Monday, October 17, 2011

Possible solution to my LG env3 phone shut-off issue

Back on October 4, I wrote a post entitled Don't envy me (emerging shut-off issues with my LG env3 phone). Here's an excerpt:

LG env3 phones have a reputation for shutting themselves off. In some cases, people would notice the problem immediately, take it back to Verizon, and get a replacement.

In my case, I have had the phone for nearly two years and never had a problem until recently.

I had been reading about various possible solutions, but nothing that I had read at that time seemed to work.

Finally, on October 15, I happened across this thread in the LG Forum that offered another possible solution. Nelson Highley offered the following suggestion:

One possible cause of random shutdowns is bad contact between the battery and the phone. Try this:

1. Closely inspect both the battery and phone contacts for anything like dirt or contamination.
2. Also inspect the contacts for anything like mechanical damage that might cause less than perfect contact.
3. Even if you don't see any contamination, it may be present. Clean both the battery and phone contacts:

- Use a new cotton swab just slightly damp with clean water (distilled if you have it). Be careful not to moisten the swab to the point where water comes out of it and gets into either the phone or battery. Don't use any other solvent!
- Clean the contacts with this swab. Use a little force but not enough to bend or distort anything.
- Dry everything completely.
- Inspect the contacts and remove any cotton fibers that may have come off of the swab.

There is no guarentee this will help but it's a good and simple first thing to try.

Well, my usual paranoia kicked in, and since I was afraid to get too much water into the phone or the battery, I took a DRY cotton swab (the kind that is on the end of a tip) and LIGHTLY cleaned both ends of the connection. Seeing no cotton fibers, I put the battery back on the phone.

That was on Saturday afternoon. As of today (Monday afternoon), the phone hasn't shut off since.

The "clean the battery contacts" suggestion can also be found here and here and elsewhere.

Now this might not be the cause of ALL of the LG's reported shut-down problems, but as Highley suggests, it's a good first step to test.

Unfortunately, it sounds like many people are not getting this suggestion when they call in about the problem. For example:

The man was very helpful and said the issue is actually a "power cycling" issue that occurs when the user puts in a 16GB card and loads it up with downloaded apps and files from the web.

He said it's partly a problem with the phone trying to access the data, and partly that the things downloaded from the web may contain spyware/viruses/etc.

So in order to try and access the data the phone starts to shut off on its own.

I wonder how many people have worried about spyware, or about firmware upgrades, or have actually swapped out their phones, but haven't tried this basic step.
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