Windows Phone 8 Hardware Issues
November 19, 2012

Some Windows Phone 8 Users Having Hardware Issues

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

It´s never easy to come back from behind, especially when there never seems to be any traction. Windows Phone, for all the positive reviews it´s received, has always had an issue gaining traction. People may think it´s an easy smartphone platform to use and they may find it beautiful and elegant; they may even enjoy the integration with their other devices. But for now it seems the majority of smartphone users have already agreed on Android or iOS. Therefore, as the 3rd or 4th place OS in this smartphone footrace (depending on who´s asked and what metrics are being applied) it´s easier to spot the missteps of Windows Phone than other platforms.

This weekend, The Verge posted a story about Windows Phone 8 users experiencing some issues with their battery and random reboots. The headline sounds ominous enough to illicit a sympathetic sigh, but it turns out the issue might not be widespread at all.

Looking to Windows Phone-related site, there are now some 160 replies in a thread about random reboots on the HTC 8X handset. As this is still the early stage of this issue, these users are troubleshooting their problems. Some have mentioned these reboots happened when Bluetooth is turned on, others have suspected rogue apps such as Facebook, while some have even said the phone rebooted when they weren´t even touching it. These 8X users are also reporting anywhere from a few reboots a week to 7 and 8 reboots a day. The Verge also confirmed that their 8X testing unit rebooted more than once since they´ve had it in their stable of demo phones. While a rebooting phone is almost clearly a sign of faulty hardware, (especially with some reporting running nothing but stock software) it seems this issue would most likely be resolved with a quick exchange. Some 8X users are also complaining about this issue on Microsoft´s own forums, but this thread has only 50 posts according to The Verge, meaning the problem might not be as widespread as it sounds.

Another Windows 8 phone, the Nokia Lumia 920, is also said to be experiencing some issues, such as random lock ups, hard resets and poor battery life.

On Nokia´s forum boards, some users are complaining that their 920s are freezing up and remain stuck on the Nokia splash page. Again, this is still the early stages of troubleshooting, and some have said a hard reset has resolved their freezing issue. Others have said they notice their phones are more likely to freeze when connected to a Bluetooth device. In terms of battery life, some new 920 owners have said their phones lose nearly 50% of its charge in a matter of hours, even with features such as NFC and location services turned off. The Verge also points out that turning off NFC has improved the battery life of every Windows Phone 8 they´ve tested.

As with any battery issue on new phones, some members in the forums are pointing to the lithium batteries and suggesting they need to be cycled through a few times before they get the best charge. Most have said they´ve turned off select services and continue to have their batteries drain quickly.

Again, while it´s never a good thing to experience these kinds of issues, it looks on the surface as if these issues with the battery may be very limited. At the time of this writing, the most read and commented on thread concerning this issue has 50 replies on Nokia´s forums.

However, with these issues being broadcast on The Verge, it´s likely many will assume Windows Phone 8 is already suffering from failures as opposed to seeing these as largely one-off issues. In a time when Microsoft needs to impress rather than troubleshoot and put out fires, this could be tricky for them.