A few weeks ago, I traded in my old Note 2 for a new one due to issues with the micro SD card and not receiving phone calls. Kinda hard to have a phone that doesn’t function as a phone. It’s been right about three weeks since I traded in the other phone and everything seems to be going fine. I haven’t had any issues with the memory card and all of my phone calls appear to come through (both incoming and outgoing).
The wifi calling issues still come up. Periodically the phone disconnects from wifi calling with an invalid certificate error. Reconnecting wifi calling corrects this issue most of the time. It’s annoying. I’ve told my friends to leave me a message and I’ll call them back. When wifi calling doesn’t work, I don’t get a notice that I’ve missed a call. Leaving a message is the only reliable way to make sure I call back.
I’ve been very pleased with the camera’s responsiveness and image quality. While the larger phone size makes it harder to keep the phone still (low light pictures are prone to blurriness), I’ve still been able to compensate by taking multiple images. The G2 was so slow to focus and write an image after it was taken. The Notes’ camera is responsive and snappy. The video quality has also been very good. Now I just have to post some of the images I’ve taken.
Overall, I’m very glad that I have the Note 2 and not the Galaxy S III (which is also a nice phone). I can type on both of the screens, but the features in the Note 2 fit better with what I want to do. I’m slowly learning more about the feature set. The S Pen is something I still play with. I’ve used it for drawing and editing some images. I’ve also used it for note taking, although I can type faster than the S Pen keeps up (with worse accuracy though). I have a feeling the S Pen and it’s associated applications are something you have to figure out how (and if) they fit into how each person uses the device. There are a lot of capabilities I like theoretically but haven’t put into practice yet. Those items will end up in other blog posts.
I was dressed for the gym and went to load Zombies Run. The playlist option was missing half of the play lists. WinAmp showed only two locally saved playlists and no music. A few days ago, the phone was randomly mounting and unmounting the microSD card. The vibration notice going off on Friday morning was enough to unmount the SD card.
Tonight, the storage menu showed that there wasn’t an SD card mounted. Pressing Mount under the Storage settings didn’t do anything, removing the card and reinserting didn’t do anything. Rebooting the phone numerous times had no effect. Instead of going to the gym (no music, no zombies!), I went to Target to look for an SD card.
I purchased an inexpensive USB microSD card reader and a replacement 32 GB class 10 microSD card (just in case mine was hosed). Luckily my old card was readable by the USB reader. I backed off all of the data and then reinserted the card into the phone and voila! the storage menu mounted the card. The important thing is that I got the my photos and data off of the card.
I’ll return the new card tomorrow since my old card appears to be working fine.
So, during the day, the phone repeated the same issues I’d had earlier with wifi calling. Even after doing a hard reset, I didn’t get any calls. I tested the wifi calling during work today by attempting to send text messages. None of the text messages went through. I tried calling my desktop phone at different times. I tried calling myself once an hour or more during the day from my work phone and using Skype. I think only one of the calls came through. I could call out on my phone easier than I could receive a call. It was very inconsistent. The phone had to be monitored and reset frequently to keep wifi calling active (with a blue icon).
Tonight after work, I asked several friends to call me to see if their calls would come through. Phone calls from friends on Verizon and AT&T phones went to voicemail without ringing. Calls from my mom on Sprint came through. These calls were placed when I was using the cellular network and not wifi calling. (Other people on Samsung phones have reported similar problems on the T-Mo support forums.)
This was unacceptable. You can’t use a phone that doesn’t function as a phone. So. I reset the phone again so my data was wiped from it and returned the phone to the T-Mobile store.
The guy who helped me was the same guy who had sold me the original model. He’s a geeky sort, very nice, and enthused to find someone else who is excited about technology (and who asks intelligent questions). I told him about the problems I had on the phone and that tech support had already authorized the phone replacement (especially since I am still within the two week buyer’s remorse period where I can return the phone no questions asked). He remembered me as the lady with the blog. I told him I had documented the problems on my Note 2 and would be posting it on my blog here.
He replaced the Note 2 with a new model and replaced the sim card just in case there was a problem with it. He also put in a service check for the towers in my area. He was very nice and said that he would have happily replaced the phone up to a month after I’d purchased it. Great guy.
So. I have a spiffy new phone that seems to be working properly and has been reloaded with the call logs from my old phone. The strange thing is that the call log shows all of the missed calls that went directly to voicemail.
I went to the T-Mobile store tonight to ask for some any support options on the Note 2. The staff at the story didn’t have a wifi network to use to test the phone, so they let me use the store phone to call T-Mo tech support. When you call tech support for a cell phone, you aren’t supposed to call using the phone you need to troubleshoot. Since I only have my cell phone, using the store’s phone was a convenient option.
First tier tech support didn’t offer much help. Her suggestions of rebooting the phone, turning off and on wifi, and reconnecting to the calling network were things I had already tried. She passed me along to second level support. This T-Mo tech support guy said to try changing the phone’s calling preferences under Advanced in Wifi Calling Settings > Set Connection Preference options to Wifi Only (which disables the cellular calling — and means you have to manually revert back to cellular network when leaving wifi coverage). Otherwise, I could perform a hardware reset on the phone to restore it to factory defaults. Once I did that, I’d need to see if the problems persist.
If the phone keeps misbehaving, then I’ll return it for a new one of the same model on Friday.
Searching for articles on problems with using T-Mobile’s wifi calling on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 returns multiple results, including an enlightening good discussion on the XDA forum. The phone doesn’t keep a consistent connection to the wifi calling service. I get an ERR Connection Refused, invalid certificate, and other errors. Some times the phone has trouble staying on the wifi network even though the phone is sitting on my desk. This issue started two days ago.
Wifi calling problems come up periodically. There were some days when it never seemed to work properly on my G2 either. I’d get connection errors, invalid certificate errors, and times when the phone just couldn’t seem to connect to the wifi calling services. Rebooting would usually correct those issues. The G2 also suffered from the same wifi signal fluctuation: I could watch the wifi calling ready mode blue icon turn red while the phone sat on my desk.
It’s hard to trouble shoot the problem right now because the wifi network in my building is being revamped. All of the routers are being replaced and the placement density of the routers is being increased. I’ve watched the signal strength rotate in intensity with the Note 2 simply sitting on my desk. I’ve connected to two different networks (one open and one secured) and had the same issue with signal strength fading in and out. The weird thing about this problem is that it’s inconsistent. Sometimes the calling works fine. Other times, I’ve had the phone say “wifi calling ready” and tried sending a text message or calling out using my phone (or calling it) and the calls have not connected. Other times it works immediately. I can’t find any consistent factors between it.
I also tried turning off the wifi signal power saver mode that is activated on the phone by default. I did that last night and watched the phone this morning. The signal strength really got messed up after I did that. I rebooted the phone and it seems to be behaving. Go figure. I don’t understand.
When I read on the T-Mobile support forums about the dropped wifi calls, several posts said that T-Mobile has been aware of the issue on the Galaxy S3 since August and is supposed to be working on a fix (we’ll see if that happens). I should probably see if the Note 2 uses the same chipset for wifi as the S3. That would explain a lot.
T-Mo and AT&T are supposed to be releasing a OTA update for the Note 2 that will enable multitasking and multi-window use on the device “sometime soon”. Verizon has already released the update. Hopefully T-Mo’s update will include a fix for the wifi calling bug.
I have two weeks from the day I purchased the phone to return it if I choose to. This Friday is the last day I can return the Note 2 on the buyer’s remorse program. If the wifi calling issue keeps up, I’ll probably ask for a Note 2 replacement instead of going with a different phone model. The only two phones I could easily type on are the S3 or the Note 2.
I was bad. Couldn’t resist the precious. Told one of my friends at work about the Note 2. We’ve both been talking about replacing our trusty Android phones. It’s funny how all you have to do is mention quad-core, lots of usable RAM for applications, and 64 GB microSD support, and suddenly someone is keenly interested in the phone. 🙂
We both went to the T-Mobile store after work and are now the happy owners of Samsung Galaxy Note 2s. We sat over dinner and played with our new shinies. Oh my, this phone is spiffy!
And I could not resist. I have had a T-Mobile G2 for almost two years now. It’s been a solid little phone with a good keyboard and Android 2.3. For the past few months, I’ve been getting notices from T-Mobile that I’m eligible for a phone upgrade. Nothing has really interested me, except for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Note 2. They are both lovely devices on paper but neither one has a physical keyboard. (There is nothing more frustrating tome than trying to type on an iPhone screen.)
The Note 2 is affectionately called a “Phablet,” a strange lovechild of a phone and a tablet. The screen on this phone is 5.5″. It’s quite the monster and dwarves most of my other friend’s phones. The G2 with the heavy-duty case I use is like a small brick. I’ve been intrigued by the size (either love it or hate it, according to reviews) and also that the phone has a styles (S pen) that uses technologies developed by Wacon. Very very interesting. But would the phone be too big or feel awkward? Could I stand typing on the screen?
One of my friends from work and I went to the T-Mobile store during lunch to check out the S3 and Note 2. I was very impressed with the device. It felt so light. The G2 seemed a brick. The Note 2 did fit in my back pocket and was incredibly responsive. So fast (quad cores will do that). Really lovely device.
T-Mobile is having a sale on the Samsung phones this weekend. Oh my. I shall be so very tempted.