Upgrading my Smartphone

June 1, 2012

Sprint is releasing the HTC EVO LTE Smartphone tomorrow (Saturday, June 2nd), so I’ve decided that I will be upgrading to that phone. Since I’m only about 9 months into my 2 year contract with Sprint, I couldn’t take advantage of the “Upgrade” heavily subsided price. So to make my new purchase as affordable as possible, I did a “Upgrade Buyout” which means I pay a certain amount of money (based on the remaining number of days on my contract) to move my upgrade date forward to today. This fee is normally $5 less than the Early Termination Fee (which in my case is $150-$5=$145). So my upgrade cost would total to $145+$199=$344, which is much better than the $550 list price. To do this upgrade, I dialed *2 on my phone and selected the menu item for canceling my line. I then explained I wanted to do the early upgrade buyout and after the Sprint Rep made the change, it became active at 9 am the next morning.

BTW: To check your upgrade status, send a text message to “1311” with the word “upgrade” in the body of the message. You’ll get a response with your current upgrade status.

Now armed with an upgrade, I stopped by my Sprint store today to see if they had any HTC EVO LTE available for tomorrow. Unfortunately, I was told their small shipment of EVOs (which arrived today) were all earmarked for people who have preordered them through the store. They took my name down, stating that they would call me if someone canceled their pickup or didn’t pick up their EVO after 24 hours. Fortunately for me, I got a call back from Sprint after about 1 hour stating that I could pickup one of their EVOs tomorrow morning!

So the adventure begins tomorrow, but first I need to scrub my current Nexus S 4G phone completely of all my personal data and reload the original ROM on it (since I’ve been running the Ice Cream Sandwich OS for the last few months now). Luckily for me, this was a one-click process from the tools on this link.

Major Problems with the Palm Pre?

June 14, 2009

palm_preI’ve kept a keen eye on the Palm Pre smartphone being offered by Sprint, since I have interest in developing and selling applications for that mobile platform. The Pre has been out for about one week now, and from the various forum postings I’ve read it seems to have lots and lots of problems. Some issues are related to the hardware, while others are related to the Sprint Network or WebOS operating system.

In general, I’ve found that most people will post to forums when they have a problem or issue, and not when everything is going well. So, you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. However, there seems to be some overwhelming postings revealing these issues:

  • Overheating issues while charging and while in use
  • Very limited support for Microsoft Exchange Server access
  • Alarms and notifications do not consistently work
  • Pre device prematurely reboots when closing QWERTY keyboard
  • Battery drains rapidly and will not last the entire day
  • The Pre battery can drain completely even if connected to a car charge (when running apps like the GPS Navigation)
  • The screen will prematurely crack under no load
  • Poor reception signal compared to other Sprint phones

I can understand and tolerate the various WebOS issues (since an OS update or patch should fix them), however, the hardware issues are a different story. What’s especially troublesome is the poor reception and cracking screens. This clearly indicates a hardware defect situation, but Sprint and Palm are currently dismissing it.

Of course, we need to acknowledge that the Palm Pre is version 1.0 for both the hardware and OS, and the “early adopters” are willing to put up with these issues (or simply believe they do not exist). I may need to wait until Palm comes out with a higher-quality device before I jump over to Sprint and start developing apps. Let’s hope it won’t take too long and that Palm doesn’t run out of cash!