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Started by surferboogiewhatever on 12-Sep-2017 22:14:00
Smart phone, dumb question

Long - see post 1. Apologies for any wrong terminology - I'm not much of a techie.

surferboogiewhatever - 12 Sep 2017 22:14:05 (#1 of 42)

I have the simplest and cheapest possible non-smart phone. 99% of the time this is all I need, but occasionally when I'm away from home with no computer a smart phone would be useful.

My son has a 3 year old cheapish smart phone he no longer uses. He replaced it about 6 months ago, mainly because there was something wrong with the camera function - he could take photos but not save them.

Both phones have exactly the same size and shape of sim card and are on the same network so we were talking about the possibly of switching my sim card into his old phone and I'd use that one instead.

However, when we came to charge up his old phone (which was of course completely run down), the charging light came on as usual but even after quite a long time his phone wouldn't switch on, and still won't. It was working fine last time he used it apart from the camera issue, which would not be a problem for me as I have a separate nice camera I would like to continue using.

What is likely to be wrong? Can we fix it ourselves, do we need to go to the phone shop or is it a hopeless case? Neither of us has ever had a phone just conk out for no apparent reason before (my previous one got damaged by a freak wave at the beach) so we don't know if this is normal.

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surferboogiewhatever - 12 Sep 2017 22:16:36 (#3 of 42)

Yes, both Vodaphone. I've found the shop to be quite helpful in the past but don't want to go in if there's something really obvious we can do ourselves.

Son is quite scientifically minded but can't figure this one out.

bossab2 - 12 Sep 2017 22:16:56 (#4 of 42)

I had a nokia which did funny non-charging battery things.

I just junked it and bought another phone.

HouseOfLametta - 12 Sep 2017 23:09:49 (#5 of 42)

If it's an iPhone it might need connecting to a computer (with iTunes installed)

solomongursky - 12 Sep 2017 23:12:26 (#6 of 42)

Check your bank account, you may have mobile phone insurance which means they'll repair or replace it with a £25 excess. The best budget smart phone is probably the MotoG4 and you can get that for £150 or so.

surferboogiewhatever - 13 Sep 2017 07:42:44 (#7 of 42)

It's not an iPhone (I'm not sure what it's called exactly but it's got Vodaphone's own symbol on it). It does charge up by being connected to a computer rather than having its own charger, so he was doing that bit right.

I'll see if my son had insurance on it, though he might have switched it to his newer one.

Catspyjamas17 - 13 Sep 2017 07:47:08 (#8 of 42)

If it has a usb charger, you can connect it to a usb plug and just plug it in to a socket. Charging from a computer usb port is slow.

Vendor - 13 Sep 2017 08:19:21 (#9 of 42)

This happened to an old phone I had which I intended to give to J to play music. The battery had run down to completely empty, and no amount of persuasion would allow it to charge up. Eventually I junked the battery and bought a replacement which did the trick.

thisonehasalittlehat - 13 Sep 2017 08:25:16 (#10 of 42)

The fact the camera went first suggests to me it's dead. Also a badged phone is probably quite old or rubbish.

Get a cheap smartphone from cw. Better in the long run than pursuing this I reckon.

SirensOfAcreLane - 13 Sep 2017 09:46:29 (#11 of 42)

Surfer, is it something like this?

I'd go along with the cheap components make for a phone that breaks or goes kaput quicker than others. The weakest component on those phones is the screen, I'm on my second Ultra 7 ( good value as it doesn't get much abuse, at £125 cheap enough to forgo insurance, and buy a new one after 12-18months if I wish)

Before you give up on it, if it is a Smart Ultra series, plug it into the power socket, the screen should display a battery with green bars filling up, it blanks out a few seconds later. Lastly, the volume and power switches at the side aren't great, give the power button a good jiggle, it might do the trick.

WillodeanKnuth - 13 Sep 2017 09:47:34 (#12 of 42)

If its a Vodafone branded device it will have been very cheap to begin with and is almost certainly not worth repairing after three years.

SirensOfAcreLane - 13 Sep 2017 09:48:58 (#13 of 42)

Also, the battery can't be replaced.

HouseOfLametta - 13 Sep 2017 09:51:38 (#14 of 42)

I'd plug it into a wall charger for a good while and see if it wakes up. Those batteries can need a lot of charge.

SirensOfAcreLane - 13 Sep 2017 09:54:29 (#15 of 42)

The usb connector at the phone end became worn on my first Voda. Jiggle it, just a little bit.

widenation - 13 Sep 2017 10:06:07 (#16 of 42)

If it won't switch on/start up but appears to charge up - try a hard reboot. It'll involve something like holding the power and volume down buttons simultaneously. I'm assuming it doesn't have a removable battery.

surferboogiewhatever - 13 Sep 2017 14:29:07 (#17 of 42)

Thanks all - I'll see if using the wall charger helps, or the hard reboot if not I'll probably just carry on with my own basic phone until the next time a smartphone would be really useful and then look into getting one.

It's certainly a bit like the one Sirens showed although I can't be sure it's the exact same model and R got rid of the instructions long ago.

SirensOfAcreLane - 13 Sep 2017 15:04:40 (#18 of 42)

Vodafone updated their Smart ultra range in the past year or so, istr the cheaper model was £60-70 at the time, yours is likely to be a first generation of the cheaper model. If you do have to buy a cheap smartphone, don't let this duff one put you off, I've had two of the middle of the range Ultras, will get another next time, as its been very good value for my needs.

A bonus is you can get a code on Ebay for a couple of quid to unlock the Smart Ultras and use with whatever network you wish. Good luck!

widenation - 13 Sep 2017 15:25:12 (#19 of 42)

If it's a smart ultra then try following:

press and hold the Volume Up + Power button simultaneously for about 10 seconds.

surferboogiewhatever - 13 Sep 2017 16:56:29 (#20 of 42)

istr the cheaper model was £60-70 at the time

That sounds about right for what my son's budget is likely to have been at the time.

Well, we got this one working in the end (he just left it charging for ever - will be using the wall charger in future). Now I'm just trying to get my head round using a touch screen!

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