Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM ET
Consumer Reports, whose considered opinions on products tend to be taken seriously, has called the iPhone 5 "a winner" in its review, but said in a press release that the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S III was "still king."
CR gave the phone a coveted "recommended" badge, praising, as we did, the iPhone 5's thinner, lighter frame and extra screen space. The reviewers noted that the improved specs do in fact put it well above much, if not all, of the competition.
They called its camera "the best we've seen on a smartphone" apart from the Nokia 808 Pureview (which can't compete with the iPhone 5 in most other ways). The CR team did note, however, that the camera's low-light performance wasn't quite as improved as Apple had promised, an observation we corroborated in our own testing.
Similarly overblown were Apple's claims about the iPhone 5's noise-canceling multiple microphones; the reviewers didn't think they affected call quality on either end.
Despite Apple's new Maps app being "relatively streamlined," its lack of details and customization options did not impress. However, these shortcomings are well known and Apple is already working to improve things, so for a long-term purchase such early hiccups aren't a deal-breaker.
Read the full review over at Consumer Reports.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBCNews Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.