In no particular order, here are some of the common questions and answers

Q: How do I insert the sim cards?

A: In most cases there will be a video on your phone’s product page

Q: How do I use my new Android 7 phone?

Q: How do I use my new Android 8 phone?

 

How do I use the fingerprint scanner?

Q: Why can’t my computer see my phone when I connect them?

A: Some manufacturers encrypt their phones to protect your data, in which case use Cloud-based services like Dropbox or Google Drive/Photos to sync your devices. But invisibility can also be caused by a lack of drivers. If your phone has a Mediatek (MTK) chipset, this link may assist.

Q: Why do I have to buy original USB-C cables from your store instead of getting cheap USB cables elsewhere?

A: Because you could blow up your phone or burn your house down during the night. USB-C cables are tuned to each phone. Watch this video or ignore it at your peril. Likewise, NEVER use a micro usb to usb-c converter plug to charge your phone – it is a fire risk.

Q: The phone says it is 4G, but every time I make or receive a call it drops to 3G, why is that?

A: Because your new phone is more advanced than your mobile network. Voice over LTE (VoLTE or 4G voice calling) is not yet available in NZ. You will know it when you get it because your call becomes high-definition studio quality, but that service will not become widespread until after 2020. Until then, even though our phones support enhanced 4G the NZ telcos don’t, and you will really be making voice calls on 3G. 4G in NZ is a data service not a voice service.

Q: Why is my Bluetooth more intermittent on my new phone?

A: Google discovered a major security flaw in Bluetooth in 2016 which could allow hackers to raid your bank accounts using older Bluetooth protocols. It immediately introduced new security protocols (and continues to do so) making it harder for new phones running Android 7 and 8 to connect with less secure devices (usually bluetooth watches, car stereo head units, fitness devices, hearing aids etc which are capable of themselves being hacked while connected and less likely or able to be security-patched). This means a connection that may work fine on your two or three year old iPhone or Samsung no longer works so well on your new phone. You are not alone, millions of Samsung, Huawei, Sony, Pixel and other expensive phone brands no longer connect well with older less secure devices. Either put up with it or buy updated devices with the latest security patches, but be aware that Bluetooth security is now volatile and new phones from any manufacturer may not be as stable as you have been used to with your old phones.

There are a couple of other new features in Android 7 and 8 that aggravate the problem. The first new feature is Low Energy (LE). This was introduced both to save power and also to significantly reduce the radiation emitted by your device (a major health benefit of your new phone). Unfortunately the new low energy standards mean your device may not be as stable when it connects to older bluetooth units which are looking for a full-power transmission 100% of the time. Bluetooth LE is not backwards compatible with non LE devices, and if you are in an area of heavy traffic (crowds, roads, offices etc) where other phones and bluetooth units are nearby, the interference can cause signal dropouts. A possible workaround is to try and give your phone as much power for bluetooth transmission as possible. Go to Settings/Battery and look for the three vertical dots at top right. Tap on those. Tap on Battery Optimization. Select Not Optimised and tap All Apps. Find every app that is Bluetooth or BT related, and every app for Call or Phone, and for each app choose Don’t Optimise. If still necessary (and if your phone supports it) choose “Sports” or “Full Power” mode under the main Battery setting. Obviously this will cause faster battery drain.

The second new feature is Google’s new Location/High Accuracy setting. This allows Google to better pinpoint your location by scanning nearby wifi hotspots or other bluetooth devices as you drive past them. However, when combined with Low Energy the momentary diversion of your phone to “scan” someone else’s bluetooth device as you drive by can cause a signal dropout. The best fix for this is to go to Settings/Location and tap on the three dots, tap on Scanning and turn off wifi and BT scanning. Some system apps will scan regardless of the setting you choose so this is not an absolute fix but it should reduce the frequency of dropouts.

We’ll add more as the questions arise