Tag: which

iPhone 7 has the worst battery

lemon batteryThe British consumer group Which? has pointed out that the iPhone 7 has the worst battery life than any other top smartphone.

The outfit conducted a series of battery life tests on the latest smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5, Apple’s iPhone 7 was so bad it did not even rank.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 battery lasted more than twice as long as the iPhone 7, while the HTC 10 had two and a half times the longevity. The iPhone 7 did better in internet usage tests… but it was still found bringing up the rear.

The iPhone 7 should have had all the advantages. It was the newest phone and had the iOS 10, while the three other handsets all featured Android 6.0 Marshmallow. But whatever efficiency optimization Apple put into iOS 10, it cant solve the fact that Apple put a 1,960mAh battery under the bonnet.

In a blog post, Which?’s Callum Tennent said:

“In the interest of fairness, we test battery life using our own phone network simulator. This ensures that the signal strength is consistent for each test, which is important as a phone has to expend more power when it’s struggling for reception. We also set the screen brightness on every phone to the same level. Finally, we perform a full ‘power cycle’ of each phone’s battery prior to testing — that means fully discharging and then charging it.”

For the tests we made a continuous call over 3G for the call time test and access a regularly updating special web page over 3G to measure web browsing time.


Watchdog tells Microsoft to refund Windows 10 update victims

Watchdog-Lele1A UK watchdog Which?  has growled at the software giant Microsoft over the fact its update bricked some users PCs and told it to pay up to have them repaired.

For those who came in late, last year Vole rolled out a free Windows 10 update to all its customers. However Which? received hundreds of complaints about the software, including repeated pop-ups regarding updates, various problems regarding printers, Wi-Fi cards, working of speakers, files being lost and email accounts no longer syncing.

Many complained about being “nagged” by Microsoft to install the new update and despite declining notifications. Which? said there have also been complaints about poor customer service from Microsoft when users contacted the company about the problems they are having, the report said.

Alex Neill, Director of Campaigns and Policy said that of 2,500 people surveyed, who had upgraded to Windows 10, more than 12 percent said they ended up rolling back to their previous version of the operating system. More than half stated that this was because the upgrade had adversely affected their PC.

”We rely heavily on our computers to carry out daily activities so, when they stop working, it is frustrating and stressful,” A, was quoted as saying. ALSO READ: Microsoft’s Cortana to help refrigerators in ‘food management,” Neill said.

“Many people are having issues with Windows 10 and we believe Microsoft should be doing more to fix the problem. Which? is now calling on Microsoft to improve its customer service and compensate its customers where appropriate.


Industry hits out at "killer phone" report

As you might have expected, the telephone industry has not taken too well to the news that the UN Health Organisation claiming that their gizmos give you cancer.

According to the Independent CTIA-The Wireless Association dismissed the UN agency saying that it “conducts numerous reviews and in the past has given the same score to, for example, pickled vegetables and coffee.”

It pointed out that the classification does not mean mobile phones cause cancer. It just said that limited evidence from statistical studies can be found.

CTIA claimed that bias and other data flaws may be the basis for the results.

The report, which has come from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after a meeting of boffins in the French city of Lyon over eight days

But the wireless association said the IARC working group “did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies.”

The US Federal Communications Commission “has concluded that ‘there’s no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer'” but then its commissioners quit to take nice jobs in the telecommunications industry so they are not a good source either.

US Food and Drug Administration has also stated that “‘the weight of scientific evidence has not linked mobile phones with any health problems” but the USFDA has a nasty habit of approving drugs and finding them causing birth defects. 

Telcos rip off Brits

Millions of Brits are wasting hundreds of pounds a year by paying for mobile phone services they never use.

A consumer watchdog has been snuffing around the rump of the mobile phone company antics and growled that the outfits do not do enough to enable punters to switch tarrifs.

Consumer group Which said that annual contracts that promise the world to customers, a bundle of calls, texts, internet downloads, peace in our time, for a fixed monthly fee.

While this appears quite good, most do not use the full monthly allocation for which they have paid.

People might be able to shop around for a package that better reflects their needs, the industry has created a bewildering array of more than ten million tariff and phone combinations to confuse punters further.

No one has apparently noticed that mobile charges are high and rising thanks to a complex system of tariffs and charges.

It estimates more than 18 million people have never switched their mobile tariff or network and ten million customers are routinely overpaying for their mobile phones.

Research by mobile phone price comparison website BillMonitor.com, indicates that there are more than ten million handset and tariff combinations available in Blighty. With 71,654 tariffs for annual contracts. On each tariff there are up to 111 handsets and 20 free extras from eight merchants.

Customer body, Consumer Focus, told the Daily Mail  millions have no idea if they are getting good value for money.

The head of Which? mobile, Tom McLennan, said people can also be stung if they are on a tariff that does not allow for all the calls, texting and data downloads.

No online banking leaves pensioners out of pocket in "raw deal"

Savers who don’t have internet access are getting a “raw deal” from banks, according to a report by Which? magazine.

The report found that online banking customers were being offered financial products that were “massively better deals” than people who bought in branch.

The research, in the October issue of Which?, revealed that a typical online saver could be £375 a year better off than a fellow customer using only branch-based products. 

According to Which?, Government figures show that four million Brits are “digitally excluded”, either because they can’t afford to go online or don’t have access to the internet. And more than a third (39 percent) of those are over 65.

The report found that the average rate for an instant access savings account available in a bank or building society was just 0.56 percent – compared to 1.14 percent for online savers.

Meanwhile, online ISAs also paid more than branch ones, with interest rates on £10,000 averaging 1.84 percent compared with 1.53 percent for those in a branch.

Which? warned that the banking industry appeared to be treating its offline customers as “second-class citizens”. While it said it understood that online accounts had lower overheads, it urged banks to offer “competitive rates across the board”.

Which? researchers also said that people buying travel insurance were far better off doing it on the internet – with a 355 percent difference between the best deal online and in branch. This was based on a 65-year-old, who would end up paying £38 for an annual worldwide policy with Best Buy insurer Multitrip.com, but who would have to cough up a much steeper £173 for the Best Buy on the high street – Co-operative Insurance’s Home Options policy.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith urged more banks to start providing online access inside branches. He said: “Not everyone is comfortable or able to manage their finances online and these people are missing out on the best deals as a result.

“Banks should be more inclusive by offering terminals in branches where customers could access online deals, with some help from staff.”

A spokesman for HSBC told TechEye that “a good proportion” of its branches already had terminals to allow customers to access HSBC online banking.

He said that certain transactions were cheaper online, but that this did not necessarily apply to all banking services. He added: “I don’t think you can say that online banking customers get better deals across the board. But online banking does reduce admin costs and we can pass these savings on to customers.

“But, for example, there is no price difference on our current accounts online or in branch.

“Certain transactions are cheaper. For example, if you wanted to send a CHAPS payment, or priority payment, you can do that cheaper online than in a branch.”

He added that it was unlikely we would ever become a nation of customers using 100 percent online banking because people still liked to use telephone banking for certain things, or even visit a branch once in a while.

However over the past few years branches, particularly localised, have been shutting up and down the country. Would it be unfair to suggest that those without internet access – for example, pensioners –  having to travel further to get to a branch just so they can go online seems something of a catch 22? What of the access issues for older people who can’t get out as easily? It is all very well if you’re set up with online banking and technologically savvy. But not everyone is. 



Consumer report finds labels on tech products misleading and meaningless

Technology brands are labelling their products with specifications and jargon which are misleading consumers according to a report from Which?. 

The consumer watchdog took two of its investigators to a range of stores to research the way tech brands label their products. It said the amount of different labels on different brands of TVs, cameras, and laptops means they cannot be compared against rivals, which are misleading people buying new kit. 

It also pointed the finger at shop assistants who add more confusion into the mix by not understanding the labels and not scrutinising them either.  

Researchers found laptops easy to compare, thanks to the consistent information used across all the models on show.  One said:  “The labelling saying they hold 40,000 songs or 50,000 photos is a useful, easy-to-understand measurement”. While easy to understand, we would err on the side of caution by using measurements in files as sizes are variable depending on quality.

Similarly practical labels on the Blu-ray players Which? looked at held the same appeal, providing “meaningful comparisons”. 

However Which? said it was TVs that caused the most confusion, making lots of claims and using big numbers.

One set claimed to have ‘four trillion colours’ despite programmes not being broadcast in that many colours, making the information meaningless.

It warned consumers against comparing statistics – such as contrast ratios between different sets – because the manufacturers do not have a common standard, so the numbers they use are not the same.

Digital camera marketing also came under scrutiny. Some devices claim to have an impressive “digital zoom” rate, but this simply means that they enlarge part of the original image, rather than refocus the lens (optical zoom), according to the report.

Which? has said it has reported the labelling to the Advertising Standards Authority.