for environmentally-minded agents. The HTV Evo and Motorola Photon 4G have a kickstand so you can prop-up your phone hands-free. The Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch was selected for an excellent display that changes to a split view when the phone is tilted to the side (if emails or text messages are being displayed).


  1. HTC One: scored 77
  2. Samsung Galaxy S II: scored 75
  3. HTC Amaze 4G: scored 74

Noteworthy features: Top-ranking HTC One is lightweight, thin, and easy-to-hold.


  1. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx: scored 78
  2. Motorola Droid Razr: scored 75
  3. LG Spectrum: scored 73
  4. Motorola Droid 4: scored 73
  5. LG Lucid: scored 70

Noteworthy features: The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx boasts an excellent battery life and is quite thin. Looking for something with a slide-out keyboard? Consider the Motorola Droid 4.

Wait – Where's the iPhone?!

Consumer Reports did not include the iPhone in their recommendations for any carrier. For Verizon and Sprint, the Apple iPhone 4S scored a measly 67. For AT&T, it scored a respectable 74, but didn't make the list of recommendations (perhaps because of the high price tag).

This is interesting, as iPhones are certainly incredibly popular. Some of the features that Consumer Reports didn't include in the scores/rankings are where the iPhone apparently shines – the ability to sync with your other devices and the quantity of apps available for the platform (Android still lags behind in this department).

Trying to decide between an Android phone or an iPhone? Check out our article: Smooth Operators: Android vs. iOS.

Tablet Rankings

With our upcoming webinar, "WOW Your Clients with Your iPad," you don't want to miss our summary of the Consumer Reports scores for tablets. You can read that article here: Top-Ranking Tablets from Consumer Reports.