Report: The Best Smartphones for Customer Satisfaction


Cell phones, particularly smartphones, have become an intricate part of our daily lives. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to have a reliable model.

The latest report on cell phones from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showcases which manufacturers and models have ranked highest for consumer satisfaction over the past year.

With an 81 score (on a 100-point scale), Samsung beat Apple to lead cell phone manufacturers in customer satisfaction. Samsung’s Galaxy Note10+ and Galaxy S10+ were the top-rated smartphone models.

Why Samsung is #1 in 2021

The ACSI used 10 criteria, what the report calls “crucial elements of the customer experience,” to determine its rankings.

The benchmarks included ease of device use, battery life, phone design, audio and video quality, operating system and software, website satisfaction, and other features.

The report covers two rankings for cell phones:

  • Cell phone manufacturers
  • Smartphone models

Here’s the full breakdown of the 2021 ACSI rankings.

Cell Phone Manufacturer Satisfaction

Key Takeaway: Samsung supplanted Apple at the top of the best cell phone manufacturer list. In the ASCI report, Samsung remained steady with a score of 81 while Apple’s score fell to 80.

Google, in its first appearance on the list, and Motorola were tied for second with Apple.

Here’s a more detailed look at the rankings for cell phone manufacturers.

CompanyACSI ScorePercentage Point Change
Google80N/A (first appearance on the list)
All Others73-3%
Category Average: 79

Top 10 Smartphone Models

Key Takeaway: Samsung models dominate the category, finishing with the top five phones in customer satisfaction. Apple had four models in the top 10. 

Galaxy Note10+, Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy 20+ finished as the top-rated smartphones in the report — all with a score of 85.

Here are more details from the ACSI rankings:

BrandACSI Score Manufacturer
Galaxy Note10+85Samsung
Galaxy S10+85Samsung
Galaxy S20+85Samsung
Galaxy S2084Samsung
Galaxy A2083Samsung
Galaxy S1082Samsung
iPhone 11 Pro82Apple
iPhone 11 Pro Max82Apple
iPhone X82Apple
iPhone XS Max82Apple

The ACSI Wireless Service and Cellular Telephone Report 2020-21 is based on survey responses from more than 21,000 people contacted between April 1, 2020, and March 29, 2021.

Read more about the results here, or you can register to download the full report for free here.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re team Android (like money expert Clark Howard) or Team iPhone, it’s important to find the best price when shopping for a new or used model.

Clark recommends that Costco members start at the Costco cell phone kiosk before buying a phone from a carrier.

No matter where you shop, always compare prices to make sure you get the best deal!

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