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Sprint Galaxy Note 2 - Need opinion from those who root/unlock their phones or do repair
I posted a few days ago asking about connectivity issues with the Note 2. Sprint recommended I take the phone to my local repair center, because they thought the antenna was bad. Here's how it breaks down:
Bought a lightly used Note 2 off eBay from a good seller with excellent scores whom I have purchased from in the past. Phone looks brand new. Everything seems to function perfectly. Went thru hands-free set up with the device. Once it was all up and running, it had the "no" symbol where the signal meter is normally displayed. Thought that odd since my S3 was sitting right there and it had 4 bars on 3g, move a little and it switched to one bar of 4g. Wifi signal was full on the Note. Did a few things trying to get it to connect, nothing worked, called Sprint.
They had me do a few other things which didn't work and finally had me manually enter the MSID. Upon reboot, which was taking absolutely forever for it to register the device, the tech said, "You need to take it in and have them check the antenna. Something is definitely wrong. It shouldn't take this long. If it does finish re-registering it'll go through the hands free set up again. If that doesn't fix the connectivity issue, take it in," and then she hung up. She didn't even wait to see if that fixed it or if it would go to hand free set up.
After waiting for a while, I walked outside with the phone to see if that would help. It did. It immediately connected to the 4G, but with only one bar. I thought this was weird since I'd read how the Note was supposed to have a far superior antenna than the S3. I had my S3 in my hand and outside my house on the porch I had 6 bars - a completely full meter - of 4G. The Note 2 I purchased absolutely under no circumstances will utilize 3G. I do not live an area where 4G is blanketed so that's an issue. I know the Note 2 comes in the 7100 and the 900, but I am assured from Sprint that the model I purchased is the correct one. It's the 900.
I took the phone in to the Sprint repair center today. The gentleman tried several things and then he too tried to do the manual entry of the MSID. He stood there waiting, and waiting and finally hands the phone back to me and says, "It won't register. It's bricked." I argued, "It's not bricked. Bricked means it does not work at all, hence, you're cell phone is now basically just a brick in your hand. This phone works, it just has a time connecting. When it does connect to the 4G - it works perfectly."
He shoves it at me more and says, "Sorry there is nothing I can do with it. Whoever had it before you, must have rooted it or unlocked it. They must have tried to re-lock it to sell it and they've messed it up. It's bricked. You need to return it and get your money back." The phone was still stating attempting to register. I asked, "Can't you just wait till it finishes?" He said, "No - it's not going to register. It's bricked." I leaned over the counter to see the MSID he was keying in. I said, "That's the same number that's already in there! That's the number tech support had ME key in." He said, "I realize that, but it's not registering. It's bricked. I can't do anything with it."
I took the phone and walked out. I looked at it and watched the "no" symbol roll to 3 bars of 4G and it immediately registered and began hands free set up.
I am really frustrated by all of this. The seller has been great and offered to refund me the cost of repair or I can return the phone and he'll do a full refund. The user of this line that the Note is on cannot afford to be without his phone while I return it, (I bought this to replace an Epic 2 Touch which had water damage, before we're anywhere near the contract date. I've already returned the unit to Square Trade who gave me a pay out to just replace the phone). I don't want to spend days searching for another perfect replacement on eBay while I also wait for the seller to do a refund. I'd really rather just try and fix this one.
I rooted my S3 and it works MUCH better than it did stock so I'm all for rooting/unlocking a device, but if the previous owner had rooted this Note 2 and attempted to re-lock it - is there any chance it could be affecting the functionality of the antenna? The seller said that he tested the phone before listing it, but he lives in an area with strong 4G so it connected right away. Is it possible for the antenna to be damaged (software) or locked in such a way that would limit the connectivity of the 4g and cause the 3g to not function at all?
Has anyone replaced the antenna in their Note 2? I'm willing to give it a go since they're so cheap, but wondered if it requires soldering? I've replaced the glass on my S3 as well as my menu and back buttons, so I'm not averse to cracking the sucker open - I've just never soldered anything in regards to electrical circuitry. Jewelry yes, circuitry no.
I was wondering if rooting the device might fix the connectivity issues if its actually a software to hardware conflict. Opinions?