Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

When the Mobile fails.... dependence is quite shocking...

For the 2nd time in a year now and the 3rd time in less than 3 years, my Samsung Note 8 (and before it the Note 4) have decided to quit without any warning.

- The Note 4 stopped working after a “compulsory” update, which completely killed it. Dead, mainboard broken. Nobody managed to fix it. In “the fora” this balant attempt by Samsung to kill off that popular phone was quite well known.
- My Note 8 (which I got as a replacement) had it’s GPS sensor quite, while on warranty thankfully. it was gone for 2 weeks.
- Yesterday, it refused to charge, probably the charge plug is gone. Will need to take it to the shop today to see if it is recoverable, probably not as the warranty is gone and repairs are very expensive. Hopefully I can at least charge it via an induction charger, so maybe I can save the data.

Until I get a replacement, I am literally screwed over. I can’t access my bank account, can’t even get a coffee out of the automat which only works with NFC, can’t fuel my car (same reason, all depends on Samsung pay) without major hassle. I also can not shop, as most shops here refuse to take cash these days and my bank card is not touch free (will have to change that) .

I can’t access my password tresor file, can’t check my credit card statements, can’t actually order replacement parts as the credit card needs verification via an app (which of course is accessable only via the smartphone and only works on one device for security).

Enter a cheapo fake smartphone I got on Wish a couple of months ago for just a situation like that but which I learnt by now has reviews which are beyond the pale. It’s called a Note20 Pro, was supposed to have 128 GB but turns out to have 16 and 1 GB ROM and is slow as a civil servant on a Friday afternoon. It runs off one of 5 simcards which are included in my subscription and was literally all I had for now.

Have to say, it rose to the occasion at least to some extent. After 4 hours of tinkering I managed to achieve the following tasks:
- Get google going and restore some of the vital apps I need for daily work and life. The download speed of the phone accounts for most of the long time.
- Get AVG going to get rid of all the chinese malware installed in the fake phone. Took one hour including download and scans as well as remedies.
- Import those contacts which are on the google account (found that quite a few obviously are not, several now show 3-4 times.
- Transfer Whatsapp to the new device. That is anything but easy if the primary phone is out, as it equires an SMS to be sent, which only go to the primary phone. I could have changed the sim card for this, but decided that until I know that my Note 8 is toast for sure, I won’t touch. In the end, I found out that you can get them to call you and transmit the change over code. Import of the backup took another 2 hours.
- Get Skype and Viber going

No joy on NFC payment (as phone does not have it), no joy on retrieving the backups from the Samsung Cloud (as it obviously only takes Samsung devices but also appears not to be accessible from my other Samsung device, which is a tablet (does not have NFC either) . I am still locked out of my bank account as the secondary phone won’t receive SMS’s as well as have no access to my wish, Amazon, my credit card accounts and some other applications as all of them have two step authorisation.

Checked this morning, if there is no more warranty (and they need to see me and my ID in person to tell me that) “standard repair” for a charging plug is CHF300.- Needless to say, I won’t do that for a 3 year old phone, but take it to Bulgaria where changing a plug will cost me 20 Euros at max. Only I can’t be without a phone until then, so will have to probably shell out some 1k for a current S20 Note or similar.

It horrifies me to discover how dependent we now are on these things. The single point of failure will simply disconnect you from many vital tasks you need to perform on a daily basis. For me, that is unacceptable and I will have to think carefully how to get some redundance into this. Probably that means a 2nd identical smartphone needs to be set up and maintained at all time.

Still, I was lucky to have spent 30$ on a fake Android Note20 Pro, which one youtube “expert” discarded into a dustbin in his review video. It works much better than advertized and I ’d think it was well worth the money in retrospect. Also, it did the same task for my wife when her Xiaomi died the first day of lockdown in March.

LSZH, Switzerland

I am sorry for your difficulties.
Your post is the one of the best advertisement for Apple products I have seen for some time.

Safe landings !
EDLN, Germany

I hope I’ll never find myself in your situation….

I’ve tried to make myself less vulnerable by not permanently storing any information on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S6) which is not also stored somewhere else. Still it would be a major hassle. The most common Swedish electronic ID system does work on computers but that’s much more cumbersome compared to using it on a phone.

I don’t use Samsung pay (or Apple pay or similar payment solutions) and I don’t think I will. NFC with my credit card works well enough.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

EuroFlyer wrote:

Your post is the one of the best advertisement for Apple products I have seen for some time.

I moved from Apple to Huawei a year ago because I am not ready to pay 1600 CHF for an Apple or Samsung product. I took the flagship of Huawei at the time, the P30 Pro which supports all google apps. Result: I paid 600 CHF for a new one, camera is the best on the market (at least matches all newest Apple products), speed is perfect. I don’t use Huawei’s cloud solutions as I don’t trust any company (be it Chinese or American) to be dependent on it, so my backups are always local. I was a bit skeptical about Android having used Apple for years before and having seen old Android versions which were absolutely user unfriendly. Now I must say that Android has risen to a level at least as good as Apple, if not better. With price being less than 50% of Apple products, even a brand new backup device will keep you in the original budget.

Back to Mooney_Driver’s issue: I have a credit card and a EC (debit) card, both with contactless function enabled and have no issues paying anywhere in Switzerland. I actually have problems with the “Abc-pay” products (Apple pay, Samsung pay, Google pay) as they don’t accept a lot of Swiss credit cards, especially the free ones, so I don’t use these products. Twint works just fine if you want to pay by phone.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

My iphone6s plus is close to 5 years old. Not a single problem.
I use it a lot instead of my laptop computer: for mail, web, office documents, scans, fotos etc.. and of course for flying (foreflight backup, autorouter, stratux radar).
I’d say it is almost continuously in use for around 10 hours a day.

Make Aviation Great Again
Europe/Austria

Count me in on the happy 6s users. I very much fancy an 11 now, though… the photos it takes are amazing.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Your post is the one of the best advertisement for Apple products I have seen for some time.

I have used Nokia and Samsung since for ever and never had any of them fail. OK; anecdotal only and a data point of 1.

Walk into the local Apple shop (we have one in Brighton) and there is a long queue at the “Genius counter”, of people holding duff Apple gear and in some cases swearing loudly they will never buy anything else from Apple. OK; anecdotal only and a data point of 1.

We have an Ipad2. The 1st one failed, got swapped for another one which (probably always) had a defective HDMI output but the “apple genius counter” man said this is not a sufficient reason for them to fix. OK; anecdotal only and a data point of 1.

Justine had an Iphone; developed various irritating faults, the most bizzare was that it would not ring on many (not all) incoming calls. The “apple genius counter” man was fortunately able to reproduce it in the shop. Obviously it was a software issue but they reloaded all that and it still did not ring (mostly) and she got a new one. That started messing around, not getting mobile data even in the middle of Bighton, and eventually she got a Nokia – the one with the super camera. That eventually became useless (win8; no apps) and now she has a Samsung S9 which “just works”. OK; anecdotal only and a data point of 1.

Currently I have a S10e and it “just works”. In recent years had 2 x T705 tablet (1st one got smashed; 2nd one I use on every flight), S5, S6, S7, now S10e. Except the last, all have been rooted but I have not rooted the S10e since I find contactless too useful, especially today when one doesn’t want to touch anything in a shop.

Basically all these expensive bits of consumer IT gear are built to the same standard, by Foxconn in China (for Apple) and others (for the others). I guess Samsung build their own? You can get lucky or you can get unlucky.

Until I get a replacement, I am literally screwed over. I can’t access my bank account, can’t even get a coffee out of the automat which only works with NFC, can’t fuel my car (same reason, all depends on Samsung pay) without major hassle. I also can not shop, as most shops here refuse to take cash these days and my bank card is not touch free (will have to change that) .

This is why one needs a backup, always. I have lots of stuff duplicated on the T705, and on a laptop.

One thing is for sure: modern phones are much worse at getting a signal than the old Nokias

Another thing I am sure about: the waterproof feature on Samsungs is really important. I have got mine wet quite a few times. That sort of thing used to kill the old phones.

I also carry a credit card in my pocket. Phone payments fail too often, especially abroad. Actually, on any trip, I carry two cards, in case the stupid bank decided one of them got a fraud on it and blocks it, which is really handy when on some little Greek island…

Huawei stuff is good quality but they don’t do a phone of the “size” I am willing to carry around and with the camera I want. Then there is the appshop business; not sure how far that got.

But, overall, things are vastly better today than on my trip to Crete in 2004, when I was sitting in the club house at Wangen-Lachen, with a laptop, with the Nokia 6310i connected via a long cable so the phone could be hung high near the ceiling to get a signal, and me trying to get wx and send a fax to Zurich to activate the “departure customs PNR” option

Unfortunately, many people today, especially the young, live 100% on their phone. Email… what is email? The universe is done with instant messages, yesterday is irrelevant, and tomorrow is somebody else’s problem

One thing Apple have done well is backup and restore. There are various gotchas there e.g. if you have an app which is no longer in the appstore… but almost nobody has those. Google have not done it quite as well (partly this is because android programmers are more likely to be sloppy in where they store app config; google have tightened up on that lately) although it works well enough if your phone runs totally bog standard apps only, which most do, and the others don’t carry critical data.

Having a credit card which is not contactless is probably fairly useless these days.

IOW, I would take MD’s post as a description of an insufficient backup strategy. The problem is that we can do almost everything with a phone, and since we all carry one, we tend to just do that. If one goes back say 5+ years, a laptop was much more needed for aviation stuff (and anything which needs a lot of keyboarding; frankly anything more than a one-liner, and that is still the case now) and since laptops used to pack up regularly, people didn’t rely on them as much. I carried a backup laptop in the back of the plane, on all long trips.

My old T705 tablet has a £8/month contract SIM (Vodafone; the best connected network for Europe) in it and is thus a full backup for my phone. It is always in the plane. So if the phone blew up, I have to make a trip to the airport…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

With the mobile phone failures we can lose connectivity, time, as well as some money.
But, when I look at the magenta line on my mobile when flying over the beautiful and hostile alpine terrain, I feel like this is a really good example of the “In Technology We Trust”.

Peter wrote:

Having a credit card which is not contactless is probably fairly useless these days.

That’s interesting. I don’t think I have seen a single sales terminal that can do contactless payments but can’t do chip payments. Clearly the situation differs a lot between countries. Here in Sweden even a roadside sales stand would usually have a card terminal. The old joke about future beggars accepting credit cards is almost true.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Count me in on the happy 6s users. I very much fancy an 11 now, though… the photos it takes are amazing.

So we’re both waiting for the 12 to buy the 11 at a discount ;)

Make Aviation Great Again
Europe/Austria
36 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top