Galaxy Note 8 Tops iPad mini In Consumer Reports Ratings

Consumer Reports named the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet as top devices. Ratings were high for both devices, even though the Galaxy Note 8 is priced higher than the iPad mini at $400, they said it's worth it for the specs.

Consumer Reports noted that the Galaxy Note 8 has features that the iPad Mini lacks, such an interactive stylus pen and a memory card reader. Software is a big factor that sets the Note apart from the iPad mini according to Consumer Reports. Features such as handwriting recognition, Adobe Photoshop Touch for photo editing were big pluses for the Note 8's high rating. The latest version of Android Jelly Bean software running on the Note 8 has a multitasking feature that lets users run two applications side by side on the display.

Consumer Reports said the Galaxy S4's top-notch performance tests were the reason for it being declared the top-rated smartphone. It was noted that the smartphone features loads of built-in gesture- and sensor-based tools for creating, capturing and sharing. Another winning feature of the 5-inch high definition screen was that users can operate the phone even when wearing gloves during cold weather.

"It dethrones the LG Optimus G, which occupied the top spot in our ratings for several months," said Consumer Reports. 

Like the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S4 has a multitasking feature built into its software. In this useful feature, the screen is virtually split into two separate windows. Users can check email within one area of the screen while watching a video in the other.

Consumer reports also gave the Galaxy S4's built-in IR blaster a mention, noting how it can be programmed to remotely control HDTVs and set-top boxes. The Galaxy S4 retails at $150 to $250, depending on which wireless carrier you sign up with. An unlocked version is expected to hit the Google Play Store for $649 on June 25.

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