ACSI Rates Smartphone Customer Satisfaction: iPhone SE at the Top, Followed by Galaxy S6 Edge+

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is an economic indicator that measures the satisfaction of consumers across the US economy. This is done through survey interviews of random customers based in the US, asking them to evaluate their recent experiences with various products.

The survey data is then used as input to ACSI’s cause-and-effect econometric model, which estimates customer satisfaction as the result of the survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality and perceptions of value. For the ACSI Telecommunications and Information Report 2017, the results are based on interviews with 36,194 customers over 12 months who were chosen at random but ensured to be actual customers as ASCI practice dictates.

The results for customer satisfaction, and not to be confused with product popularity or sales, are surprising.

Customer satisfaction with cell phones in general is stable at an ACSI score of 79, which is unchanged Year-on-Year. The relatively lower ACSI for the industry compared to other durable goods and consumer electronics is said to be a result of high consumer expectations for mobile devices.

OEM-wise, Apple maintains the lead with an overall ACSI score of 81, unchanged since last year. Microsoft actually went up in ACSI score to tie in with Samsung at 80, which is surprising when you consider that Microsoft has not released any new smartphones in a while. This means that the Windows smartphones in existence continue to meet the expectations of the customer despite their age. Samsung’s second place tie also exists despite the confidence issues that it faced after the Note 7 debacle, though ASCI notes that Note 7 devices were not captured in this data, and neither where the S8 and S8+ as they were released at the end of data collection.

Narrowing down to individual smartphones, the very surprising winner as far as consumer satisfaction is concerned is the iPhone SE. The 4″ iPhone SE ranks in at the top with a score of 87, above smartphones which have displays far larger than the iPhone SE.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ ties in with the iPhone 7 Plus for second place at 86, while the S6 Edge takes the next place with a score of 85. Apple and Samsung continue to dominate this category, which is not surprising considering their popularity, with smartphones from other manufacturers trailing behind.

The table below shows the changes with the core smartphone experience and how satisfied consumers are with them when compared to the past year:

The report then moves onto wireless telephone services: overall, customer satisfaction with wireless telephone service climbed up by 2.8% to 73 as American carriers engaged in increasingly competitive price wars. ACSI states that the wireless industry is a good example of how competition impacts consumer choice as customers have wider in this industry at this point in time.

Interestingly but perhaps not surprisingly, smaller carriers are in the lead with an ACSI score of 79. TracFone Wireless comes in at second position with a score of 75, riding on its acquisition of Walmart Family Mobile from T-Mobile last year. US Cellular comes in third (if you count the smaller carriers as one single entity, which they are not), and it is only then do the big four of US carriers come in with regards customer satisfaction. AT&T even down to score which is slightly lower than the industry average!

When looking at the overall wireless experience, the telecom industry improved on its score for website satisfaction as well as call reliability. The regression is seen in the areas of store and service center staff, speed of store transactions and the difficulty in reading bills.

What are your thoughts on the trends seen in this report? How do you see consumer satisfaction correlating with brand popularity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Google’s Experimental “Chrome Home” gets a Redesigned New Tab Page

Google is constantly at work bringing new features to the most popular Internet browser in the world – Chrome. Although most new features take weeks or even months before ever getting into the hands of most users, it’s possible to try out new features by enabling certain experimental flags in chrome://flags. One such feature, known as “Chrome Home”, is a visual overhaul of Chrome’s user interface. When the flag is enabled, the address bar moves to the bottom of the screen.

Over time, Google has updated Chrome Home with more enhancements. Most notably, the feature now offers quick access to recently opened webpages, downloads, bookmarks, and your browsing history. As it is right now, the experimental Chrome Home interface has become my default setup. And thanks to a recent change to the way new tab pages are displayed, my choice is solidified.

The main difference with this change is that opening a new tab now overlays on top of the existing tabs. This essentially turns the new tab page interface into a card carousel much like the interface looks without Chrome Home enabled.

This change has only recently rolled out in the Chrome Canary builds. You can activate it by first enabling the Chrome Home flag then enabling the Chrome Home NTP Redesign flag.

chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home
chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home-ntp-design

This change won’t remain an experiment much longer, however, as the most recent nightly build of Chromium for Android includes the Chrome Home NTP Redesign enabled by default (and actually removes the flag from chrome://flags).


Recommended Reading: XDA Spotlight: Living on the Bleeding Edge with Chromium Auto Updater


Lastly, you may have noticed that there’s another new flag in the screenshot above. The Chrome Home Expand Button is a very minor change as all it adds is an icon to the address bar that, when pressed, expands the bottom bar. This may be useful if you are using the browser one-handed and would prefer not having to swipe up to access the address bar.

chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home-expand-button

Those are some of the notable changes that are now present in alpha builds of the Chrome browser. We’ll keep a lookout for any more interesting Chrome flags that make their way into Google’s popular Internet browser.

Latest Humble Mobile Bundle Offers $38 Worth of Android Platformers

The team over at Humble Bundle has just announced their latest mobile bundle and this one focuses on Epic Platformers for Android. As with most bundles these days, there are three tiers to their latest offering with each one unlocking even more games that you can play. The tier prices this time around are $1 for the lowest, $5 for the highest and then a beat the average price that is currently at $4.81 as of writing this article.

The $1 tier comes with three different games, with two of them being from Noodlecake Studios. This includes Devious Dungeon, the sequel to that (Devious Dungeon 2) and then Eggggg – The Platform Puker which is from the developer studio Hyper Games. These three games cost between $2 to $3 in the Play Store right now, but all three can be had for only $1 with this bundle. The beat the average tier comes with 3 games too, but more will be announced in about 6 days.

Currently, this tier includes Gunbrick from Nitrome (which normally costs $3), RunGunJumpGun from ThirtyThree (which also costs $3 in the Play Store), and RETSNOM from SOMI (which again costs $3 right now). As mentioned, the beat the average price at this time is $4.81, so this tier will get you $19 worth of games (since you get the first tier as well) for less than $5. The final tier in this bundle will cost you a flat $5, and this includes another three games.

The $5 or more tier comes with Never Alone: Ki Edition from E-Line Media, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons from Starbreeze Studios and 505 Games, and finally LIMBO from Playdead. Also, if you pay $1 or more, you get the 10% off Humble Monthly bonus and if you pay $5+ then you get the Never Alone Soundtrack. Proceeds from this bundle can be put toward the EFF and Child’s Play Charity and you get to designate how much of your money goes towards these charities, the Humble Bundle project, and the developers themselves.

Source: Humble Mobile Bundle

Top Three Benefits of Unlocking Your Carrier-Locked Phone

Is a phone really truly yours if it comes with a bunch of restrictions? Most of the time, when you get your phone through a carrier like Verizon and AT&T, your phone will be locked to that network. Here at XDA we are constantly modding our phones and that includes unlocking them so they can be used with any SIM card. Here are the top three reasons you might want to unlock your phone.

Network Freedom

If you’re switching to a new carrier, they’ll do their best to sell you a new phone so they can get you on a payment plan and a new contract. If you already own a phone that you’re happy with, you can avoid paying for a new phone by unlocking your current device. Getting an unlock code for your phone isn’t an expensive process at all and can save you tons of money in the long run.

No Contracts

The reason you sign a contract with a carrier when you get a new plan is because you’re usually sold a phone at a massive discount. The contract is to ensure that the company ends up making their money back from giving you that phone at such a low price. So what happens if you’re bringing your own phone to your new plan? Well you won’t find any of these companies advertising this, but you can get any of the same plans without the contract. That means you won’t have any penalty if you need to cancel your plan in the future.

Travel Without Hassle

When you’re going overseas, you’re going to rack up massive charges on your service plan. That’s why you’ll usually find kiosks selling local prepaid sim cards in airports. Once you’ve got your phone unlocked, you can pop one of these babies in and you won’t have to worry about any unexpected charges.

So if you’re ready to unlock your phone, we recommend using Unlock Authority. This is a verified and legit service, which is important to note because there are a lot of sketchy services offering unlock codes. So use Unlock Authority to grab a code so you can use your phone without any restrictions.

Use your phone with whichever network you want. You can even switch cards for different networks when you’re traveling.

Bring your own phone to a new network. Don’t limit yourself to the options provided by your carrier.

Unlock your Phone Now with Unlock Authority

We thank Unlock Authority for sponsoring this post. Our sponsors help us pay for the many costs associated with running XDA, including server costs, full time developers, news writers, and much more. While you might see sponsored content (which will always be labeled as such) alongside Portal content, the Portal team is in no way responsible for these posts. Sponsored content, advertising and XDA Depot are managed by a separate team entirely. XDA will never compromise its journalistic integrity by accepting money to write favorably about a company, or alter our opinions or views in any way. Our opinion cannot be bought.

LG Announces the LG X Venture With its 4,100mAh Battery

Last year, LG announced a new series of smartphones that allowed them to offer a single flagship piece of hardware in a phone at an affordable price. They do this by using low-end or mid-range hardware for all other aspects of the phone, but it really is a thoughtful way of letting the customer choose which part of the phone they want to be premium (at the expense of crowding the market). And they’re able to do this in a way that doesn’t require them to spend $500+ for the latest flagship smartphone.

This was started with the LG X Cam and the LG X Screen, and has moved on to devices like the LG X Style and the LG X Power. There was a lull period for a bit but then last month it was announced they would be launching a successor to the LG X Power. This week, it was announced that LG is launching another of these X series devices with the new one being focused on maximum durability, a high-capacity battery and some outdoor activity features too.

The device is called the LG X Venture and the company feels it will be perfectly suited for those who go camping, hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities. The LG X Venture is equipped with a 5.2″ 1080p in-cell touch display, the Snapdragon 435 SoC, and a 4,100mAh capacity battery. It also has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot so you can bring even more media with you on any type of trip you plan to take.

There’s a 5MP wide angle front camera, a 16MP rear camera and will be shipping with Android 7.0 Nougat. The device is IP68 water and dust resistant, has a fingerprint scanner, Quick Charge 2.0 technology, a quick button for launching activities, “outdoor essentials” software that offers six useful tools in a single application (barometer, compass, activity counter (steps/calories/distance), exercise tracker, weather reporter, flashlight) and an FM radio.

Source: LG Newsroom