Unlike its predecessor, the new iPhone 4S is being recommended by Consumer Reports.

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Consumer Reports: iPhone 4S scored "very well" in tests of its battery life

Product watchdog said Tuesday it's recommending the newest iPhone

Consumer Reports didn't recommend iPhone 4 because of antenna problem

CNN  — 

Despite complaints by some owners about underwhelming battery life, the iPhone 4S scored “very well” in tests of its battery performance by Consumer Reports, which gave the device its official blessing Tuesday.

Consumer Reports’ laboratory tests also determined that Apple’s new phone doesn’t suffer the “death grip” reception problem that was found in its predecessor, the nearly identical-looking iPhone 4.

That antenna flaw, which depleted signal strength when the user held the phone a certain way, led Consumer Reports to not recommend the iPhone 4.

“Overall, the new iPhone 4S scores higher in the ratings than the iPhone 4, thanks to such enhancements as an upgraded camera, a faster “dual-core” processor, and the addition of the intriguing Siri voice-activated feature …” wrote Mike Gikas in a post on Consumer Reports’ site.

Those upgrades were not enough, however, to let the iPhone 4S outscore the best new Android-based phones in Consumer Reports’ ratings. Those top-rated models included the Samsung Galaxy S II phones, the Motorola Droid Bionic and several other phones that boast larger displays than the iPhone 4S and run on faster networks.

Battery life has been an issue for the iPhone 4S since it went on sale October 14. According to Apple’s official specs, the phone should have enough juice in its battery for up to eight hours of talk time, six hours of Internet surfing, 10 hours of video viewing and 200 hours on standby. (All of these activities are on a 3G connection; 2G and Wi-Fi produce different figures).

But online forums soon filled with complaints from users saying their new iPhones weren’t lasting even close to that long.

On November 2 Apple acknowledged it had found a “few bugs” affecting battery life on the iPhone 4S and other devices running its new operating system. The company said a software update coming “in a few weeks” will address the problem.

Consumer Reports said it plans to retest the phone after the software update to see if the fix affects battery performance.