I upgraded my Droid 2 to the Samsung stratosphere in June. It was a horrible decision. I am so unhappy with this phone and now I am stuck with it until June 2013!
Phone has many problems:
- horrible battery life,
- it reboots itself whenever it wants to
- Very slow to respond
- apps run slow
- takes 30 seconds to a minute or more to make a call once you hit the Call button
- not enough memory/RAM
- Keyboard ***** compared to Droid 2, 3, & 4
- Stops reading SD card at times
- Overall Cheap feeling
Is there anything I can do to get a better phone at a cheaper price? I really don't want to be stuck with this for another year.
I am a VERY UNHAPPY phone user at this time.
I'm sorry the Strat has been such a problem for you. I've had mine for over 4 months, and haven't experienced what you have. I know others have reported various problems with it here, but I suspect there are more than a few reasonably well satisfied Strat users like me. Obviously, since we're happy with the phone, we don't have much incentive to post about it here.
Anyway, that's not to downplay your experience. Not having owned other Android phones, I don't have anything to compare the Strat with, for instance regarding keyboard and RAM. I will say that I have not found it to be at all slow (unless Web pages load slowly because of a weak 4G connection, which isn't the phone's fault). When I hit Call, it calls; and I haven't had the rebooting or SD issues that you and some others report. As for battery life and inadequate RAM, that, of course, depends on what apps a person installs and runs.
So, like any mass-produced product, it's possible to buy a bad Stratosphere, but that doesn't mean that it's a horrible phone for everyone.
I do have one last question: how did you manage to upgrade a Droid 2 to a Stratosphere last June, since (as I understand it) the Strat was not released until October? (See, for instance, http://www.droid-life.com/2011/10/07/samsung-stratosphere-launching-october-13-full-specs-and-user-manual-available/.)
uninstall that and watch your problems melt away
The truth is, these task managers and Android work against each other. Task killers are redundant, unnecessary and typically cause more harm than good. Yes, this goes against all that you have been told as an Android user; they seem like they're helping. This is called a placebo effect. So why are these app managers bad? How do they actually cause harm?
Unlike a PC where you must manage memory yourself by closing programs, the Android OS (2.2 and above) is meant to manage memory and processes on its own. Let's say the user launches an application. This app will then stay in memory until it absolutely needs to be closed. This is done to improve application launch time; the app will "run" in the background – leaving battery and performance essentially unaffected – ready to be launched again at any moment.
If a previously launched application is kept in memory, launching it again at a later time will take much less time. Killing the app removes it from memory and will slow down the application launch next time you need it. Android will automatically begin closing applications as needed, starting with the ones that have been inactive for the longest.
Most of these dreaded task manager applications come with a “kill all” or “autokill” feature. Why is this bad? I don't think I can explain it any better than Whitson Gordon of Lifehacker:
"... it's actually possible that this will worsen your phone's performance and battery life. Whether you're manually killing apps all the time or telling the task killer to aggressively remove apps from your memory, you're actually using CPU cycles when you otherwise wouldn't—killing apps that aren't doing anything in the first place.
In fact, some of the processes related to those apps will actually start right back up, further draining your CPU. If they don't, killing those processes can cause other sorts of problems—alarms don't go off, you don't receive text messages, or other related apps may force close without warning. All in all, you're usually better off letting your phone work as intended—especially if you're more of a casual user."
I completely agree with Dave-in-Decatur. I have had my Strat for several months and haven't experienced any of the problems cyberassassin described. I also agree with those who have posted about app killing/battery saving apps. I was using an app killer and it totally screwed up my email to the point that I couldn't send or receive emails with the preinstalled email client. To cyberassassin, have you talked with VZW customer support? I have found them to be most helpful when you get to the Strat support folks. You may have a bad phone, which Dave-in-Decatur said. Have you tried removing the battery then reinstalling it? Have you tried doing a factory reset? You also said the phone had a cheap feel. I'm not sure what that means, but the Strat is not a high-end phone. If you wanted something that doesn't feel cheap, you should have paid $300 for the Razr Maxx, the Nexxus, or the iPhone 4S. My only real problems with the Strat are that it's heavy and thick.
In response to having Strat issues, I got mine as a present for Christmas (uprgrade eligible) from my husband, so I didn't have a say in phone options. Also coming from a Droid phone. I have also experienced the Strat shutting down and rebooting on its own (most recently tonight) and regardless of if I restart the phone or it restarts itself, it takes forever (Phoenix, AZ)!!!! I also have the extended battery, which really makes the phone big and heavy, but it makes it easier for me to find in my purse so I like that. I find that there are certain apps which will take a long time to open plus once opened, it will decrease my battery life dramatically. I can only imagine how quickly it would drain if I had the standard battery in it. Like many others, I too installed Advanced Task Killer and pretty much any time I exit an app, I go to that and kill all apps, so I will also try uninstalling Task Killer.
My latest complaint is on the home screen, I use to have 4 icons at the bottom of the screen (Phone, Contacts, Messaging, and Applications. As of yesterday, I now only have 3 (Phone, Messaging and Applications--NO CONTACT ICON). I haven't tried going to a store yet, as I really don't have the time to sit and wait 30 min for someone to help me. I'm still trying to determine if it bugs me or not, but I think I am bothered enough to try calling tech support, Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
You should be able to put the 'Contacts' shortcut back on your homescreen just like you add any other shortcut icon. Long press on the place where you want the Contacts shortcut to be placed. This should open the 'Add to Home Screen' list. Touch Shortcuts, then Applications, then Contacts. That should work.
Contacts is a "Primary Shortcut," and it shouldn't just disappear. There is a way to edit these, however, and I wonder if it's possible that you or someone else accidentally moved/removed the Contacts icon. From the Stratosphere manual, p. 27:
Editing the Primary Shortcuts
You can exchange the primary shortcuts with shortcuts to other applications, except for the Applications / Home shortcut.
1. From the Home screen, touch Applications.
2. Press the Menu Key, then touch Edit.
3. Touch and hold an icon, then drag it to replace a primary shortcut.
4. When you are finished, press the Menu Key, then touch Save.
I just did a careful test, and found that once I was in Edit mode, it was possible to move the Contacts icon from the bottom, Primary Shortcuts row. At any rate, the same method should allow you to move it back, assuming that it has found its way into the main Applications screens, as would the method jrh4054 explained.
Okay here are some true issues with the Stratosphere:
Battery life - It was one of the early 4g or LTE phones so battery life does suck, the Motorola Droid 4 gets much better (twice as good) battery life as the Samsung. Turn off any automatic updates or mail, facebook checks. It still will last only 6 hours.
Resetting - Mine was resetting too, but only in the generic case Verizon supplied to my employer. Problem was easy to fix if I remembered do not put in the case with the power button facing down, if the power button is held for 10 seconds it will reset.
Replacement - Since I was within 30 days I replaced it for the Motorola Droid 4, another problem the Droid 4 does not read the Samsung folders on the SD card, this was a surprise.
Well, there are issues with the Strat (as with every phone), but....
Battery life is always going to depend on how you use the phone. Even with the regular (not extended-life) battery, I get way more than 6 hours. Generally if I charge it overnight, it's good for at least the entire next day. But I don't play games and I don't stream music or much video (that could change some with baseball season upon us!), although I do a fair amount of Web browsing. It all depends on usage habits.
As for resetting, that turned out (for you) not to be a Strat issue but a case issue. Makes me wonder if some of the other reported resetting problems might be case-related.
One problem that (just judging from my reading of reports here) does seem real is the screen cracking, esp. when taken out into cold weather.
I can't seem to find where to post a new subject... maybe someone will see this and answer!! :-) My contact pictures have quit appearing on my screen when someone calls me. Most of them don't bother me but I have pictures on all of my favorites. They show when I open my favorites list and they did show when one of them would call but now all I get is a number - not even their name - how many of us know numbers any more??? I like to know in a glance who is calling!! I don't know why it quit doing this. I thought I would check here before calling support.
I am with you. This is a piece of junk. I had mine for a month and then the screen starting going randomly blank. Been fighting with it since then and yesterday at the tender age of 8 months it quit altogether. And I hardly use it and treat it very gently. Verzion's only answer is "we are sorry you are inconvenienced but policy................." Like it is perfectly OK for an expensive device to die after a few months andI should just laugh it off. Samsung was no help either. This was my first smart phone and I regret the decision. Verizon and Samsung both need to man up on this one!
In your linked post (which is probably going to get yanked by the moderators, but who knows?), you complain that the Stratosphere has never gotten an OTA update, and that "For all of us who actually paid money for this phone early on, we deserve a refund as we were cheated." I'd have to disagree. Verizon didn't promise us any updates, as I recall, and if there isn't one, there isn't one. And, oh yes, a significant amount of space on this forum is taken up by people griping about getting updates! I have a really, really hard time feeling sorry for VZW, but I gotta say, they're kind of in a no-win situation on this one.
There's a thread on Android Central here, where a couple of us have hashed out an opinion of the Strat as middle-of-the-road and reasonably reliable as a physical-keyboard 4G phone. It's not brilliant, for sure, but POS seems over the top, especially if the lack of updates is your only complaint.
I couldn't agree with you more Cyberassassin!! I have most of the problems you have listed. This is the worst purchase ever! I bought the phone back in December and have the same problem with wanting to get rid of it. I plan on calling/emailing Verizon to see if I can get the "upgrade price" and not the full retail price to change phones. BTW a friend of mine got the same phone, same problems, exchanged it twice...STILL has the same problems.
I have gone through two stratosphere's that simply stopped working in their screen functions, with only carrying in my laptop bag, no knocks, and the most expensive hard case. The phone had other problems, primarily poor call quality. I would rate the Stratosphere as poor; its technical issues needed to be worked out before it was introduced to market.
Definitely not happy with this time-wasting experience, and I definitely want a DIFFERENT phone.
I HATE this Stratosphere more than any other phone I have ever had. I have constant problems too. Can anyone offer assistance with these 2 problems:
First, why will the EMAIL and MESSAGING show you a number with how many new ones you have, but the VOICEMAIL does not have an indicator to let you know if there is a new voicemail waiting for you. Several times I have hit the voicemail button and see that there are voicemails there, but nothing on the main screen shows me the little number indicator as the email and messaging does.
2nd - Why don't I know whether I have another call coming through while I am on the phone. I am talking about CALL WAITING. Is there something I need to set up to notify me?
I'm not sure what the issue is regarding call waiting. Mine beeps when I'm in a call. As far as voicemail goes, I don't think Verizon has a widget that will display the number of new voicemails on your homepage. You may be better off looking at Google Voice. It allows you to manage your calls more effectively, let's you route all voicemail to Google Voice, and will transcribe your voicemails. Plus, you don't have to login to the voicemail system everytime, which may be annoying for some. Google Voice will give you incoming notifications when you have received a new voicemail or text and display the number in the statusbar.
Yes, download it from Google Play. On your PC, search for Google Voice and login with your Gmail to set up your account. You will receive a Google Voice phone number and you will want to modify your settings in your account. Once you have your account set up, download the app from the Play Store and set up your phone. It will take you through set up and ask you if you want to make calls through your Google Voice phone number or Verizon. I set mine up to ask every time I make a call. Then it will ask you if you want Google Voice or your carrier to manage your voicemail. Select Google Voice. If it gives you an error that it couldn't complete the voicemail setup, then from the dialer, call *71 + 10 digit Google Voice number (ie. *71999-999-9999). If you call your Google Voice number, you should be able to also manage your account and set up a greeting.
I too have had many problems. Samsung replaced my phone after having it one week because it would not recognize the memory card, etc. Since then I have had a multitude of problems. Touchscreen not working, the phone rebooting on its own. And lately it is extremely slow to respond. Like if I'm using the swipe texting, the blue lines stay on screen for several minutes, can't answer phone calls because the touch screen is slow to respond, etc. And I'm stuck with this phone till November 2013.
PeppermintMichaPatty. Nice moniker!
I'd try the following: I would download Android Task Manager Free. I would select the Phone tab. I would everything that shows up installed in Phone memory to the microSD card. Some of what you are experiencing seems to me to be associated with low memory conditions.
Another thing I might recommend is downloading 1Tap Cache Cleaner. Run that and clear all caches and history.
Then shut down the phone. Remove the battery (if that is possible on your device). Wait 4-5 min, and boot back up.
Hopefully that will improve matters. Another possibility is to perform a Factory Data Reset. However, you know that may result in the loss of many settings and personal data, so it is not to be done except as a last resort.