Phone Strangeness

My current phone is a Nokia N91, I’ve had it for well over two years, which is probably the longest time I’ve owned any phone, and I’ve been very happy with it. Of course it’s showing its age technologically now, but I haven’t had any problems with it.

But last week, whilst I was in Copenhagen, it started acting very strangely.  Usually, it runs for two or three days between charges, but it started running out in less than a day. Also soon after turning it on, the user interface slowed to a crawl so that, for example, it took at least two minutes to open a text message. The longer the phone was on, the slower it got. After ten or fifteen minutes the phone became unusable.

My first thought was that the battery needed to be replaced. It’s still the battery that came with the phone and I’m not sure what the lifetime of these batteries is supposed to be. I found some selling the correct batteries cheaply on Amazon Marketplace and ordered a replacement.

But that hasn’t fixed the problem. Everything is still exactly how it was. My next plan was to upgrade the firmware and reset the phone. But both of these actions will delete all of the user data from the phone. So I needed to back it up first. This involved booting my laptop into Windows for the first time for months (and spending half an hour installing all the security updates that have been released since I last used Windows) so that I could use the Nokia PC Suite and the Nokia Software Updater. Having installed both of those I prepared to backup the phone’s data.

But it didn’t work. Remember the problem where phone slowly grinds to a halt? Well that also affects the backup process. You can only back stuff up in tiny chunks. And in the hour I spent trying it on Wednesday evening I didn’t manage to get everything backed up successfully. I’ll try again over the weekend. I suppose I should have been taking regular backups anyway. And I would if Nokia had software that ran on a sensible operating system.

My current theory is that there’s some kind of runaway process on the phone and that it is taking all of the processing power and draining the battery. Does that sound possible? And if that’s the case, how would I go about fixing that? What are the Nokia N Series equivalents of ‘ps’ and ‘kill’?

The most annoying thing about this is that my current contract with O2 only has another six weeks to run. So I’ll be getting another phone soon any way. I just need to resurrect the N91 for a few weeks until I can get an upgrade.

I cheer myself up by considering what I’ll upgrade to. The N96 is currently favourite, but I might just go with an N95 if their price drops following the release of the N96. Most of the phones I’ve had over the years have been Nokias and I’m used to the way they work.

Of course I’m not even going to consider an iPhone. There is some strange reaction between me and Apple hardware. It always ends with me wanting to throw the hardware at the wall.

One comment

  1. There are heaps of Symbian programs to do ps and kill functions — getting them onto your phone will be the challenge. Is your one the model with the SD card slot? If so, you should have more luck than installing over the air I guess.

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