LG recently brought all their IPS goodness to Android with the Introduction of the T-Mobile G2X. Before getting this phone I was happily running a HD2 that still holds a spot on my shelf as my number one backup phone. With more dual core superphones launching by the minute, LG really had not dropped a flagship into the Android Community. The specs on the phone are at the top of most lists with a 4″ IPS screen, Dual Core Nvidia Tegra, and TMO AWS bands topping 14.1 Mbps. The phone shipped with a *stock version of Android 2.2 with a promise of Gingerbread right around the corner. Months later as problems are popping up left and right users are firing back at both LG and T-Mobile on discussion boards all over the community.
Well Documented Issues
- Screen Bleeding. Although the screen is quite beautiful, most users can show you on a black background where light shines through and washes out the screen on the edges. Most notable on the initial boot screen.
- Reboots. The phone randomly reboots and even shuts off at random times. This is a software problem and has yet to be remedied.
- Battery. I cannot tell you if the battery on this phone is really good or not. Apparently the drivers LG used for the battery are written very sloppy and the battery meter jumps around during the course of the day. Under 30% battery life my phone jumps all over the place and sometimes drops to zero in minutes, forcing the phone to shut down.
Where’s the Update?
April 20th was the official release date for the phone which makes it exactly two months old at the time of this writing. Not a single update, fix or upgrade has been released even though the phone runs on a stock build of Android. Other phones made by HTC, Samsung, and Motorola usually have delayed updates due to their custom UI’s built on top of the stock Android OS. Phones running AOSP or stock Android really should not be delayed for too long since integration is much easier than most. Especially when the phone is a flagship or top phone from the manufacturer. When I purchase a phone my major concern is hardware. The minority of users like myself usually keep the stock OS on the phone just long enough to get it home. Modding and rooting a phone is half the fun for me and I find myself changing the OS quite a bit throughout the life of my phones. This phone has some great hardware, but as of now is severely lacking in the software department.
Understanding the Problems
Since the phone is running stock Android 2.2 I don’t have too much to complain about when it comes to software. I am currently running the stock LG shipped Rom and Kernel, nothing changed or modified as I usually do with my phones. When it comes to problems, the problem I experience the least is reboots. I can count the times the phone rebooted on its own on one hand in the past few weeks but cannot say the same for random power downs. Other than when the phone drops below 30% on battery sometimes I reach in my pocket only to find that my phone is shutoff. A simple press of the power button fires it back up like nothing happened but I noticed this became a problem because I missed a few important calls during the time the phone was off.
Lastly I do have a pretty good amount of screen bleeding from the top corners. Basically what that means is if the phone has an all black or very dark background, you can see light shining down from the upper left and right corner about 1/3 of the way down the screen. This is only even noticeable when I have an all black screen or testing with the backlight app and mostly during the initial boot up. But with LG’s IPS screen, I felt that this phone should be near perfect. As we all know they do manufacturer the screens for the iPad and iPhone, which most of them that I have seen do not suffer from this issue. I decided to roll the dice with T-Mobile and give warranty a shot to see if I could get my phone replaced solely to for the screen bleeding issue.
Get a Replacement
I first went into my local store and had them confirm that there was indeed some light bleed from the upper corners. I asked the TMO rep if they could replace the phone on the spot and she said yes, but only if I called customer care and they put a note on my account. They did however have some G2X’s in stock, so I know that was not the issue. So I went home and chatted up TMO customer care and explained my issues. I had great concern in allowing them to send me another phone. Reason being is that since my major issue was the screen, I wanted to make sure the replacement did not suffer from the same issues. She explained that my local representative was wrong, and that they do not allow for in store exchanges. Here is a transcript of my conversation. I changed the rep name to TMO REP for privacy reasons.
You have been connected to TMO REP
Francis Scardino: My LG G2X has light bleeding from the upper corners of the screen. I went to my local store and they confirmed but said I needed to contact you for replacement. I asked if I could get one from the store and they told me that is possible but you would need to make a note on my account for them to do so.
TMO REP: Hi Francis , welcome to T-Mobile live Chat. I will be happy to assist you. Please give me a moment to review your question.
Francis Scardino: Hi TMO REP, how is your day.
TMO REP: I definitely know how important it is to get this issue resolved.Please allow me 2-3 minutes to pull up your account.I definetely will look into getting this fixed for you.
Francis Scardino: Sure, let me know if you have any more questions.
TMO REP: My day is ok for Monday!!
Francis Scardino: I heard that.
Francis Scardino: for a Monday being key.
Francis Scardino: so basically lights comes out from the top of my screen in the upper corners. It looks really washed out when the screen is dark. The rep at my local store said they have some in stock but could not replace mine unless a note was on my account.
TMO REP: Does your phone have any physical damages such as cracked plastics or broken lcd?
Francis Scardino: no
Francis Scardino: the lcd is fine as well as the screen
Francis Scardino: it’s just the backlight that bleeds through
TMO REP: I know but I have to verify 2 things.
TMO REP: Can you please pull the battery from the device,we are looking for a small square,circle or rectangle.What color is it?
Francis Scardino: the square is all white
TMO REP: Thanks.
TMO REP: One moment while I pull up the form so we can get this replaced.
Francis Scardino: ok, but my question is can I replace the phone from one in the tmobile store?
Francis Scardino: they said I could if you left a note on my account. I want to see if the replacement has the same issue before I get it.
Francis Scardino: it has come up a lot in the forums from others as well.
TMO REP: No the phone exchanges have to go through us.
Francis Scardino: so what if the replacement has the same issue?
Francis Scardino: i have read that some people had to send their phones back 3 or 4 times to get one that does not have this issue.
TMO REP: I understand what you are saying but exchanges are done through us.
Francis Scardino: ok. well i assume you would send one out and then i would send mine back to prevent any downtime?
TMO REP: Yes I will send first then you send you’re in.
Francis Scardino: ok, i guess it doesn’t hurt to try. if the problem exists on the new one being sent can i simply return that one?
TMO REP: Yes you will want to contact us so we can overnite you another.
TMO REP: One moment please.
So as of now this is where I sit. If you read up on the phone you will see that many are having these same issues and while some will be fixed by faulty software, the screen itself is a hardware problem that LG needs to address and resolve. I have no quarrel with T-Mobile or LG except the fact that T-Mobile charged me $20 for a warranty replacement and wanted another $20 to overnight it. Let me remind you the phone is only a few weeks old. I did not get this phone at launch. (This is a brand new $500 LG phone). To get my satisfaction I agreed on the $20 even though I did not like it and let them pay the standard 5 days shipping. The rep promised that if i get another defect, that they will overnight one to me. So we shall see in the coming days if TMO does me right. I’m really a huge fan of T-Mobile and have had nothing but great service from them in the past. Hopefully this situation does not break my loyalty with them, because I’m really not liking any of the alternatives at this point.
Here is what I expect.
- A brand new phone, I will not accept a refurb.
- No screen bleed.
- Another phone overnighted if either of this criteria is not met.
Let me say that otherwise I really do love the phone. It has great all around features and a hearty set of specs to go with it. I’ll deal with the battery and reboot issues until the Gingerbread update drops or the source code is available. The hardware is my major concern for now. I’ll keep this post updated with my progress.
*I hope to write up a full review of the device after this all get sorted out.