Galaxy S II questions

First, let me say that I happened to be in need of an affordable cell phone plan and heard Leo LaPorte recommend (well, advertise and recommend) Ting on his weekend radio show, The Tech Guy. I've listened to Leo for years and I trust his judgement almost unconditionally.

I bought the Galaxy S II from Ting. It was about $150 more than I really wanted to spend on a phone (even with the $50 discount for buying the white version), but it got great reviews so it looked like the best option. 

A couple years back, I had a Nexus One and I *loved* that thing. Did nearly everything I wanted it to with minimal fuss. My, how times have changed.  This is not the Android I once knew. I have a couple of questions that I hope the Ting Hive Mind can help answer.

  1. Data usage. The phone shows me at a little over 3MB data usage, while the Ting dashboard shows me at closer to 11MB. Why the discrepancy? Ting says I used 7MB on the first day, but I don't think that's right. The very first thing I did after I unboxed the phone was enable wifi so it wouldn't try to grab dog-knows-what over the 3G. The only thing I can think of is that I got dinged for either the Android or Sprint updates immediately after activation. Do those not use the wifi connection? If not, why would the Sprint network count those as data if they came from Sprint's own infrastructure?

  2. Speaking of Sprint... There are a plethora of Sprint applications preinstalled. Most of them are uninstallable, thankfully. The voicemail one is not. Neither can it be disabled, near as I can tell. So every few hours, I get two notifications saying that A) There's an update to the Sprint Voicemail application that I really, really, really need to download like yesterday if possible, and B) Hey, there's a 30-day free Voicemail trial you just have to check out! Um, I thought voicemail was already free, and besides, I'm not going to use it since I have Google Voice for that. Any way to shut up or remove the Sprint Voicemail app? This behavior is _very_ close to a deal-breaker for me.

  3. The other night, I put the phone on my nightstand with around 70% battery charge left. When I woke up 2.5 hours later (good thing I used my physical alarm clock rather than the phone), it was completely dead. No juice left. Has this happened to anyone else? I have installed the application monitor widget and will watch that for rogue applications in the future.

All that said, I applaud the work of the fine men and women at Ting. You guys are doing it right. Simple and affordable plans, excellent phone support, and an active community. Keep that up. There needs to be more companies like this.

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Comments

2 comments
  • Hi Charles, hey Anthony,

    It looks like Anthony pretty much answered most of Charles' questions for me, but I'll chime in with a few cents (hopefully);

    #1: There will always be a slight discrepancy, but 8MB is a bit much. How are you calculating on-device usage? Are you using a certain app? Network updates happen on 3G sometimes. I wish we could avoid it, but that's how it goes. On the bright side, you now have ICS, right! Sorry to minimize it... I do empathize... fortunately, these sorts of updates (and at this size) happen very rarely.

    #2: Yeah, we're working on that annoying text-to-speech notice... sorry about that.

    #3: Universally, we've been hearing about battery complaints from users upgrading to ICS. In 100% of the cases reported to us, battery life improved within 48 hours. Anthony's suggestions are helpful too.

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  • Ben and Anthony, thanks for the replies.

    Regarding the usage discrepancy: I'm seeing the 3.44 MB in Settings -> Data Usage. It even shows me which apps used how much, which is very cool. It's showing Maps used the most at about 1.43 MB. (Expected--I tried out the Google Maps Navigation on my way to work one day.) If nothing can be done, I guess I'll live with it. I now have mobile data turned off and will keep it off unless I absolutely need it. I'm around wifi most of the time anyway.

    Regarding the voicemail notifications, I did try to go into the app and change some settings according to some advice that I found on the web, but nothing I did has caused the notifications to go away. I'm probably going to have to root the phone and start deleting files just to get rid of this. (Pity there's no official CyanogenMod support for this phone.) I'm glad to hear Ting is aware of this and is working on it.

    The battery hasn't given me any further trouble. Since day one I've had all of the "extra" stuff like GPS, 4G, and Sync turned off. (And I turn off wifi at night so I don't get notifications from Google Voice and Email.) I'd like to know what tanked it so quickly, but I guess that's water under the bridge now. I'm still not fully happy with how long it takes to charge and how quickly it discharges, but this feels like its probably normal for a phone of this caliber. I'm used to devices like the iPod touch which can go days and days without being charged.

    Thanks again for the responses.

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