Honor 7

The latest from Huawei's Honor brand boasts phenomenal value — but with a few familiar caveats ...

The quick take

Through a mix of solid hardware — in terms of performance as well as build quality — the Honor 7 finds its way into the fast-growing category of really-good-and-extremely-affordable Android phones. At a functional level, it does just about everything really well, and it packages that functionality in the kind of impressive metal chassis we've come to expect from Huawei. But just as Huawei is a strength for Honor, it's also a weakness. For some buyers, particularly Android purists, the company's highly customized EMUI software will be the biggest reason not to buy.

The good

  • Solid build quality and easy one-handed use
  • Fingerprint scanner works well
  • Speedy, lag-free performance
  • Bright, punchy display and impressive speaker
  • Excellent value for money

The bad

  • Huawei's EMUI software is overbearing as ever
  • Many software issues from the P8 left unaddressed
  • Camera hit and miss in low light
Width Height Thickness
5.64 in
143.2mm
2.83 in
71.9mm
0.33 in
8.5mm
  • Display:
    • 5.2-inch Full HD
    • LCD Display
    • 1920x1080 resolution (435ppi)
  • Camera:
    • 20.7MP, ƒ/2.0 lens
    • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Battery:
    • 3100mAh capacity
    • Quick Charging
  • Chips:
    • Octa-core Huawei Kirin 935 processor
    • 4x2.2GHz A53e cores + 4x1.5GHz A53 cores
    • 3GB RAM
    • 16GB internal storage
    • microSD slot (also second SIM slot)

Honor 7

About this review

We're publishing this review after a week using a European-spec Honor 7 (PLK-L01) in the UK. Most of the time we used our review device on Vodafone UK, in areas with decent LTE and HSPA coverage and a 64GB Samsung microSD card fitted. To test the phone's dual-SIM capabilities, we used it with an EE SIM alongside the Vodafone SIM.

Honor 7 Video Walkthrough

Honor 7

Familiar, Sturdy, Dependable

Honor 7 Hardware

If you know your Huawei phones, the look and feel of the Honor 7 is pretty easy to sum up. It's basically a cross between the Mate 7 — last year's Huawei "phablet" device — and the company's current high-end offering, the P8. Although Honor is its own distinct brand in the UK, the Huawei design traits are clear to see. There's a largely untouched front face, save for the usual earpiece, camera and sensors, while the back panel serves as a reminder of Huawei's high-end phones, with a curved aluminum surface and eye-catching chamfers.

Veterans of the Honor series will find a device closer to the Honor 6 than the larger (and beefier) 6 Plus. The LCD gets a modest bump up to 5.2 inches with the same 1080p resolution, while modest hardware upgrades from the Honor 6 can be found in other areas.

This is basically the offspring of a Mate 7 and a P8.

The Honor 7 runs Huawei's homegrown 64-bit Kirin 935 CPU, an octa-core chip packing four higher-clocked "A53e" cores at up to 2.2GHz and four lower-power A53 cores at 1.5GHz. If you're keeping score here, that's basically the same as the Kirin 930 powering the Huawei P8, only at higher clock speeds. And it's paired with an ARM Mali-T624 GPU and a roomy 3GB of RAM. Elsewhere, the battery capacity stays at an ample 3,100mAh, while the front and rear cameras earn upgrades to 8 and 20 megapixels respectively. (The front camera's also grown an LED flash for low-light duckfacing.)

There's an even more significant addition around the back. The Honor 7 features a touch-activated fingerprint sensor with a few neat tricks to offer. As well as biometric security — no need to unlock first, by the way, as touching the sensor will activate it even when the phone is off — you can swipe down to open the notification shade, or up to view recent apps. The notification shortcut in particular is ridiculously useful — even on a relatively small phone like the Honor 7, reaching up to the notification shade can be troublesome, and the swipe shortcut replaces this awkward finger-gymnastics with one easy gesture. We really hope everyone working on a fingerprint-scanning phone steals this feature.

Honor 7 swipe

The new fingerprint sensor enables a couple of ridiculously useful software shortcuts.

And like just about everything else in Huawei's EMUI, these extra functions are configurable in the menus. There's also a "smart" button on the left edge, which can be programmed to load up different apps or perform various tasks on a single, double or long press. All genuinely useful stuff, though it's easy to accidentally press the "smart" button along with the power button when picking the phone up.

The Honor 7's display matches that of the P8 on paper, and we found it to be equally bright and vibrant as well. (And, anecdotally, perhaps a bit easier to see in direct sunlight.) There doesn't seem to be anything too crazy going on with contrast enhancement, though Huawei has implemented a brightness-limiting feature that adjusts the backlight brightness depending on the brightness of the image being shown.

Despite the presence of two grills, there's just a single loudspeaker to be found, located to the left of the microUSB port. Smartphone speakers are still really hit-and-miss, but the Honor 7's impressed us, and like the P8 it offers surprising volume, bass and clarity from a relatively small cutout.

In the hand, the Honor 7 feels sturdy yet classy. The top and bottom sections are plastic to allow those all-important radio waves in and out, but the main contact points are along the metal sides and back, so this isn't especially noticeable. The same goes for the slim plastic border between screen and body — which should protect the phone from knocks and scrapes as well.

Honor 7

Like most Huawei phones these days, the Honor 7 nails the fundamentals.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a 5.2-inch screen is about the limit for comfortable one-handed use, and this holds true for the Honor 7. There's no in-hand slippage due to the metal body, and the combination of this screen size and the angular metal design makes the Honor 7 easy to one-hand. While it's not spectacularly thin or light, it feels solid and dependable — arguably more so than a lot of more expensive phones.

Honor 7

Dual-SIM connectivity is the other big trick up the Honor 7's sleeve. The SIM tray has two slots — a primary nanoSIM slot, and a secondary slot that can hold either a second nanoSIM or a microSD card. In a country like the UK, where users aren't generally hopping between two coverage areas, dual-SIM support isn't especially useful. But it is an added bonus for frequent travelers, and doubling it up with the microSD slot means it's not wasted if you're just using one network.

As for internal storage, you're limited to 16 gigabytes, which is the bare minimum of what we'd consider acceptable from any smartphone in 2015. You'll have 10GB and change left over for your own stuff, though the SD slot may alleviate some of your storage woes.

Other hardware notables? There's a top-mounted IR blaster that works with the built-in "Smart Controller" app, allowing you to control just about anything with an IR receiver. And quick charging support is included, though we're told the bundled charger won't be quick-charge compatible. While we couldn't confirm that the phone was definitely charging at higher voltages on our Motorola Turbo Charger, it seemed to reach peak capacity pretty quickly.

Honor 7 apps

Familiar caveats

Honor 7 Software

The Honor 7 runs Huawei's EMUI 3.1 software atop Android 5.0. And if you've read our P8 review you'll know what to expect here — a heavily-skinned version of Android with a highly-customized look, a few pet hates, and system that feels at odds with Google's vision of the OS.

Though most of the things that were straight-up broken about the P8's initial firmware have been fixed, many visual and functional annoyances remain.

EMUI continues to be afflicted by visual and functional annoyances.

Aesthetically, there's a lot to like. The UI is built around circles, lines and rounded icons, with accent colors from your chosen wallpaper being included in Huawei's built-in apps. Everything, including app icons, is heavily themeable, and the library of themes has been expanded upon since the days of the P8, including some that now actually look pretty good.

The entire theming system still feels overbearing, though, and because not all the themes are up to date with the latest app icons, the experience is somewhat disjointed too. It's one of many areas of the software where we wish Huawei would have just left things alone.

Honor 7 apps

Others include the notification system, which duplicates notifications from some apps, including Gmail, and only shows notifications on the lock screen if you're using a certain lock screen style. If you're used to the relatively light touch of Samsung, HTC or LG, these changes may well be maddening. If not, then they are what they are: Different, and not necessarily for the better. In particular, Huawei's approach to "protected apps" — apps with permission to run when the screen is off — and constant notification area nags about apps using power in the background, add unnecessary mental overhead.

When it comes to overall performance and the visual cohesiveness of Huawei's own apps, there's not much to complain about. While it might not gel with Google's vision of the OS, it's clean, sharp and undeniably iOS-influenced.

You also can't fault EMUI's expansive feature set, which is surprisingly light on cruft and surprisingly heavy on genuinely useful stuff, like programmable shortcut buttons, voice-activated wake-up functionality and a wide array of camera features. But we'd still like to see a comprehensive overhaul of Huawei's software for EMUI 4.0, and hopefully see this highly customized layout replaced with something closer to vanilla Android.

We've got a more in-depth look at EMUI 3.1 in our P8 review, so check that out for more of the good, the bad and the confusing from Huawei's take on Android.

Honor 7 camera

Competent, if not spectacular

Honor 7 Camera

As smartphone hardware becomes more commoditized, imaging is one of the few areas left where traditional flagship phones have an edge. Even so, we're starting to see some impressive photographic capabilities from less expensive handsets, including Huawei's own Honor 6 Plus with its wacky dual-camera setup.

The Honor 7 opts for a traditional front and rear camera arrangement, however. There's a 20-megapixel shooter around the back, behind an f/2.0 lens with dual-tone LED flash, while the front-facer gets bumped up to 8 megapixels and is joined by a single LED of its own.

This is no Galaxy S6-beater, but it is capable across the board, and occasionally very impressive.

When you're selling a phone around the £250 price point, however, there are some trade-offs to be made. The biggest of these is the lack of optical image stabilization, which is the main reason the Honor 7 can't match the clarity of phones twice its price in low-light conditions. (And that's not unexpected, honestly.)

There is a "super night" shooting mode that combines a series of longer exposures, though this is largely useless without a tripod. We've also noticed an unfortunate tendency for the Honor 7 to miss focus in darker conditions, resulting in shots that are both blurry and grainy.

As for pics in good to moderately-lit conditions, the Honor 7 is a reliable performer across the board. Auto HDR mode dutifully kicks in to prevent washed-out skies and underexposed landscapes, keeping everything evenly lit. Overall, we have no real complaints when it comes to image quality — plenty of detail is captured thanks to the high-resolution sensor, and colors are generally accurate, if somewhat desaturated compared to the likes of the GS6 and G4.

Honor 7 camera options

Huawei's camera app also presents a bunch of useful features, including a dedicated light painting mode like the P8's, where longer exposures are used to create artistic light trail effects. You'll want to use a tripod with this feature though, as the lack of OIS makes it almost impossible to get steady, longer exposures with the phone in-hand.

As for the front camera, it's comparable with what you'd get from the current Android flagships, complete with beautification modes to either enhance your features, or make you look like a terrifying live waxwork version of yourself. There's also a front-facing LED for when the lights are low and fun things are happening, which, given the proximity to your face, takes a little getting used to.

So that's the Honor 7 camera experience — competent, capable, but not quite a match for the current flagships, or, we'd argue, the Honor 6 Plus's insane low-light capabilities. Everything about this phone needs to be considered in the context of its price, though, and with that in mind you're getting a pretty solid imaging setup for your money.

All that juice

Honor 7 Battery Life

By the numbers alone, a 3,100mAh battery should be able to provide more than enough juice for a phone like the Honor 7. The manufacturer claims heavy users will comfortable get more than a day (1.2 days, in fact) out of the phone's fixed battery, with lighter use getting you up to two days per charge.

One day with ease, or two at a squeeze.

And our experiences with the phone track pretty closely to that. Throughout more than a week of testing the Honor 7 never died on us before the day's end, even with extensive use on LTE, and with two SIMs inserted. On lighter days, which were mostly limited to Wifi usage indoors, we easily reached the evening with 50 percent or more remaining. In terms of screen-on time, we're looking at anywhere between 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on usage.

Honor 7

A word of warning on some of the battery charts displayed here: The firmware version we're using doesn't seem to display awake time and mobile network reception properly, so take both with a pinch of salt.

For all practical purposes, though, you'll simply won't need to worry about battery life if you're used to a regular nightly charging pattern. That's still not true of all high-end phones, so Huawei deserves credit where it's due.

As for charging, the Honor 7 supports quick charging — a welcome addition given the battery size — although Qualcomm's standard isn't specifically mentioned by the manufacturer. That said, Quick Charge 2.0 doesn't necessarily require a Qualcomm CPU, and as previously mentioned we've found the phone charges fast enough using a Motorola Turbo Charger.

Honor 7

A worthy contender?

Honor 7: The Bottom Line

The Honor 7's impressive array of hardware and highly competitive price point makes it worthy of your attention, and perhaps your money too. As usual, Huawei gets the hardware side of the equation right — the Honor 7 is a well-built, premium handset and a quick performer, camera capabilities that stand out in the mid-range space. EMUI, despite its flaws, adds genuinely useful capabilities, and has a coherent look throughout, even when themed.

The brand is different, but the hardware and software remains the same.

But we think it's time for an overhaul of Huawei's software experience. From the confusing notification and background app management system to the overbearing way in which EMUI takes over icons and status bar colors, there's plenty here to irritate Android purists. If that's you, that could be a reason not to buy.

Ultimately, as much as Honor is a distinct brand in its own right, its handsets' triumphs and foibles run in parallel with the parent company's. You're still getting a Huawei phone through-and-through, with all the benefits and annoyances that brings.

Should you buy the Honor 7? Maybe

We keep saying this over and over, and we'll have to do so again here: Huawei makes great hardware — really great hardware. But software continues to be a glaring weak point. For that reason we can't recommend the Honor 7 unreservedly, but it is worthy of your consideration if you're shopping around for a capable new mid-range handset. But the Honor 7 has tons of competition from countless rivals, and you'd be wise to take a look at the hardware-software balance from the likes of Alcatel, Motorola and ASUS before parting with your cash.

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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Soft keys are possessed...at times

    So sometimes, mostly in the car dock my soft keyes radomly go off, home button, menu button etc....and at times, I try to dimm the phone with the power button and 'click' screen shot....really annoying. It seems fine for 5 minutes in the dock and then all of a sudden radom soft keys start happening.
    I am on SC 2.9.2 with NitroDark and EC10 source - Voodoo(lagfix+sound)+BLN+UV+Misc tweaks - jt1134 Voodooo only. This anomoly has happened with most kernels and roms....just wondering if some one else has managed to fix this!?


    Ned
  2. #2  
    gunnermike53's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncarbon View Post
    So sometimes, mostly in the car dock my soft keyes radomly go off, home button, menu button etc....and at times, I try to dimm the phone with the power button and 'click' screen shot....really annoying. It seems fine for 5 minutes in the dock and then all of a sudden radom soft keys start happening.
    I am on SC 2.9.2 with NitroDark and EC10 source - Voodoo(lagfix+sound)+BLN+UV+Misc tweaks - jt1134 Voodooo only. This anomoly has happened with most kernels and roms....just wondering if some one else has managed to fix this!?


    Ned
    do you have bln control installed?
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Nope....

    No no installed
  4. #4  
    krunkan's Avatar

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    SC 2.9.1 nv

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnermike53 View Post
    do you have bln control installed?
    What is this? (bln is too small of a word to get picked up in thread search.)
  5. #5  
    Chris3D's Avatar

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    Back-light notifications. Basically, it'll blink or light the backlight for the soft-buttons when you get an e-mail or SMS
  6. #6  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ncarbon View Post
    So sometimes, mostly in the car dock my soft keyes radomly go off, home button, menu button etc....and at times, I try to dimm the phone with the power button and 'click' screen shot....really annoying. It seems fine for 5 minutes in the dock and then all of a sudden radom soft keys start happening.
    I am on SC 2.9.2 with NitroDark and EC10 source - Voodoo(lagfix+sound)+BLN+UV+Misc tweaks - jt1134 Voodooo only. This anomoly has happened with most kernels and roms....just wondering if some one else has managed to fix this!?


    Ned
    i had the same issue for about a month now. wiped and tried different roms, but still persisted. just got off the phone with verizon, was told its a hardware issue, replacement device is in the mail.
  7. #7  
    MolecularGraph's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by phooky View Post
    i had the same issue for about a month now. wiped and tried different roms, but still persisted. just got off the phone with verizon, was told its a hardware issue, replacement device is in the mail.
    So its something we have to get replaced or just deal with it?
    Kyocera Strobe> Motorola Razor> Motorola Q> Blackberry Curve> Droid X> Fascinate>iPhone 4>iPhone 4S>iPhone 5>Verizon LG G2 and LOVIN' it.
  8. #8  
    Sta11i0n's Avatar

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    Make sure the face of the phone is clean. I've had a few times a dirty fingerprint or grease had caused a soft button to stick.
  9. #9  

    Default

    I've seen all sorts of crazy "soft button pressing" depending on what Power Source I had plugged into the phone..

    out-of-the-box Samsung charger : no issues at my house.
    out-of-the-box Samsung charger : at my parents house, I've had phantom presses occur.

    cheap store-bought chargers : I've had these experience phantom presses at various locations, including my house.

    in short, I believe the soft key presses that I've seen are due to fluctuations in the power source when plugged into a charger.
    --- TripSixes
  10. #10  

    Default

    I have a third theory on top of hardware issue and charger issue....i believe its possible that static buildup can cause it, to test my theory I've laid my phone on an aluminum speed square I had laying around and as long as its touching that no phantom presses...i can't say for sure but its looking promising thus far. Maybe someone else try this test to check if its valid or just an odd coincidence.
  11. #11  

    Default

    I too have had the soft key button problem since I got the phone, it's been a minor issue to me, but since screen capture has been introduced it's become much more annoying to me as the back button seems to be the one that likes to magically press on it's own the most, so I tend to get a ton of screen captures every day when simply trying to put my phone to sleep with the power button. I agree that it's mostly a hardware problem, but also agree that other things can cause it especially oily finger prints and static as I've tested every theory I can think of over the months. My phone is still well under warranty, think I may just take it into the store I bought it and get a NEW replacement, not a refurbished one!
    ~FTG13
  12. #12  

    Default

    I agree
  13. #13  

    Default

    So THIS is what is causing so many problems!! I have had my Fascinate for about a month...

    A couple weeks ago I started experiencing random screen captures. I know this is a common problem.

    A week ago I first experienced a 'Safe Mode' boot. I had never seen this before. Then suddenly every other time I booted my phone it would boot into 'Safe Mode'.

    Now the last few days I am getting incessant soft key toggles. They start and stop at random.

    I hooked up to ADB last night and started looking at what was going on. That's when I realized that crazy loops of the following type of code were being executed over and over again:

    V/WindowManager( 2737): Dsptch to Window{4898f9e0 AtchDlg:com.ebproductions.android.launcher/com.ebproductions.android.launcher.Launcher paused=false}

    I guess this equivalent of a soft key press. Many times again and again.

    This must be the common denominator!! Random soft key presses of this sort would cause the random screen captures, screen not shutting off by itself, booting into Safe Mode, and so on.

    Now, WHAT IS THE FIX? Do I just get my phone replaced? I do have a Realook screen protector on, but I have read that taking the screen protector off does not necessarily fix anything.

    Advice please...
  14. #14  
    Landshark's Avatar

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    For the most part, the random soft key presses can be alleviated by keeping the screen nice and clean. I bought a small gray microfiber screen cleaning cloth from Office Max and carry it with me so I can periodically wipe my screen clean. I also bought one of the bigger blue screen cleaning cloths which I keep at home. It works better, but is not meant for carrying around with you.
    Shouldn't we treat this world like the Garden of Eden and avoid the apple at all costs?

    Sometimes you go to the circus...........Sometimes the circus comes to you.

    Instructions on how to flash ROMs, Kernels, Patches, and Mods through clockworkmod recovery, CWM: DroidXcon's CWM Thread

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  15. #15  
    bxojr's Avatar

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    For what it's worth, my experience tends to support the theory that this problem is caused by power fluctuations.

    I also get the possessed soft keys from time to time; it only happens when the phone is plugged in to my car adapter, and I can generally make it stop by just unplugging the adapter from the cigarette lighter for a few seconds.

    I think I'll try a different car adapter and see if that makes a difference (though it doesn't happen that often, so it might be hard to tell).
  16. #16  

    Default

    Mine does this as well. I'm rooted but have done nothing to it... It does the phantom presses both plugged in and not plugged in. It is usually in a silicone case...
  17. #17  

    Default

    Okay, I am getting these phantom soft key presses multiple times a day now. They are very frustrating. Sometimes I won't even realize that they are being pressed in the background unless you look at the LogCat.

    With regard to the theory that the phantom presses are caused by dirt or dust on the screen...

    Why then is the Back soft key being activated (causing errant screen captures), but never causing the screen to go Back (as when it is actually pressed). Or how come my phone never jumps to Home or does Search soft key function by itself?

    In favor of the dirt theory, even when the soft key area looks clean, I will rub vigorously to clean it and suddenly the phantom soft key presses go away for a few minutes... only to return again. So, I go around wiping my phone's face like an OCD freak every time I pull it out of my pocket. Ridiculous.

    What I really don't get is, if dirt is really activating the soft key buttons, then why does the result generated in LogCat look different??

    Pressing the Menu soft key on my Fascinate generates the following code in the LogCat:

    E/imdg81 ( 2738): IsShutDownStarted()

    I/KeyInputQueue( 2738): Input event

    V/WindowManager( 2738): Dsptch to Window{488fd800 com.ebproductions.android.launcher/com.ebproductions.android.launcher.Launcher paused=false}


    Now compare this to the code being automatically generated by 'possessed soft keys':

    V/WindowManager( 2737): Dsptch to Window{4898f9e0 AtchDlg:com.ebproductions.android.launcher/com.ebproductions.android.launcher.Launcher paused=false}


    Notice they're not the same? So shouldn't there be a way to fix this issue via software, seeing as the phantom soft key presses are NOT identical to actual soft key presses?
  18. #18  
    bxojr's Avatar

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    An update... I tried a different car charger today, and still had the weird issues. I still think it's power-related, because never happens unless the phone is plugged in, and only in the car; but it's not the charger.

    I also don't believe the dirt theory because the "possessed" behavior I get isn't limited to soft keys going crazy. The other problem I get is the on-screen keyboard appearing for no reason, even though there's no text being entered. It's even more annoying because it obscures the screen, and there's no easy way to dismiss it. Could be a SwiftKey beta issue, but it only happens under the same conditions as the soft-key glitch.
  19. #19  

    Default

    I had this problem before. Although I can't nail down the exact cause, my suspicion is either an aftermarket charger at work, or the very week signal at the same location. My theory is one or the other caused it to go into an over-power state. The reason I attribute it to this is the problem would start as soon as I sat at my desk. It seemed to get really bad when I started using the charger.

    The first few times it was just an annoyance. After a few weeks it got progressively worse. Finally it got to the point where it would do it at home and other locations as well, regardless of signal strength. The degradation occurred quickly.

    I called Verizon and was lucky enough to reach a helpful person. She quickly identified it as a "known" issue. A hard reset was recommended. I had already done this, so she approved a replacement.

    My new (recertified) phone was fine at work for a few weeks. I decided to risk trying the charger again. Within two days I had a few minor episodes of phantom button presses. Needless to say, I got rid of the charger. The problem went away, so I guess I caught it before causing irreversible damage. I've since bought a spare OEM samsung charger. I use it at work regularly. It's now been about 2 months with no problems.

    Bottom line is I can not guarantee the work charger alone was the cause. I also used aftermarket chargers at home and in the car with no apparent problem. But, these locations had decent signal strength as well. I was also doing ROM and Kernal changes throughout this time. But, my feeling is the aftermarket work charger combined with low signal quality to damage the old phone.

    So, you may want to replace the phone now before it gets worse and buy some spare samsung chargers.
  20. #20  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_G View Post
    I had this problem before. Although I can't nail down the exact cause, my suspicion is either an aftermarket charger at work, or the very week signal at the same location. My theory is one or the other caused it to go into an over-power state. The reason I attribute it to this is the problem would start as soon as I sat at my desk. It seemed to get really bad when I started using the charger.

    The first few times it was just an annoyance. After a few weeks it got progressively worse. Finally it got to the point where it would do it at home and other locations as well, regardless of signal strength. The degradation occurred quickly.

    I called Verizon and was lucky enough to reach a helpful person. She quickly identified it as a "known" issue. A hard reset was recommended. I had already done this, so she approved a replacement.

    My new (recertified) phone was fine at work for a few weeks. I decided to risk trying the charger again. Within two days I had a few minor episodes of phantom button presses. Needless to say, I got rid of the charger. The problem went away, so I guess I caught it before causing irreversible damage. I've since bought a spare OEM samsung charger. I use it at work regularly. It's now been about 2 months with no problems.

    Bottom line is I can not guarantee the work charger alone was the cause. I also used aftermarket chargers at home and in the car with no apparent problem. But, these locations had decent signal strength as well. I was also doing ROM and Kernal changes throughout this time. But, my feeling is the aftermarket work charger combined with low signal quality to damage the old phone.

    So, you may want to replace the phone now before it gets worse and buy some spare samsung chargers.
    This is the most insightful post I have seen yet regarding the issue. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    I wish I could say I have never used a non-OEM charger with my phone. But I have used this Zip-Linq Micro USB charger several times, either plugged into the Samsung OEM adapter or my laptop.

    I thought all Micro USB chargers were alike. But from your post and others posting regarding car chargers, etc, this does not seem to be the case.

    I plan to only use the OEM Samsung wall adapter and cable from here on. What you said about the phantom presses going away after discontinuing use of non-OEM charger on your 2nd Fascinate gives me hope that my phantom soft key presses could be reversed as well.
  21. #21  
    bxojr's Avatar

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    Hmm. Well, I only get the problem in my car, and my car charger is from Samsung, so I'm not sure the quality of the charger has anything to do with it.

    However, I *have* noticed that the problem usually starts happening at a certain point in my afternoon commute. I had been assuming that it was time-dependent, but maybe it's location. It could be that there is weak signal in the area I'm driving through at that time (in fact, I'm pretty sure that is the case).

    At any rate, though, I can reliably get the problem to go away by unplugging the charger. So it does sound like it's maybe an interaction between charging and low signal.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Soft keys are possessed...at times

    My theory is the combination of low signal quality with certain chargers causes the phone to increase power draw, slowly damaging the screen. Possibly creating a kind of static discharge effect even when it isn't touched. Perhaps similar to the affect described here:

    Strange touch screen feeling while AC charging (static charge or something else) - xda-developers

    In theory, this could cause the screen to degrade to the point it does it all the time. Not just when plugged in.

    Here's a thread about the original Motorola Droids having a similar problem:

    Rogue Droid - HUGE ISSUE!!!! - Droid Forum - Verizon Droid & the Motorola Droid Forum

    Apparently it was so prevelant they gave it the name "Rogue Droid Syndrome".

    I wonder if the charge is controlled through the Kernal. If so, perhaps it could be tweaked in some way? Just a thought.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Soft keys are possessed...at times

    Mine started flashing after the ED04. I also lost mms. I can send but I can not receive. My 3rd fascinate is in the mail.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Soft keys are possessed...at times

    UPDATE: It has now been 5 days with almost no instance of random soft key presses (maybe once). I have discontinued use of non-OEM charger and have only charged the Fascinate with the stock OEM Samsung wall charger that came with the phone.

    You all are great detectives. I think the power source theory is the most plausible at this point.

    The dirt theory has gone to the dirt... my phone has just as many fingerprints on it now as it did before, and yet the soft key presses have subsided.

    Hopefully will continue to avoid the soft key demon by using the OEM wall charger only!!
  25. #25  

    Default

    I think the low signal strength also has a lot to do with it, I never realized until the above poster mentioned it, but it happens exclusively at my parents house and at my work cubical. Those are the two places I get very low signals at. At my parents right now, and I can get it to stop and start phantom pressing by moving close to a window where I get ok service, and then moving to more the middle of the house where I dont. If I can get and hold one bar of 3g service its fine, but if its losing and finding that one bar, I can't do a thing because of phantom presses.
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