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Consumer Reports prefers latest Droids over new iPhones

The iPhone 5S, left, and Droid Ultra, right.Apple / Motorola

There may be a run on the iPhone 5S, especially the one with the gold case, but the buying advice gurus at Consumer Reports aren't that impressed. Instead, they're giving hearty recommendations to Motorola's latest Droids, available on Verizon.

The review may not be as thorough as those from a dedicated tech or mobile site, but the CR crew knows what they're talking about — especially when it comes to comparative evaluation, having laid hands on just about every device of the last few decades.

The iPhone 5S's fingerprint reader and camera are the highlights, as one might expect, when CR notes the improvements on previous iPhones. The 64-bit processor also gets a cautious call-out, since it is mainly a potential source of speed (once apps and system functions catch up to the silicon) rather than an immediate one.

Yet it's not just a world of iPhones, and CR happened to be evaluating the latest Droid phones from Motorola as well — the big Maxx, thin Ultra and modestly sized Mini. Equipped with the latest version of Android (the one with hand gestures, voice recognition while sleeping, and everything else that debuted with the Moto X), the Droids offer a lot of power for a lower price than the iPhones.

None of the above took the top spot, however; that honor still belongs to the Galaxy S4. And is that our recommendation? Stay tuned — later this week we'll have a cheat sheet for you that runs down the pros and cons of all the major players on the smartphone scene.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is