As my somewhat trusty Nokia N9 began to show its age, I grew an itch for something a little more mainstream (how hipster of me I know). After some (very little) research, the requirement of having expandability narrowed down my options of an Android device to just one; the Samsung Galaxy S3. This is a somewhat short story of what has transpired during the relatively short time that the S3 has been in my possession (note the lack of mention of whether in working condition or otherwise).
During the first 6 months of the domestic partnership between me and my S3, things were absolutely rosy (for the most part). The device was as fast as you would expect a top of the line Android device to perform inclusive of the hefty amount of bloatware that is proudly included with every Samsung device. This is what most people describe as the honeymoon period of your typical smartphone life cycle.
Sometime after the 6 month timeframe, things start to go wrong. Strange, unexplained crashes and freezes start to pepper the timeline. Some “research” points towards my device being one of the many that are (or will be) experiencing the Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). What this essentially means, is that my device will (after an unknown period of time) suddenly kick the bucket due to some defective memory that was installed in one of the earlier batches of the Samsung Galaxy S3.
I did what anyone in their right mind would do. I brought my device directly to the Samsung service center approximately 2 weeks before my 3 month trip overseas – after all, nobody wants to have their device to do some bucket kicking midway through a 3 month trip right? The day before I was due to go overseas for 3 months, I picked up my device. According to the folks at Samsung, they could detect no issues with my device, and could not reproduce the hangs and crashes that I had experienced. Within minutes of picking up the device, I had reproduced the hangs and crashes numerous times which resulted in somewhat confused looks upon the faces of those present. Their recommendation was for me to wipe the device again and see if it made any difference (I had already wiped the device so many times it should have been antiseptic by that point). Obviously, there wasn’t much I could do since my flight was in about 24 hours at that time – so I gave up and started praying that the device would survive my 3 month journey abroad (while logic made it pretty obvious it wouldn’t).
Approximately 15 minutes after I passed Malaysian immigration in KLIA, the S3 crashed. A battery pull (the device was no longer responding to button presses) resulted in this awesome display of colours.
So, dropping off my device BEFORE it died was pointless, since the “technical” people at Samsung Malaysia obviously have absolutely no idea what they’re doing. I dropped off the device, described the issue, mentioned that this was most likely the Sudden Death Syndrome described above, asked them to include this information when returning my device. I’m not entirely sure that there was anything else I could have done differently to have avoided this situation.
Fast forward 2 months or so – I’ve sent back the device to Malaysia with a friend, who passed it to another friend of mine, who attempted to return the device to the same Samsung Malaysia branch I had originally taken my device to. Result? They essentially said that they wouldn’t take in the device and told him to send it to another branch. So, not only are the technical staff inept, the customer facing staff have now decided that the hands-off policy is the best strategy.
End result? I have a phone that has a 12 month warranty, that thanks to absolutely stunning Samsung Malaysia customer service and technical staff now only has a theoretical maximum of 9 months of usage under warranty, along with being about EUR300 lighter in the wallet thanks to having to buy ANOTHER device to use for the duration of my travels.