EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports July 2018

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Consumer Union
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
on the road again

FEW MEMORIES ARE as vivid for me as the road trips my family took each summer when I was a kid. My brothers and I would pile into our old blue station wagon, roll down the windows, and clown around as we made our way down the Garden State Parkway to the Jersey Shore. Of course, the road-trip experience was a lot different in those days; we still have my dad’s old 8 mm home movies to prove it! There was no air conditioning to keep us cool and no sunroof to let in a view of the sky, and many of the car safety features that protect our families today were nowhere to be found back then. Anyone who has been on a road trip knows that a few small decisions—from…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Preserving Fuel-Economy Standards WHAT’S AT STAKE The fuel economy of cars and trucks has improved dramatically over the past decade—the impact of which is economic as well as environmental. Better mileage means the average new-car buyer now saves hundreds of dollars a year in gas money. This development is the direct result of stronger fuel-economy standards, established in 2010 and 2012 with the goal of encouraging automakers to offer a variety of vehicles with improved mileage, including pickups, SUVs, and crossovers. As a result, more consumers can find vehicles that both fit their needs and save money on gas. A recent CR study showed that, when fully phased in, the standards will save drivers $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck over the life of a vehicle. But automakers have been pressuring regulators to…

7 min.
your feedback

We received a torrent of responses to our May 2018 article, “How to Pay Less for Your Meds,” about the rising cost of prescriptions and how to lower drug costs. To share your story or opinion go to CR.org/meds0718. YOUR ARTICLE CRITICIZED doctors for not talking enough about the cost of prescriptions with their patients. We cannot possibly know what a drug will cost with a patient’s insurance until they reach the pharmacy. Let me offer a solution: Ask the pharmacist for the cost of the prescription before it is filled. If it is too expensive, call the prescribing doctor’s office and explain that. Sometimes there is a cheaper alternative. —Joseph Mulcahy, M.D., FACS, Anacortes, WA AS AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST, I have seen the toll unaffordable medication costs have taken on individuals with chronic…

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

Smartphones WE TESTED: 64 models WE TEST FOR: A phone’s calling, texting, and web-browsing performance; battery life; camera image and video quality; and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 73 Range: 54-81 Top Marks & Terrific Camera Samsung Galaxy S9+ $840 81 OVERALL SCORE Long Battery Life (28 hours) Huawei Mate 10 Pro $730 78 OVERALL SCORE Great Deal Sony Xperia Performance $300 74 OVERALL SCORE Wireless Security Cameras WE TESTED: 4 models WE TEST FOR: Video quality, including image clarity and contrast in varied lighting; ease of setup; how quickly notifications arrive after motion occurs; and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 72 Range: 59-84 Best of the Bunch Nest Cam NC1102ES $200 84 OVERALL SCORE Speedy Notifications Netgear Arlo Pro VMS4130-100NAS $250 74 OVERALL SCORE Nice Price, but Indoors Only D-Link DCS-2630L $160 71 OVERALL SCORE Smart Locks WE TESTED: 7 models WE TEST FOR: How well it withstands impact, drilling, and picking; setup; performance of smart features, such as remote control…

3 min.
ask our experts

Why does my fridge still feel warm at 37 degrees? According to the Department of Agriculture, bacteria growth in food accelerates at around 40° F, “so keeping your fridge set to 37 degrees—and your freezer to zero—is a good idea,” says Joseph Pacella, CR’s refrigerator test engineer. If the temperature reading doesn’t match what you’re feeling, you want to first assess whether it’s just the thermostat readout that has become inaccurate and not a cooling issue per se. To do that, buy a stand-alone fridge thermometer (about $5) to assess the temperature discrepancy. If you find that the interior is warmer than the fridge’s readout, turn the fridge’s temperature down a few degrees and wait 24 hours to see whether the internal temp drops. If it moves down slightly, keep making incremental…

2 min.
hear your tv better

Samsung UN65NU7300 $1,200 69 OVERALL SCORE Can You Hear Me Now? Many TVs—like this Samsung—have an equalizer setting that lets you adjust audio frequencies to your listening preferences. IF YOU or your couch mate suffers from hearing loss, you may be getting in the habit of cranking up your TV’s volume to the max. Unfortunately, “an increase in volume alone will not help,” says Meredith Scharf, Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology), of Manhattan Audio in New York. But CR’s TV experts have a strategy that might: “Some TVs have simple audio settings that you can adjust,” says Claudio Ciacci, who oversees CR’s TV testing. Here are a few simple tweaks you can try. Click “Settings” in the TV’s menu, and look for an item labeled Audio or Sound. There, you may find presets specifically designed to…