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Android brick

Well, after last month's discussions (here and here) I went out last week and bought a HTC Desire, running Android 2.2, for quite a lot of money.

It is one of the worst investments I have ever made. My concern was to get a phone that would integrate reasonably well with my employers' Exchange server, and it simply doesn't - refuses to synchronize the calendar, probably because the free memory has all been eaten by my contacts which take up 100 MB and are still not completely synced. It contains a 4 GB card, but it seems impossible to transfer data or software onto it from the phone.

It also declines to synchronize notes from Outlook, and I understand you can't actually search email. But since it apparently can only store 48 hours of email on it, that's not such a loss.

And it keeps trying to sync my carefully tended contacts database with my gmail account, where it will be borrowed by chaos. I actually typed 'corroded' there, and it changed the word to 'borrowed' after I typed it. I really hate the touchscreen interface, particularly the way you have to make sure it hasn't substituted another word for the one you thought you had typed, every bloody time you tap the space bar.

So I have a very expensive brick, as the shop won't take it back (is that legal?) and I doubt that familiarity will help me get over the fundamental problem which is that the damn thing doesn't do what I need it to do.

This was actually my second attempt to try Android. I won an auction for one on eBay towards the end of my holiday; in what I now recognise as a sign from Fate, it never arrived and I have had to raise a formal complaint against the seller, who seems to think that I should pay the price for his inability to deliver it as promised. That of course is not Google's or HTC's fault. But I wish I had just stuck with Blackberry now.

Anyone want a new phone? Barely used, would suit anyone with nimble fingers and no Outlook account. It does do some things well - very nice Facebook interface and not bad for reading documents in PDF or other common formats. But I've had enough.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am sorry to hear that it's not worked for you. :(

However, please see you lj email for a message from me!
Sep. 6th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
Been wanting to try an Android phone; how much would you be looking at for your bricked one?
Sep. 6th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
I can help relieve you of that burden

Sep. 6th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
In the UK (and I think in the rest of the EU), shops don't have to take things back just because you change your mind or don't like them. They do have to take them back if they're not fit for purpose, and it sounds like that might be an avenue worth pursuing with the shop.
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Did you discuss your needs with the shop at the time of purchase, regarding having it synch with your Exchange? Because if they said it would, and it doesn't, that seems like pretty good grounds for a refund to me.

Sorry it didn't work out for you.
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
I really hate the touchscreen smart text word-exchange thing too. Luckily I don't have the Exchange problem. I do love some bits of the HTC Desire but yeh, other bits still pissing me off, mainly indeed texting and contacts. Not sure if I'm able to live with it longterm. At least it didnt cost me anything!
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
You could try quoting European Directive 1999/44/EC at them, which states that goods must be "in conformity with the contract of sale", i.e.
(a) comply with the description given by the seller;
(b) be fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires them and which he made known to the seller and the seller accepted;
(c) be fit for the purposes for which such goods are normally used;
(d) show the quality and performance normal for such goods and which the consumer can reasonably expect, taking into account any public statements (including advertising) issued by the seller or the producer.

Note item (b); if you specifically told the shop that you needed to be able to synchronise with an Exchange server, they said it would, and it won't, it is not "in conformity with the contract".

The consumer is entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced to bring them into conformity, or if that cannot be done (or cannot be done within a reasonable time), to a price reduction or to have the contract rescinded.

The law of the state where you bought the phone may give you greater rights; 1999/44/EC sets a minimum across the EC (though Belgium didn't get round to implementing it until 2004, and had to be reminded...)
Sep. 7th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
Some one's trash...
Hmm, I had also read that Android phones could make use of Exchange; thanx for sharing your experience. Yet, if you're totally disgusted with your HTC Desire, you should have no problem selling it as it is considered the best Android phone at the moment.
Sep. 7th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
You know, iphones do that word exchange thing, but not with common English words like 'corroded'. It does become an issue with proper names, fannish terms and so on, but there's some auto-learning so eventually it works out that you really do mean 'Plokta'. I wonder whether this is just another instance of people aping the iPhone interface without bothering to put in the R&D to make it work properly (not that I would for one minute suggest that the iPhone can competently sync Exchange for someone with 100MB contacts; I have no idea but Apple doesn't normally play nicely with others). I was forced by my work to carry a separate phone (Blackberry) for work; once I'd got used to the workflow I discovered that I rather prefer carrying two phones (I only use the iPhone for incoming calls and texts, whether work or not).

Edited at 2010-09-07 06:45 am (UTC)
Sep. 7th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC)
I am in dire need of a new phone (old one is dying) and had been wondering about an android one as the iPhone is just beyond me in terms of price/availability. Still I expect there are other more deserving causes ahead of me in the queue.
Sep. 9th, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
In fact Android 2.2 should sync with exchange out of the box (Exchange 2007 anyway - it has all sorts of exchange features built in - I use them see http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.2-highlights.html) - but that said it should also keep your contacts on the SD card as app2sd is built into 2.2 and can be set up in the settings. I'd double check the software version. Also - you say you spent a lot of money on it ? I assume you then brought a *new* offline one ? If its not a new one (generally speaking a new sealed one (simfree) will cost around £425 at the moment) then really check the software - I'd in fact get hold of the offical HTC 2.2 rom and reflash it.

Oh and you can also turn off word auto correct ;-)

Also not sure where you got the 48 hours for email thing ? Again - you can define in the settings what to do with email once its downloaded?

I'd talk to HTC directly, they can be really helpfull (even though it sounds like Android is the issue rather than the phone.

Sorry you have had issues but having pretty much tried every flavour of phone available the desire is the best currently on the market - of course if Exchange syncronisation is that important too you theres always windows Mobile - This would infact be mysecond choice to the desire (yes - even over the iphone which would be third) http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-gb/devices/devices.mspx?id=1390
Sep. 9th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC)
Well, all I know is that every time I try to synchronise Outlook contacts using the Exchage ActiveSync, it stops after about 15 minutes and I get a 'disk full' warning, and the contacts are clearly going onto the phone not the card when I check the memory use of the programmes (and with no option for transferring them that I can make out). My 48 hours for email was a sardonic and bitter comment about the lack of memory on the device, not a scientific observation.

It was absolutely brand new out of the box, and is simply failing to do what I need it to do. I'm pretty disgusted.
Sep. 9th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
By the way, I gave the Exchange ActiveSync another try this afternoon. Once again, I got an "out of memory" message when I tried to sync contacts, and had to do a factory reset.
Sep. 15th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
Which provider are you with? I'm sitting here on a client site watching several people sync their HTC desires with exchange with no trouble. However most of them were issued with a small update to 2.2 which was necessary first. If you still have it, speak to your contract provider as apparently Vodafone (in the UK ) delivered one direct to the phone so I'd guess other providers are doing the same (they just happen to have Voda as it is the work phone company).

I have heard of people doing the same via other providers but not witnessed it first hand. Our corporate provider is Vodafone and they are issuing HTC Desire and Nexus alongside the iPhone as preferred smartphones and syncing with full exchange functionality is absolutely critical for us.
Sep. 11th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
If it was me, I'd ask a lawyer. Lots of shops depend on consumers not knowing their rights, and their refusal to take it back (as-new, with packaging) sounds highly suspicious to me.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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