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The Verizon Wireless HTC Eris 'Silent Call Bug'

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-i-can't-hear-you-now dept.

Cellphones 274

Hall writes "In the last few months some users of Verizon Wireless HTC Eris phone models have encountered what's being called the 'silent call bug' with their phones. What has happened since the update to Android 2.1 is that some phones get dead silence (can't hear the person they call nor can the other end hear you). The only solution is to reboot the phone, though the problem will re-appear after some time. VZW tech support for a while was simply swapping out Eris phones in hopes that the replacement didn't have the same issue. Too many were, though, and now some users have been told they're not swapping anymore. A couple of days ago, a user witnessed a car accident and was unable to call 911. Well, at least not until after rebooting the phone."

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A movie comes to mind. (5, Funny)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868570)

What good is a phonecall if you cannot speak?

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868594)

Well, merely making a call can be enough to signal something. For example, a buddy and I want to get on the same bus, I call him when I'm near his stop and he doesn't have to pick up.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868820)

Kinda off topic but similar to your phone trick - when I was a kid soccer practice would often run late. I would call my mom on the pay phone at school when it was time to pick me up. But since the collect-calling service just replayed a recorded name to the receiver of the call, I would say, "Pickemeupatschool" as my name. My mom would get on the other end, "Will you accept a collect call from, 'Pickmeupatschool'? To accept the charges, press 1 now." Of course, she'd just hang up and come get me, no charges needed.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869018)

Collect call from Bob Wehoddababyeetsaboy!

Re:A movie comes to mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869490)

Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of the winds of change...

Re:A video game comes to mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868642)

Huddah huddah huh

Re:A movie comes to mind. (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868678)

In this day and age, chances are if you can call 911, even if you don't say anything, that they can use the devices GPS to find you. They do it precisely because they don't have any way of knowing whether or not you're dying in a ditch. That was the primary reason why GPS technology found its way into cell phones well before they gave people access to it.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (5, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868728)

You're completely mistaken. Cell phones got GPS well after consumer units had appeared, because there were no small GPS chips that would easily be powered by a cell phone battery until relatively recently.

The reason they could find your location before GPS was a thing called triangulation. They could (and still can on phones without GPS) check your signal strength to various towers to figure out where you are because they know the geographic location of all the towers.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868806)

The Eris has GPS. No triangulation needed.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868880)

Let me give you some translations to help unwhoosh you.

I had a Verizon phone with GPS but I could not get the data out, or you could say that I had no access to it.

Also, some cell companies (such as AT&T) use the technology you mention, others do not have the capacity and instead use GPS. They were given the option, and they went various ways. Both have drawbacks: what if GPS doesn't have a signal? OR: What if you can only see one or two towers?

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869432)

The best thing would be to support both. Then whatever service currently gives you location data will be used.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (2, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868746)

"In this day and age, chances are if you can call 911, even if you don't say anything, that they can use the devices GPS to find you."

Did the 911 call center actually get GPS coordinates though? I'd be interested in knowing how this looked from the their end. Did it look like a hang-up with no GPS data sent? Isn't the GPS data sent over the same data channel?

Re:A movie comes to mind. (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868938)

Depends on the 911 system used. Some small departments don't have the money to upgrade their equipment. Really rural counties out west are simply using telephones with recorders attached.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (2, Informative)

mutube (981006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869444)

Did the 911 call center actually get GPS coordinates though? I'd be interested in knowing how this looked from the their end. Did it look like a hang-up with no GPS data sent? Isn't the GPS data sent over the same data channel?

I used to work in an ambulance control in the UK and we received mobile phone location information through the same mechanism that gave lookups from phone numbers to street addresses. At the time I don't think GPS in phones was widely available, instead information was passed using a point, ellipse angle, and radius reflecting 'error' in the calculation, with which you could plot on a map a rough area where the call was coming from. When I left in 2004 they were upgrading to software that would do this plotting on maps automatically (address lookups were already plotted automatically).

The triangulation system provides varying degrees of accuracy depending on whether in built up (many antennae) or rural (fewer, more powerful antennae) areas. Thankfully, that also matches the accuracy usually needed for dispatching emergency help: a traffic accident in a rural area, even if giving a 5 mile radius, can sometimes isolate a single road which combined with local knowledge will pinpoint the likely location. In a city where 5 mile radius would be less useful accuracy was usually down to less than 1 mile. On one occasion it was accurate enough, with prompts from what a caller could hear nearby, to pinpoint someone to a back garden in a suburban estate.

I suspect that if GPS data is fed through to the controls now it will be in the same format, albeit with much lower error rates on the ellipse.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869030)

Or they ignore it because you don't say anything they think you are one of those persons who has a cell phone in their pocket and are too clueless to learn how to use the "lock keypad" function, just another accidental dial-in.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869368)

If they start doing that, your country is dead. Literally, in some cases.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869540)

So long as the operator isn't some tool. You can't always rely on the human on the other end to assume danger in the absence of a voice. Consider how many pocket dialed calls any one 911 dispatch station may get in any given period.
At least they're improving the 911 issue. HTC phones can dial it now.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869130)

ET [no] phone home.

Re:A movie comes to mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869158)

As funny as this is, it's not funny at all when it comes to emergencies.

not a problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868576)

most people with an android phone are linux faggot losers with no friends.

Re:not a problem (0, Offtopic)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868732)

Good one, I never thought of that! :-)

Being friendless, I have no need to make any calls, therefore the problem does not exist for me! Thanks for fixing it for me.

Hail Eris (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868578)

Calling a phone Eris is sort of asking for it..

Re:Hail Eris (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868950)

Calling a phone Eris is sort of asking for it..

Yeah ... kinda like naming a space telescope after someone whose name rhymes with "trouble".

Re:Hail Eris (4, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868998)

Prepare for trouble! And make it Hubble!

Re:Hail Eris (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869076)

Wikipedia:

Eris (Greek , "Strife") is the Greek goddess of strife, her name being translated into Latin as Discordia. Her Greek opposite is Harmonia, whose Latin counterpart is Concordia. Homer[*] equated her with the war-goddess Enyo

[*] Homer the ancient greek poet, not Homer Simpson

Re:Hail Eris (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869208)

>Homer[*] equated her with the war-goddess Enyo

Doh!

We've come a long way (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868602)

Remember back when you had to find a land line to call for help?

Now we're up in arms because a wireless device is not 100% reliable and it became very clear in an emergency situation.

Does the public really expect their cell phones to flawlessly or have I been using smartphones so long that I just accept wireless devices suck still?

Re:We've come a long way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868622)

...really expect their cell phones to flawlessly or...

Sent from my iPhone

Re:We've come a long way (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868638)

That's an interesting question, but I will refer you to the laws Federal, State and Local to answer what peoples expectations should be.

In any case, what we should expect, as consumers, for VZW to get serious about issuing fixes to issues they identified long ago. Swapping out phones is not the answer when it is a software problem and even BAD technicians know this much. VZW would rather waste the time and energy of its customers than spend money to fix a problem.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869346)

They may not have known it was a software problem, though. Somebody comes in with a phone that doesn't work, you give them another and everything's fine. Sounds like a hardware problem.

Re:We've come a long way (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868826)

Remember back when you had to find a land line to call for help?

Now we're up in arms because a wireless device is not 100% reliable and it became very clear in an emergency situation.

... and those hard-wired phones would have been just as useless in this case - a car accident.

... and good luck calling 911 from outside your house to report that your house is on fire.

Better to have something that works 99.999% of the time pretty much everywhere, than 99.999999% of the time in only one scenario.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869052)

Better to have something that works 80% of the time pretty much anywhere, than 99.9999% of the time in only one scenario.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869494)

... and those hard-wired phones would have been just as useless in this case - a car accident.

... and good luck calling 911 from outside your house to report that your house is on fire.

I didn't care to look it up, but if it happened on a highway, there are phone booths for emergency calls every kilometre or so.
In case of a fire - that's what neighbours are for. They will call 911 unless they want their house to burn down next.

Re:We've come a long way (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868898)

Flawless, no. But it's a reasonable expectation that your phone should have a failure rate comparable to other phones on the market. It's also reasonable that if a problem exists that puts the failure rate of your device well outside industry norms (think xbox360) the device will be repaired or fixed both for free and in a reasonable timeframe.

In canada for example we have laws that require cell phones, even ones not attached to a plan, and with no carrier, can connect to 911. It's a nightmare for 911 if they call and cannot give a location, but if I buy a cellphone in canada I can expect that it will connect to 911. I don't know if we have rules about downtime, dropped calls or silent calls, but I'm sure there are large tomes of requirements that all the companies have to comply to for all sorts of stuff. I can expect that those will be followed, or the CRTC/FCC will send in the lawyers.

Cars get recalled for defects/repairs, so do drinking glasses from MacDonalds and children's toys, my cell phone falls somewhere between those points on a spectrum of cost and utility, and yes, your life can depend on it, just because we 'got by' with landline phones doesn't mean they didn't cost lives, there just wasn't anything you could do about it.

I took my battle.net authenticator off my iPhone and got a physical one precisely because as you say, smartphones fail a lot, I've had to reinstall the OS 3 or 4 times so far (iPhone 3g) and it spent 14 hours updating to iOS4. Not exactly my idea of a reliable device. But my GF has a nokia dumbphone, which has never had an OS update, and never needed a reboot, so maybe since my phone cost 10x as much as hers, (+ data plan) I can expect better reliability, and won't be looking to apple to replace my smartphone. People don't buy a Lexus rather than a regular old toyota for the fun of it, premium markets (which I count smart phones as part of) do still have problems, but you're paying for more functionality, not less, and a phone that can't make calls is by definition less functional.

Re:We've come a long way (2, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869040)

but you're paying for more functionality, not less, and a phone that can't make calls is by definition less functional.

I hate to tell you this, mate, but a phone that can't make phone calls is, by definition, not a phone.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

lavagolemking (1352431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868940)

Too bad we can't find payphones anymore...

Re:We've come a long way (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868958)

Remember back when you had to find a land line to call for help?

Now we're up in arms because a wireless device is not 100% reliable and it became very clear in an emergency situation.

Does the public really expect their cell phones to flawlessly or have I been using smartphones so long that I just accept wireless devices suck still?

We expect phones to work for their intended purpose.

Being able to make a call and then not hear anything isn't acceptable. Occasionally you can't call due to reception problems, everybody understands that. But being able to complete a call and not hear is clearly a warranty issue.

Re:We've come a long way (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869194)

I think part of the problem is too many people view phones as toys first and phones second. People get extremely bitchy if they can't have games and cameras and all that other shit on their phones. The market for "Just a phone" phones has nearly completely disappeared, nobody wants to buy them even if they cost less.

Way too many people I encounter buy phones based on their shiny features, and never consider call quality. Ex-roommate of mine was completely unintelligible on his phone. The thing had a totally crap microphone and looking online, that was a common problem with the phone. He just texted all the time. My though it "Why the fuck would you get it?"

Personally I've become a real fan of my Curve 8330 because of this. It is a smart phone, but the phone features seem to work no matter what and are not interfered with by anything else. Had good call quality and a decent antenna too (as well as being nice and cheap). Not the shiniest toy around, I don't have an ultra high rez touch screen, but I can pick up the phone and make a damn call when I want to.

I'm certainly not opposed to smart phones, obviously I have one, but I think consumers need to spend a little more time looking at the phone side of things and less time worrying about the shiny. If consumers start caring more about the phone, so will the manufacturers.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869374)

Exactly so.

I happen to know the CEO of a regional carrier.

His opinion was that the load up features on these phones in the hope that people will not notice the horrible call quality and high call failure rate.

On the other hand....
Its still amazing that they work at all when you get right down to it. A largely self managed radio in your hand, serviced by towers handling hundreds of thousands of phones with th vast majority of calls completed successfully.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869418)

Not everyone has 100 dollars of disposable income they can drop on a low level smart phone.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869534)

$30 was the cost, in fact (well $30 and change). Also if you have the disposable income to buy a high end, shiny smartphone like the iPhone or whatnot you for sure have the money to buy a Curve instead.

As for regular phones, I don't know, I haven't looked at them but I bet you can find one that makes good calls. Probably doesn't have so many shiny features as its similar competitors. More money probalby went in to the antenna and less to the Brew games, but I bet it is out there. More would be out there if people made that a priority, rahter than going "Ooooo shiny!"

Re:We've come a long way (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868986)

Well, yeah. If you pay for a cell phone, you have a reasonable expectation that it's going to work. Your argument is like saying we shouldn't care about leaks in the roofs of our houses because our ancestors used to live outside.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869050)

Our ancestors used to live in caves which do not have the issue of leaking roofs :)

Re:We've come a long way (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869098)

You've obviously never spent much time in caves. Generally the rule of thumb for caving is unless you can see the sky from where you are, if it starts raining outside you need to get the hell out, fast. Very quickly the part of the cave you're in can end up FULL of water.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869308)

I assume our ancestors (the ones that lived) didn't live in caves that had that issue, or they didn't wander deep enough into the cave that it would be an issue.

Re:We've come a long way (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869404)

Naturally. My point (which I'll agree I didn't state very clearly) was simply that caves can often have leaks, in many cases worse than a poorly constructed roof. Of course when your floor is made of stone instead of wood and carpet, a bit of water leaking into your dwelling isn't quite as big of an issue.

What were we talking about again? Oh right.. cell phones...

Re:We've come a long way (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869270)

Remember back when you had to physically visit a police station to get help?

Now we're up in arms because an electro-magnetic device device is not 100% reliable and it became very clear in an emergency situation.

Does the public really expect their telephones to flawlessly[sic] or have I been using landlines so long that I just accept electrical devices suck still?

Cell phones are mature technology. They're no longer rocket surgery. We expect consumer wireless phones to offer basic connectivity 99+% of the time, because this is well within the realm of feasibility.

Re:We've come a long way (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869544)

I would expect my cell phone to work flawless for it's main function, making phone calls, provided there's no hardware defect, it has power, a working tower is in reach, and the network is not overloaded. I accept that non-core functionality may fail. I won't accept if the one defining functionality, which is making phone calls, doesn't work due to design or implementation defects. That's a proven technology, it's no rocket science, and it should be tested like hell.

not limited to this phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868618)

i have a iphone 3gs and this happens to me periodically. it also happened with my iphone 2g.

Re:not limited to this phone... (1)

hbush (130363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868824)

Yep, I can confirm this. Same thing happens with two iPhones 3GS in my family. Reboot helps but not for a long time. When I know there will be important calls I usually re-boot my iPhone in advance, just in case.

Re:not limited to this phone... (1)

molecular (311632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869330)

weird, I've been experiencing this on a really old Nokia Phone (no smartphone) here in germany. Dead silence both ways while call is active.The problem goes away after a reboot, but not for long.
Probably a coincidence, but I never had this problem before.
<insert>conspiracy theory about a bug in some surveillance equipment</insert>

ha (3, Funny)

papasui (567265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868636)

Steve Jobs is a moron for making such a shitty phone! Oh wait...

Re:ha (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868906)

One minor difference is of course - the Eris is free with the contract :).

Still no excuse, but it sounds like a software problem and not a hardware design flaw.

Re:ha (0, Troll)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869320)

Sooo...you get what you pay for??

Re:ha (1)

uprise78 (1256084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869100)

Best be careful making comments like that on Slashdot. Open is right. Open is God. Open rules. Even if open isn't really that good it is still better. Even if you have to root your Android phone to make it open it is still better. Wait, can't you root and jailbreak an iPhone too...

Phones which can not make phone calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868648)

If you can't get the software under control, just make two devices in one. The electronics needed for a complete phone should be negligible compared to the rest of the portable computer.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868680)

If you can't get the software under control, just make two devices in one. The electronics needed for a complete phone should be negligible compared to the rest of the portable computer.

This is why I like a phone which just, you know, makes phone calls. We don't use ours much but we've never had to reboot it or install OS upgrades just to be able to phone someone.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868750)

Even crappy phones still have an OS. I've had call issues with many different phones, not just smart phones. And many times the issues were solved with... you guessed it, rebooting the phone. Sometimes I even had to remove the battery.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868928)

Even crappy phones still have an OS.

But probably 5% as much code and therefore less than 5% as many bugs.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869088)

Not really because when was the last time you upgraded your firmware on it? In general "dumb" phones are pretty disposable, if there is a bug like this on a "dumb" phone (and, there are) the chances of getting it fixed are zero. With a smartphone, chances are there will be an update within the next month that corrects the issue.

Any issue in a "dumb" phone never gets fixed, issues in smartphones might though.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869372)

if there is a bug like this on a "dumb" phone (and, there are) the chances of getting it fixed are zero.

Which probably means that the QA is a lot better too, in order to ensure that it doesn't ship with crippling bugs.

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869416)

Yeah my Blackberry will occasionally crap out on me and I'll have to do a battery pull to get back to normal. I once left it in the car with the windows down in the rain. I figured it was a goner for sure but I just pulled the battery, put it back and it boted like a charm. Now that's quality workmanship. Shoehornjob

Re:Phones which can not make phone calls (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869470)

Even crappy phones still have attennas. I've had call issues with many different phones, not just smart phones. And many times the issues were solved with... you guessed it, holding the phone different. Sometimes I even had to use a case!

Suddenly when 'Another Company'(tm) with a track record of releasing models with horrible problems does it, no one cares.

payback (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868650)

I recall many were saying that the problem with iPhone was that it was too hard to use as a phone. Well, at least, if you went through all the hoops, the iPhone actually works. The biggest issue is dropped calls, in which case you just call the person back.

A reboot indicates something like a memory leak. Hardware problems would not be reliably fixed. This is certainly some brain dead software error, a case of development focusing on the bells and whistle, and not core functionality. Everyone is so wrapped up in the tethering and Apps, that they forgot they were building a phone.

Re:payback (2, Interesting)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868760)

Tethering is an almost effortless addition to a phone that already uses the internet. Apps are for the most part developed by 3rd party members that never even contributed to the core functionality of the phone to begin with.

To blame this problem on the development of apps and tethering is silly, and I think the only reason you mentioned tethering was because that's one thing the iPhone lacks.

Re:payback (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868808)

Iphone has had tethering for at least a year in the native software, but feel free to carry on with your uniformed opinions.

Re:payback (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868870)

No, I'll update my opinion now that I am informed. My point still stands that it is silly to blame this phone issue on tethering

Re:payback (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869500)

He's not blaming tethering. What he's saying is it seems that Android developers care more about whistles and bells than actually making the phone work as it should. They race the development in order to have the feature the other guy doesn't have out yet. Maybe they should slow it down a little and make sure their phone software actually makes calls, or calls 911 while gps on, etc..
HTC's track record is really crapping it up. I was thinking of getting an incredible if they came to Canada but now I am completely sold on the iPhone 4. I consistently see incredible problems from the company.

Re:payback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868770)

I experienced this with a few early 2.1 Roms I flashed to my hero. Its a simple software bug that can be corrected with an update.

Re:payback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868796)

That's such an odd thing. I have never experienced this "dropped call" effect on my iPhone. I'm in the UK, so maybe it's not the phone.

Re:payback (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868838)

By coincidence, a friend of mine had his iPhone crash when calling 911 last week. It was admittedly one he found on the ground beside a sidewalk, but seemed to be in decent shape. I think it will take a few years before everybody gets all the bugs worked out of the underlying operating systems.

Re:payback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868864)

Yeah. Funny thing is, we weren't talking about the iPhone. Good point though. :rolleyes

Re:payback (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869062)

This is certainly some brain dead software error, a case of development focusing on the bells and whistle, and not core functionality.

That kind of reminds me of a mobile phone ad I saw in the EU a while back. The basic gist was about all of these features the phone had, camera, video, etc. At the end they asked "But can you make a phone call with it?" I think that seems to be lost on many smart phones. They can do all this crap, but miss that the fundamental use of a phone is to make calls. I've seen several phones that had awful call quality, or required way too many steps to actually make a call. I would think that the telephone part would be the one thing that should not have problems.

Re:payback (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869180)

If you check the title, it says droid eris, not all android phones. So gloating is a little pointless. That said, my friend's eris has had this issue and verizon has sent a third replacement which so far isn't as plagued as the others. They aren't moving users to the incredible yet, because those are even in short demand, apparently because of delays in the screen production.

Re:payback (4, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869556)

When all the 39 different Android phone models are having the same issue, then may be you'd have a point, but the thing is the Droid Eris is only one phone, and a low end one at that (low resolution, low 5 MP camera, no 4G, slow CPU from an older architecture, no physical keyboard, very cheap price).

Gloating about the problems of the Droid Eris would be like an Apple-hater gloating about the fact that the iPod Shuffle is a piece of crap. That very well may be true, but it's not very relevant to the users that only buy the higher end flagship devices for themselves (and would only give the cheaper iPod Shuffles to their six year old kids anyway).

All you Apple haters take note (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868672)

Even phones for straight people are having problems.

I have no mouth, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868734)

but I must scream!

I state the following... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868748)

It's called a state machine. It's a marvelous invention. Look into it.

Obvious... (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868768)


You're dialing it wrong.

Re:Obvious... (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869106)

You're telling the joke wrong.

Re:Obvious... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869394)

You suck your dad's cock wrong.

Done this for years (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868856)

Heck, I have been rebooting my Windows Mobile phones for years to make calls. The competitors are only now catching up?

You Think That's Bad... (5, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868948)

...what about an Eris owner trying to call a left-handed iPhone 4 owning friend who just happens to be holding his iPhone 4 by the wrong corner at that particular moment - they have *NO* hope of talking to each other.

Fuck Allah!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32868994)

Islam is nothing more than an excuse to be a murderer and a tyrant. The followers of Islam are a blood thirsty bunch who are either unwitting slaves or ego maniacs who want to keep people repressed.

Fuck Mohammad, Fuck Allah, Fuck Islam!!!

And if you're a Muslim? FUCK YOU!!!

Nexus One (5, Interesting)

nrgy (835451) | more than 4 years ago | (#32868996)

I had this very same problem with my Nexus One. Even worse rebooting did not always solve the issue.

I bought my Nexus at launch and while I was happy with it at first, the past few months it just started acting crazy. Icons on the desktop would open a different application, the issue from the article, the keyboard opening when a phone call was coming in "you couldnt slide to answer because it was ontop".

After all that and more, once the lock button on my Nexus started to give out I just went back to my iPhone.

Another factor in the symptom (1)

billraper (1364197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869002)

It > that (as some have noticed) this problem is more prevalent on older handsets. I bought mine in November when they first came out. While I ran Android 1.5, the problem did not appear. When I downloaded the 2.1 "leaked" version, the problem did not appear. HOWEVER, when I re-downgraded to 1.5 and received the 2.1 OTA update, the problem popped up. I received a replacement eris the other day and (knock on wood) this problem has not appeared on the new phone. HOWEVER Android 2.1 performs pretty poorly on the Eris. After 4 tries, Verizon has agreed to ship me an Incredible. Now just to wait and see whether they make good...

Can you hear me now? Nope? (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869022)

Maybe all of those Android fans of Verizon shouldn't have been making fun of the iPhone. Payback is a bitch.

Re:Can you hear me now? Nope? (2, Insightful)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869046)

More like being a fanboi makes you a bitch.

Every product has defects, every product has failures. Its a fact. Creating great expectations from any product or brand is setting oneself up for disappointment.

Voice is so 90s (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869038)

If 911 won't accept a SMS message, who would WANT to call them?

I've experienced it... (1)

wolf1oo (1732258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869080)

I have noted that my HTC Eris was experiencing problems such as this every once in a while, but I thought it was due to some residual moisture that resulted from a previous drop in a pool.... I guess the root of the problem wasn't that at all! Which is certainly a relief, it took long enough just to dry it out properly the first time...

HTC software sucks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869090)

I've been running CyanogenMod on my Eris for a bit now. I don't have this problem. I can't stand the Sense software HTC provides because it's bloated and buggy.

Can you hear me now? (3, Funny)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869104)

Can you hear me now?
...
....
*bzzzzzzzz*

Re:Can you hear me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869442)

Am I coming through? Am I coming through? Is it sweet and pure and true?

New? I say nay nay! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869116)

I had this problem on and off with my Treo on Verizon, and with pretty much every phone before that. Sometimes it would take five tries to get a call through. I blame Verizon's network.

But the Eris isn't without it's problems.

I'm getting ready to send my son's Eris back because the microphone just quit. Didn't even work for voice record. It's also got a flaky trackball. This will be his third Eris. Meanwhile, my wife's Eris makes calls to people while laying on the table. Then they call back wondering what she wanted.

My Moto Droid, on the other hand, has been rock solid, and hardly ever has a bad call. My son is hoping for a couple more bad Eris's so he can qualify for a "lemon" replacement and switch to a Moto Droid. The HTC phones had great promise, but the workmanship leaves a lot to be desired.

Time to update marketing campaigns! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869154)

Of all the things Droid does...
emergency calls is not one of them!

From the F forum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869228)

"You should email customer service at VZW Corporate and link to this thread. add as much detail as possible. Perhaps they will forward it to Public Relations or some other department with more weight than support. "

Yeah, GREAT idea. Get it to PR as quickly as possible, so they can think of excuses before anyone has dug into the problem.

Eris, the goddess of ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869360)

Yeah, um, isn't Eris the goddess of discord? Is this some sort of elaborate joke?

So Open Source Caught This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869438)

Not trying to start a flame session here, but once again all the drum beating over "Android is open source, so it's better" fails to really make a difference. Failures happen, and I doubt Verizon posts the source of their Eris online anyway.

Truth is, these consumer devices are specialized and for most people, open source or closed source doesn't make a crapload of difference.

Rebooting your phone? (3, Funny)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32869446)

At the ripe old age of 24, even I find this ridiculous. If cell phone programmers designed commercial autopilots, no one in their right mind would fly. If they designed ECU software for Toyotas, oh wait.

k. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32869478)

Out of the current line up of Android based phones through Verizon Wireless the HTC Eris and the Motorola Devour are the poopy ones. Processor speed in both is..meh. For something like this to be fixed Verizon Wireless will have to wait for the creator of the OS, Google, to come out with a fix. If it ends up being a hardware issue (sounds like a software issue) HTC would have to find a resolution. I don't see it being a network related issue but if it is a network issue then Verizon Wireless would have to resolve the problem. ....Yeah I work for Verizon Wireless...

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