Smartphones are so popular right now that if you don’t own one, you’ll probably be considered outdated. But despite all their seemingly high tech, many models do carry an inherent and potentially fatal flaw – Frequent freezing after a period of use. If you have not yet experienced this yet, than great! But if you are one of the growing numbers of people who have experienced their phones freezing, and at an ever increasing regularity, then read on.
I had bought my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with high expectations just less than 2 years ago, but starting sometime this year, my Galaxy Note 2 started freezing. At first, it was just on occasion, and I did not think too much about it. Maybe it was due to too many photos that I loaded into it, or so I thought. But the freezing became more and more frequent, and then lately, it just collapsed. I could not even use the phone for 30 minutes without it hanging up. This usually happened when browsing, but then spread to other apps like WhatsApp, and finally, even the phone’s basic functions were affected. The only way to get it working again is to yank the battery out.
It appears that some batches of phones made by Samsung (or perhaps other manufacturers) carry low quality chips which are prone to degrade in performance, over time. This will result in the freezing or Sudden Death Syndrome (as it’s called by others). To determine what sort of chip you have, go download an app called eMMC Brickbug Check. It will run a simple diagnostic on your phone and let you know if your phone has a “Sane” or “Insane” chip. Well guess what, my phone has the “Insane” chip.
Basically, Sane chip = Less prone to degrade in performance. Insane chip = Much more prone to suffer performance degradation over time. It doesn’t matter how fast your phones are spec-wise; this appears to be a serious flaw in Samsung’s manufacturing, and will impact my decision on what phones I buy in future. At first, they will be fast and smooth, but later on, the performance degrades and the freezing starts.
And when the freezing gets so bad, it can literally drive you insane! 🙂
It can happen within months or after one year has elapsed. Right now, there are a lot of reports coming in from users who have had the chance to use their smartphones for some time – and are now beginning to experience this freezing problem. Apparently, freezing Android smartphones are a very common issue; this post is solely based on my own experience with a Samsung phone, but a quick search reveals there are many others who are suffering from the same thing.
I took my phone to a Samsung Service Center, but they all gave me the same answer – Backup your phone first and try a Factory Reset and/or update your Android version (which is the same as a factory reset). That would mean losing some games on my phone, which are no longer available on Google Play, as well as messing up my phone. Besides, I would have to fork out money to pay Samsung technicians to update my Android (since my phone’s warranty was expired), because my phone could not even download the new Android files without freezing up along the way! What other solutions are possible?
After searching, I found a potential fix to the freezing problem. The fix may not be permanent, but at least it buys you a little more time and should alleviate your freezing phone problem if but for a while. This fix works for Samsung phones, but may work for other phones with the same freezing problem.
Step 1 – Free up as much space on your Internal Memory as you can. Delete as much of the photos, videos, and songs as possible (after you back them up somewhere, of course). Try not to use any SD Cards for this purpose. Leave about 70-80% of free space at least, on your Internal Storage.
Step 2 – Download and install an app called Dummy File Generator. Open the app and select the option to fill up your phone’s Internal Memory to FULL. Let it run. During the process of generating dummy files, your phone may appear to freeze; wait it out, because half of the time, it will unfreeze after anywhere from 1-30 minutes, and continue to run. The other half of the time, I guess you will need to pull your battery out.
Step 3 – Once the phone’s internal storage has reached full capacity, the app stop. You should be getting a notice that your storage is full. Delete those dummy files by pressing the “Delete” button, in the app.
Step 4 – Repeat this process again and again, for anywhere between 5-10 times. You may actually find your phone freezing at any time, during the process. Don’t worry; pull out the battery if you must, but keep on repeating it. You should find the performance slowly improving with each subsequent run.
If you’ve done all this, you should notice an improvement or alleviation of the freezing problem in your phone. Some people find the benefit is only temporary in nature, some find it permanent. Regardless, if you have been pulling your hair out over your Android smartphone freezing at inopportune times, this is the only known solution that offers relief, short of doing a factory reset, changing your whole motherboard, or getting a new phone, etc. Here is a link that talks in length about the problem affecting Galaxy S3 phones.
For myself, I don’t think I will get another Samsung phone or any other brand for that matter just yet, unless this issue of low quality/faulty chips is seriously addressed by the smartphone manufacturers. At their selling prices which are already more than desktop PCs, I simply do not think smartphones are meant to have a shelf life of less than 2 years. As a consumer, I believe I deserve better products for the money I pay!
Update: As of October 16, 2014, my Note 2 now runs just like new. Except for one episode at the beginning of using Dummy File Generator, my phone has never had any more freezing episodes since. Not even one. If you still encounter freezing, run Dummy File Generator several more times, and it should improve.