Lamenting some smartphone repairs

Yesterday before noon the repaired Pixel 7 Pro smartphone from Google arrived. For the last couple of weeks I had moved back to my Pixel 5 which remains a pretty good smartphone. Apparently, they repaired the phone that I sent back to them via a nice cardboard package they sent me for traveling with a postal carrier. The phone I received back has the exact same IMEI as the one that was sent to them for repairs. Based on that I’m pretty sure they actually repaired the unit that was sent in for repairs and did not issue a replacement phone. I took a close look at the actual phone and didn’t really see any evidence that they heated up the glue that holds the screen in place and got inside it to make some type of repairs. They had it from February 21 to February 28 so it is entirely possible that they did take it apart and effect some type of repair to the screen. I’m not entirely sure what happened and to be honest nothing along the way shared any details about what exactly went wrong or what they did to correct the problem. 

Based on my observations something within the screen went very wrong. When you hit the power button the top half of the screen would flash with a dark green sort of tint or the whole phone would flash white and then nothing would happen. The phone itself was probably running and waiting for some type of user input, but the screen was dark and unresponsive. A few people certainly encountered this and I tried to look around for solutions or at least other people to chat with you had experienced the same problem. For the most part, when a smartphone behaves like that people send them back for a replacement. In my case the warranty part of the service cycle would have done that for me and has been fine before. I used it when my screen got cracked. They pretty much sent a new replacement phone and I sent the cracked one back to the warranty center. This time around the warranty and repair was done by Google. 

I loaded the data, contacts, and well everything from my Pixel 5 to the newly repaired Pixel 7 Pro using a standard USB Type-C cable. I pretty much only use official cables from Google chargers that I ordered from the Google store online. The only other charging mechanism that I happen to use is a Google stand for charging. My preferred method of charging is to set the phone on the wireless charging stand. It’s so much easier and used to feel like the future, but now it is more routine than anything else. Completing the data transfer process included moving about 62 gigabytes of data between the phones. It took around 20 minutes and then I had to sign into all the applications which took another hour of time. Getting all the authenticator stuff changed out took maybe another 15 minutes. It was a quick reminder of why I kept my backup phone in the first place. Getting things back in order without some backup would be a lot harder. Based on this exercise about 2 hours of time needs to be reserved to complete the phone transfer process. 

This post might come across as if I’m lamenting some smartphone repairs and that truly is the case. Overall my trust in the Pixel line of products has been diminished. I was a day one device order for the first 5 generations of Pixel smartphone products. I sat out the Pixel 6 as my enthusiasm for it was limited and some of the initial reports conflicted about the build quality. I jumped back in and ordered two of the Pixel 7 Pro phones and the Pixel Bud Pro’s to go with the phones. Maybe delivering hardware is not the thing that Google is most focused on achieving. My Fitbit certainly has not gotten any great updates or support after the acquisition by Google. I actually switched to the Oura ring recently and abandoned using my Fitbit smartwatch. We will see what happens within the organization changes at Google over the next year. I would not be surprised if hardware fades away altogether.

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