Galaxy S4 - Recurring audio problems
I've had audio problems with my Galaxy S4 pretty much ever since I've bought it last July. I hoped for a long time that it was only a software problem, but the more I look at the (few) proposed solutions to similar problems online, the more I grow desperate.
The problem is simple: my audio completely stops at random intervals. Sometimes, I can go days with it it being fine before I pick up the phone and no sound comes on. It can even stop working while I am using it, wether audio is being played or not. The device will not ring or vibrate if a call is made. It has nothing do to with headphones, since I never use them. Fiddling with the sound options (vibrate, silent, etc.) yields no result. The ONLY way to get the audio back is to restart the device, which I really am tired of doing. I recently did a factory reset, hoping that would solve the problem. At first, I thought it did; maybe it's just my imagination, but I believe the frequency of the issue was greatly diminished after the reset, with the phone working fine for a week. Then, it started doing it again. I had also found someone who had a similar problem that was resolved by switching the network mode in the phone options to something that didn't have auto-connect (like HSPA only), but that didn't change anything for me.
I don't know if it is relevant, but I've also had a period of time where the phone would just freeze up and the system process would stop wrking/crash. The factory reset fixed this and I haven't seen this issue resurface, but it could be a symptom of a problem I know nothing about.
The only reason that has kept me from returning it to Samsung, besides having no phone for an extended period of time, is the irregularity of the problem, which didn't seem to indicate a hardware issue. If I had to bet, I would have put my money on a memory leak in one of the apps or a faulty driver, but the fact that I haven't found a soul that has the exact same problem with their S4 and the factory reset I did both made me question that hypothesis. So, do you have any idea what is wrong or how I could fix this whole mess ? The other complication is that I will be living abroad (Australia) for the next 6 months, away from the country where I bought the phone (Canada). I don't know if exchanging or repairing the phone with Samsung would be possible in that case.