I picked up the latest 2007 Consumer Reports guide this week and went straight to their selections for the best quality cell phones. Yet I found myself a little perplexed by some of the top picks. Not only are many of the fave handsets over a year old, which is somewhat understandable given that the publication probably has a long lead time, but there were also several selections that I just couldn't agree with.
Of the Cingular phones that Consumer Reports reviewed, the Samsung SGH-D307 claimed the highest score (64 points out of 100) while the Motorola Razr V3 and the Motorola Rokr E1 tied for second place with 62 points each. Umm, excuse me? While the SGH-D307 phone had an innovative dual-hinge design, the navigation keys were way too confusing. And as for the Razr, while everyone (CNET included) got caught up in the initial hype over the slim phone it's now clear the Razr is decent but not really all that. But my biggest shock was the selection of the woefully disappointing Rokr. Yes, it had iTunes, but a dull design and a litany of restrictions just made it frustrating. The high-quality Sony Ericsson W600i also got 62 points--kudos to Consumer Reports--while third place went to the Motorola V220 with 60 points. Though the V220 had a compact design, it's performance was mostly poor.
The Motorola V360 won the top T-Mobile spot with 67 points. Though it's not a bad cell phone by any means, the design wasn't quite up to par and we weren't too impressed with the photo quality. Likewise, the Samsung SGH-E335 (66 points) was fine for making calls, but the keypad design was rather cramped and the volume was a bit low. The Nokia 6101 was third with 64 points. We agree it's a dependable phone with an attractive flip-phone design for average users.
The Motorola E815 at one time was one of our favorite phones for the carrier, so we approve of its place at the top of the Verizon list with 65 points. We weren't as much in love with the LG VX8100 (61 points)--the battery life was a tad low and it lacked e-mail support--but we did like the LG VX9800 and Kyocera KX444. They tied for third place with 58 points.
The Palm Treo 650 led the Sprint pack with 60 points. This isn't a bad choice either, as it was a great smart phone when it first came out. The Samsung MM-A800 also won 60 points, which is understandable considering it was the first U.S.-market cell phone with a 2-megapixel camera. The LG PM-225 took second place with 56 points. It wasn't a terrible phone either, but we took issue with the external display. Finally, the Sanyo SCP-200 came in third with 55 points. We thought it had weak battery life and we didn't like that it lacked an external display.