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Old 12-16-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,258 posts, read 3,439,246 times
Reputation: 7794

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Recently (beginning of December 2013) I replaced (upgraded) devices: Samsung Galaxy Nexus to Samsung Galaxy Note 3. My comments are not about the provider, so let's just call them Big Carrier. I'll comment on them another time, pros and cons.

Previously, two years ago almost to the day, I upgraded my original Droid (2009) to the Galaxy Nexus. This is exactly my fourth year on Android operating system, upgrading from Windows Mobile 6.

My comments are on my prior device (Galaxy Nexus), devices in-general, and a trend regarding "mean time to fail." I do not have enough data to know if all devices are built to fail (hardware/software) on a shorter and shorter cycle today: I have a suspicion, but no real proof. That is my question.

The Galaxy Nexus was OK, until it wasn't. Each time I upgrade, c. 2003 to current, I wonder, "how did I survive even two years on the previous?" The 2011 GN was a quantum jump from the 2009 Droid. My current Galaxy Note 3 (released October 2013) appears another big jump from the GN. Time will tell on the latter.

Upsides and downsides of the Galaxy Nexus, my previous device, which leads to my question and comment:

+ Bigger screen = better for me, I am a large man with large hands.
+ No beef with a "clean" version of Android, typical of the Nexus devices.
+ Android 4 a big improvement from earlier versions.
+ I made decent use of NFC.

- Battery life went from "mediocre" to "lousy" over time, even with the higher-capacity battery. Last few months, a charge would last maybe 6-8 hours under light use. Less if used.
- The charge port went bad after a year, a known issue. Would not turn off, ran down the battery. Big Carrier replaced it with a refurb once. No problem with that, other than it went bad again after another year, leading us to today.
- Mediocre GPS. I expected more.
- Good, though not great, voice quality.

Bottom line: a great device, for the time, that lasted a year before hardware failure. The refurb lasted another year, with the same problem. 1-2 years before a deal-ending hardware failure, under normal use?

Note: I treat laptops, cell phones, and data pads (iPad, Android) much better than most people. They all live in cases, travel in pockets or foam sleeves, and don't get tossed or bumped around much. My laptops last 3-4 years, tablets 2-3, and I didn't abuse the Galaxy Nexus (using the USB/charge port several times/day counts as "use" not "abuse"). Nothing dunked under water. Pocket lint is probably my biggest sin.

Thanks for reading: others' general comments and experiences, mean time to fail for phone devices these days for power users? Are they building them to a lower bar? "Big Carrier" seems to want me to replace about every two years, which deepens my suspicion it's all a tied-together racket. That-said, if it is to be "expected" I upgrade every two years, due to planned obsolescence of hardware (maybe) and software (almost definitely), let me know what you think.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,385 posts, read 21,058,877 times
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Default Your post title is nonsense

Nothing in your post relates to MTBF.
Everything was (as far as I could tell) about obsolescence or degrading performance.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,825 posts, read 13,964,257 times
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Batteries start to lose their charging effectiveness at about the 12-18 month mark. ANd since most phones do not have replaceable batteries any more... yea.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,120 posts, read 9,729,762 times
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Devices - both hardware and software - have become so complicated that thorough testing at the factory would push their prices beyond the reach of most consumers. So these days, final testing is pushed down to the consumer. It doesn't surprise me to find that things fail sooner than they used to.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:29 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,005,267 times
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Double edged sword.

Devices are not built to last, they are built to sell. Its the price that is paid for the pace of technological advancements. Of course not having a phone that last could be seen as a step backwards.

The Big Carrier wants to sell you a new phone so you will succumb to the new plans they have. Their profit margin on phones is virtually nothing. All of the money is made in that little 2 year contract.

On the flip side, device manufacturers must meet the requirements set by carriers as well as other governing bodies such as the FCC. They are a building phones that have the most advanced specs for the time, but that will also just pass a bunch of tests.

Even companies like Motorla or Nokia had to cut back on what were their pillars such as build quality to stay somewhat relevant. I have old Moto and Nokia phones that design wise have incredible fit and finish. Of course they are almost useless in the modern day and age, but its the changing times when something like a cell phone has become a commodity.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
3,449 posts, read 6,329,909 times
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Cell phones, like most modern electronics are designed to be replaced more often than in the past. It is often much cheaper to buy a new replacement that to fix a broken/obsolete device. I remember the old Nokia 5160/5165 cell phones that were almost indestructible but not so in this day and age.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,258 posts, read 3,439,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Nothing in your post relates to MTBF.
Everything was (as far as I could tell) about obsolescence or degrading performance.
Thanks. Depends how we define "failure." If there is a formal definition of MTBF, well, there you go. That could be a discussion point, too, I suppose.

My post is a bit of a rant and/or rhetorical, as I find it (subjectively) disturbing that I must replace phone devices every two years these days. Ten years ago, I replaced every three years, give-or-take, because I "wanted to" (gadget factor) vs. the last several that "needed" to be replaced:

* Droid 1 (2009): hardware OK, slowed to snail's pace after various updates over the years. Was close to useless (software) by 20 months of use. Toughed out last four months, replaced with Galaxy Nexus which was light-years ahead (hardware, software).

* Galaxy Nexus (2011): critical hardware (charge port) slowly failed over several months, to end of Year 1. Replaced with refurb. Same issue occurred, over almost exactly same time period. Upgraded end of Year 2, almost to the day 24 months from new (first unit). Software OK, hardware failed: was unusable by the last day.

Generally, then: I would say the Droid 1 was obsolete. 2x Galaxy Nexus units failed (hardware).
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