My Galaxy Nexus unfortunately Died The Death. It’ll boot and seem to work, but as soon as you try to open an email or whatever, kiss it goodbye. So I rummaged through the back of the closet and, well, it’s amazing how little you can get by with.

I’d like to replace the GNexus with one of those pure-Android HTC Ones they’re talking up, but you can’t get those yet so I needed a stopgap. The closet yielded an old Nexus S which I put my SIM in and turned on; up come some antique Android version.

Also, it was broken; probably this is some best-forgotten engineering build from three years ago. The keyboard keeps vanishing while you type on it, and basically nothing works.

So I ran out of patience and erased all the accounts and turned off WiFi and mobile data and now it’s a dumbphone er I mean “Feature Phone”; it makes and receives phone calls and SMSes and does that just fine. I’m OK because my Nexus 7 with 3G keeps me on the Net when I need that. The combo will get me through till I figure out how to score that HTC One.

But wait... just now I checked into some hotel or other on El Camino in Silly Valley and its Internet wasn’t working (they rarely do). But it dawned on me that the dumphone can still get 3G and make a hot spot, and so I can still talk to the world.

I’m sure there’s a lesson to take away from all this; you figure it out.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Jarek Piórkowski (Jun 19 2013, at 22:20)

As someone using a Nexus One with some antique Android version as my normal smartphone, I'm not sure if there's a lesson beyond that things don't automatically become totally useless when something shinier appears.


From: Prashanth (Jun 19 2013, at 22:59)

Sorry to know about your phones.

I use an unrooted Nexus One, most antique Nexus device probably and it works just fine even though it runs Gingerbread v2.3.6. I can make calls, browse web, etc. :-)


From: Edwin C (Jun 19 2013, at 23:17)

This tool may help: The nexus root toolkit, where you should be able to flash a stock version of Android onto it to replace the experimental one on the S.



From: Mitch (Jun 20 2013, at 01:03)

I had the same thought process with the same phones - my GNexus died when I dropped it on a laptop charger block and my wife is full term, so I "needed" a phone right now.

I had been holding out for whatever the Nexus 5 pans out to be, but for anyone asking which android phone was the phone to buy right now, I'd always tell them the HTC One. However just the promise of a Google Edition was enough for me to get my wallet out - I've bought factory unlocked so whatever images come out for it for the GE I should be fine, if indeed I choose to do.

However, the purpose for me writing this is to say that the HTC One as is is a great device, and I'm very happy with it as it stands. Sense 5 isn't terrible, and has some nice additions. In particular, the Zoe feature is superb and the multiple images it takes in that mode make for great G+ auto-awesome gif files. I have the safety net of future GE images if I choose, or of KLP is a necessity, however for now I'm happy with my HTC One as is.


From: Dave Walker (Jun 20 2013, at 03:16)

A prediction I've seen discussed elsewhere on this, is that the dumbphone will make a significant comeback. The reasoning is that people will use them more as body-area network to 3G / 4G routers for the various wifi / bluetooth wearables and tablet(s) they have on and around their person, than as 'phones. Also, for those of us with fond memories of the Nokia 6110 and its pretty much week-long battery life, current battery tech and a feature-stripped 'phone which functions more as a personal router than anything else, should be able to get that kind of battery life back.

My own take on this is that I upgraded from iPhone 1 to iPhone 4 when the latter came out, and other than as a 'phone, I only really use it in circumstances when I only have one hand free and have the appropriate app running (guide apps at conferences are the normal case). Otherwise, i get the iPad out. Personally, a dumbphone, possibly paired with a wearable, would do, and the upgrade cycle for the dumbphone would be tied to occasional refreshes to take advantage of networking advances.


From: Bob (Jun 20 2013, at 07:35)

I would have tried to install a different ROM on either the Galaxy Nexus or the Nexus S. A quick look on XDA shows you can get the latest and greatest on the Nexus S, and since it is a Nexus device it shouldn't be difficult to install custom firmware.


From: Terri M (Jun 21 2013, at 09:59)

I just love reading all of this geek talk!


From: clarke thomas (Jun 21 2013, at 10:14)

Interestingly I have the disappearing keyboard/number pad on the GNexus when I'm on a phone call. Thus making it very difficult to automated phone systems.

I'm surprised the Nexus S didn't get an OS upgrade notice when you had the mobile data on. AFAIK the Nexus S stopped getting upgrades, whatever was before ICS

Also surprised you have the wifi on all the time? I only turn the wifi on when I'm near someplace I can use it, as it kills the battery so quickly.

Wouldn't you need the keyboard to send SMS'?


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