Samsung Galaxy S4 mini — Odd Problem with SGHi257M [Canadian S4 mini]

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Apr 29, 2014 1:37:45 AM via Website

The problem is that the phone will not ring for either incoming or outgoing calls. Someone phoning me gets no rings, it goes immediately to voice mail. When i try to call out the screen looks perfectly normal - all of the correct icons are showing up so it looks like it is ringing, but it is not ringing either at my phone or at the person i am calling.

The problem is cured by restarting the phone. Only after i restart the phone do i get notification about any messages that were left.

This happens only when the battery is at about 40%, but not always - just occasionally and rarely. It happened today for the first time in a few months; it also happened a few times, a few months ago.

I would think that at 40% battery there should be no battery charge related problems? 40% should be plenty to run the phone?

Any ideas? I am going to return it to the store and ask about this, but i would like to have some more info to go on, if any is available.

TIA,

Mick

— modified on Apr 29, 2014 1:39:01 AM

Apr 30, 2014 3:04:18 AM via Website

[QUOTE=mdawdy;3617438]... This happens only when the battery is at about 40%, but not always - just occasionally and rarely. It happened today for the first time in a few months; it also happened a few times, a few months ago ...[/QUOTE]

Update: It may very well be happening more often than i thought. I do not get a lot of calls, certainly not every day, so it could be quite consistent and i may not have noticed. For the next while i'll let it run down every other day and check.

It happened today. I just decided arbitrarily to check. Battery at ~35%. I phoned to check if i had any messages. Everything looked normal as i said in my original post, but it did not ring and did not connect.

Before re-starting i checked to see if Mobile Data was working. It was not. After re-start both Mobile Data and the Phone were working.

I am wondering what is the technical significance to the Phone problem of the Mobile Data also not working? They must be somehow related in the hardware or software structure of the phone.

Mick

May 4, 2014 2:42:59 AM via Website

Did the factory reset today. Will see how this may affect the problem over the next few days. I'll post again.

I use CleanMaster. The newest version has a list of all the apps that can be Disabled. That sure makes that task easier. So i Disabled most of the ones on that list, keeping the few that i may need.

May 22, 2014 3:59:10 AM via Website

I got my phone back today. On the report it says ...

Complaint

1[]C56-no service

phone antenna cutting out intermittently
Symptom code C56

Work performed
[202]-Full sw upgrade & phone reset
;sw re-flashed then rebuild to factory default

Repair code 202

I'll see if it happens again or not over the next few days and report back. To me it sounds like they did nothing to the physical components of the phone, just flashed/installed/configured the various software components.

[B][I][SIZE="2"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Mick[/FONT][/SIZE][/I][/B]

— modified on May 22, 2014 4:00:36 AM

May 27, 2014 2:33:40 PM via Website

Here we are, exactly one week later, and the phone failed in exactly the same way. So the "repair" process they applied did not work. I'll be returning it to the Rogers store today and will report back here with the results.

May 27, 2014 9:38:39 PM via Website

All that was done to 'repair' your phone was a firmware flash (sw upgrade) and a factory reset. Like I said, there were some issues with s3's and some s4's regarding simultaneous LTE connection and voice calls, but your instance is pretty strange. Possibly there's something being toggled about that level, or some service isn't being 'woken'. If it's not been fixed by that then it's either a faulty phone or a faulty sim card.
Regarding turning off certain services and apps using CleanMaster's advice, while these may not initially seem to affect the overall function of the phone it may affect certain things. For example, if you're moving around certain areas your phone will switch to the strongest signal, i.e. the closest cell tower. There are certain functions that may seem to be location services but are actually 'wakelock providers' for certain situations, so if you've disabled one of them then when you move out of a towers coverage, or the towers signal becomes weak, your phone won't be able to connect to another tower. It's impossible to tell what some services actually do, especially with all the added bloat in Samsung roms. Ultimately your smartphone is a computer with telephony provision rather than a featurephone with some apps and added extras, so removing anything that was originally there should only be done if you're absolutely certain you know what it does and only if you have a nandroid backup to restore.

Sinkster

May 31, 2014 2:40:14 PM via Website

I may have the solution to this problem of network drops now, finally. I took it back to the Rogers store where i bought it. This time there was a more knowledgeable guy there. He took one look at the screen and said "I know exactly what is the problem". What he noticed was that the LTE notification was not showing. This city is an LTE hot spot. The phone should connect with LTE virtually anywhere, anytime. He said it is not the phone at all, but that there is a "switch" that needs to be reset for my account; something to do with the SIM card. After a couple of phone calls he returned the phone and said that it is fixed.

Time will tell. I'll post again.

Mick

Jun 1, 2014 4:26:27 AM via Website

False alarm. The fix made it worse. Now it not only drops network connections, but also drains 50% of the battery over the course of one day with very little use. Used to drain 20%.

Mick

Jun 2, 2014 3:06:01 AM via Website

Just reporting that the so-called knowledgeable guy was incorrect. Still dropping the networks. I went back and he was incorrect again as he believed that you had to have Mobile Data enabled to make/receive calls. Oh well, he was doing his best. Got thru today so far with no dropouts, and battery drain returned to normal ~20% loss for the day. Will see what happens overnight and tomorrow.

Getting kind of tired of having an unreliable device. Hope this gets settled soon. I'll be back to him as soon as it drops out again.

Mick

Aug 1, 2014 3:45:15 AM via Website

Here is a summary of this problem and of the work done by the official repair center, the results, and finally at the end a couple of questions ...

Here is a description of the technical problem with the phone ...

  1. The phone will work normally for an indeterminate time period, perhaps a few hours or maybe a week or so. Then it will malfunction as follows -
  2. Signal strength is tiny. The phone will not ring for either incoming or outgoing calls. Someone phoning me gets no rings, it goes immediately to voice mail. When i try to call out the screen looks perfectly normal - it visually appears to be calling as the active icon is on the screen and the message says "dialing". There is no dialing sound. It never connects, it eventually gives up.
  3. Mobile Data is not working. With Mobile Data enabled there is no icon on the notification bar. Google search and PlayStore do not run.
  4. Wi-Fi is working. The icon is on the notification bar when it is enabled. Google Search and PlayStore work with Wi-Fi.
  5. The problem is temporarily cured by restarting the phone. Only after i restart the phone do i get notification about any messages that were left. Then eventually the problem re-occurs.

When i sent phone back the first time this is what they did ...

[202]-Full sw upgrade & phone reset
;sw re-flashed then rebuild to factory default

When i sent it back the second time this is what they did ...

[051]-No trouble found
;RF Calibration performed to enhance RX/TX performance and network connectivity. Passed RF compliance test to meet manufacturer soecifications. Adjusted battery level to optimize power usage

When i sent it back the third time they did exactly the same as the second time. The phone is now working better as i will explain, but it has not been long enough to confirm if the real problem is solved.

I have set up the CleanMaster [CM] and BatteryDoctor [BD] Apps. I have turned off any automatic options in both. I make only light use of the phone - a few calls per day, maybe one Google search, nothing else. I run the 1 Tap Boost CM Widget and the Save Power BD Widget after each use of the phone.

I also have installed NoWallpaper [saves a wee bit of battery power], SmoothCalendar [very nice and very useful] and one of the Clock Apps [with a useful 1 x 2 Widget].

I have not yet disabled the 50+ Apps that CleanMaster reports as harmless to disable as my phone is still under warranty and has this issue that the service people have not yet been able to resolve. But i will be doing that and i highly recommend it to others.

I have had the phone back from the 3rd repair for 6 days now. I am leaving it powered on overnight. At the end of the first day battery = 89%, second day 74%, 3rd day 55%, 4th day 46%, 5th day 31%. That is 5 days of light use. Was 23% this morning so i re-charged it to 100%. I'm happy with 5 days of light use.

I do not have written notes on the previous battery performance. But from memory it used more than 20% the first day, at least an additional 30% the second day. There was not enough to trust it for the third day as it lost more overnight. I was running BD and CM, using the CM Widget but not the BD Widget.

I am wondering when the phone will fail again. I'll post again when that happens as i feel certain that it will. But i secretly hope it will not :)

So, finally, here are my two questions ...
What is the actual, presumably hardware, problem with the phone that they are not able to find?
What did they do to improve the battery performance so dramatically? Did they for example lower the CPU clock rate?