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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: euge on August 24, 2012, 09:30:33 PM

Title: Cell-phone woes
Post by: euge on August 24, 2012, 09:30:33 PM
I'm wondering if anyone has noticed the same thing as me? Cell phones programmed/designed to fail around the end of a two-year contract? A pre-planned obsolescence?

For example in 2006 I bought a Motorola Razor and signed a 2-year contract. Two years to the day the phone died... I replaced the battery thinking this was probably the problem. Phone was dead.

So forced to get a new phone (and sign a new contract with ATT) I fiddled with a Blackberry Bold (garbage) and graduated to an iPhone 3g S. Sold that after about 10 months and bought an android phone (Galaxy SGH-I97) from ATT while re-setting my contract for further two more years. In the mean-time I bought the "master" model from China: the Galaxy S GT-I9000 because you could tether, video call etc... as a toy to compare ti the ATT phone.

The GT-I9000 had a specific issue where due to the "infrastructure" I could only get 3g in my neighborhood- after two years this has been resolved, however this particular phone remained unused and battery removed until about three weeks ago.

Interestingly, the SGH-I97 is basically an identical phone without a few bells and whistles. I've used it heavily for data use and it has been reliable until about three weeks ago where it wouldn't respond via touchscreen and began to behave erratically at times.

And guess what? My contract was up on the 14th of this month. Two weeks shy of the ending of the two-year contract my phone starts to fail. HMMM is there a pattern here? So I pulled out the GT-I9000 which is basically a brand new unused 2 year old phone and slipped the sim in and began to use it. Works great- better than the other model and I get my proper 3g signal everywhere. But, in the last week it has begun to exhibit the same symptoms as the prior phone.

Ideas? Thoughts? I burns me up that these expensive phones would have a designed expiration date for their hardware.

Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: narvin on August 24, 2012, 09:35:31 PM
I think I had at least 3 RAZRs of the course of a few years... some failures we my fault, some weren't.  Stuff isn't always made all that well these days.

I'm still on an original Droid Incredible that's 2.5 years old right now.  No problems except for issues when updating the system software, which I fixed with a little googling.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: Pinski on August 24, 2012, 09:44:39 PM
I've been running my iPhone 3GS for almost 3 years now with no problems. 
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: thebigbaker on August 24, 2012, 11:00:30 PM
I've had my iPhone 3GS for just over 3 years and no problems here either.  Looking forward to the iPhone 5!
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: tygo on August 25, 2012, 01:16:28 AM
I usually end up needing a new phone every 2.5 years or so.  In fact, I'm due right now.  Probably going with the Droid Razr.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: punatic on August 25, 2012, 03:08:18 AM
I had my iPhone 3G for 3 1/2 years.  Last May I bought a 4S just to get the upgrades.  My son is using the 3G.  It's nearly 4 years in service now and still works great.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: nateo on August 25, 2012, 03:29:32 AM
I've got one of those dumb phones. You know, the flip kind. It's at least 4 years old now and still going strong.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: erockrph on August 25, 2012, 11:33:43 AM
I have to admit that I'm a technology junkie myself. I start researching my next phone about 3 or 4 months before I'm due for an upgrade.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: jeffy on August 25, 2012, 01:42:19 PM
We went from flip phones to iphones two weeks ago, but had to turn them back in because there was so little reception at our house we couldn't even make a call.  We'll try with another carrier soon.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: denny on August 25, 2012, 03:35:15 PM
I've got one of those dumb phones. You know, the flip kind. It's at least 4 years old now and still going strong.

Same here.  Mine is probably 5-6 years old and works fine.  And I have no contract...it's a pay as you go phone.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: euge on August 25, 2012, 05:44:51 PM
I'm thinking of switching to Cricket which is $55 for unlimited everything and no contract. I wiped (factory reset) the SGH-I97 and am seeing if it'll work better.

Basically, mobile phones are semi-disposable. There is an after-market, and an after-after-market for them; but seems to me they are planned to be owned for less than 20 months when they'll be set-aside, traded in or sold for the next best model.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: punatic on August 25, 2012, 06:09:53 PM
I use my iPhone for a ton of stuff.   
Work-wise being able to access the internet, google earth and GPS in the field is indispensable.  Being able to bring up a spec sheet and drawing for a piece of equipment I'm repairing in the field has saved my bacon more times than I can count.  I use the calculator all of the time.  I make voice memos all of the time.  Now, instead of writing down operations readings on paper data charts, I take pictures of the controls and the enter them into a spreadsheet when I get back to the office. (not all of the systems I operate have SCADA).

Plus I really like the music library/talking book/streaming audio parts.

The phone funtion is only a small part of my "phone."

full disclosure: I don't text.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: boulderbrewer on August 26, 2012, 02:56:06 AM
Mine made it 2 and a half years, I had to buy a ebay phone so I didn't have to extend a contract. I should have it Monday, sucks when you can't even dial a phone number with your phone.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: weazletoe on August 26, 2012, 04:01:49 AM
I've never had a phone go down on me. I always do get a new every two years, and I'm just cool like that.  8)
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: punatic on August 26, 2012, 07:23:22 AM
I've never had a phone go down on me. I always do get a new every two years, and I'm just cool like that.  8)

I've never had a cell phone go down on me either (is there an app for that?), but the vibration mode is pretty hot!   8)

Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: weazletoe on August 26, 2012, 06:42:01 PM
LMAO!
Title: Cell-phone woes
Post by: majorvices on August 26, 2012, 10:09:46 PM
+1
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: theDarkSide on August 27, 2012, 01:56:46 PM
Man I hope mine doesn't fail since I have unlimited data still.  I have the iPhone 4S.  If I have to get a new one, I'll need to sign up on the stupid new plans that Verizon Wireless has with the shared data.  Basically the same as I have now, but with a data limit and more money.  I wish I didn't rely on this thing so much becuase I'd tell them all to take a hike.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: Slowbrew on August 27, 2012, 02:24:12 PM
My house house has 3 LG Env3 that are between 2 and 3 years old.  We've had a couple of bad batteries but other than that no issues.  I've had phones last 5 or 6 years and I abuse (physically) my phones pretty badly.

Paul
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: corkybstewart on August 27, 2012, 05:31:11 PM
My cell phones last until I drop them in the toilet or throw them against a wall.  I changed to ATT last year so I would have international service, but not only have I not been able to make it work outside the US, it also has no reception in my office or at my house, the 2 places I spend 90% of my life.  ATT is willing to sell me  signal boosters for just $200 each but I may wait until Verizon moves in later this year.
Title: Re: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: erockrph on August 28, 2012, 01:20:04 PM
Man I hope mine doesn't fail since I have unlimited data still.  I have the iPhone 4S.  If I have to get a new one, I'll need to sign up on the stupid new plans that Verizon Wireless has with the shared data.  Basically the same as I have now, but with a data limit and more money.  I wish I didn't rely on this thing so much becuase I'd tell them all to take a hike.

You sure about that? I'm grandfathered in to unlimited data as long as I don't change my plan. The wife and I upgraded to DROID Bionics last year with no issues.
Title: Re: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: theDarkSide on August 28, 2012, 01:31:36 PM
Man I hope mine doesn't fail since I have unlimited data still.  I have the iPhone 4S.  If I have to get a new one, I'll need to sign up on the stupid new plans that Verizon Wireless has with the shared data.  Basically the same as I have now, but with a data limit and more money.  I wish I didn't rely on this thing so much becuase I'd tell them all to take a hike.

You sure about that? I'm grandfathered in to unlimited data as long as I don't change my plan. The wife and I upgraded to DROID Bionics last year with no issues.

We got these iPhones last Christmas and kept our unlimited data.  It was my understanding that this changed shortly after that time.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: Delo on August 28, 2012, 02:07:25 PM
You sure about that? I'm grandfathered in to unlimited data as long as I don't change my plan. The wife and I upgraded to DROID Bionics last year with no issues.
I thought so too.  I dont know how many more times I can drop mine before it breaks.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: punatic on August 29, 2012, 08:01:27 AM
I switched up to a 4S and kept my unlimited data plan. 

Several months earlier they started throttling data when I exceed 3GB in one month on the unlimited plan.  Not that big a deal though.  I've just stopped watching streaming video via 4G.  When I watch streaming video now I connect via wireless.  Streaming audio is no problem.  Way less bandwidth needed.  Very seldom I listen to broadcast radio any more.  Streaming audio via 4G is even better than satellite radio. 

Although I still listen to live baseball games on AM broadcast.  But that's more of a MLB licensing thing than anything else.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: brewmichigan on August 29, 2012, 12:50:18 PM
You sure about that? I'm grandfathered in to unlimited data as long as I don't change my plan. The wife and I upgraded to DROID Bionics last year with no issues.
I thought so too.  I dont know how many more times I can drop mine before it breaks.

If you upgrade to a new (subsidized by verizon) phone, then you have to switch to the new shared data plans. If you buy a phone at full price (currently an Iphone is over 700$) then you can keep the unlimited. This changed on June 28th 2012.-
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: weithman5 on August 29, 2012, 01:20:21 PM
i used an old nokia for about 5 years until the screen was so beat up it couldn't be seen. i still used it but it infuriated my wife who bought me an iphone 3g.  used that for past 3 years with no problems.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: Delo on August 29, 2012, 01:53:13 PM
i used an old nokia for about 5 years until the screen was so beat up it couldn't be seen. i still used it but it infuriated my wife who bought me an iphone 3g.  used that for past 3 years with no problems.
I had an old Lg that was cracking in half and my wife harped on me about using it. I was just going to get another cell phone but she wanted a smart phone so of course if she was getting one, I was getting one. Now I cant live without it. I use it for everything.

If you upgrade to a new (subsidized by verizon) phone, then you have to switch to the new shared data plans. If you buy a phone at full price (currently an Iphone is over 700$) then you can keep the unlimited. This changed on June 28th 2012.-
Not surprised. I figured it was only a matter of time before they started doing that.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: gsandel on August 29, 2012, 02:49:54 PM
My complaint with phones (I have an old flip phone 5 yrs old...one generation past the "brick" phone) is that the battery life goes and then the reception diminishes....I can't take a call from inside my house anymore, and even out back it fails me.  My wife's Iphone 4s is 3 of 4 full bars at same location.  Time for an upgrade.

Oh, and texting inside the house is becoming verboten as well....man that reception has gone fast.
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: Slowbrew on August 29, 2012, 03:04:52 PM
My complaint with phones (I have an old flip phone 5 yrs old...one generation past the "brick" phone) is that the battery life goes and then the reception diminishes....I can't take a call from inside my house anymore, and even out back it fails me.  My wife's Iphone 4s is 3 of 4 full bars at same location.  Time for an upgrade.

Oh, and texting inside the house is becoming verboten as well....man that reception has gone fast.

If you are on Verizon, you can try updating your tower map.  Dial *228 and select option 2 from the menu.  Wireless carriers are constantly adding/deleting towers.  If you haven't updated your tower map your phone can struggle to find towers that will talk to it.

I don't guarantee it will help but it has made mine work better over the years.

Paul
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: brewmichigan on August 29, 2012, 03:06:17 PM
My complaint with phones (I have an old flip phone 5 yrs old...one generation past the "brick" phone) is that the battery life goes and then the reception diminishes....I can't take a call from inside my house anymore, and even out back it fails me.  My wife's Iphone 4s is 3 of 4 full bars at same location.  Time for an upgrade.

Oh, and texting inside the house is becoming verboten as well....man that reception has gone fast.

I have a theory on this. Your cell phone provider should be able to tell what device you are connecting to the network with. I believe, and I have no facts to back me up, that they set priority levels. If you have an older phone I think they set your phone at a lower priority than all others and when the towers are being used, you get the last amount of bandwidth which might be none.

I noticed this when I still had the original droid last year and I went to a football game at UofM and everyone around me had great signal on their new 4g phones but I had nothing. I couldn't even make a call or text. I got a new phone and what do you know, I can surf the internet and make calls. Just my two cents....
Title: Re: Cell-phone woes
Post by: gsandel on August 29, 2012, 08:24:51 PM
I also read somewhere that each new technology gets assigned (by each carrier) to a different spectrum of bandwidth, so, even though any carrier might add new tower locations, the old technology that my phone runs on may not be installed on a new tower....furthermore, when they need to install new technology on an old tower, they may remove the oldest technology's equipment from service (or eliminate the bandwidth or both)....so my old phone that can recieve signals from a, b, and c type towers becomes less effective when they remove type A from service in order to install type F, G, or H.

I have had much time to ponder these things waiting for a text to go through or redialing a dropped call.
And btw: go blue!