3G fails, ESN swaps and other placebos
I think I can confirm that the ESN swap is just another placebo effect fix. I did the ESN swap last week after having horrendous 3G data connection stability problems in areas with gangbusters signal levels and I thought it made a difference, but I don't really think so anymore. I took it on a trip to NYC over the weekend, thinking I could count on it as my connection to the 'Net for the trip. I came away from the experience utterly frustrated with unreliable data connections both locally on the phone and when connected with the laptop via the 3G Wireless Hotspot.
What I am seeing suggests that the phone will kick in a 3G data connection on demand when it is needed by an application or by the 3G Wireless Hotspot. This appears to be some sort of internal function to conserve battery life. However, the 3G connection does not remain established and sometimes is very difficult to re-establish after it has been in use for a period of more than a few minutes, especially when using the 3G Wireless Hotspot.
In fact, the 3G Wireless Hotspot (which I pay for) has never really worked right on this phone under any ROM, stock or otherwise, and now I am able to see that there is a real pattern with how it fails. When the Hotspot is first activated, it is a thing of beauty - broadband WiFi data anywhere! Sweet! But, after a few minutes, the "fun" begins, and it's nearly impossible to maintain a decent tethering session after the first few minutes. The same is true for the third party Wireless Tether app and indeed for internal applications on this phone.
I'm beginning to realize and accept for the first time that this is the way this phone has always operated from Day One last September when I first bought it. It works well enough in the short term to fool me into thinking that it is working the way it is supposed to, but for longer sessions, tethered or local, it fails and has failed like this with every single stock or third party ROM I've used, except for stock ED01 or ED03 which I have not tried yet.
3G hotspot mode has always sucked, but sucked in such a way that there was always a question as to whether it could be something else, such as coverage, congestion, or a configuration issue with my own equipment. But now I can see that it is the phone. Prior to the Fascinate, I used USB tethering on a BB Storm 2 and had excellent, rock solid, long term connections all the time, even in marginal signal conditions. I have friends with Verizon 3G USB dongles today and they get rock solid, stable connections all day long if they want them, as I sit next to them and watch the Fascinate struggle with the little "3G" icon winking on and off at me and "Page not found, you are not connected to the Internet" showing up on my screen.
This phone is full of Fail. It is a FailPhone. And, I can't believe I let it happen to me again. I thought the Storm 2 was the ultimate FailPhone, but I was wrong. I can't believe that a phone so small and so pretty could hold so much Fail inside. At least the Storm 2 could establish and maintain a rock solid 3G USB tethering connection for hours without fail.
I need a phone that I can rely on. It is important for the way that I work and the work that I do. The Samsung Fascinate is not cutting it. I'm sick of trying to use a phone that acts like it is on life support when I need it to work most. I am also sick of the Software Quality Crapshoot that we have to endure these days when buying smartphones. I got burned on this with the Storm2, and now I've been burned again with the Fascinate. I need a phone that works right, all the time. I am tired of spending hours with upgrades, ROMs, TiBu and Nandroid backups, all the while hoping for a final configuration that works right all the time without fail, getting that nice placebo high every time I try something new, only to find out that the real problems are still there. I'm tired of the Fail.
My hat is tipped to all the developers and testers who have tried to make the Fascinate better with custom ROMs, and indeed, these ROMs have resulted in vast improvements by getting rid of Bing and bloat and restoring core Google Android UI functionalities. I have bought beers. But, when it comes to core reliability and connectivity, there are obviously still issues that exist. Perhaps one day the problems will be identified and fixed by Samsung, Verizon or developers.
Sorry for the rant but it's time to come out and say it - this phone blows.
- 05-18-2011, 06:51 PM #2
- 05-18-2011, 06:57 PM #3
I know how you feel. I did the ESN swap and even got a replacement phone. So I thought everything was fine until I went on a short 3 hours trip to find out the 3G is still so unstable.
it would keep dropping to 1x in many of the places where my old Incredible would able to pull 3G.
I love this phone, but as i use 3G so much, its annoying to always get that problem, even inside the city.
So im wondering what my options are? I want to switch phone, but my contract isn't up until december.
I'm wiping everything and going to stock, whereupon I will test and see how things work. If I can't get 3G and tethered data to function as reliably as you have described with a fresh stock ROM install, I'll take the phone back and exchange it for another one. It is quite possible that there may be a systemic issue with the 3G (1.9 GHz) radio in some Fascinates. There certainly seems to be a lot of people with this problem.
If a replacement phone doesn't help, I'm moving on.
- 05-19-2011, 12:06 AM #5
- 921 Posts
Verizon has been having data troubles in a lot of areas for a few weeks now. Mine never has trouble with data. Stock, rooted, whatev. It just plain works. *shrug* not everyone seems to be having data issues. I giggled at my bosses expense yesterday with his X having the issues everyone says are the fascinate. I think verizon has done a little TOO MUCH work on their network with the 4G overhaul.Anything you can do iCandobetter
If you're having kernel problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a glitch ain't one!
Don't be afraid to click the thanks button at the bottom of a post. It tells AC to put some skittles down the chute in our cage :-)
S.E. W810i (ret) S.E. W850i (ret) S.E. w902 (ret) S.E. satio (r.i.p. software support) , samsung fascinate (ret), droid 3 (backup), droid razr(returned), gnex mike's Π
Well, no joy with the revert to stock. It's just as bad. It really appears as if the phone is controlling whether the cellular data connection is active or not, and doing a very crappy job of it most of the time.
I can never remember a time when 3G truly worked properly on this phone.
I might try reactivating the old Storm 2 for a few days to see if it too has 3G problems (suggesting a network issue with VZW) or if its 3G works OK. Although many things about that phone were awful, it always seemed to have good RF performance and reliable network connectivity.
Thanks for the comments. I have done some searching and found others with the same problem, and have found plenty of posts from folks who say it's always worked fine for them.
- 05-19-2011, 12:46 AM #7
I'm actually experiencing a 3g outage right now, called verizon and they said their server is down in my area... The way they said it though, didn't sound very confident. This is the first time I've had a problem tho, just thought I'd share. Anyone else happen to have this happening right now.. It just started for me like 20 minutes ago.~FTG13
- 05-19-2011, 07:45 AM #8
Just a quick update. I've been studying this issue closely since doing the revert to stock last night and I really don't think it's a network issue. The presence of the 3G icon seems to be influenced by the state the phone is in. The phone seems to be activating and deactivating the 3G data connection on the fly as needed, perhaps in an attempt to conserve battery power. There are times when the 3G icon appears as soon as the browser or another app that uses broadband data becomes active, then, after a timeout period of no data flowing, it "sleeps" the 3G connection.
At times, the 3G connection sleeps and does not come back on right away when it is needed. This is most noticeable during browsing sessions and tethering sessions.
This really looks more and more like a software or configuration issue in the phone the more I study it. I know that others are affected, but it also seems that there are plenty of people who are not affected by this issue. My phone has been affected by this since Day 1, and being the eternal optimist, I've always hoped that some Verizon or developer update would correct what seems to be a big bug, yet this has not happened, and today I see posts from folks who exchanged their phones and no longer experienced the problem afterwards.
For what it's worth, technically I am not 100% stock yet. I did go to ED01, but did so using the Odin update here, which installs a debloated version of ED01 and does not update the baseband firmware. So, I'm running mostly ED01, but still have the EC01 baseband. Later today I will revert to the DI01 stock ROM and get the OTA ED01 (or 03 now?) update so I will have matched versions across the board. If that doesn't fix it, I will then try to exchange the phone under warranty, but I am leery about getting a refurbished unit that may improve nothing and perhaps might make things worse.
I could also sell the Fascinate and the BB Storm 2 which I still have to fund an out of cycle upgrade to a new phone.
I really just need to get this fixed. I need a phone that works. I don't need a 24/7/365 science project.
- 05-19-2011, 11:33 AM #10
Interesting. I don't have anything to add other than the fact that (as you know) these phones are actually (among other things) miniature radios, and performance of a given model from phone to phone can be fairly inconsistent for various reasons. When you add what seems to be somewhat inconsistent network operation, you can develop a significant headache (or worse, which sounds like where you are).
We are currently using 4 Fascinates and a Droid X in our house. The Fascinates show pretty noticeable variations in 3G and GPS performance compared to each other and to the DX.
I restored to DI01 and stepped through two OTA updates to get to ED03 across the board, and the problem was still very present. Went to the VZW store and explained the problem, and they placed an order for a warranty replacement that should be at the house sometime next week. I'll report back with the results.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed - if this fixes the 3G reliability issue I'll be very happy.
- 05-19-2011, 08:47 PM #12
Went on a small road trip today and used the 3G and the GPS pretty extensively.
Starting out the GPS thought I was about 40 miles away, but it could have been user error, and a quick close and reopen of the app got me an immediate lock on my correct position.
Had 2 cutouts on the 3G and they lasted maybe 2 minutes each. One was really annoying, but other than that, had it the whole way.
I honestly think that these were the only 2 times I had issues...
- 05-21-2011, 10:33 AM #13
- 1 Posts
- CommRom 1.2
It sounds to me as if the problems you are having are not the same everyone else is having. I was having the 3g issue as well. Started for me last Saturday. On Wednesday I tried the ESN swap, and immediately it was fixed. My issues were not that 3g was bumping down to 1x, but it was disconnecting all together. After maybe two minutes (at most) of connectivity it would disappear. I could go into the settings and under phone status see that it was trying to connect to a wireless network. It seems like it would take it longer to reconnect than stay connected. I also ran a speedtest and I was getting 132 kbps down and 247 kbps up. After doing the swap, my connection has never dropped. I checked my speeds and I was getting back to just over 1000 kbps. I have noticed it going to 1x sometimes, but haven't really paid attention as long as I still have a connection. In fact, I almost want to say that I did a speedtest while it was 1x and I got over 1000 kbps, which was bizarre. My memory is kind of hazy on that, I just remember being excited I had a connection again. I will try to pay more attention to that.
What was happening to me before would barely allow me to load a page of the forums, then by the time I was done reading the page and wanted to move on, the connection would be gone and would be unable to load the second page. I had this issue right up to the ESN swap, and haven't had it in the last three days.
Now, I have never had any issues like that before with this phone. I've also never tried to tether the phone. And I've stayed within the same 30 mile radius. These are all three things we don't have in common. I'm going on a road-trip next week, so I will keep my eye on the phone to see if I notice any changes and let you know. Sorry to hear you got unlucky and got a crappy phone, but being on the CommRom I'm loving my Fascinate.
Last edited by Ellesar; 05-21-2011 at 01:05 PM.
VZW sent me a new phone last Friday, and I am very pleased to report that the new phone is a night and day difference from the original. As it turns out, my 3G was dropping but my 1X was also unreliable, so instead of falling back to at least a 1XRTT connection in areas with marginal 3G coverage, there would be no data connection at all.
- 05-23-2011, 09:52 AM #15
- 05-23-2011, 01:55 PM #16Shouldn'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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- 05-23-2011, 02:09 PM #17עם ישראל חי
- 05-23-2011, 07:31 PM #18
FWIW... I was on ComRom 1.3 for a couple weeks running perfectly.... was my dream phone.... liking it more and more everyday then out of the blue on Thursday night or Friday last week I started having data connectivity issues which cause my battery to drain in a days time.
Tried flashing to DJ09 and OTA update to the latest and then reflashing ComRom 1.3 and still having the data issues. I'm positive its not the phone..... its something going on with verizons network unless they somehow reprogrammed everyones phone without their knowledge.
- 05-24-2011, 10:18 AM #21
Mine has also got bad again, Verizon sending me a replacement. In the meantime have went through the returning to stock process for now to return, even have the ED03 update (whatever good that is).
Here is my question, just for kicks after returning to stock I did the ESN swap again, this time instead of switching back a few minutes later I activated the other phone (blackberry) waited a few more minutes then swapped back to the Fascinate. So far it is running flawless on the ED03, 3G locks faster than ever and holds. Last time didn't turn on the temp phone at all could this be why the first ESN swap didn't take ?Steve
- 05-24-2011, 10:34 AM #22
I swapped my ESN this morning to my old BB storm. Made a couple calls and used the data for about an hour. I've been back on my fascinate for over an hour and haven't dropped 3g once yet. Hope this continues. I just left ComRom on my device when I did the swap.
Crossing my fingers now.......
- 05-24-2011, 10:37 AM #23
- 05-26-2011, 12:00 PM #24
- 05-26-2011, 12:45 PM #25
- 611 Posts
- Humble 1.42/PBJ-OTB
This is going to sound really dumb.... bit here goes..
1) How can you tell if your 3G is cutting out? From the icon in the status bar or just not being able to use data?
2) What is this ESN swap everyone is doing? Is there a thread or post that explains it?
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