Phone going back
Well, I just got off the phone with Verizon tech support and every issue I had was answered with one of the following 3 answers:
-Search the Android Market for an app to rectify that (task killer to stop Verizon bloatware, 3rd party launcher to be able to use Google widget, 3rd party web browser to be able to use Google with the search button, etc.)
-Nope, you're not allowed to change that.
-You have 30 days to return the phone if you're not happy.
Fine, the phone is going back then. I refuse to jump through all kinds of hoops and replace major system components to circumvent Verizon's business deals with Microsoft. If I wanted a Microsoft phone, I would have bought one. I didn't.
On a hardware level, the phone was mostly excellent. The screen and speed was great, but the sound quality was marginal (sidetone too loud and slight crackling/buzzing/distortion through the earpiece), the antennae/reception was weak overall, GPS was hit or miss and the battery life was marginal at best. Even with minimal use, it was down to 65% within 2 to 3 hours.
The tech support rep kept saying "That could be addressed in the upcoming 2.2 upgrade", but indicated that if it didn't, and if the upgrade came after my 30 day window, that I would be stuck. Considering the upgrade almost certainly won't come before my 30 days ends, I'm not willing to take the chance of being stuck for 2 years with a phone that Verizon had to screw up with all their crap/bloat/nag-ware.
I'll keep an eye out for what the 2.2 upgrade does and/or doesn't fix and then make a decision. It's really a shame, because Verizon had/s a winner on their hands, if only they weren't fixated on nickle and dimming their customers at every turn.
- 09-27-2010, 01:35 PM #2
Just out of curiosity, are you against Microsoft in general, or did you just want a phone with the Google experience? Myself, like you and the majority of others, were angry about VW putting Bing on there. But I must say that after having the phone for a couple weeks, I don't even notice. I just set my browser home page to Google.com. Even when I had the D1, I never used the Google search widget, I just opened my browser like I do on my PC.
The GPS thing is the major hurdle I need to get over (even more than the lack of a message indicator), but I'm sure it will be fixed in an update soon.
What are you swapping it for, the DX?
- 09-27-2010, 01:51 PM #3
- 09-27-2010, 02:03 PM #4
- 09-27-2010, 02:12 PM #5
Not against Microsoft really, I'm a PC guy and really like Windows 7. But I AM against Verizon making a deal with Microsoft to force me to use a Microsoft service on a non-Microsoft device running a non-Microsoft OS. Clearly, Verizon was paid by Microsoft to have Bing hard-coded into the Fascinate.
I know I can get around that with a 3rd party launcher ($$), but then I loose the ability to use certain components of TouchWiz (widgets) and have to turn to the Android Market for 3rd party ones (also $$).
Since Verizon is clearly suplimenting their income by pimping Microsoft products/services, they should give users a discount. Not only don't they, but they try to nickle and dime their customers with things like CityID, Visual Voicemail and VZ-branded apps like Navigator.
Overall, the experience was just degraded by having to replace so much to get around Verizon's business deals, none of which benefit the end user.
I activated my wife's old Razor and will use my old iPhone 3G on wireless networks for data/skype, the GPS still functions just fine. I don't like the Droid X, too big and ugly. If enough bugs/limitations are fixed in 2.2 on the Fascinate, I'll consider getting another, just didn't want to get stuck with such a lousy experience for 2 years if the update doesn't resolve everything.
- 09-27-2010, 02:21 PM #7
1) Sidetone - Annoying but livable. I also hope they fix this or the community figures out how to lower it.
2) GPS - Randomly slow but I agree it is a problem that needs to be fixed.
3) Bing - Rooting took care of most of this BUT I think the stock browser is the fastest and nicest and searches are all through a lame mobile Bing page. I tried all the other browsers and I almost settled on Dolphin HD but the last version is pretty slow.
4) Battery Life - It is low but I've yet to run out of life in a day of normal use. If I was traveling I can imagine needing a backup battery but that's almost to be expected.
I've played with the Droid X at the Verizon store and while I'm sure the GPS is better, the screen seemed much duller and the whole phone lagged badly. Probably just a beaten display unit but that was my experience.
- 09-27-2010, 02:25 PM #8
Every single android device has roms built for it by some 3rd party developer.
Thats one of the major Android tenets. None of us like what the carriers do to the phones with installing bloatware and unneeded functionality.
Even my friend who has an epic, no bi8ng, has rooted and removed all the bloatware.
If you understood Android then you'd know replacing the manufactured delivered roms are just a price to play. Most everyone hates what the carriers have done to their device. Thats the beauty of Android though. You can painlessly make the phone exactly how you like it by customizing it.
Why are you scared to change your phone's behavior?
I also have a problem with the storage on the phone being used up by a dozen apps/demos/trials that I have absolutely no interest in, no use for and which all try to get me to spend money, and not being able to remove said apps without voiding the warranty and giving up OTA updates.
These are in addition to the few hardware problems of the phone - weak antenae/signal, short battery life and poor earpiece sound quality.
None of my problems were with the Android OS itself, but that the Android experience was so molested by Verizon.
- 09-27-2010, 02:31 PM #10
- 09-27-2010, 02:32 PM #11
like I said us veterans have managed to find a way to make the phone ours. We removed traces of Bing and have joyfully enjoyed our Google experience using these phones.
We are willing to take the risk of rooting the phone. In fact rooting and romming the phone is one of the main reasons I chose this over the x. Also because of its superior hardware as well.
If you don't want to root or customize your phone then just wait till windows 7 comes out or even get an iphone.
You buy an Android for the freedom it allows you to do. Even if this phone came without Bing presintalled I would still use launcher pro. I would still also wait till CM6 was released and install on my phone as well.
I haven't spent $1 turning the phone into the way I like it. launcher pro = free. root = free. wifi tether = free.
And for pete's sake, demo's that immediately ask for money shouldn't be pre-installed and uninstallable. If something is going to ask for money, let it be uninstalled if the user wished. If it's going to be uninstallable, make it a full-working product.
On the hardware side, I found the buzzy earpiece and sidetone very distracting, the antennae very weak and the GPS unreliable. I'm just not willing to risk having to live with these issues for 2 years if they're not fixed in a hardware or software revision.
If they are fixed/addressed, I'll pick up another, root it and configure it to my liking. So, it's the combination of hardware issues and carrier introduced bugs/limitations/restrictions that prompted me to return the phone, not Android itself. If the hardware is fixed/addressed, I know I can ultimately fix the software, even if it requires hacking.
If the 2.2 upgrade de-Bings the phone and addresses the hardware issues through configuration and/or optimization tweaks (battery life, reception, GPS, sidetone), I'll happily buy another. Just too expensive to be potentially stuck with such issues and locked in with a 2 year contract with big ETFs.
- 09-27-2010, 02:53 PM #15
wow, would it kill you to spend $3 on a worthwhile app.
let me guess you shouldn't have to do that.
I'm not here to convince you this phone is for you. You already appear to be reluctant to do anything. I shouldn't have to convince you this phone is awesome. I shouldn't have to tell you that spending $3 on a widely used app is not that much money.
FYI..I'm done here. If you don't like the phone return it.
You don't work for Verizon's tec support, by any chance, because that's exactly what the rep made a point of repeatedly telling me. I woke up this morning determined to live with the phone and make the best of it, but after basically being told "Verizon can't be bothered with you, return the phone if you don't like it", it made up my mind to do exactly that.
- 09-27-2010, 03:01 PM #17
- 09-27-2010, 03:14 PM #18
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I totally understand what you are saying but at the same time, this is not really that much different than all the preloaded crap you would get when buying a new computer from Dell or HP. Remember there was a time when it was a pain to remove IE as the default browser..
You will be hard pressed to find anyone who likes the fact that Verizon made a deal with the devil but it is what it is but there are ways around it. Which are not that difficult to bypass. This is my first android/smart phone so trust me I am no pro so if I can do it I am sure you can if you want to.
Let's face it, the companies don't make money on the phone its the month - month services, etc. Which I don't like but understand they have to make money.
It's a great phone and every phone has its draw backs but hopefully you stick with this one. Honestly its the best phone I have ever had. Hell its faster than a lot of my old computers and of course my beloved commodore 64..
- 09-27-2010, 03:29 PM #19
Overall, I really liked Android. Maybe I'll put it back on my iPhone now!
- 09-27-2010, 03:47 PM #21
- 09-27-2010, 04:22 PM #22
- 09-27-2010, 05:18 PM #23
I doubt it'll bother the rep that much either. I don't know what their commission structure is, but I'm guessing the percentage returning due to Bing is fairly small. I'm sure the rep doesn't mind losing one here or there.
If I'm not mistaken, stores get a charge back when someone does an upgrade and ditch where they upgrade to a smartphone, sell it and add a non-smartphone to the line dropping the data package. That's been going on forever and there haven't been any corporate policy changes made to get rid of that yet.
- 09-27-2010, 06:26 PM #24
There is no way I can go back to the Storm 1 after this. Even though the storm 1 did things better, and out of the box, I have faith the community will be as motivated and focused as the blackberry folks.
I left so much on the table that Verizon was makin money from me in terms of the data plan, and the storm 1 could barely access anything. Now the data plan actually means something and I can do things.
I listed a bunch of oversights and problems with this phone, and I agree there is a LOT left to be fixed... but in my opinion 2.2 has been amazing for the other phones and I think the galaxy S will have a very robust aftermarket/expert community since it's released on 3 carriers.
so, I'm sticking with mine. I'm used to full OS replacements and picking out bloatware, so it doesn't bother me THAT much... but still, I do agree this brand new phone has a lot of software issues and oversights.
- 09-28-2010, 12:26 AM #25