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Smartphone Issues -- Hardware and Software

I alluded to at least one of these issues in an earlier thread, but I think they are worth highlighting in a separate thread.

1> I wear my phone around my neck on a lanyard nearly all the time. It's usually in my hand so it doesn't bounce around. I take an average of 200 pictures a day, and I monitor Google's MyMaps to assure that I take different routes every day, so holding the phone is just natural for me. On my latest trip the phone (high-end Samsung bought in early 2021) was hanging down as I walked up the steps outside my Riga hotel. There was a tree beside the steps. It wasn't raining, but it had been a rainy day. Something (I am guessing resin-infused rain water) managed to drip right into the charge port, which was exposed in an upright position. As soon as I tried to recharge the phone, I got an error message, which never cleared up. I had to buy a wireless charger, which was not cheap at more than 50 euros and was awkward to use on the go, since I had to hold it in contact with the phone. It also seemed to be slow to recharge the phone. I managed in that mode for about two months, but it was extremely annoying.

I see that one can buy "dust plugs" to protect phone charge ports. I will be doing that soon. Others regularly using lanyards might want to do the same.

2> Even before the charging problem I was having occasional camera issues, which very gradually became a bit more frequent. I haven't seen reports on this forum of anything similar. I estimate I had taken 30,000 photos before the camera began to misbehave. I had three problems:

  • Occasionally I would take a photo, then just a few seconds later there would be a "camera failed" message. I was always able to take another photo right away without difficulty.

  • Occasionally when I woke up the phone/camera, or when I switched to or from one of the zoom lenses, part of the screen would show an orange rectangle rather than what I was pointing the phone at. The correct view always appeared within a very few seconds without action on my part.

  • As the trip continued (after 40,000+ photos) I noticed the camera was a bit slow as it switched lenses. I take a lot of architectural photos, so I switch between the standard lens, the 3x and the 10x extremely often.

The above problems suggested to me (not a techie) that the camera was gradually failing from heavy use. If not for the charging issue, I would have held off on buying a new phone, continuing to use the old one for a while, but I wouldn't have risked starting another multi-month trip with the camera acting the way it was.

Software set-up issue on new phone:

I just completed the set-up of my new phone. Supposedly everything transferred over. Since I have a cheap Google Fi phone plan and pay for data, I checked to be sure most of the apps were set to use Wi-Fi only. All of those settings had failed to transfer over; all apps were set to "Mobile data or Wi-Fi", so I had to update each app individually. Annoying, but not a big deal once I realized I needed to do it. If you want to minimize your data usage, this is one way to do it on an Android phone:

Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Allowed networks for apps

You'll have change each app individually.

Posted by
8872 posts

You have described exactly why I have and love my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Have 40,703 photos, 1,268 videos. Nary an issue.

Posted by
719 posts

I see that one can buy "dust plugs" to protect phone charge ports. I will be doing that soon. Others regularly using lanyards might want to do the same.

I'm a big fan of Otter Box Defender Cases, which includes a chatging port plug. When I was hit by a car last year and busted up pretty good my phone survived without a scratch.

Posted by
22 posts

My phone is a Samsung like yours, but it's an older 2019 model and not a high-end device. While I love the built-in Samsung camera, I tend to use the GCam mod app more often since I find it takes better photos. I only resort to the Samsung camera for selfies. Have you considered installing another camera app to see if the issues you encountered has something to do with software?

When it comes to transferring data between phones, I find using a high-speed Wi-Fi connection to be the best option. As an alternative, you could also purchase a special cable designed specifically for fast data transfer. For charging my phone, I'm currently using my second wireless charger, since the first one wasn't fast enough. To help with moisture issues, I keep my phone inside a small plastic container with some silica gel packets.

Posted by
27417 posts

I'm a lazy photographer. Normally I'm the only one who sees my photos, so I've never tried to do anything other than point, zoom (sometimes) and shoot. I think the delays I encountered on the lens switching are highly likely to have been hardware; I had taken between 75,000 and 100,000 photos, I think, and I used the zoom a lot.

The wireless charger I bought in Europe (on a Sunday when I didn't seem to have any other option) seemed quite slow; I hope never to have to use it again. It was much, much slower than the original charger that came with that phone, which was not a high-speed charger. I don't know whether I got a lemon of a wireless charger, but it got me through the last two months of my trip (albeit awkwardly), so I can't be too upset about it. It was my own fault for not thinking about what could get into the charging port when the phone was hanging on a lanyard around my neck with no charging cable plugged in.

Posted by
15688 posts

When I got my new phone earlier this year, I picked up an inexpensive cover from Amazon. (Dahkoiz brand). My last phone had one of the same brand.

It came with an attached dust cover. It has also accidentally been dropped a couple of times and no damage.

I'm sure you tried this but.....when you are having problems, have you turned the phone on and off to see if they clear up?

Posted by
27417 posts

Oh, yes. I'm a big fan of rebooting. It's about the first thing I think of.