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Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

October 2020

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

País:
United States
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Consumer Union
Periodicidad:
Monthly
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SUSCRIBIRSE
US$ 24
12 Números

en este número

2 min.
safety is priority no. 1

‘SAFETY FIRST’ IS an expression we’ve all heard—usually without giving it a second thought. But now, like millions of Americans, the heartbreaking COVID-19 pandemic has forced me to think harder about, and appreciate more deeply, what it truly means to prioritize safety. These days, when I’m caring for my elderly parents, connecting with my nieces and nephews, deciding when and how to get groceries, or developing protocols for CR staff to stay healthy, safety really does come first, informing every choice I make—it simply has to. The unfortunate reality right now is that, for the foreseeable future, safety needs to be our priority in our homes, our work, and our schools, and in our civic engagement. I am hopeful, however, that when the coronavirus threat subsides, we will retain a healthy…

3 min.
building a better world, together

Making Labels Mean More WHAT’S AT STAKE Labels on food packaging can tell you a lot about a product, from what ingredients are inside to how it was produced to how healthy it is. Unfortunately, some labels are heavy on marketing hype—and woefully light on information you can trust when shopping for groceries. Case in point: One Health Certified, or OHC, a marketing label for meat and poultry that’s part of a program administered through the Department of Agriculture. This label purports to demonstrate a producer’s commitment to responsible, sustainable, and transparent animal care practices. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK But using our food label ratings system, CR found that the One Health Certified label is essentially meaningless—and should be ignored by consumers. The OHC standards largely reflect normal industry practices and do not require…

7 min.
your feedback

AS A PHYSICIAN, I have often spent 45 minutes on hold with PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] over drug appeals while patients are waiting for me. In my experience, no PBM allows after-hours calls, and the time spent on this is a major part of why doctors spend less than 50 percent of their day actually interacting with patients. The appeals process is time-consuming and aggravating for all. —Jim Maher, Marshall, MI INSURANCE COMPANIES should have a fiduciary responsibility to get the best prices for their insureds. If auto insurers colluded with repair shops in this way, it would be fraud. But for drugs, it’s just a way of doing a very profitable business. —James Hall, Wilbraham, MA MY WIFE AND I both have had drugs dropped two months after signing up for Medicare Part…

3 min.
what we’re testing in our labs …

Smartwatches WE TESTED: 25 models WE TEST FOR: Ease of pairing and general use, readability, step count accuracy, and more. Battery life is how long a watch lasts per charge as claimed by the manufacturer. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 73 Range: 58-86 Excellent Performance but Short Battery Life (18 hr.) Apple Watch Series 5 (40mm) Aluminum Case GPS $395 84 OVERALL SCORE Supports Spotify Offline but Middling Battery Life (48 hr.) Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 (40mm) $245 78 OVERALL SCORE A Bargain With Long-Lasting Battery Life (120 hr.) Fitbit Versa 2 $200 78 OVERALL SCORE Solid Wood Stains WE TESTED: 10 products WE TEST FOR: Appearance after one, two, and three years of enduring our accelerated weathering. We also note if it resists cracking, color change, dirt, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 68 Range: 12-80 Best Overall Olympic Elite Advanced Stain + Sealant in One Solid $45 80 OVERALL SCORE Money-Saving Stain Behr Deckplus Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain (Home Depot) $33 74 OVERALL…

3 min.
ask our experts

How worried should I be about dryer fires? Every year, firefighters across the country respond to nearly 14,000 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, dryer fires are responsible for an annual average of seven nonfirefighter deaths and 344 injuries, as well as $233 million in property damage. And 27 percent of home dryer fires are caused mainly by an accumulation of lint, which is why cleaning your dryer regularly is crucial. “To prevent fires, clean the dryer’s lint screen after every load,” says Richard Handel, the test engineer who oversees CR’s dryer testing. But don’t stop there—lint also accumulates in your dryer’s vent (generally found at the back of your dryer) and the duct that connects the dryer to the outside vent. If…

8 min.
cr insights

LEADING THE CHARGE Samsung 15W Qi Certified Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand $60 5/5 CHARGING 5/5 EASE OF USE 2 HR., 30 MIN. CHARGING TIME IN THE KNOW THE EASE OF WIRELESS CHARGERS DESIGNED SO THAT your smartphone simply rests on a pad or stand, wireless chargers allow users to forgo the usual fumble of plugging in a charging cable. But is that convenience worth buying yet another tech accessory? To find out, we tested six wireless chargers. All are Qi-compatible (Qi is pronounced “chee”)—a near-universal wireless charging standard that works with many smartphones—and support Samsung’s Fast Charge technology, meaning if you have a recent high-end Samsung phone, they should provide even quicker charging. Our lab technicians evaluated how easy the chargers were to use. They also measured how long it took for each device to fully charge both an iPhone…