HTC 8X Locked Up, Screen Died, But Soft Reset Brought It Back To Life

By now, I’m not sure which is the main culprit that causes both Lumia 920 and HTC 8X to lock up itself.  It might be the hardware, software, or both!  Anyhow, but at least with HTC 8X, soft reset does help bringing back the smartphone to life.

The story goes, I replaced Lumia 920 twice (the second time was swapping out Lumia 920 for HTC 8X) as soft reset or hard reset could not jolt the smartphone back to life.  For no reasons at all, Lumia 920 just turned off itself even though its battery was fully charged.  The turned off part was partly true since its Bluetooth function was working still, but everything else just went off the grid.  Today, HTC 8X locked up the same way, and I was not able to bring the touchscreen to life even though I did not shy away from using the power button at the top of the smartphone to its full potential.  Luckily, the soft reset for HTC 8X does work!

How did I soft reset HTC 8X?  What I had done was holding down the volume button before holding down the power button until I see the HTC welcome screen came up, and then I released both buttons altogether (doing all of this while HTC 8X was hooked to the micro USB and being charged by the USB port from a PC).  AT&T is the mobile carrier I’m with, therefore after HTC welcome screen went away AT&T logo would show up.  I thought I had erased all the data and reseted HTC 8X back to the manufacturer settings, but I was glad that HTC 8X just rebooted itself and retained everything I had before (i.e., apps, data, etc…).  Usually, if you had done a hard reset, you would see the same HTC welcome screen and AT&T logo, but apparently soft reset is doing the same thing.  So don’t panic about your data if you have to do a soft reset on your HTC 8X, OK?  Obviously, if you haven’t allowed HTC 8X to back up your data frequently to the cloud, I’m afraid a hard reset would just wipe everything you got on the smartphone away.  It will be a hassle if this is going to happen, because you have to reinstall everything you got before.

I really do hope Microsoft and their Windows 8 phone partners get the act together.  They need to release either a software update or do a recall on the smartphones that they know are affected by this problem, because it’s a frustration for smartphone users like me to experience frequent smartphone lockup.  So far, I only experienced one lockup with HTC 8X, but it had only been three days since I got it.  If you had read about my experience with Lumia 920 on previous posts, Lumia 920 original and the replacement would lockup after two days of normal activities.  Worse, I got no luck with hard reset and soft reset when using Lumia 920.  I’m going to hang onto HTC 8X for a little longer unless soft and hard reset refuse to work when HTC 8X locks itself up again.  If you’re using HTC 8X or Lumia 920 or any other Windows 8 smartphone and experiencing the same thing as I do, please feel free to comment.  You can also share good experience about Windows 8 smartphone in the comment section, because people deserve to hear both sides of the story.

Lumia 920 Failed To Work After 2 Days; Black Screen And More…

Just a caution for whoever wants to go ahead and spend money on Lumia 920.  This smartphone is brand new, and so it’s rather faulty.  I just had mine replaced in AT&T store.  What is my story on Lumia 920?  I had not restarted or shutdown my Lumia 920 since I had shut it down couple times a day ago.  Anyhow, as I allowed my Lumia 920 to be on for a day or so, then around near evening time of yesterday, my Lumia 920 (black color) suddenly went dark (i.e., turning off by itself).  So, at first I thought the battery was drained completely and so I brought it home and charged it up with a micro USB which connected to the electrical outlet, but this turned out to be not the case at all.  Instead of anything, I found out that Lumia 920 was still partly working and mostly not.  Basically, its Bluetooth functionality was still working as it was automatically allowed my car’s Bluetooth (handfree phone system) to connect to Lumia 920 just fine, but everything else was not working.  Everything else meant the screen was completely black as it was not able to be turned on.  Everything else meant everything else was not accessible and was either failed to work or off for some strange reasons.  I did a hard reset and soft reset on Lumia 920, but those two last resorts failed to bring the smartphone back to life.  Sighed and so I went to AT&T store for a replacement.  Now I got a replacement in hand, but I’m not really feeling confident that it won’t happen again.  Customer representative in AT&T store told me that if I want to switch the color of the phone from black to white or vice versa since I could do so for a replacement, I had to pay a restocking fee as the switch happens to be with a different phone color.  The customer representative in AT&T store told me the restocking fee is $35.  I wanted the color to be switched for Lumia 920 (i.e., from black to white), but I decided it was not wise to spend anymore money on Lumia 920 since I wasn’t sure about the reliability of Lumia 920 any longer.  After all, Lumia 920 failed to work for no apparent reasons (i.e., the smartphone was well taken care off in term of safety and protection).

In conclusion, I like Lumia 920 a lot, because its camera is definitely more capable than other smartphone cameras in term of Megapixel size and settings (i.e., you can manually set ISO, White Balance, and so on) — and I also like Lumia 920 for its wireless charging capability.  I don’t really care much for Lumia 920 Near Field Communication technology since this NFC technology isn’t yet widespread.  Of course, it will be a big deal for me if this NFC technology becomes more popular and useful in the future.  I love how Windows 8 is so responsive on Lumia 920, and I love Windows 8 on smartphones in general.  With all of the advantages of Lumia 920, I think I would be fine with it as long the replacement won’t ever behaved like the original one.  If the replacement of Lumia 920 starts to behave like the original one even once, I definitely will have to rethink about how much I like Lumia 920.  For now, I’m crossing my fingers and hope that everything will be fine with the replacement.  By the way, for your information, the customer representative in AT&T store told me that my case of Lumia 920 faulty behavior (i.e., failed to work) isn’t unique as she had seen couple cases before I brought my Lumia 920 in to her.  Oh, if you check the Internet, couple cases like mine had already been reported.  In the end, I think Lumia 920 has big potential to revive Nokia from the brink of RIM (i.e., Research In Motion has been losing ground in smartphone market for a long time already), but Nokia has to ensure their customers that Lumia 920 doesn’t have any reliability problem (i.e., the smartphone has to perform OK for more than two years at least).  To pour salt on the injury of Lumia 920, my Lumia 920 lasted for exactly 2 days or so.  Let hope the replacement will last for two years, because the contract will end by then.

iPhone 5 AT&T LTE Network Speed Test

I have a mixed bag of a personal customer satisfaction for iPhone 5 really!  On one hand, it’s a more powerful device than the older iPhone iterations, but on the other hand iPhone 5 does have few quirks that are really bothering me.  Such quirks are Wi-Fi slowness occurs from time to time (i.e., sometimes it’s fine) and purple halo camera glitch.  Nonetheless, with that being said, I find iPhone 5’s adoption of true LTE (i.e., real 4G speed) is quite pleasing.  Please check out the video right after the break to see the speed test of iPhone 5 LTE on AT&T LTE network.

What About Straight Talk Wireless? Unlimited Talk, Data, Text, 411? For Real?

TracFone Wireless

TracFone Wireless (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you, but I do feel owning a smart phone is very expensive.  Nonetheless, at the moment I can handle a smart phone expense.  If I ever get to the point of saying screw this, I guess I have Straight Talk Wireless to back me up.  Yep, I had no idea that there is such a wireless service such as Straight Talk Wireless, but I had found out about it from a friend.  In reality, I bet he had heard about this on the Internet or from another friend too, because he told me he is thinking about wanting to try this service out.  Anyway, it seems too good to be true as he told me that Straight Talk Wireless service is unlimited.  Unlimited?  It seems Straight Talk Wireless service advertises that you only have to pay $45 a month to have an unlimited wireless service which encompasses talk, data, text, 411, and more.  The cool thing is that there is no contract for any of their services.  OK, so I got interested and wanted to know more.  As I dug deeper, I found out that Straight Talk Wireless allows you to use any GSM compatible smart phone with their services as long the smart phone is unlocked.  This means you can totally buy just the SIM card from Straight Talk Wireless to get going.  At the moment, Straight Talk Wireless SIM card costs $14.99.

Too good to be true?  Not to be naive, I decidedly that I should dig even deeper into knowing more about Straight Talk Wireless.  I found out that technically, Straight Talk Wireless is unlimited, but as one of the videos I will post near the end of this blog post testifies that as users use up their 3G speed data worth around 2GB to 2.5GB, Straight Talk Wireless will throttle the users data speed to 2G speed.  So, with 2G speed, you can’t really stream videos and so on from the Internet, but you can still technically surf the web, check email, read news, and so on.  So, technically, it’s unlimited, but the catch is that you can’t go over 2GB or 2.5GB data worth for 3G speed.  I’m not exactly sure it would be 2GB or 2.5GB data worth of 3G speed being used up before Straight Talk Wireless would begin the throttling.

In summary, I have never ever used Straight Talk Wireless before, and I probably may not be able to try out Straight Talk Wireless for some time to come.  Why?  I had already pre-ordered iPhone 5 and signed up with another 2 year contract with AT&T.  If I had known about Straight Talk Wireless before I pre-ordered iPhone 5, I think I would have done it differently.  One example might be that I would probably wait for iPhone 5 to hit retail stores and buy the unlocked model of iPhone 5, and in this way I might be able to try out Straight Talk Wireless unlimited with a new favorite phone.  Then, I would know if it’s true that Straight Talk Wireless actually provides a great wireless service which comes with no contract wireless service (encompassing talk, data, text, 411, and more for only $45/month).  Since I have never had tried out Straight Talk Wireless service personally, I can’t really recommend it to you.  I’m still wondering how good is Straight Talk Wireless in terms of talk signal strength and data speed.  I guess, there is one assurance that Straight Talk Wireless can be resilient against wireless competition pressure from big wireless providers such as AT&T, because Straight Talk Wireless was launched by the partnership of Walmart and TracFone.  I don’t know how big TracFone is, but I do know Walmart has a lot of muscle in term of spending power.  This means, don’t expect to see Straight Talk Wireless to fold its business easily!

Source:  http://www.mobileburn.com/news.jsp?Id=8051

Verizon FiOS Will Soon Install 300 Mbps Up and 65 Mbps Down Broadband In Homes, But You Need To Be Where FiOS Is Available And Have Mad Cash!

English: A map of where Verizon Fios is availa...

English: A map of where Verizon Fios is available in the US according to Fiberexperts.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m so excited about Verizon big push for faster broadband.  Verizon is going to allow some home users to purchase broadband plan which has 300 Mbps download speed and 65 Mbps upload speed.  Nonetheless, did you notice I used the key words “some home users?”  I’ve been waiting for Verizon FiOS in my area for a long time already, but so far only AT&T and Comcast are the two viable competitive choices for me.  So, it’s exciting for me to see Verizon FiOS to allow 300 down and 65 up broadband speed (in Mbps of course), but it’s such a teaser for so many users who are not living in the areas where they can get Verizon FiOS.  Arstechnica reported that Verizon 300/65 up/down FiOS with two year contract will cost around $204.99.  Obviously, the latest and fastest Verizon FiOS speed is super cool, but the price is too expensive.  Nonetheless, if you are going for Verizon FiOS 300/65 up/down broadband speed, you will not have any trouble of using the cloud for doing data backup.  CrashPlan come to mind anyone?  (I hate how most broadband connections allow super slow upload speed, therefore doing backup to the cloud is like watching a crawling of a snail.  In my opinion, Verizon FiOS is the panacea to this pet peeve of mine.)  Check out the video on Verizon soon to be the fastest broadband yet in U.S. right after the break.

Source:  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/06/verizon-reveals-prices-behind-300mbps-fios-upgrades/

Sometimes, I’m Very Whiny! This Time, It’s About Where The Heck Is My Lumia 900…

Nokia Lumia 900, powered by Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 900, powered by Windows Phone (Photo credit: gui ambros)

I know I should not be whining too much, but I was infuriated.  I ordered Lumia 900 through Amazon Wireless, and the order went through as Amazon thought AT&T had approved my phone upgrade.  The order was hard to pass since I could upgrade to Lumia 900 from iPhone 4 (not the 4s) for only $20 (actually it would be $56 since one time activation fee from AT&T would be $36).  I was so happy and went on with my day as I so expected to be able to play with Lumia 900.

At first I was not even thought about having a phone upgrade since I was pretty happy with iPhone 4.  Unfortunately, it turned out that my iPhone 4 refused to charge its battery for couple times already.  Then there was this feeling that I was bored with iPhone ecosystem.  I had too many useless apps on iPhone that I would never even have time to play around with.  Furthermore, I rarely used my iPhone for anything else besides talking on the phone for obvious reasons, listening to music through Spotify, playing chess in spare time (although I’m really bad at chess), and using Flipboard to catch up with technology news.  The decision to upgrade to Lumia 900 was easy.  First, it was cheap as in $20 upgrade.  Second, Lumia 900 could do all the things I had described that I would do with an iPhone.  Third, Lumia 900 is a Windows Phone, therefore it’s radically different than iPhone and Android phones in term of operating system.  Fourth, Lumia 900 looks gorgeous.  Fifth, Microsoft’s mantra for Windows Phone is to be less app centric and more of getting things done.  Well, the last point could be a propaganda from Microsoft, but I see it as something I have been doing already anyway… playing less with senseless apps and stick with what matter most.

So, I was so expected to see Lumia 900 to arrive at my front door.  A day later, Amazon sent me an email and informed me that they had redirected my would be gorgeous Lumia 900 back to their base of operation, because something had went wrong with my phone upgrade approval.  In their email, Amazon told me to call AT&T up for further explanation.  I called AT&T, and they told me that Amazon might have ran out of Lumia 900 phone.  I was amazed!  Could it be Lumia 900 was this hot?  On a second thought, could it be Lumia 900 wasn’t a sure deal for everyone, therefore they would not stock enough of these phones and had none in stock when the supply of these phones ran out?  Eagerly, I rang Amazon up since AT&T told me Amazon might be able to help me with straightening my problem out since I went through Amazon the first time around for the phone upgrade.  Amazon told me that AT&T had sent them a message which to deny my phone upgrade plan.  Nonetheless, I spoke with AT&T earlier and they told me that my phone upgrade plan was already approved and all I had to do was to activate the phone when I could receive the phone.  I told that to Amazon, but all Amazon could do was to reverse my upgrade plan so I would have my original phone plan again.

I know, my original phone plan was a great phone plan as it had unlimited data option.  My iPhone 4 was grandfathered in with earlier phone contract.  Still, I was prepare to let go the unlimited data option for a radical change to Windows Phone ecosystem.  So, in the end, I have to wait and wait and wait in order for anything to happen.  I wasn’t impatient but as a customer I was expecting a lot more from the two giant corporations.  I’m curious how came these two gigantic corporations had failed to communicate with each other and let the customer to experience a non-smooth transition in regarding to phone upgrade?

I’m not really an impatient person, but I guess once you got used to super fast deliveries from Amazon you would expect too much from them in the end.  Amazon had never failed to deliver anything to me before, but this is the first.  Perhaps, once in a while, there will be the first of something which begs me to have an experience of.  Amazon was my first choice of ordering smart phone since it would deliver products amazingly fast, and it would be cheaper for me to order Lumia 900 through Amazon.  I talked to AT&T and they told me AT&T could only sell me Lumia 900 at $90 something (I forgot the exact amount, but it was $90 something).  The choice of ordering Lumia 900 through which party was obvious.  Now, I’m crossing my fingers that they would reverse my phone plan correctly so I could once again begin the upgrade process… again… sigh!!!

Do you have a bad experience of ordering a new or upgrade or replacement smart phone with Amazon and AT&T before?  Why don’t you share your story with everyone in the comment section, right beneath this post of mine.  So, go ahead and post yours OK?