The Great Cell Phone Guide and FAQ
This tip is designed to answer some of the most common cell phone issues, as well as provide a few simple methods to keeping your phone in good condition. Before we begin, let me first state that I work as a technician in a Verizon Wireless store, so a lot of this is based off of my experiences with common customer questions and problems.
My Carrier is the WORST! This phone breaks all the time, I'm changing!
Before you change carriers (and possibly have to pay early termination fees) ask yourself - are the problems are having with the phone, or with service and coverage? If the issue is the phone, then changing carriers isn't likely to do much good. Keep in mind that your cell phone carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc) don't actually make the phones. They may install some software on them, but that's about it.
Nearly everything you need to know about Warranty:
The standard warranty on any cell phone is one year. "But my contract is 2 years! Why only a 1 year warranty?" The 1 year warranty is the manufacturer's warranty, not your cell phone carrier's warranty so the terms of your contract are completely separate from your warranty. This is why carriers offer extended warranty and insurance.
Your warranty covers manufacturer's defects ONLY. This means that if the screen goes blank, speaker stops working, keypad stops working, etc, for no apparent reason then it's most likely a warranty issue. Your warranty does NOT cover physical damage of ANY kind, including cracks, broken hinges/slider, physically broken charging ports, etc. Your warranty does NOT cover liquid damage. Your warranty does NOT cover a lost or stolen phone.
Note that if you bring the phone into your local carrier with a warranty issue, but it has physical or liquid damage then you will may still be charged a fee. Even though the issue you want fixed is a warranty issue, the non-warranty issues on the phone can't be ignored!
What good is insurance?
Cell phone insurance can have two benefits:
1. Some cell phone insurance plans act as extended warranty. Not all of them do, so be sure you know what you're getting!
2. The insurance company (which is a 3rd party company) will replace phones that your cell phone carrier will not for an insurance deductible. Some carriers will not replace your phone if it is deemed unrepairable (usually this means the phone is completely broken in half and the ribbon connecting the top and bottom is cut), but the insurance company will. Your carrier will not replace a phone that has been lost or stolen, but, again, the insurance company will.
What is the best way to charge my phone's batter?
The life of your battery is determined by the number of times you charge it. Most standard cell phone batteries are designed to last for approximately 400 charges. So the simple answer is - only charge it when you have to! Use up as much of the battery as you can before charging it. If your battery is nearly full and you put it on a charger then you've wasted a charge cycle and are bringing your battery closer to death!
Most cell phones now use Lithion-Ion batteries, which don't have the charging problems of older batteries. This means that it is NOT bad to charge your phone over night! It is NOT bad to use a car charger! You cannot over-charge your battery. The battery will also not start re-charging just because it used up a little power, so it will not waste charge cycles by leaving it on the charger.
The sticker under my battery is white! Is that bad?
Both the phone and the battery have a Liquid Damage Indicator sticker (LDI). The LDI varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Motorola, for instance, has a white sticker that turns red when it gets wet. LG, on the other hand, a white sticker with pink X's and the sticker turns solid pink when it gets wet (because the ink bleeds).
The LDI is not fool proof. It is merely intended to show that liquid or moisture was near the phone. It is not definitive proof that the phone was damaged by liquid.
My phone is really slow and sometimes freezes, what do I do?
This is one of the most common cell phone issues, and it can usually be prevented by doing a little maintenance on your phone. Phones are becoming more complex, and some are practically mini-laptops. The best thing to do? Treat your phone like you would a computer, and here's how:
- Reboot! When your home computer acts funny, what's the first thing you do? Reboot it! Your phone can need the same kind of treatment. This simply involves removing the battery from the phone for a few seconds, put it back in, turn the phone on, good to go!
- Clean out the junk! You don't need all those text messages! Erase them! LG and Samsung phone generally force you to delete messages once you have too many (usually 50 or 100 for the Inbox). Don't let it get that high before you delete your texts! Some Motorola phones have no limit on saved text messages. I have seen 3,000 saved texts on a RAZR, and it took 30 minutes to delete them! Bad bad bad!
While you're deleting those texts, delete your call log too. This doesn't have to be done often, but it can certainly help keep your phone running like new.
- Pictures, videos and sounds... oh my! Just like with text messages, if you don't need it? Get rid of it! Send them to your computer (you can send picture messages to your email), put them on a memory card, or simply erase ones you don't need or want. Memory cards are an excellent investment if you like having pictures, videos or music on your phone.
My phone won't charge! What do I do?
It could be your phone, or it could be your charger. If you've got a friend/relative with a phone that has the EXACT same charging port then try using their charger. If it still won't charge then your phone's charging port may be defective or damaged.
The tech guys at my carrier's store said I broke my charging port, how could that happen?
To be perfectly honest with you? It's called user error. Somebody, either you or another person that may have touched/used the phone, either jammed the charger into the phone FAR too roughly, or yanked it out of the phone FAR too roughly.
Both the phone's charging port and the charger itself have very thing metal pins that can easily be bent or broken if you are not gentle. Let me make this perfectly clear - if your charger doesn't seem to be fitting into the phone when you GENTLY push it then then DO NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER try to jam it in forcefully. You WILL break something, and it will NOT be covered under warranty!
My screen is all white with some weird black stuff, what's that all about?
That would be a pressure crack. Note that not all phone displays turn white when they crack, some will continue to function except for strange black areas that form around the crack.
Yes, I'm aware that you can rub your finger over the screen and you don't feel a crack. That's because the outside plastic that covers the screen will bend and flex under pressure, but the actual screen underneath that can still be broken.
on May 07, 2008 | Motorola Mobility MOTOKRZR K1 Cellular...