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.

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Lumia 920 Failed Me Second Time; Black Screen Problem Returned; Now I’m With HTC 8X

LR4-Retouched-D3200-Lumia920-In-LaundryRoom-1I must be one of those unluckiest Nokia Lumia 920 users out there!  After I got the replacement for Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone, the same problem that failed me the first time resurfaced with the replacement one.  The funny thing was that the replacement took just roughly the same amount of time before it failed just like the first one had, and this meant it took only two days for the replacement to go bad.  If you don’t know what on earth I’d just spewed, you can always take a quick hop to my previous post (Lumia 920 Failed To Work After 2 Days; Black Screen And More…) to catchup with my Lumia 920 bad luck.

Nonetheless, I will do a quick recap anyway.  So,it took two days before the replacement failed to turn on its screen.  I think the majority people would know that when a smartphone’s screen isn’t turning on, the smartphone which relies on touchscreen would be rendered as useless.  You would not be able to make a phone call without having a functional screen to start out with.  The funny part with Lumia 920 replacement was that its Bluetooth functionality worked just fine even though its screen was dead.  No amount of hard reset or soft reset would revive the screen as I had tried.  To make a phone call, I had to run into my car, turned the engine on to allow the entertainment system to jolt up, and then Bluetooth would kick in to pair with the Bluetooth system within my car so I could make a phone call through the car’s navigation system.  My car’s navigation system has a (touchscreen) screen — not a multitouch screen — which links to the Bluetooth function that relays the output to the smartphone.  This means I can use the navigation touchscreen as if I use a smartphone, but the smartphone itself has to do the calling.

Perhaps, there are people who find their Lumia 920 to perform just fine without the problem that I encountered twice on mine, but I had enough of Lumia 920 hassle and so I said goodbye to it and joined the HTC 8X crowd.  After all, my intention is to use Windows 8 smartphone ecosystem and stay disconnected from iOS ecosystem since iOS ecosystem was where I had come from.  With HTC 8X, I’m achieving this very objective which Nokia Lumia 920 had failed on me.  Two days had passed, and I’ve yet to experienced any black screen on HTC 8X.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that HTC 8X won’t face the same kind of problem.  I’m betting on HTC 8X for it to be a different brand from a different smartphone maker might just help me put away the black screen problem for good.  If HTC 8X will do this for me, it means Windows 8 OS might not be the big culprit in destroying the Lumia 920s (i.e., the first and the replacement that I had in my possession before).

To tell the truth, I like Lumia 920 better than HTC 8X, but I only like it when it works and not otherwise.  When it works, I love it!  I like the feel of Lumia 920 in the palm even though the registered weight of Lumia 920 does make one’s hand to feel so much more heavier in comparison to the weights of other smartphones.  So when it works it feels great, but when it dies it feels like a brick.  Anyhow, when Lumia 920 works, it does have several nice features that HTC 8X doesn’t possess.  What?  Let see, the Lumia 920 does have wireless charging, Nokia owned navigation software, better camera with Lumia 920 unique camera settings (allowing customizations of ISO, White Balance, etc…), better screen resolution (not by much but still — 1280 x 768 vs 1280 x 720), and you can also use glove with the touchscreen.  With about the same price, I can get more memory space with Lumia 920 since the HTC 8X only gives me 16 GB worth of memory space for the price of 32 GB worth of memory space on Lumia 920.  Unfortunately for us folks who use either Lumia 920 or HTC 8X, because we cannot expand the memory of the device since these two devices do not support microSD memory card.

In conclusion, I wish my encounter with Lumia 920 was a great smartphone experience, but it was bad to the point of rendering itself useless.  It works great when it does work, but when it does not it feels like a heavy brick.  It got all the features that I wish my current smartphone, HTC 8X, would carry.  Anyhow, the point of me writing this piece is to be honest about how I feel of Lumia 920.  Sure, this might not matter to anyone, but it matters to me since I did couple videos on Lumia 920.  I had uploaded these videos on EssayBoard YouTube channel, and I had praised about how awesome some of the features Lumia 920 is carrying.

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.

Amazing Lumia 920 Camera Settings

I’ve just found out that you can actually change ISO, White Balance, Exposure Value, and other sophisticated settings on Lumia 920 camera.  This is new to me since I had not been able to do something like this on other smartphone cameras.  This level of smartphone camera sophistication in regarding to manual control of these settings is definitely rare in the world of smartphones.  Of course, if you use a DSLR camera, you have much more control in term of the camera sophistication level, and it’s to be expected like that for many DSLR cameras.  This is why it’s a big deal for me to find Lumia 920 actually has mimic some sophisticated camera settings from DSLR cameras.  Anyhow, check out the video right after the break to see me go into the details in regarding to how awesome it’s that Lumia 920 actually allows you to control how you take pictures/photos in a much more sophisticated way than the usual smartphone camera.  Enjoy!!!

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?