Consumer Reports says its testing confirms that the iPhone 4 has a reception defect. Put your finger over a spot on the bottom left side of the phone—“an easy thing, especially for lefties”—and you’ll get either a dropped call or a drastically degraded connection, according to the magazine’s blog. Though the phone scored well otherwise, “Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4."
The engineers tested three iPhone 4s, purchased at three locations, inside a radio frequency isolation chamber, using a base-station emulator to simulate a cell tower. The tests seem to indicate that the problem is specifically with the iPhone 4, not with AT&T’s network—other AT&T phones and previous iPhone models worked fine. If you already have an iPhone 4, testers recommend covering that antenna gap with a bit of duct tape. (Read more Consumer Reports stories.)