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About Steve

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    New Here

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  • Location
    Central Iowa

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  • Device
    Electify M - RIP
  1. I've been a US Cellular customer almost 15 years; currently have one smartphone and one flip phone on an OLD (pre-belief) "local" plan that had 2GB data and $5/mo texting added on the smartphone line. The bill is usually just under $100/month. My phone (Motorola Electrify M) abruptly died a couple days ago, as described in another thread. So I'm now in a dilemma of how to proceed. Ideally, I'd like to buy a new lower-end Android phone outright and switch to the 1 GB Shared Connect plan without having to sign a contract. That saves a bit on the monthly costs vs. my current plan (that accounted for subsidized phone purchases), and can't be renewed at this point anyway. But I'm basically being told that neither is possible. I really don't want a gigantic phone, or have a need to have a bunch of money wrapped up in the latest and greatest. However, the only current phones that fit that criteria are "prepaid only". My local store said they couldn't even sell me one outright unless it was going with a prepaid plan. The rep I've talked to was suggesting an S5 mini, but it seems fairly expensive for what it is and reviews I saw for the mini were kind of lackluster (especially call quality/reception--which is probably the most important to me). If I buy a used, or new-from-3rd-party, "prepaid only" phone, will they refuse to activate it on my account? Are there any scenarios where it is possible to switch to a Shared Connect plan without signing a two-year committment? Getting on a nationwide plan with texting for both phones and legal tethering is attractive, and although the data would go from 2GB to 1GB, it looks like that would be cheaper. However, I was told even I owned all the hardware outright I would still have to sign a two-year agreement to switch to the newer Shared Connect plan. I don't understand why that should be necessary if I own the hardware and the phone price isn't being subsidized? Are there any deals or special accomodations to be had by playing the "longtime customer" card? Do independent stores that rep US Cellular have any more freedom in what phones they're able to sell you? There is one in a neighboring town that I called earlier to inquire about 15-day returns (they didn't have much Android) that I can probably drive to and back in less time than you typically have to wait to speak to someone at the local corporate US Cellular location.
  2. Motorola Electrify M - all stock. Purchased new June 2013 and was originally Jelly Bean. Official USCC Kit Kat update applied in February. A few weeks ago, was watching an in-browser video and phone locked up. Had to use power+volume down to reboot Everything was fine for a while, then a week or so ago started having apps crash randomly. I discovered the internal memory seemed to be full, so cleared out a bunch of stuff. Was still getting app crashes, so backed up the stuff that mattered and attempted to do a factory data reset within "Settings" menu. Calls and texts ALWAYS worked fine, so thought this was likely a data corruption / software issue related to the disk getting full. Initial boot after reset seemed to go OK, but after entering google account data the screen background started flashing--would show default background momentarily, go black, rinse and repeat about once a second. Powered down - inserted SD card with the backup files I wanted to restore. Booted up OK, but when tried to open contacts to restore from the file on the SD card would not open. Don't recall exact sequence, but background started flashing again. Powered down - tried to power back up... stuck on M logo animation. Found some info on accessing fastboot and could get there, but didn't have any options available. Went to local US Cellular store; salesperson I (eventually) got assigned to supposedly attempted to flash it, but as far as I could tell never got it to connect since it wouldn't boot up. Doing research later tonight I found references to the Android Recovery utility, and was able to get into that. Tried clearing cache partition, then doing full factory data restore from that screen--both yielded no improvement. Is there anything else worth trying? I have seen some stuff about using AP Fastboot to load back to stock via USB on a RAZR M, and some references to RSDlite... any chance of getting anywhere with those or other external tools? I'm not unwilling to believe the root of the problem is some sort of hardware failure, but it seems strange that call/text was always fine prior to reset. Is there any possibility/likelihood something is jacked up between the bootloader and installed OS after the KitKat upgrade? I'm pretty ignorant on this stuff, but have gathered that things go awry in a hurry if different pieces get out of sync. An upgrade was sort of on the horizon anyway, but I'd hoped not to get forced into one right this second. Frustrating to go from a mostly-working phone to a brick using the built-in recovery tools that were hopefully supposed to fix the problem...