Its little sibling, the Galaxy S8, came in second. Samsung also took the top spot in the 2016 consumer rankings with its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Consumer Reports said that the Galaxy S8 Plus camera was impressive for being able to take vibrant photos and their performance in lowlight settings. The publication also noted that the phone’s battery life is one of the best it has seen.
The phone’s high ranking puts more pressure on Apple to deliver on the release of the iPhone 8, which is expected to be on shelves this fall. Samsung holds the lead
in smartphone sales worldwide, according to consulting firm IDC, despite relatively flat sales in the first quarter from both companies.
“Apple has lost a little bit of its perceptions on innovativeness,” J.P. Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester said, adding that recent iPhones have just been incremental updates. “You can also look at things like the virtual reality, these are things that Apple hasn’t done yet.” Both Galaxy S8 phones will have support for Google’s Daydream VR program added to them this summer.
The Consumer Reports ranking comes less than a year after Samsung suffered setbacks with its Galaxy Note 7, which had to be recalled because of manufacturing issues that led to fires and, in some cases, explosions. Consumer Reports said those problems didn’t affect the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and that the battery life on the devices was some of the best reviewers had seen. The Galaxy S8 Plus
has a battery life of 26 hours when it was talk-time tested.
One thing to note about the rankings is that the calendar tends to favor Samsung, Gownder said. The company usually releases its products earlier in the year before the Consumer Reports rankings come out, while Apple tends to wait until the fall. And as long as Samsung keeps its edge in features and design, this will continue to work to its advantage over Apple.
“There’s been a back and forth war between Samsung and Apple for who’s the big dog in smartphones,” Gownder said. “I think the S8 puts them in great position to be competitive. The S8 and S8 Plus are extremely innovative devices to use so we’ll be waiting on the iPhone 8 to come out with something special.”