Apple’s iPhone 5 Has a New Fan

Consumer Reports has picked more than one fight with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the past, but in a study published on Friday, the group gave the iPhone 5 a big vote of confidence. The organization said in its review that while there were some issues Apple needed to fix, the new smartphone was among the best in the market and “the best iPhone yet.”

An influential reviewers’ group, Consumers Report had criticized the iPhone 4 heavily in 2010 for its faulty antenna and withheld its recommendation for the device. While then Apple chief executive Steve Jobs refused to concede any faults within the device, he held a press conference as a reaction and offered complaining consumers free phone cases.

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In Friday’s report, though, the group recommended the larger four-inch display, slimmer body, and lighter weight of the phone and highlighted its 4G LTE compatibility and improvements to Siri. It also said that aside from the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) 808’s 41-megapixel camera, the iPhone 5’s camera was the best yet seen on a smartphone. The group did point out the mapping issues that users and tech reviewers have complained about and which forced Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a public apology.

“Despite the widespread criticism it has received, Apple’s new Maps app … is competent enough, even if it falls short of what’s available for free on many other phones,” Mike Gikas wrote on the group’s website on Friday. “As Apple has recently apologized and promised to fix these and other map glitches, we expect the Map app to improve in time.”

Gikas added that while the new program, which replaced Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) maps app, lacked some details, traffic data, and customization options, it was “relatively streamlined” and provided “clear guidance, including voice and on-screen directions.” The group was also impressed by the Flyover function and spoken turn-by-turn navigation feature.

Consumer Reports did rate the iPhone 5 lower than the Samsung Galaxy S III and Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) Droid Razr Maxx.

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