Saturday, February 26, 2011

The phone swap III: Poltergeist

Image representing Virgin Mobile USA as depict...Image via CrunchBaseNo, this is not a repeat. No, this is not an Inception parody, but it almost feels like one.

A timeline:

  • On 1/29/2011 I replaced my Blackberry Curve (fucking bulletproof phone) with a Samsung Intercept. I also replaced Ivette's LG Rumor Touch with a Samsung Intercept. 
  • On 2/8/2011 I received a warranty replacement on the Samsung Intercept since the 1/29 unit was shutting itself off at random times. Ivette's phone? No issues whatsoever. 
  • On 2/14/2011 I received a warranty replacement on my Samsung Intercept since the 2/8 unit (itself a warranty replacement) was shutting itself every time I closed the keyboard. Every single time. Ivette's phone? No issues whatsoever. 
  • Sometime on 2/28 I am scheduled to receive a warranty replacement on my Samsung Intercept since the 2/14 unit was shutting itself every time I closed the keyboard. Every damn time. Yup, you guessed it, Ivette's phone still works absolutely perfectly. 
So there you have it, phone #4, the third warranty replacement since I bought the original on 1/29/2011, is on its way and should be here by 3:00 PM on Monday, if FEDEX is to be trusted. I want to curse and scream and throw shit around, but Virgin Mobile keeps being more than reasonable about this problem. The worst part is that when I got the 2/14 replacement unit I opened/closed the keyboard a dozen times in a row and I couldn't make the damn phone crash. The phone worked perfectly until the morning of 2/25 and then it started shutting down every single time I closed the keyboard. 

Google is not being helpful, since all I can find is people coming up with bullshit excuses. And none can explain why some people are seeing zero issues with this phone. All I can think right now is that there is a big batch of bad phones out there, all other posts I am seeing are pretty much bullshit, except the ones that advise people to run back to the store and swap the phones or call Virgin Mobile and have them swap the phone. I cannot stress enough that every time I called Virgin Mobile to complain they have been insanely focused on keeping me happy. 

Do I still like the phone? Hell yes, but it makes me anxious not knowing if the phone is going to shut itself down by itself instead of by some explicit event, like sliding the keyboard shut when some other unknown criteria is met. Maybe something crashes and forces the Android equivalent of a kernel panic. Or the battery is close to dead but the phone is reporting that it is OK, but it suddenly dies when there is simply no more power. Who the hell knows? 

On a related note, Alex Esoterica switched to Android yesterday (Samsung Epic), and he agrees with me that some of the augmented reality applications are basically technology stolen from space aliens or some other crazy shit, because the technology is pretty much incredible. It almost feels like walking around with a Star Trek tricorder that is high on crack AND PCP. 

His phone has a couple of features that I find superior to the Intercept:
  1. The keyboard has an extra row of buttons, which means it has a proper spacebar unlike the Intercept, plus extra buttons at either side of the keyboard.
  2. It doesn't shut down randomly when closing the keyboard.